Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Federal Election Coming?

I am less than thrilled at the idea of another federal election, but it sounds like the Liberals are pushing for one.

I am not sure what Ignatieff thinks will happen with a federal election. Is there something the Liberal polling is telling them that indicates they have a chance to win?

All I can see at this time is another minority government. I suspect that it will be a weaker Conservative minority than there is now. I suspect a federal election now would lead to a loss of seats in BC for the Conservatives and few other changes. It is hard to say because we do not know how the election would play out. The campaign matters, polling in the summer is meaningless, and no one can predict what will be the defining issues in an election.

What are the chance of a majority? Very slim because of the Bloc. They are likely to continue to hold about 45 to 50 seats. This means either the Liberals or the Conservatives have to win about 60% of the seats in the rest of the country to get a majority.

The Conservatives need to hold everything they have and pick up a dozen more. The problem is that they accomplished this in an election when the Liberals cratered to historic lows. The Liberals are polling four to six points ahead of where they were in the last election. The Conservatives are running about three to four points down. Unless something happens in the election, I can not see how the Conservatives can maintain their 143 seats. I see them losing seats to the Liberals.

The odds of a Liberal majority are even longer. There are 65 western seats that no matter what the Conservatives will win. There are about 30 seats in Ontario that will remain Conservative no matter what. Add to that ten more east of there as a worst case scenario for the CPC and the 45-50 Bloc seats means 150 to 155 seats are gone.

For the Liberals to have any chance of winning a majority they need to destroy the NDP. They need to drive the NDP to less than 10 seats.

So what will be the impact of the election? A smaller Conservative minority government. We will be back to where we are at the moment, nothing of substance will have changed.

Maybe this is all a ploy by the Liberals to force the government to cozy up to the Bloc and then condemn them for that? After what happened with the coalition idea last fall and the railing against the tacit involvement of the Bloc, it would be good politics for the Liberals to turn the tables on the Conservatives and force them to work closely with the Bloc.
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