Sunday, September 7, 2008

Is Dion a Train Wreck for the Liberals?

The Liberals have been consistently polling behind the Conservatives in the last week. They are 8 to 13 points behind.

Dion is sounding unsure and he is stumbling in English. I see shades of Bob Skelly in BC - I remember how I felt watching the NDP's election chances die in front of my eyes.

In polls there is only one issue in which Dion leads the Conservatives, and that is the environment, but in the west he is trailing Harper. And when asked in a four way race, he falls far behind the Greens on the environment.

The Liberals are going into this election without the resources needed to fight the election. The party is heading into the election conceding that they can not win and trying to get votes on the basis that a majority Conservative government is dangerous and Harper should be held to a minority.

Jack Layton has decided the Liberals are not worth the effort.

Political wipeouts have become more and more common in Canada in the last generation.

I can not bring myself to go out on the total wipeout of the Liberals scenario, yet.

Here is my estimate of where I think the election will end up:

  • Conservatives 178
  • Liberals 54
  • Bloc 38
  • NDP 36
  • Ind 2
There is a trend happening now and we will see how it continues. The 1993 election started with the Liberals in the lead, but not dramatically so. The PCs were initially polling better than the Liberals are now.

One potential scenario is a result of:
  • Conservatives - 42%
  • Liberals - 20%
  • NDP - 19%
  • Greens - 10%
  • Bloc - 8%

If this is were the election heads to, then the seat distribution would look something like this:
  • Conservatives - 207
  • NDP - 40
  • Bloc - 38
  • Liberals - 18
  • Green - 3
  • Ind - 2
It is not unrealistic in the face of Liberal meltdown for Jack Layton to become the leader of the Official Opposition. It also becomes very realistic from Greens to be elected in this scenario.

Historically it has been the right in Canada that has been able to win the largest number of seats in elections - Dienfbaker in 1957 and Mulroney in 2004. Harper has a reasonable shot of getting an even bigger number of seats.

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