Tuesday, January 03, 2006

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

The Truth Hurts: Canadian Political Blog
Click on the seat forecaster - daily in the left column and you will see that the race in terms of seats is now a deadheat. But what does that mean for the Conservatives? Where are they gaining seats and where are they losing seats in Canada? 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.)

To truly answer that question I need a poll with significant subnational breakouts so that I can run the comprehensive seat forecaster. However, I can still make some general assessments. First, out west the Tories are not doing better than they did in the last election. In fact, they are doing worse. They are losing seats in British Columbia and the Prairies, Alberta excepted. The gains are coming in Ontario. They are likely going to increase their take in southwestern Ontario which, given their dominanance already in the rural area, means they are going to pick up a couple smaller urban ridings there. And, they are going to pick up more seats in eastern Ontario. The Conservatives are also competitive in a couple of ridings in Northern Ontario, but the races there are very close. But perhaps the biggest surprise, though the lowest payout for them, they have an outside chance of actually winning a seat in the heart of Toronto, the bastion of Liberal support. Add in a half dozen or so seats from Atlantic Canada and you have yourself enough of an increase to more than offset losses out west, and close in on the Liberals to boot.

The Conservatives negative ads also could not have arrived at a more opportune time for them. Negative advertising works, though it can be risky. With momentum their way these adds can shake free some people on the edge and move the Conservatives into minority government territory.