Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Seat Forecast Shows Deadheat - What Does It Mean - Part III

The Truth Hurts: Canadian Political Blog
The seat forecaster - daily in the left column shows the race in terms of seats is now a deadheat. And it shows big increases for the NDP. How is this possible? Where is it happening? I will answers these questions in this article. (Part I deals with the Conservatives; Part II deals with the Liberals; Part III deals with the NDP.)

The first explanation involves the same warning I have made in the other articles, I need a poll with more significant breakouts so that I can run the comprehensive forecaster. However, NDP support is on the rise and here is the most likely areas where that is happening. First, they are seeing some increase in seats in Saskatchewan, which could mean Jack Layton's plea for NDP supporters to stay with the NDP this time is working. He felt that the switch of their supporters to third place Liberals in the last election cost them seats in the prairies and helped the Conservatives.

But a bigger increase in seats is coming in Ontario. In Northern Ontario they might gain a couple more seats, but the races are very tight. The same is true for a couple of seats in eastern Ontario. In total there are almost a half dozen Ontario seats that could go either way for the NDP. But the biggest potential breakthrough for the NDP is in Toronto. Half of their gains in Ontario could come from this area, and these gains are looking stronger than the half in the rest of the province. That is good news for the NDP, but the other half are so close that only a slight drop in NDP support in Ontario could mean they drop below 30 seats nationally.

So the summary for the NDP is that the reason they are doing so well in seats at this point is because there are almost a half dozen seats in Ontario where they are clinging on to a lead. They are definitely moving up in Ontario based on these latest poll numbers, but those half dozen seats or so are going to make the difference between a good increase for the NDP and a big increase for the NDP. Plus, there are another two or three seats in the rest of the country that are just as close. Shift only a few thousand votes from the NDP to the Liberals, a shift so small it would not even register in the national polling numbers, and the NDP could go from 34 seats to 27 in the blink of an eye. Does that sound like 2004 all over again?