09.14.2015 09:57 AM

Anyone still doubt my super-prescient prediction about a minority government?

Said prediction being here.

I have friends in the war rooms of all three parties – and I feel badly for them. After so many weeks of hard, hard work, this has to be frustrating as Hell.

That said, I still give the edge to Harper. Not because his campaign has more money than God.  Not because he’s the only leader to have done a national campaign before.  Not because he squeezed progressive third party advertisers out of the picture with a super-long writ.  Not because he just announced a multi-billion-dollar surplus.  Not because progressives are again splitting the progressive vote, in perfect halves.

No. No, here’s why, in helpful little bullets.

  • Horserace/top line numbers are useless, particularly in a race as close as this one.
  • It’s therefore better and smarter to look at seats in the regions.
  • By my count, Harper is going to sweep the prairies; he was always going to do so.  That’s nearly 60, right there.
  • He’s still on track to do well in Ontario – but let’s be (pun intended) conservative.  Let’s spot him only 55 seats.  That’s considerably less than half.
  • In B.C., let’s (again) be conservative.  Let’s only give him a third – 15 seats.
  • In Quebec, same deal.  Be mean! Just give him the ones he always wins, around Quebec City – just five.
  • Atlantic, ditto.  Mean, miserly.  Just five.
  • So, that gives him only about 140 seats. Respectable, but not enough in a Parliament of (now) 338 seats.
  • But – and here’s the big, er, but.  Those 30 new seats in the three provinces with the most growth – B.C., Alberta and Ontario – are all in places that disproportionately vote Conservative, i.e.. the burbs.
  • When you factor in him taking the majority of those new seats, as me and others do, it puts him pretty darn close to another majority.  And that’s with us being mean, miserly and conservative!

I know some of you will go psycho over this, and possibly leap off a ledge somewhere, but remember: it’s just politics on the Internet.  And, ipso facto, here’s another highly-scientific chart, showing the outcome of all political arguments on the Internet:



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    Bruce says:

    I agree with everything you say, except I think something trivial and symbolic will probably happen in the last few days of the campaign that will drive a large amount of the want-a-change/progressive/red Tory voters to either the Liberals or the NDP. People will make up their minds at the end, and it’ll be great for one opposition party and crappy for the other, with interesting stuff happening in the seat count vis-à-vis the Cons.

    My sweet and smart gramma is my barometer.

    Gramma (past Harper voter), beginning of campaign: “We can’t let that Harper back in. I might even vote NDP this time. That Mull-care seems grandfatherly.”
    Gramma, last night: “Who should I vote for? I’m so confused. Trudeau seems shaky. Harper is mean to the refugees. I don’t know Mull-care.”

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      Curt says:

      “Trivial and symbolic” happens Wednesday when the NDP announce their “fully coted” budget and it magically “balances”. Disband the military?

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        davie says:

        Maybe they can help balance by underspending in all departments and lifting a few bucks from the unemployment insurance funds…er…wait, I think that is somebody else’s practice.

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    doconnor says:

    People dismiss Éric Grenier’s seat projections, but they are likely more accurate then the kinds of guessing the Warren does here.

    Today they have the Conservatives with a 3 seat lead and the Liberals in third by seat count, but first by vote count.

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      Warren says:

      “The Warren?” That like “The Donald?”

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      Matt says:

      No, they really aren’t accurate.

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      The Stig says:

      308’s projections were in the ballpark in the last election, which means that a Conservative majority, were the election held today, would be nearly impossible.

      Squawking in the media aside, if Harper has a minority, he’s toast. The NDP and the Libs will get over their differences in a hurry and form a coalition.

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        Eric Weiss says:

        No they won’t. They hate each other.

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          doconnor says:

          So the Liberals or the NDP are going to support a Conservative government instead?

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      Maps Onburt says:

      I’ll put my money on Warren’s projections rather than Eric’s. You can’t use national polls to forecast at the riding level even looking at past history. Some ridings will go NDP even if the MP was found in a rub and tug and some will go Tory even if they ran Richard Nixon just like Atlantic Canada will go Liberal because they know where the patronage money is going to come from. Harper is very competitive in Ontario which says he’ll get most of the seats outside the GTA due to vote splitting with the ABH crowd. He won’t win a few ridings in the north that have always gone NDP. And he’s not going to win much in Toronto. I agree with Warren that he’ll take the prairies and most of the new 30 ridings. All he needs is a decent showing in BC and a few of the Quebec seats he always wins and he’s got a very strong minority if not majority.

      The more that Mulclair and Trudeau seem like either could win, the better off Harper will be as the ABH crowd won’t know which way to go. Then we’ll have to listen to four more years of “but The majority of Canadians didn’t vote for him!” (like its been different for any other PM in recent memory).

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        SF Thomas says:

        Quite a few prairie cities look like they might ditch the Conservatives though and there are some indications the Liberals are doing better in Manitoba at the moment. The game in western Canada has changed a bit from last election.

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      Danny says:

      That is a well done web site and I will be back to check again as the polls progress.
      But, as a BC resident, I think the BC seat numbers are totally out of wack. We currently have 2 Liberals , including the flacky Hedy Fry. Liberals are an endangered species in Western Canada, and BC is pretty well a two party state. This sites shows the Liberals with 10 seats. It is NOT going to happen. Best the opposition can hope for is an even split with the Cons. And Liz May may win her seat.

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    billg says:

    Funny you should mention those numbers.
    The Conservative narrative started to change last week with little zingers about Ontario’s economic issue’s, guess your not the only one noticing that 65 seats in Ontario are very much in play for Harper.
    The coalition talk should heat up soon, you can thank Lizzy May for that.
    Could it be a majority with 36% of vote?

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    I strongly believe that actual voters don’t want a two-election strategy for any of the parties. They want change and perhaps only want to vote once.

    If that is their mindset, they need to rally around someone — and for my money, we’re talking Justin.

    I’m sticking with my prediction for a Liberal majority. With each passing week, expect bigger and bigger shifts in the polls in favour of the Liberals.

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    Yukon Cornelius says:

    I’ve thought from the beginning that it will be a small Conservative majority.

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    Alex says:

    It does look like we are heading towards a minority government. I also think its possible that the Harperites win the most seats, but lose the popular vote. (I can see this happen if the Dippers get a lot of votes in Quebec, while failing to winning many more seats outside of QC).

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    Michael S says:

    Outliers, my friend, outliers. I suspect a big surprise with people going “WHA HAPPEN?” election night.

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      Mclind says:

      That would be the feeling here inAlberta! Very sure people here will never ,are that same mistake with the “kiddie government” we have here!

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    davie says:

    I predict that 80% of Canadian adults of voting gage will register to vote. 60% of them will vote. Conservatives get 32% of the vote. Conservatives will win the most seats. They will govern as if they have a majority, and enough Liberals to make the difference will support them. There will be no change to our way of electing representatives to our House of Commons. The PMO, with support of less than 20% of adult Canadians, will have power.
    We will go on.

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    ottlib says:

    Between 1993 and 2004 “the burbs” were Liberal strongholds, particularly in Ontario.

    And between 1984 and 1993 they were Progressive Conservative strongholds.

    And before that I believe Pierre Trudeau could count on these seats for his victories.

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    Matt says:

    It’s all going to come down to vote distribution and the party’s Get Out The Vote teams.

    The 30 new ridings aren’t the only riding changes. Man, many more have had their boundries re-drawn, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

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      Vancouverois says:

      Not necessarily. In 2011 I thought that the NDP wouldn’t be able to turn its support in Quebec into votes, precisely because they had no ground game in the province. Obviously, that turned out not to matter so much.

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    !o! says:

    I agree with you that the conservatives have the edge in this election, but I disagree that they’re anywhere close to a majority, though I hear what you’re saying re: the new ridings disproportionately favouring them. I’m not basing this on polls or even poll aggregates, though I do respect the work Eric Grenier is doing. I’m basing this on the outward signs of conservative morale last week– if they were anywhere in reach of a majority, their 27-30% in the polls would not have caused such a panic and morale hit last week– I trust internal riding-level CPC polling far more than the publicly available polls.

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    joeyj says:

    I agree with Warren. And unless something drastic happens in the home stretch of the campaign, I easily see the Conservatives getting a minority.

    Some points to consider.

    The Conservatives have the most efficient distribution of vote. They can win seat count while losing the popular vote. Remember 1979?

    The Conservative vote right now is primarily its hard core base. In a tight three-way race you want to be the party with the most committed voters.

    Polls tend to underestimate Conservative support and overestimate NDP support.

    And only a handful of times in our nation’s history has a party won the election and not taken Ontario. 1972, 1962, 1945, 1926, 1921 (going further back is pointless: Ontario was a fraction of what it is).

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    Russ says:

    Talk of coalition is pure nonsense. The Libs saw what it did to the Liberal Democrats in the UK. The real fight here is between the Grits and Dippers and for some it is existential. Tories will capture their core plus whomever they scare back into the fold. Oh and the Greens – don’t believe their self-delusion that they can win more than May’s seat. This election is too important to experiment with an unknown. They will get their chance when and if we get a form of proportional representation. Something both the Grits & Dips have said they will do.

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      Ronald O'Dowd says:


      It’s not the same: Clegg and the LDs were decimated because they propped up Cameron and the CP. It was the left keeping the right in office.

      In our case, either way, it will be the center-left propping up the left, or vice-versa.

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    Joe says:

    Nothing personal Warren but I don’t trust anyone’s prognostication this far out.

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    davie says:

    We have something like an USA electoral college. The MP’s we elect are the electoral college members, and when they are elected, we simply count the MP numbers for each ‘executive’ candidate. That person elected by our college is head of the prime minister’s office, which has executive power, pretty well all legislative power, and is currently working to have all judicial power in one office.

    So here is my fantasy (inspired by what just happened in Australia):

    Suppose all 100+ of our elected Members of Parliament go to Ottawa, and, instead of going first to caucus meetings to get their orders, they all get together as fellow members of our parliament, and they come up with the person who will best have the support of the majority in the House. Then that person goes to the GG to be made Prime Minister. After that, the individual MP’s, freer of party discipline(especially, discipline by characters who rotate between lobbying, think tanks and running parties), and governing on behalf of Canadians.
    Just pretend for a minute…

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    King Prick says:

    I’m taking a principled stand and well… I’m not going to vote. Couldn’t care less. Nothing’s gonna change. Followers follow leaders. Leaders tell politicians and establishment to fuck off. There’s never been a politician to enact any type of change for the betterment of society. It’s always for personal self interest and party gains. Mulcair, Harper, Trudeau… They’re all full of shit.

    Even in the you USA. Barack Obama might as well be referred to as “The Butler” because all he’s been doing is fetching drinking water for the owners of both him, The Federal Reserve and the country.

    Ran into the MP for Toronto Danforth in a restaurant today. I ran against him in the by-election after Layton passed away. Craig Scott is a nice guy. Here’s the thing though… His party, surprisingly has failed to address Canadian sovereignty. All of our legislation is being superceded by free trade agreements thus killing our identity and our environment.

    Could one of the candidates just prove he’s a Canadian willing to work for Canada? Just one. We’re begging you assholes for help and you continue to fuck it up, over and over and over again.

    Harper’s really been nothing more than a tumour on Canadian society. I’m not voting because I believe the other two are tumour’s just as malignant and damaging but to those that are voting… Please look at the leaders as just that… Tumours. They’re scary and they’re killing us. Get vocal at the local debates and call the bastards out by frying their idiotic candidates every chance you can. Just because they’re on a stage doesn’t make them smarter than you and doesn’t mean they deserve your respect. They’re just smaller versions of the same tumours. Let ’em have it.

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    Al in Cranbrook says:

    Two words: Silent Majority.

    Last election the CPC finished about 4% to 5% higher than polling indicated. Relevant because: Traditionally, Conservatives don’t advertise whom they intend to vote for, and thus don’t respond to pollsters as readily.

    Every poll I’ve seen so far indicates there is not anywhere near the support for opening the floodgates to refugees that the MSM and left wing would have everyone believe. Further, the situation in Europe is getting out of hand, and is potentially explosive. Security, both national and personal, is a major issue, and one that only the CPC is speaking to.

    Trudeau’s contention that the economy is a wreck and the feds are in deficit has now been proven false on both counts. GDP growth is back in the black, and the last fiscal year ended with a surplus. “We are in deficit right now!” smacks of desperate rhetoric without actual substance.

    And, frankly, Mulcair’s massively expensive promises that can be contained within balanced budgets going forth amounts to blowing sunshine (or smoke) up voters’ butts.

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      SF Thomas says:

      Based on most polls 4 to 5% higher only gets the Conservatives to 35 at best. There have also been some polls indicating Trudeau’s deficit infrastructure plan has a significant amount of approval and balancing the budget is a lower priority than improving the economy. GDP might look alright but a lot of people still feel like they aren’t seeing tangible economic improvements.

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      patrick says:

      The “silent majority”. You must mean the majority of Canadians who don’t support much of what Harper stands for but have been silenced by our first past the ballet system. Guess you’re for a weighted ballot.

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    JH says:

    Did I just hear former Liberal senator & General (Ret.) Romeo Daillaire call for boots on the ground against ISIS/ISIL on P&P? That’s going to make some folks unhappy.

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    Steve T says:

    For the last few elections, at all levels (municipal, provincial, federal), I have deliberately told pollsters a different party than I intend to vote for. I’ve strongly encouraged all my family and friends to do the same.

    I’m not a fan of polls, and I hate that people may actually be driven to vote one way or another by what OTHER people are doing. So, I’m just throwing a bit of a curve into the process, in my own small way.

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    SF Thomas says:

    I’m kind of skeptical Warren, 140 seems a bit too generous. I’d guess 120 to 130 max given how things are right now.

    I think you might be discounting how well the NDP and even Liberals are doing in some of the major cities in the western provinces. There is a pretty good shot of the NDP and Liberals combined picking up at least 10 seats from the prairie cities alone if the polling over the past summer has been even remotely accurate.

    This doesn’t surprise me either. The oil rush has at least temporaily stalled and despite Conservative popularity in the prairies the demographics of the cities are changing a fair bit. They also have other needs (ie transit, infrastructure repair or even social services) that the Conservative are often a bit more reluctant to address than the Libs or NDP and actually require spending more money. Plus the redistribution got rid of some of the rural/urban split ridings (not just in the west but also in places like Ottawa). This at least give the Liberals and NDP a shot in some ridings they didn’t have a good chance in previously.

    Oddly enough the Liberals and NDP seem to have regional support right now that minimizes the risk of vote splitting to some extent. The Liberals have been on the upswing in Ontario in most polls while the NDP has gone down here a fair bit, mainly in the GTA. If this trend remains it means most of the GTA ridings have a better chance at going Liberal and the risk of vote splitting is minimized since the NDP’s main regional strength there has traditionally been the Toronto downtown core not the suburbs.

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      Bruce Marcille says:

      So many words; so many assumptions.
      One word rules the West: Economy. Every provincial and municipal service is dependent upon the carbon, farming and resource economies. All of which the Conservatives have unshackled. Nobody out West blames them for the drop in oil prices or the politicization of pipelines. A couple ridings may swing over local concerns, but the vast majority know that spiting the Western (Northern Ontario, Northern BC, and Arctic) economies buys seats in the Atlantic and GTA, hence the lack of trust in a Liberal / NDP government.

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    JonT says:

    Okay, so your 140 Con seats plus the 30 new ridings totals 170 which would give them a majority by one seat; but let’s say the Cons only win 20 of the new ridings leaving them with 160 seats, 10 short of a majority. What happens next?

    Would Harper be able to attract 10 Blue Liberals to join him thus turning against the Justin Martinites, or would Harper just assume he will get the support of Blue Liberals to lock out the quasi-socialist NDP… and stop Justin from forming any ‘coalition’ with the NDP?

    Personally, I see a minority hung HoCs with the NDP getting slightly more seats than the Cons and with the Libs still tailing behind. Will the capitalist Liberals dare support a quasi-socialist NDP minority government just to dethrone Harper? Politically risky perhaps?

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    Mark Saxton says:

    Pure intuition – the only reliable guide – Trudeau is imploding which will free up masses of votes for NDP or Cons. Majority back in play. The narrative is falling apart. Economy not as bad as predicted – and mainly because of Saudis and China – not Harper. Germany – the model country – has now sealed borders realizing the situation is out of control with internecine violence between refugees and intimidation of natives. Etc.

    “it was Butts who largely turned Trudeau’s comments about pot into a full-fledged policy”. The brutal truth is that the Beavis and Butthead formula isn’t working. Trudeau, the oracle, pronounces, Butts spins, the people, at least those not high, and politicos go WTF? The only thing that can save this sucker is what Harper did: bring in outside help and an elite shock team to get ‘er done. Now or never babe.

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    e.a.f. says:

    as much as I would like to see the back end of Steve I have never thought it was a done deal. There are any number of reasons, including, the cons cheated in other elections, why not in this one. In some of these ridings the cons will win because the greens, who will not gain any seats, will vote green, thus depriving either the NDP and or Liberals a win. People ought to remember the cons look like a Hell’s Angels chapter when it comes to fraud. /who needs them “leading” the country. And for all the blue hairs who think things will be safe with steve, think again. he plans to cut $38 billion out of our health care and still hasn’t signed the national health accord. if you care about your medical system you vote against steve and his cons. If you vote Con and your health care goes out the window, you will have to live with it and in some cases some of you will die because of it.

    In B.C. there are women who must pay $500 per month for medication because their cancer is not at stage 4, only stage 1 to 3. many can’t afford it. then they go to stage 4, its sometimes too late. Just wait until that $38 billion comes out of the provincial health care budgets…..you may find you will die because of your vote.

    All the parties are talking economy, security, refugees, etc., but the real issue is health care. provinces are cutting back. fewer employers are offering extended health plans, more people are having to pay for it out of pocket. and a lot of them don’t have that kind of money. parites who want to win a few more votes might want to give that a thought, health care. its so Canadian,

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    Jeff says:

    Am I the only one who remembers that the Conservatives haven’t even really made too many election promises yet? This is going to be a Conservative majority government.

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    JamesSmith says:

    Harper will not get a 2nd Majority.

    Let’s look at it from a riding-by-riding perspective:

    308 seats

    Conservative 166
    New Democratic 103
    Liberal 34

    2015: 338 Seats

    BC (42 Seats)

    Cloverdale-Langley City
    South Surrey-White Rock
    Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola
    Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies
    Cariboo-Prince George
    Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon
    North Okanagan-Shuswap
    Skeena-Bulkley Valley
    South Okanagan-West Kootenay

    Vancouver Granville
    Vancouver South
    Burnaby North Seymour
    Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam
    North Vancouver
    Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge
    Port Moody-Coquitlam
    Richmond Centre
    Steveston-Richmond East
    Surrey Centre
    West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country
    North Island-Powell River

    ALBERTA (34)

    Edmonton Centre
    Edmonton Strathcona

    Cypress Hills-Grasslands
    Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River
    Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek
    Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan
    Prince Albert
    Souris-Moose Mountain

    Saskatoon West

    MANITOBA (14)
    Kildonan-St. Paul
    Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley
    Churchill-Keewatinook Aski
    Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa

    Saint Boniface-Saint Vital
    Winnipeg North
    Winnipeg South
    Winnipeg South Centre

    NORTH (3)


    Fundy Royal
    New Brunswick Southwest
    Saint John-Rothesay

    Miramichi-Grand Lake

    Central Nova

    South Shore-St. Margarets
    West Nova


    Bellechasse-Les Etchemins-Lévis


    BC 13
    AB 32
    SK 8
    MB 8
    NB 4
    NF 2
    QC 5

    You need 170 seats for a majority.

    Let’s say they sweep the prairies.

    Then we have to add 18 more seats to their pre-Ontario total: 90 Seats.

    Let’s add half those BC seats that I marked as a “Conservative Chance:” 8 Seats.

    Brings it to 98 Seats.

    Let’s add those 2 seats from Yukon and Nunavut.

    100 Seats.

    They would have to win 100 out of 121 Seats in Ontario, adding 67 from their previous total to get that majority, along with their northern and prairie sweep, along with winning 74% of BC’s seats, where they are polling behind dippers.

    I am a Liberal who is predicting a Harper minority. But unless he takes a commanding lead, no way in hell he gets a 2nd Majority.

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    Kev says:

    The new seats are not in “conservative” areas.

    They are in the same place all new seats go: swing areas.

    Twas the case in 1988.

    Twas the case in 1997.

    Twas the case in 2004.

    Tis the case this time.

    “new seats” notionally favour the incumbent when you transpose the previous election results. Then an election happens.

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    Kev says:


    When you factor in him taking the majority of those new seats, as me and others do, it puts him pretty darn close to another majority. And that’s with us being mean, miserly and conservative! – See more at: http://warrenkinsella.com/2015/09/anyone-still-doubt-my-super-prescient-prediction-about-a-minority-government/#sthash.LUaGU8NR.dpuf

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