02.02.2011 11:08 AM

Reason #279 why we aren’t having an election

As the story makes clear (click the graphic, above), the Liberals can credibly pick up quite a few seats in the writ – and with no more than an effective (but not spectacular) campaign effort.  That could lift them to 100 seats, mainly at the Cons’ expense.  The Reformatory brain trust know this.  And that’s why, again, I don’t see a campaign happening anytime soon.

You, however, may have a different view (and usually do).  Comments are open!


  1. Still Anonymous says:

    Liberals want an election. Bloc ditto. Therefore, Harper needs the NDP to delay an election.

    Why would the NDP want to prop up Harper for another year? Anyone?

    • The Doctor says:

      Because, as I understand it, a lot of the projected Grit seat gains would be at the expense of the NDP. Most seat projections I’ve seen have the NDP losing seats, not gaining them.

  2. Sean says:

    what a joke…. where is the graphic for “road kill: 250 ridings”?

  3. Bill says:

    The point of the election is to rid the land of Harper…another minority means he cannot seal the deal.

  4. Josh says:

    100 seats for the Liberals would likely force the CPC to move Harper out of the picture.

    Even if the Liberals dont win outright, they win.

  5. Reader says:

    Your dismissive tone suggests that you suspect the author of the article to have partisan leanings. If that is your suspicion, I believe it to be categorically unfounded. The author has a website http://www.threehundredeight.blogspot.com/ where he compiles all Canadian political polls and makes predictions based on the polling results. I’ve been following the site for a while, and makes both good and bad predictions for the Liberals, depending on what the polls say. I have never suspected bias from him; in fact, I have no idea where his political support lies. The website offers more detail on his methodology than the article provided. It might be fair to argue with his methods (I’m uneducated in that field), but I don’t think you can accuse him of bias. He has written similar articles in recent weeks for the NDP, Bloc and Greens and will soon write one for the Conservatives and he uses the same method of assessment for each party.

    • The Doctor says:

      I agree with what Reader says about 308. It’s true that most 308 projections have the LPC making seat gains, but that’s a pretty logical and understandable result when you consider that the Dion performance likely was a low ebb in LPC fortunes. For the LPC to do even worse next time out than under Dion would be pretty catastrophic — it would mean that the party was pretty much dying or collapsing, and I don’t really see evidence for that in the polls.

  6. Namesake says:

    Gee, if only the author had included a link or something at the bottom of his article for where one might go for more info… oh, wait, he did: http://threehundredeight.blogspot.com/

    No detailed methodology for his series, but this sketch of his working def. of the categories:

    “Fortress ridings are those which are extremely unlikely to be lost by the party in the next election. Secure ridings are those which are unlikely to be lost, but which are within the greatest margin that was overcome in 2008. Vulnerable ridings are those which, according to current projections and special circumstances (i.e., Larry Smith in Lac-Saint-Louis), are at play. Targeted ridings are those that are held by other parties and are at play, while potential ridings are those that are within the margin that was overcome in Egmont in 2008.”

    The Libs’ ‘vulnerable’s (which, judging by Ruby Dhalla’s Brampton—Springdale & Justin’s Papineau as random e.g.’s, seem to be set at a threshold of a 2008 win by less than 3% of the vote) Eric identifies are are:

    Brossard – La Prairie
    Brampton West
    Brampton – Springdale
    Moncton – Riverview – Dieppe
    Winnipeg North
    Kingston and the Islands
    Vancouver South
    Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca

  7. smelter rat says:

    Reformacons only agree with data that supports their fantasies.

  8. Dan F. says:

    The ‘vulnerable’ ridings are those that were won in the last election, that they could lose in this one. Libs were at a historic low in the last campaign under Dion, and in the next one, although they may not win more seats than the Cons, they will almost certainly do better then 2008, or at the very least, have the same result.

    It would be perfectly reasonable to me that there are very few vulnerable seats for them this time around, because any vulnerable seats would already have been lost in 2008.

    (Also, some very rigorous number crunching went into those numbers behind the scenes)

  9. Ted H. says:

    Warren would I am sure, agree, given his extensive campaign experience that the ground game is very important in an election. I don’t think there is any doubt that the Liberals, while not perhaps up to the horsepower of the legendary “big red machine” of past campaigns are set to wage a much stronger ground game than in the 2008 election when Mr. Dion was leader. They will most probably make some gains in the next election and given their past history will be on the road back to power eventually.

  10. Sofia says:

    I think these are wonderful bar charts and reveal why the Liberals will gain seats in an election. However if they only win these seats from the NDP, it becomes a zero-sum game and nothing changes.

    I have read that the Bloc Quebecois will gain seats at the expense of the Liberals and Conservatives all because of the corruption accusations against the provincial Liberals. If this happens, Liberals could lose up to 14 seats and the Conservatives 10 seats.

    What would a bigger Bloc Quebecois presence in the House of Commons mean to Canada?

    • Philip says:

      I can’t think that the Bloc getting another 5 or 10 seats will change the dynamics of the HoC a whit.

      • Sofia says:

        If the Bloc Quebecois won 60 ridings in Quebec, that would only leave 248 ridings (308 – 60) for the national parties to win.

        Wouldn’t that make it near impossible for a majority government in Canada, and we are forever to have minority governments?

        I think if this were to happen it would make it impossible for the Conservatives or Liberals to ever win a majority government. Wouldn’t this have the effect of crippling the government of Canada?

        Looking at it another way, if the remaining 248 ridings were split thus: Conservatives-124, Liberals-100, NDP-24 — the Bloc Quebecois would control the balance of power in the House of Commons.

        Is this the kind of Canada we want forever?

  11. Dan says:

    Interesting article.

    But Alice Funke’s article in the Hill Times kind of puts cold data on the G&M’s. Essentially she says that on average roughly 14% of all seats are close (within 5%) but only a quarter of those (3-4%) remain close in subsequent elections.

    Just food for thought when the Globe is trying to detemrine which ridings will be close and target ridings -its not always the ones which were close in the last election.

    • Namesake says:

      ok, but note that Funke is defining “close” as <5%, so her stat that only a quarter of those remain close in the next election may be quite consistent with Grenier’s classifying only those at the much lower threshold of <3% as "vulnerable."


      And note, too, that all 3 of the 8 of the one she's identified as perpetually close that are currently held by Libs were: on Grenier's short list of the Libs' vulnerable seat. So that article actually supports the idea that he knows what he's doing.

  12. MississaugaLibPeter says:

    All these Liberal rosy-coloured projections go out the window if the recent Conservative $2M+ ad buy is even marginally effective.

    Let’s see what the polls say in 2 weeks.

    If the Conservatives hit 40 and Liberals go under 25, there will be an election. It will reveal that running even more clips/quotes of Ignatieff (there are plenty) will get the Conservatives to the Harper-PromisedLand.

    If there is no movement, there will NOT be an election. It will reveal that no more Canadians are ready to defect from the Liberal Party because of Ignatieff. This revelation I believe would frighten Conservatives and unite Liberals.

    • MississaugaLibPeter says:

      In August 2008, just before the election, the Cons were polling at 36%, they gained only about 1.5% to finish at 37.65%. That’s less than a couple, and not a few.

      The scary part is that the 2006 vs. 2008 final percentages (Con 2006 – 36.27%, 124 seats; Lib 2006 – 30.23%, 103 seats) reveal a small 1.38% 2008 Con increase to 37.65% added 19 seats! The 3.97% 2008 Lib decrease lost 26 seats.

      Point to be remade: the Conservatives are spending $2M+ of their fundraiser’s money (I guess all of our money since most of it is tax deductible) plus $M’s more new government ads promoting their programs, is being done to gauge if they have can increase their polling numbers to a level that would result in a majority if an election is called.

  13. DL says:

    The NDP wants and election, the only way we avoid an election is if the Tories give a $5 billion bribe to the BQ or if the Liberals suddenly get very, very cold feet – neither is likely. Prepare for an early May election day. Its coming.

  14. Namesake says:


  15. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Agreed. The various party riding meetings are moving fast and furious across Quebec…

  16. Craig Chamberlain says:

    Ignatieff needs to go to the polls to establish his leadership. Better yet if that also includes taking power. And he needs to set his own trap to trigger it all.

  17. Cath says:

    Looks like you’re going to be right again Warren….election fever pitch rhetoric seems to be cooling off when reality sets in

  18. Namesake says:

    Reason #280: CPC drops 5 points in the polls. Ouch.


    Say, good job, Black Adders!

    bring on the next set; then next month we’ll be tied at 29!

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