12.15.2014 06:23 PM

In Tuesday’s Sun: Ontario will determine election 2015 (again)

For we Westerners, few things are as frustrating as awaiting the results on election night.

In years past, it’s been infuriating, watching the TV meat puppets declare a winner before polls have even closed past the Lakehead.

In 2015, unfortunately, that’s unlikely to change.

Individual polls lie, these days. But many surveys, taken over many months, give us some reliable insight into election night outcomes – region by region.

ATLANTIC: Liberal leader Justin Trudeau owns Atlantic Canada. Here, Trudeau is the man to beat, and he is going to be tough to beat. In the half-dozen polls that have been conducted in the Atlantic in recent weeks, in fact, Trudeau has registered support in excess of 50 per cent. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives can lay claim to only half that amount – while the New Democrats are favoured by about one-in-five.

This is no flash in the pan: Trudeau’s Grits have been registering big levels of support for months, and can reasonably expect to take the region in 2015. It’s worth recalling, however, that John Turner did likewise in 1988, winning far more of the Atlantic popular vote than Brian Mulroney. And Mulroney still went on to capture a huge Parliamentary majority.

QUEBEC: As always, there are two Quebecs: the one that is the Island of Montreal, and the one that isn’t. On the former, Trudeau again dominates.

The greater Montreal area is home to the majority of the province’s non-francophones, and it is here that Trudeau enjoys extraordinary levels of support. In Montreal, up to 75 per cent of the electorate have signaled their intention to vote for the youthful Liberal leader. The Liberals outpace the New Democrats two-to-one in Montreal, and enjoy a hefty three-to-one advantage over the Conservatives.

Off the island, it’s a different story. Polling firms such as CROP, Angus Reid and Leger have all lately declared the NDP more popular than the Grits among francophones, and in the rest of Quebec. Similarly, these voters see New Democrat leader Thomas Mulcair as the best choice for Prime Minister. If the NDP runs a strong campaign in Quebec, Mulcair could easily emerge with about as many seats in la belle province as Trudeau – about 35 – with Harper taking less than ten.

THE WEST: As with previous Liberal leaders, Trudeau has repeatedly signaled his desire to win many more seats in the West. As with previous Liberal leaders, however, he’s unlikely to do so.

Unlike 2011, Manitoba is now more receptive to the Liberal Party, but pollsters like Ipsos suggest that the Conservatives still maintain a double-digit lead there. Elsewhere – specifically in Alberta and Saskatchewan – a synthesis of polling results show the Conservatives with an even greater lead. Historically, Alberta and Saskatchewan have been the Tory heartland, and that’s not going to change now. Only in B.C. is an across-the-board race underway, with all three national parties in a tight three-way fight.

ONTARIO: There’s a reason why we skipped over Ontario. As in 2011, it’s where the 2015 election outcome is going to be decided.

That’s why Stephen Harper has lately been spending more time – and spending more of your money – in Ontario. It’s paying dividends, too: outside Toronto, Trudeau’s Liberals have been declining in recent weeks, and Harper’s Conservatives have been trending up. Toronto itself is indisputably Fortress Liberal – but outside Toronto, in the suburbs and beyond, Harper is favoured.

In 2011, the Harper Conservatives won their majority in Ontario, taking an astonishing 73 seats. As things stand now, they’re unlikely to repeat that feat – but seat projections taken from a massive and recent Ipsos poll, for instance, suggest Harper will still win more Ontario seats than Trudeau or Mulcair.

It could be Spring election, or a Fall election. It could be a majority or a minority government.

But one thing’s for sure:

Westerners will be frustrated by it all, yet again.


  1. Jay S says:

    I never got the phenomena until the last election. For the first time, I was out west on e-day. Way west. Sitting in a bar that was literally across the street from the Pacific Ocean, with a bunch of friends who are westerners through and through. Most of the TV’s were on hockey, natch. One got tuned into the politicos. Guy next to me picks up his berry and says “Just got an email from Ottawa. They’re calling majority.” I protest “Can’t be. It’s not even dinner time.” Shrugs all around. Turn it back to hockey.

  2. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    We all remember the ridiculous reaction by Canadians when Dion worked the deal with Layton and supported by Duceppe. People reacted as if the concept came from planet Mars…

    Personally, I would keep the idea alive as a Plan B, pending the election outcome. It’s my impression that it would go over much better with Canadians after eight years of uninterrupted Harper government.

  3. davie says:

    You may be right about Conservatives on the prairies. I visited back there last spring and solid Conservative voters among my relatives and acquaintances seemed adamant that they would not be supporting Harper. They all said ‘Harper,’ not Conservative or the names of their MP’s. I keep in touch with a few people a generation or so younger than I in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (mostly farming people), and they also will not vote Conservative, as they have in the past. They mention often the sins of this government.
    Only my personal experience, and more in keeping with the ‘scientific’ research methods of our present government, but, I thought that there might be some openings.

    I have lots of contacts still in the oil patch. They’ll vote for their jobs. Even if layoffs pick up as this oil price move against Russia continues, there won’t be much change there.

    Here in BC, I think that the BC Liberals governance, even their name, could fit into the mix in some ways. Although, I have not figured out specifically how they will fit in, I am sure they will.

    Not sure how Westerners would be frustrated by anything from Eastern Canada. We’re still grateful to Eastern Canada for euchre, Gretzky and Marshall McLuhan. (…wait, was McLuhan actually from…?)

  4. JH says:

    Speaking of Westerners I wonder how they are enjoying the unholy glee with which CBC and it’s stars like Evan Soloman, Chris Hall and Amanda Lang (among many others) are taking the falling oil prices and the fact that this may hurt their economies. What has been going on recently on CBC has been disgusting. Not that a lot of other Ottawa Press Gallery types have been much different. I think that First Nations folks, hoping resource deals may help them better their lives as well, must be also looking askance at the press of late. I don’t care which political stripe you are – this is pretty shabby stuff from our supposed recorders of our history.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      You don’t like what they’re factually reporting so you think they’re biased? Are the National Post, Global and CTV also on your shit list? Also, you are dreaming if you think First Nations bands are lining up to allow pipelines through their territory. They are among the least enthused about Northern Gateway, for instance.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Last time I checked, oil was a deep cyclical. TBE. Time to take long breaths and deal with it. Remember what Harper rightly said: it’s a tremendous buying opportunity for resource stocks.

  5. smelter rat says:

    As a westerner, I’m hoping like hell that Ontario goes red again. The harpercons have got to go before they irreversibly fuck up the country even more than they already have.

  6. Reality.Bites says:

    Polls close at the same time everywhere but BC, where they close all of half an hour later than in Alberta and points east. No one gets to see meaningful voting results before their local polls have closed. This has been the case since 1996. Stop repeating untrue decades old cliches please

  7. MF says:

    If Trudeau wants to win he needs to make sure that he and his team do not think they are going to win simply by not being Harper. I sense this is the case though. They have to avoid portraying an “we know what is best for you” image.

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