Friday, March 16, 2012

The pending federal election - what might happen?

The odds of seeing a federal election this year are rising.   The whole robocalls things is getting to a point where there may be no choice other than an election.  Let us say we end up with an election this fall because of it, how would it look?

First, the new ridings will not be in place yet, we will still have the same 308 that we have now.

Second, I am ignoring the polling done of late because I am not certain it is a realistic reflection of what might happen in an election caused by the robocalls scandal.   I am not making a projection on what the polls are saying, but on how I think an election caused by the scandal would play out.

Third, how ready at the parties for an election?

The Conservatives are financially best prepared for an election.  They can run full campaigns in 308 ridings across the country.  They are also the incumbents in the most ridings in Canada.   Overall the Conservatives were a significant factor in 239 ridings in 2011.

The Liberals are out of money and have no organization in most of the country.   In 2011 the Liberals were a factor in only 104 seats.   If the Liberals were to win every seat one of those seats, it would not bring them close enough to anything.   The Liberals are more likely to lose more seats if there were an election in 2012.

The Bloc, I have a hard time judging them because I am not really in touch with Quebec politics well enough.   I think they will be making gains if there were an election this year.

The NDP, they traditionally have not been a factor in more than 70-80 ridings in the country.  In 2011 they were a factor in 232 ridings.  With the leadership race the party has built itself up in many parts of Canada were there was not much in place in the past.

Fourth, how would this election look?
I am going to assume Thomas Mulcair will be the NDP leader.

Conservatives lose seats in BC, Ontario and Quebec.   Possibly on the prairies as well.
The Liberals lose their seats west of Ontario in a Conservative NDP squeeze.  In Ontario they lose seats to the NDP.   Quebec, they may lose some more to the NDP.
I am going to assume the Bloc manages to regain some seats, all of them from the NDP.
The NDP will be the the overwhelming choice of people pissed off with the Conservatives.   I see them gaining seats across the country from the Conservatives and Liberals but lose a few Quebec ones to the Bloc.

Popular Vote Estimate

  • NDP 37% (32%-40%)
  • Conservatives 34%  (30-36%)
  • Liberals 17% (12-20%)
  • Bloc 7% (6-8%)
  • Greens 4% (4%)

Seat Estimate

  • NDP 140  (120-150)
  • Conservatives 130 (125-140)
  • Liberals 20 (5-30)
  • Bloc 17 (5-25)
  • Greens 1 (1)
I think the most likely out come of a 2012 robocall caused election would be an NDP minority government if Thomas Mulcair is the NDP leader.   

The core messaging of the election will be from the NDP about the scandal and the Conservatives about the socialist hordes at the gates.   These two parties will crowd out anyone else in the election.  A 2012 election would be the most ideological in Canadian history.  It would not impossible for the election to play our with the Bloc and Liberals doing worse than I am projecting.  If that were to happen, there is a potential for an NDP majority government.   For minority governments to occur you need either a very close election where a small party holds the balance or four or more parties winning enough seats to get party status.

Given the scale of the Conservative party resources and demographics of who is most likely to vote, they have a certain degree of certainty on a large batch of seats.   The federal Liberals are too far to the left and too disorganized to become a home for disgruntled Conservatives.

If someone else were to lead the NDP, I suspect we would see the Bloc come back with a lot of seats and a parliament that looks something like the 2006 one expect the NDP would in there with 100 seats  and the Liberals with less than 30.   A weak Conservative minority is what I think would happen.
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