Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Federal election of not?

I would still prefer not to see a federal election this spring, I am not convinced that it would lead to much of a dramatic change from the status quo nationally.   That said, there seems to be the first shift in national opinion since the start of 2010.   There seems to be a reasonably large gap between the Conservatives and Liberals now, something like 10-12 percentage points.

In the 2008 election the gap between the two major parties was 9.4 percentage points.   The bigger the gap, the more likely the lead party could win a majority.

There seems to be little indication that the Conservatives are in position to make gains in BC or Ontario and they could lose seats in Quebec.   To balance this they need to win seats in Atlantic Canada, which various polls seem to indicate could be possible but only four or five which is not enough.

If there were an election, which party would make the most gains during an election?  In 2006 the Conservatives made some decent gains during the election, but in 2008 it was the Liberals that lost support and not the Conservatives gaining.  

The NDP seems lackluster and unlikely to do much in an election campaign - call it 17%.  The Greens seem to not organized themselves well and are unlikely to have any impact on the campaign - 7%.  The Bloc is the Bloc and I expect something on the order of 10%.   1% for all the rest.   This leaves 65% for the Conservatives and the Liberals.  

The low amount of the support for the two major parties means that a majority is possible with less than 40% of the vote.  How low could it go?   It is possible for the Conservative percentage of the vote to fall marginally and for them to gain seats.   A lower degree of support in Alberta, Saskatchewan and the interior of BC would have a national impact on the Conservative percentage of the vote but is unlikely to lead to the loss of any seats.  

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