09.20.2015 08:53 AM

KCCCC Day 49: can you spot the theme?


  • Look, I couldn’t tell you how the election is going turn out. I’ve long suspected the CPC would pull it off, as seen here, but only a crazy person would say they know. 
  • But there’s a trend, a feeling, out there. That the Liberals are doing well, but not well enough to win government. That the NDP have stalled and, in some places, are slipping. And that Harper has a rock-solid base who vote for him no matter what, and that there are more Harper supporters out there than the (obviously flawed) polls are reporting. 
  • Others feel likewise, apparently. As you can see here and here and here from today, and here and even here from previous days. 
  • In a race this tight, some things matter and some things don’t. What doesn’t matter are national horserace polls and punditry about same. What matters is GOTV, organization and E-day. 
  • The Cons have been stronger with those sorts of things for a decade. They still are. And that’s why, after a decade in power – with scandals and recessions and controversies on his watch – it is simply amazing that Stepehen Harper is still in the race, let alone tied with the other two guys. 
  • The reason for that is the core vote. Harper has always had a core vote that is big enough to win at least a minority – and the other two haven’t. Their voters, as we have seen, are highly promiscuous. They flit back-and-forth. And that suits Stephen Harper just fine. His vote is bigger than they say. And it isn’t going anywhere between now and E-day. 


  1. bobbie says:

    I agree with your observation.

    Have two of my own. Make of them what you will.

    1) Having just returned from vacation in Quebec I think the CPC are doing better than expected and will surprise the media and pollsters.
    2) My NDP diehard neighbor in Ontario had an NDP sign up two weeks ago before we left on vacation. When we returned he’s taken it down. When I asked him why he cursed under his breath and said that Mulcair’s taking the NDP too far right and if he wanted that, there’s always Harper.

    • DougM says:

      We’ve heard similar rumblings as your neighbour’s in the news recently. The question I have for them is if they aren’t going to vote NDP the who, the Green Party, abstain? There are similar views on the right where people have been disappointed that during their majority, Harper and the CPC haven’t been right enough. But the bulk of the votes are in the centre. Harper knows that and apparently so does Mulcair. So of course JT dodges left…

    • Alex says:

      Bobbie, I plan to vote NDP, and agree with your two points. However, I still think Harper is going to lose.

      There are signs that the Cons will win a few extra seats in Quebec, especially in the Quebec City region. But in the rest of the country? They will lose seats in the Atlantic provinces and in BC., and a handful in the Prairies due to redistricting. As for Ontario, their are echoes of the last provincial election here. The Liberals I believe will over perform in ON as they bring together the Wynne coalition. Remember, a lot of NDP supporters voted for Wynne last time because they felt she was the true progressive.

      In order for Harperites to win the following has to happen: a) they win the GOTV efforts; b) the polls underestimate their support by a few percentage points; and c) the Dippers and Libs split the difference. Sure it’s possible for the Cons to get all the breaks. My hunch, however, is that it’s more likely outcome is that the NDP support will crumble. I think a lot of families will sit down over thanksgiving and decide that Mulcair is not their man, and will hold their nose and vote for Justin to get rid of Harper.

    • Matt says:

      You bring up something very interesting regarding the signs.

      In my riding (Scarborough Centre -currently CPC) I have noticed literately dozens of houses removing/changing signs. And it’s affecting the Libs, CPC and NDP.

      At first I thought maybe the candidates sign teams might have been accidently putting signs at the wrong addresses, but there have been far too many instances for that to be the reason.

      I’m also seeing more and more house with multiple party signs. I’ve counted at least 35 that have Libs, CPC and NDP signs up. Many many more with two of the three.

      • bobbie says:

        Seeing the same here to Matt. All three signs and various combinations of two.
        My neighbour will either not vote or go with CPC ONLY because he claims a lean toward being a social conservative but this time only MORE fiscally conservative than normal.

  2. Brent Crofts says:

    Warren, I couldn’t have said it better (I guess that’s why you’re the professional and I’m not…).

    • Mervyn Norton says:

      As for “couldn’t have said it better,” here’s a reader’s comment in Saturday’s Globe and Mail that I would endorse:

      “For the Conservatives to crow about their artificial $2-billion surplus (obtained, among other sources, on a one-time sale of GM shares and $1-billion off the backs of veterans) is as if a family patted itself on the back for saving $3,000 in a year when the children couldn’t afford university and the roof wasn’t repaired.

      “This election isn’t only about the ‘economy’ (whatever that means). It is also about honesty, transparency, democratic leadership and the proper role of government. I’m astounded that both Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau are allowing Stephen Harper to set the terms for this election. Shame on all three.”

      • Maps Onburt says:

        You know, you really shouldn’t take your “facts” from online posters who happen to agree with you. The finance department just reported (with the auditor General’s stamp of approval) that veterans affairs spending actually went UP $121M (as did aboriginal and provincial transfers). The “billion” dollar figure is bogus and an urban legend.

  3. Tony Miller says:

    I’d be interested to know what you think will happen if Harper wins a few more seats than the next guy. A minirity Conservative government is potentially step 1 in a 2 step weaning off of the Tories. I can’t imagine he’d be allowed to govern for more than 15 minutes. Thoughts ?

    • Danny says:

      I think the consensus is that Mulcair and Trudeau would combine to form a minority government. Liz May is so certain she is prepared to phone the Governor General on election night. I am starting to question that. Both the Liberals and the NDP want a majority government for themselves. The path for either means knocking out the other. I don’t think they will merge, unless Harper gets another majority. So how do they slice & dice each others voting constituency?
      If either could work a deal with the Conservatives that got them one or two of the left wings core asks, they would become the go-to party of the left. I don’t know, pick one. Movement on CO2? Infrastructure builds in the cities? Oversite on bill C-51? Aboriginal progress, MMIW ? More money for whatever?
      My two cents.

    • KBab says:

      If that happens the opposition have to take him down.

      Libs, Dips, and Greens will then be compelled to find mutual ground. None of them can afford a quick turnover.

      Moving forward on infrastructure and electoral reform should be high on the agenda for all three.

      • Maps Onburt says:

        Why? Harper is spending an additional $6B/year on infrastructure. Saying that the NDP and Liberals will automatically sing kumbiya after the election is a joke. Did you actually watch how much their respective party leaders hate each other? There are blue liberals who would rather be nailed to the cross than side with the NDP and the Dippers can’t stand the Liberals whom they think steal their best ideas and then govern to the right of Atilla the Hun. It would take them months just to decide who should lead it and what the other side gets. The Liberals and NDP remember only too well what happened in Ontario when they last pulled this stunt.

  4. Maps Onburt says:

    I agree. My wife is normally very private in her political thoughts – especially around me as I’m not shy about my opinions and she doesn’t like to get me going. She’s voted for all three parties in the past but after the debate said went out of her way to say Trudeau had lost her vote and she finally understood why the Conservatives were saying he just wasn’t ready. She didn’t think he ever would be. She also said that she didn’t think Mulclair was being honest and thought he was very evasive. She said she hated how divisive PM Harper has been but after watching how vitriolic the hate was on the other sides said it wasn’t any different over there so she was going to hold her nose and vote for Harper. She’s NEVER made up her mind this early and generally never says who’s she’s voting for until after the fact. She’s been my own personal bell weather as she’s generally voted for the winner in every election (except when she voted for Martin in 2006). I think there are lots of people who hate how divisive Canadian politics has become but are coming to realize that the other parties and the media are complicit too. A bunch of these people are thinking that Harper might be the devil you know (just like McGuinty was in Ontario).

    • Brent Crofts says:

      I hear you. I have flipped from Liberal to Conservative for most of my life. I happily voted for Chretien every time he won, after becoming disgusted with Mulroney. I even held my nose to vote for Martin in 2004 even though I was quite intrigued by Harper. My concern then was that Harper’s party was too ideological to govern. However, by 2006 I had simply had it with Martin and gave Harper a shot. I haven’t looked back until now. I’m fed up with Harper. His government is tired and replacing it would be an act of political hygiene. HOWEVER, replace it with what? Mulcair seems very reasonable and centrist and I quite like him. But the cycle repeats itself: like Harper in 2004, I’m very concerned that Mulcair’s party is too ideological to govern. I’ll give it one more cycle to get itself into shape. I kicked the tires on Trudeau for a while, but after the last debate, I’m convinced that he’s really a sophomoric lightweight who is not and will never be ready to lead a G7 nation. It’s a shame. If it was Marc Garneau or Martha Hall Findlay, I’m almost certain I’d be voting Liberal this time and that they’d be heading for a big majority. Looks like I’m holding my nose and voting for Harper this time (as I did for Martin in 2006). Cycles are funny.

    • bobbie says:

      ” I think there are lots of people who hate how divisive Canadian politics has become but are coming to realize that the other parties and the media are complicit too. A bunch of these people are thinking that Harper might be the devil you know (just like McGuinty was in Ontario).”

      Bingo Maps! I think this is going to be a HUGE factor in the result. People are as pissed at pollsters as they are at media these days. Perhaps this election will be the voters’ revenge against them? I can’t tell you how many people I know have changed the way they view news and information…..SURPRISE…it’s not via MSM any more.

  5. Brion Pollon says:

    Bricker and Wright from Ipsos gave an hour long presentation at a conference I was at a couple of years ago. Basically they were speaking along similar lines as you are- delving into demographics, immigration, re-distribution and the like. With Trudeau in the ascendant at the time I have to admit I was skeptical about their assertions however I have come to conclude that most of their premises are likely fairly close to the mark. With Trudeau now tacking far out in left field my guess would be that any of the soft CPC vote that was looking to go NDP as a protest against Harper will likely be turned off by the “Leap Manifesto”. It confirms the abiding suspicion that the Mulcair NDP is still a safe harbour for all the unreconstructed Marxists who call that party home.

  6. Kyle says:

    To your last point:

    My profs in undergrad 15 years ago said pretty much the same thing then. My advisor said it came down to broad support vs. deep support. The right has the deep and the centre to left was broad and as you put it, ‘promiscuous’. It comes down to many different factors that decide whether or not you are flexible in your thinking.

  7. ottlib says:

    The horse race numbers are not very useful and they never have been during elections. I note that for this election the pollsters have discarded the “probable voter” category. They all wound up with a carton of eggs on their faces after the Ontario election as a result of that so I guess they quietly pitched it into the recycle bin.

    However, one thing that does stand out from the polls is the desire for change estimate. It is a simple question on a poll questionnaire as it is a yes or no question. (With Don’t know and Refuse to answer being the other response options.) The estimates from those kinds of questions tend to be less prone to error.

    Looking at the estimate from various polling companies we see that the desire for change is consistently hovering around the 70% mark. As well, the estimate for those not wanting change is around 24%. Just to put that into perspective, in 2006 the desire for change never rose above 65% and the same is true for the most recent Ontario election. In 2011 the desire for change never rose above 60% and lo and behold the Conservatives won the election with around 40% of the vote. The Conservatives really are in uncharted territory with regard to this estimate.

    It brings up a question. The average estimate for the Conservatives is 30% but the average estimate for no change is around 24%. If Conservative support is as solid as many assume would those estimates not be closer together? Six points is a significant difference.

    What should really frighten Conservatives is an estimate on that question of 70% could mean the desire for change could be well entrenched amongst non-aligned voters, those voters that do not have a preferred party but who switch around during each election. Those voters gave Mr. Harper a majority government the last time but this time they could take power from him.

    As a final thought, historically non-aligned voters have tended to make a final decision on who they are going to vote for in the last couple weeks of an election. As things become more real they make a decision and stick to it. As well, they tend to stampede over to one party. It really is a sight to see when it happens and it often turns all of the assumptions made during the beginning of a campaign on their heads. If Mr. Harper cannot bring down the desire for change from its current levels he will lose. Leaving the questions of by how much and who will win.

    • cgh says:

      All rather sensible and I agree with just about all of it. However, it’s the ‘desire for change’ thing that’s most interesting. Yes, there may indeed be a clear desire for change, but that’s easy until the alternative has been defined. Then folks are not so certain. JT was initially popular based in large part on the desire for change. And he’s been tanking ever since as voters have had some exposure to how little substance is really there.

      Same thing applies to the NDP. How much of their current support is actual support on voting day and how much is just parked there on a desire for change? How much of it will survive fiascos like LEAP?

      Just over a year ago, the same thing applied in Ontario. The province was ripe and ready for tossing the McGuinty regime into the recycle bin. But after looking at the unappetizing prospects of Horvath and especially Hudak, the voters held their noses and voted for Wynne and the status quo.

      The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. Until, that is, you get close enough to see the cow-pie.

      Once upon a time I was a diehard Liberal voter. Voted for the party in every election for more than 20 years. Right of centre on foreign affairs and economics and with some tolerance for progressive social affairs would characterize my position. The Martin putsch ended that, not so much because of the coup itself but because of the waffling and mushiness of the regime which ensued. The flight of high level talent out of the federal party was depressing. Nothing since has changed that for me.

      And the NDP? The Sherbrooke Declaration makes them unacceptable to me in any way, shape or form.

      • bobbie says:

        ” ‘desire for change” – all media, pollster and opposition driven IMO. Folks who’ve had just about enough of all three of those will have something to say about the result I’m betting.

        • ottlib says:

          I have seen the desire for change to be real.

          I live in Ottawa but I grew up in rural Eastern Ontario. Most of my relatives still live there and at our family reunion in August the election came up as a topic. Most of my older relatives, who I know voted Conservatives the last couple of times, are extremely unhappy with the Conservatives and a couple came right out and said they would not be voting Conservative this time. A few of my younger relatives are rather intrigued by the Liberal plan to legalize pot and they have been for awhile.

          During Labour Day Weekend I was on Air Force reserve duty. There were 25 of us there doing our thing. One of those 25 is an ardent Conservative supporter because we always like to needle each other as I am a Liberal supporter. When we were enjoying our wobbly pops in the evening he did not engage in the usual banter. Indeed, when I brought up the election with him he was heard to say, with feeling, that Stephen Harper is “a lying sack of shit”. I was surprised to hear him say that but I was just as surprised to see everybody, and I mean everybody, nod in agreement. The opinions of that group varies so it was a big surprise to see unanimity in that sentiment.

          These two anecdotes are by no means scientific but I believe they provide some hint of the deep seated desire for change out there. Whether and how it manifests itself at the ballot box still remains to be seen but I would be careful in dismissing it as “all media, pollster and opposition driven”.

          • Windsurfer says:

            Before I read your post, I was about to go free-lance here with the comment that “I feel a pall of gloom spreading across the land.”

            However, if that’s even remotely happening in eastern Ontario where they’d vote for a bag of hammers if it got the Conservative nomination……. then I think there’s hope for “at least a post-election constitutional crisis.”

            Resulting in Steve going back to the west, hat in hand…… Or going somewhere, preferably moose pasture.

            GOTV – get out the vote. In my riding, lots of signs up, the red candidate seeming to have lots of support but the blue has the grandfathered vote come hell or high water.

            Should be a fascinating next 30 days !

  8. doconnor says:

    The NDP is stalled at a significantly higher level then the very high water mark from the last election and has a realistic chance of forming the next government.

    As for the polls, they tend to underestimate conservative parties by a few percent. They did in the UK, the last Canadian and the Alberta election. It didn’t make a big difference in Alberta, but it push them to a majority in the other two cases. I’m not the the Conservatives are close enough for that to give them a majority yet.

    • Matt says:

      Uh, they got 30.6% in 2011

      Most polls have them at 29% to 32%.

      • Marc says:

        He means the high water mark last election for polling.

        (Unrelated, I think the NDP vote this time will crash out around 24 percent)

        • Matt says:

          He’s still wrong.

          2011 NDP polled as high as 33% in Ipsos and Angus Ried’s final polls of the election.


        • doconnor says:

          Actually I meant seats. I didn’t realize how close the polls are to the last election. The seat projections show the NDP picking up seats due to the drop in the Conservatives.

          • Matt says:

            Unless the pollsters are doing riding by riding polling, seat projections are useless. They are based on historical data, assumptions and estimations. The link above also has the pollsters final seat projections for 2011.

            The CPC were as low as 138, high as 149 – Actual 166

            The NDP were as low as 65, high as 113 – Actual 103

            The Libs were as low as 41, high as 77 – Actual 34

          • doconnor says:

            Using the actual 2011 vote by region, threehundreadeight.com‘s seat projection was only a few seats off. The problem was the polls where off, not the seat projections.

            I would be interested in a seat projection where the Conservatives 3% higher then the polls show.

  9. Ropshin says:

    September 20, 2015 – 9:59am #169
    There has been much criticism of the CROP Papineau poll but little scrutiny of the Mainstreet Technologies poll that gave Trudeau a small lead.
    Factoring out undecideds the polls indicates:
    CROP: N 46 L35 B10 C5 G4
    MT: L 41 N36 B12 C11 – Greens “not polled”
    A few random points.
    1. CROP has been citicized as being “an NDP commissioned poll.” Yet MT was released seemingly as part of the pro-Liberal spin to counter it. CROP is an independent pollster of long-standing and is widely respected. MT is a new kid on the block and has been closely affiliated with the Liberals.
    2. MT has a strangely high number for the Conservatives, well more than double the 4.7% they recived in 2011. Is this credible given the significant fall by the Conservatives in Quebec? In Mainstreet’s Montreal poll of Sept 2 the Cons fell from 14% across the Island to 8% now. Why are they doubling their vote in Papineau when it is being halved elsewhere? CROP seems more plausible in giving the Cons 5%.
    3. Inexplicably MT did not poll for the Greens. Given that the Green vote in Montreal is disproportionately English speaking this might alter the results slightly. CROP gives the Greens 4% in Papineau.
    4. In the MT Sept 2 poll the NDP led the Liberals amongst Francophones by 42 to 21. The Liberals led among Allophones by 49 to 16. In its Papineau only poll Trudeau loses the Francophone vote by only 27 to 31 but prevails among Allophones by 54 to 16. Trudeau improves the Allopohone vote only slightly over the Liberal standing throughout Montreal but his increase in the Francophone vote is immense. I would expect that Trudeau would get some premium as party leader but this increase seems somehat implausible.
    5. In Dec. 2013 MT released a poll of all the various Montreal Isalnd ridings showing the Liberals in a commanding position. That has now largely eroded. That poll showed these results in Papineau: L 61 B 20 N 14 C 5, G 0.
    Strange that the media does not mention that Trudeau has lost a third of his vote since that poll and that the NDP has almost tripled its.
    6. Papineau is 70% Francophone according to the census. Applying MT’s linguistic breakdown in its Set.2 poll, set out in my point #4, and factoring out the undecideds, we get these numbers for Papineau: N 43 L 33 B 12 C 9.5 G 3. Much closer to CROP than MT.
    Justin may not be out of the woods yet.

  10. Matt says:

    Re: polling


    Pollsters fear dubious NDP poll on Trudeau hurts credibility of their industry.

    I’m more convinced than ever the pollsters (not all, but many) are no longer REPORTING public opinion, but are actively trying to INFLUENCE public opinion.

  11. Scott says:

    Trudeau’s gonna win Warren. Maybe even win big. He’s the whole package. He’s an inspired speaker and has vision. The middle and left will rally behind him as time goes on. Mark my words.

  12. torontonian says:

    Whenever I see someone say that the Tories could win a minority, I always ask the same questions: how will they govern with a minority? Who will support them? The Liberals? The NDP? Both?

    My guess is: neither. A Tory minority will last as long as Frank Miller’s government in Ontario after the 1985 election. And David Johnston is too smart to allow Harper to dissolve the House and go back to the voters for another try. (In fact, I suspect Harper himself would be too smart to try that gambit. He would know that all it would do is vastly increase the odds that in a second election, the anti-Harper vote would coalesce decisively around one of the other two options.)

    • Jack D says:


      All this Conservative-minority talk baffles me. We all know that Stephen Harper cannot serve as PM with a minority government, he’ll implode. With the majority of the seats in the House non-Conservative, how will he past a budget if they all vote it down? Harper isn’t exactly the concession making type and we know he won’t go to the opposition to ask for its support.

      This is essentially a death by a thousand cuts and Harper opted to endure it all since he chose to run again in this election and not step aside when he was being hinted to do so his own party. The only imaginable scenario that the Conservatives could hope for is by some miracle attaining another majority on Oct 19 –but that just isn’t going to happen by the looks of it. So what they end up with is a minority government, followed by Harper bowing out within a couple of months, Canadians sent back to the polls and the Conservatives getting voted out with a coalescing of the anti-Conservative vote behind one of the opposition parties.

  13. Jon Evan says:

    In the valley (Fraser) I see big signs and I see small signs. The bigger ones are blue and speaking to people here it’s the same as the past provincial election. The BC economy is rosy. People want to keep it that way. They have long memories of past NDP doublespeak. The bigger signs give us that confidence that the BC economy is growing!

    • Domenico says:

      The Conservatives could run corpses in the Fraser Valley and get them elected. They have always had the Bible Belt sewn up.

  14. Joe says:

    This election suffers from Electile Dysfunction. As much as people want to get rid of Harper does anyone really want to give the reins to Jr the Clueless and his pointless $10 billion deficits or Tommy the Commie and his great Leap backwards?

  15. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    As you’ve said, none of us know for sure. The gut is a clear indicator. It keeps telling me two things: first and foremost, keep the faith, baby and secondly, FPP always means an eventual two-party race for the prize.

    With the Liberals moving left, the NDP is likely to be squeezed out in the run up to Election day.

    That’s why I’m sticking with a Liberal majority.

  16. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Looking at latest polls, my take…

    1) Liberals, whose idea of a PM is Paul Martin or John Manley, would rather drive nails through their own feet than vote NDP, essentially for the same reason Conservatives won’t; in their vocabulary, “socialism”, in any form, is pretty much a four letter word, full stop. Call ’em, “Blue Liberals”. One of these polls indicates that about 50% of Liberals could vote Conservative. This is critical, because…

    2) While the NDP support outside of Quebec is basically nowhere, and decidedly sliding in BC…now second to the CPC in the Nanos poll…where memories of what the NDP did to my province remain very fresh, they still look like a threat at the 30% margin reported in national polls. This is what registers with Joe Public.

    3) If it looks like the NDP could be a threat to win, enough “Blue Liberals” could…and I suspect would indeed…vote Conservative to block. Bear in mind that it is probably an understatement to say that many “Blue Liberals” are totally underwhelmed by Justin Trudeau, whom represents the very antithesis of a Martin or Manley…or for that matter, even Chretien himself. Harper comes much closer to that mark by any measure worth mentioning.

    4) Those under 35, the majority of whom are left leaning, and also among whom HDS runs the most rampant by far, are not nearly as likely to show up on election day to back up what they tell pollsters as are those over 40 (most of whom actually have something to lose.)

    5) Last election, in the final days, the CPC was polling around 35%, and when the votes were counted, they came in just a hair under 40%. And, about the current stage we now are in, in 2011 the CPC was polling around 32%.

    6) The NDP have peaked in support, and now they will start to slip…especially in BC.

    7) While the Libs might pick up some seats in urban centers, both from the CPC and NDP, it will not be enough to offset CPC gains in the new ridings.

    8) CPC has lots of moolah left in its war chest, and I strongly suspect (or expect) they are keeping their powder dry for the final stretch when it counts the most. Meanwhile, both the NDP and Libs have pretty much blown the proverbial wad already, which will cost them both.

    As I see it from here, seat count will not look terribly different when it’s all over.

    And, while I won’t yet predict a CPC majority, I, for one, will not be the least bit surprised if it materializes.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      Mainstreet Research poll of BC voters…


      Also showing that CPC now leads.

      • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

        Al…..I am concerned that all the talking up of the Conservatives and saying that the Liberal/NDP vote is collapsing will cause a new energy among the “progressives” to get their ground game together.

    • Vancouverois says:

      I think your points 1) and 8) are significant.

      1) It’s pretty clear that fear of an Orange Canada is what drove the Conservative majority in 2011; Ontario Liberals were so appalled at the idea of an NDP government getting in that they bled to the Tories. I can certainly see the same happening this time around as well; there’s been nothing to rule it out so far. Perhaps if the race comes down to Liberals vs NDP some Red Tories might bleed in the other direction instead. I see no reason for that to happen, though.

      8) The Tories do have a lot of money, and ammunition from their opponents’ political pasts. I’m pretty sure they must be keeping some of their powder dry. And it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they have some fairly devastating revelations they intend to advertise in the last ten days or so before the vote.

      Furthermore, if it’s a minority, they’ll still be better positioned financially than any other party to jump right back in to the next election. That isn’t necessarily a decisive advantage — it could be negated if they’re seen to have forced the next election so soon, for example — but it’s nothing to sneeze at, either.

  17. Mike says:

    Its definitely going to be a minority no matter which party may get the most seats. However, from my vantage point, I am seeing the Liberals on a nice upward trajectory, the Cons holding and the Dippers receding somewhat. Liberals now look to be on the verge of sweeping most of Atlantic Canada, and will do extremely well in Ontario. Everyone talks about the Cons GOTV operation, but lets not forget that the Liberals have a great GOTV operation in Ontario (evidenced by Wynne’s majority last year) and in Atlantic Canada. This will give the Libs a great base to start from. As well, I am starting to see cracks appearing in the solid Con base in rural areas. Some rural ridings are seriously thinking of tossing out Con incumbents this time. All in all, it will be a very hard fought campaign and it most definitely will result in a minority, which then is the end of Harper’s reign.

  18. ottlib says:

    While I agree GOTV is important my own personal experience demonstrated to me that it can only get you so far.

    In 2006 I volunteered for the campaign of the Liberal candidate for Ottawa West-Nepean. That riding had been Liberal since 1988 and the lady who held it had won five straight elections. She retired in 2005 but the new Liberal candidate was a well known and popular city councilor who represented a large swath of the riding. Further the retired Liberal candidate agreed to be the campaign manager which meant most of her organization came over as well. Our challenger was John Baird, who also had a good organization, so we knew it would be a tough election.

    We worked that riding well. The atmosphere during the election was very similar to the previous three that I had worked. We had good responses at the door and we managed to identify as many Liberals as we did the previous times. Our E-day efforts were very effective in pulling our vote. That evening we all had mixed feelings. The national polls were indicating a national Conservative win but we were confident that we would be sending a very good Liberal MP to oppose a new Harper government.

    We lost by 2500 votes. Coincidentally, that was the margin of victory for the Liberal candidate in 2004. The difference was the national campaigns. The Conservatives ran a good one against a long serving incumbent government and swing voters who voted Liberal in 2004 switched to the Conservatives in 2006.

    So while I have no doubt that the Conservatives have very good GOTV organizations so do their opponents so the difference will probably be how swing voters react to the national campaigns and whether those same voters want to stick with the Conservatives are make a change.

    • cynical says:

      I worked the same riding in the last election. We were NOT met favourably at the doors I knocked on. And there were damn few doors that actually had people behind them. I spent hours on the phones, and was getting maybe 3% pickup on the calls.
      Baird’s team hit the street I lived on with about 10 people, all young, all well-dressed, all energetic. I’m in my 60s and in that campaign HQ I was not much older than average.

      We had a GREAT candidate, with more real-world qualifications than Baird could fake. She lost.
      Maybe this time.

    • Vancouverois says:

      In 2011, the NDP had practically no ground game in Quebec at all — and yet they swept the province. Decisively. They won more seats than even the Bloc ever won.

      So yeah; GOTV clearly isn’t the only factor involved.

  19. Marc says:

    Liberal minority, Cons opposition, NDP third with a Quebec rump

    • BlueGritr says:

      Agreed: JT, next Prime Minister. But he’ll get eaten alive in Question Period. Unable to field questions as Prime Minister. Looking way over his head. Death by a thousand paper cuts, and Liberals will quickly realize that finishing first was the worst thing that could have happened. JT will lose a non-confidence motion. We’ll be back in election mode in nine months, and the Liberals will be dispatched to third place. Even the GTA will not be able to save them.

  20. Sean says:

    Liberals are as dead outside the GTA as conservatives are inside it. Anyone from the sticks, who’s health, property value, privacy, sense of integrity, etc has been damaged by wind turbines and the dictatorial green energy act, view all liberals in the most vile of terms. This isn’t nice, it’s not good but it is a fact, a fact which supports Kinsella’s understanding of base support.

    The liberals are not viewed as a national or provincial party but rather a party which represents the interests of the GTA.

    • Domenico says:

      So the Liberals will not be getting any seats in the Maritimes, BC or Quebec?

    • Scott says:

      What a crock of horseshit. Wishful thinking on your part. They are no more a GTA party than Harper is an Alberta party. Try to keep it real Lance.

    • Marc says:

      No, the Liberals are dead in rural Ontario. They are alive in urban Ontario. They strong in the GTA, London, Ottawa, and could also take Sudbury, K-W and Thunder Bay.

    • doconnor says:

      Rural southern Ontario seats aren’t enough to win an election in Ontario, nevermind Canada.

      How does one lose privacy from a wind turbine?

      • Mike says:

        The whole opposition to wind turbines thing is irrational, and I live in an area that has a lot of them. But it served as a catalyst to the alienation that rural Ontario feels. The Liberals just happen to be the party in power for rural voters to taken it out on. And the PCs were good at exploiting this alienation. In truth they would not do anything differently.

  21. terence quinn says:

    The Liberals are quietly picking up votes in francophone Quebec and will take seats from the NDP. Quebeckers make up their minds pretty close in and I see Mulcair’s star fading somewhat. He might not see 50 seats in quebec this timeout which means he will have a tough time reaching even 90 seats because the Libs will reclaim some of their traditional ones.

    • ottlib says:

      Quebec is the wild card in this election because they are the most unpredictable voters in the country.

      No one saw the Orange Wave of 2011 coming. No one gave the Quebec Liberals a chance of winning the most recent Quebec election. It came as a great surprise when Jean Chretien more than doubled his seat count in that province in 2000, when conventional wisdom stated he was going to be hard pressed to hang on to the seats he already had.

      Current conventional wisdom is the Conservatives will be lucky to hang on to the seats they currently have, the Liberals will gain back some of what they lost last election, the Bloc will quietly fade away and the NDP will either hang on to what they have or even increase their current seat count. I think Quebecers may surprise us all once again. How? Beats me but it will probably be in a way very few of us expect.

    • Marc says:

      The problem is how the Bloc vote will pan out. If the Bloc vote splits partially NDP, then the Liberal vote gains may be negated. But I think Duceppe will beat Mulcair up in the French debate

  22. Kelly says:

    Either someone with nothing to lose in the civil service or the hacker group anonymous or possibly both will leak something about the Cons 3 days before the elections and Harper and Co. will fold like a cheap suit. Also, there aren’t that many NDP ridings where the cons are close enough that blue Liberals would be able to shift their vote and give the cons the win. Just as many people on the left of the Liberal party will shift to the NDP to make,SURE Harper loses if it looks like tue NDP can build momentum late in the campaign.

  23. Domenico says:

    Harper needs a majority to “win”. The other two leaders can probably work with each other with a minority. A minority for Harper means prorogue until he can find another wedge issue, or more likely he will take his toupee collection and hit Bay Street. That being said there is a lot of election left. I think the outcome of this election will turn on how much more NDP vote in Quebec the Liberals can siphon off. Barring of course video of any party leader with crack pipe in hand.

  24. Jack D says:

    NDP are slipping and slipping everywhere.

    They are consistently falling behind in Ontario -where it really matters. Their message is just not resonating in the GTA. They’re losing ground in BC and the gap is closing between them and whoever is polling second in that province. They will barely register in Manitoba and Alberta hasn’t turned out to be the treasure trove they had expected it to be. All the NDP has left is momentum in Saskatchewan and an incredibly unpredictable base in the separatist heartland of Quebec.

    That said, I feel that the biggest enemy to the NDP aren’t the Liberals nor the Conservatives, but the NDP themselves. Their lack of coherence in their platform, their lack of bench depth and their inability to sell the NDP as a brand is starting to hurt them. I said this many months ago, courting protest votes just won’t be enough if you want to survive the level of scrutiny in such a competitive race. Over the past week/week and a half almost everything thats come out of Thomas Mulcair’s mouth has been contradicted by either the very people they are quoting or their own candidates.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      I’d venture that the majority of the NDP’s traditional support would sign on to the “Leap Manifesto”.

      It ain’t rocket science to know that there’s no way Mulcair is going to be able to marginalize hardliners hell bent on this kind of radical ideology should he win the day.

      IOW, “Hey, boss, now that we’re in power, we can really get some socialist s**t done around here!!! Yeehaw!!!”

      Just like in Alberta, where Notley is surrounding herself with anti-oil/climate change activists in key government positions. And sitting on a budget until after Oct. 19 that’s almost certain to contain across the board tax increases…the last thing Mulcair wants to hear ahead of the vote, ya think?

    • ralphonso says:

      Only partisans talk of bench strength.

      The NDP has held up exceptionally well to scrutiny, really. Their platform contained no flubs and while they’ve had some candidate flops, so have the other parties. Objectively, would anyone have expected them to still be polling 30 percent support this far into the campaign? They’ve spent most of the last four years treading water around 20-25 percent.

      The problem with the NDP is that their campaign has no coherent message. Their platform has no single defining priority.

      In this post-policy age, where no one believes in the credibility of promises, commitments and platforms, voting is an emotional exercise that says what you believe and who you stand with.

      And there is no single defining emotional reason to vote NDP.

      • Jack D says:

        I’ve made no illusions on that matter, I am a partisan. But that does not preclude my assertion from being valid –bench strength does matter and the NDP has very little of it. Not that they haven’t tried; the moment they were able to secure Andrew Thomson as their candidate with a financial background, the NDP paraded him around quite a bit. They were aware that their party severely lacks credibility on that front and needed a different voice to bolster and articulate their message. But all things considered seriously, the NDP doesn’t have the team necessary for running a G7 country. There is a very small talent pool for the party given it’s marginal success rate across Canada and its reflected in their ability to attract candidates. Things such as a strong team very much matter when you’re trying to sell your brand to Canadians.

        But other than that, I concur totally with everything else you said.

  25. fan590 says:

    The biggest news of the election so far is:

    1. Justin is performing better than expected (Conservative attack ads have actually helped JT)

    2. Steve is Steve and has his base and style that has been a success for a long time.

    3. Mulcair has UNDER Performed. He peaked in August and with the Libs going to the Left it makes many people needing to choose “Tom” with their vote rather than just vote for the NDP as a left wing alternative.

    Tom Mulcair is Andrea Horwath 2. So much expected, then people begin to pay attention…

  26. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Interesting Ipsos poll, re: niqabs/burkas…


    Media Party/NDP/LPC all taking the “progressive” – read “politically correct” – stance on this.

    Clearly, the vast majority of Canadians don’t see it that way.

    • Scott says:

      That is because most people aren’t aware that they must show their face to immigration security people before the public ceremony. If you are aware of this and still raise a stink it just proves you’re anti immigrant in general.

    • Vancouverois says:

      Actually, the NDP only takes the “politically correct” approach on this issue in English-speaking Canada. In Quebec, Boulerice and Delisle have made their distaste for the niqab well known.

      Boulerice even mocked the Conservatives for not going far enough, and suggested that the federal NDP would hold its own Bouchard-Taylor style commission on reasonable accommodation.

    • doconnor says:

      It wasn’t too long ago that the majority of people opposed gay marriage because it felt icky and wrong. Eventually reason and understanding won out.

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