April 26, 2011

MayDay 2011: New Seat Projection

By admin

OK … so I’m no pollster, but I’m using two resources:

I’ve revised the spreadsheet to reflect my guess-timate of what the seat count might look like depending on the region, the approximate change in voter opinion and the odd black-box estimate for specific ridings, particularly those that are too close to call.

Here’s the total:

  • CPC = 130 seats (from approx 143 seats)
  • NDP = 100 seats (from 37 seats)
  • Liberal = 45 seats (from 77 seats)
  • Too close = 22 seats
  • Bloc = 6 (from 49 seats)

Yes, the Bloc get hammered, mainly because they are getting crushed in the polls.  For good reason:  the Bloc isn’t a national party and Quebecers have finally woken up to the reality that it would be nice to be at the table for a change.

Thank you Quebec – how ironic that you may save Canada yet.

Also, we’re now seeing that Jack Layton made a very prudent choice when he appointed the first NDP MP elected in Quebec – Thomas Mulcair – to Deputy Leader.  It gave the rest of Quebec cause to pause and reflect on the influence they might have if they voted more NDP MPs to Ottawa.

As I generated these estimates, the numbers above got me thinking about the ‘strongholds’ of the Conservatives.

In 2008, 36% of their seats (about 51) came from Ontario.  This is a substantial volume when you consider that Ontario has about 110 seats to offer up.

The greatest reason why the Conservative got so many seats?  Vote splitting.  And the CPC is betting on vote splitting to get them into a majority.

Again, I’m hopeful that this won’t happen because I believe in two major demographic groups driving positive results, particularly in Ontario:

  • the Youth Vote
  • the Baby Boomer Vote

With the Youth Vote (eg. anyone under 30), there has always been a disproportionate volume of voters that don’t make it to the polls, but also a disproportionate volume of voters that have progressive tendencies.  Yes, you might argue that this might split the vote, but they also have a critical resource that they live by:  data resources.  They’ll use tools like Project Democracy and consider voting based on projections to help ensure that the Cons are dead ducks.

The Boomers are a totally different gang of voters that many haven’t really spent enough time analyzing.  This is the year that MANY Boomers will hit the age of 65 and would like to start retiring.  However,

  • Many can’t retire yet.
  • Many don’t own businesses any more – mainly because they’ve sold off their businesses or never owned one in the first place – so they shouldn’t care about corporate tax rates.
  • Many don’t have kids in school, so they probably don’t care about education.
  • Many may feel the need to re-awaken their political destiny that they embraced in the 1960s when they came of age, but neglected in the 1980s and onward as they turned inward to their own interests.
  • Many have lived their lives accumulating debt, so they’re not too worried about passing even more debt on to their heirs.
  • Many are seeing their twilight years with the Harper-lead negotiation of the Health Act and they are scared shitless.

As a result, my prediction is that many of the Boomers will vote for the party that they want to see negotiate the Health Act.  My prediction – weak as it may sound – will be a mix of Liberal and NDP representatives.  I’d like to think that the Liberals will steal from the Cons and the NDP will steal from the Liberals, but that sounds a little too optimistic for me.

That said, there’s still a change that the Cons will be reduced to 40 or so seats in Ontario, with the Liberals and NDP taking the balance.

BC is another key province that has given the Cons their strength.  22 seats went to the CPC in 2008 and I continue to shake my head in disbelief that the folks that I know in BC would allow this to happen.  To really agitate the BC vote, we have to hammer on the fact that it was the Cons that made the HST (Harper Sales Tax) happen there.

The same goes for Ontario.  The HST was brought to us by the federal Cons more so than the provincial Liberals.

With all of these factors at play, my bet is that the final tally will be an NDP-lead NDP-Liberal coalition owning about 155-165 seats.