Citizen X on Canadian election 2015, VI .. Guru Grenier asks if Conservatives “inching toward victory?”

Oct 2nd, 2015 | By | Category: In Brief

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Bonhomme Carnaval at a photo op during the prime minister's visit to Quebec City on Feb. 13, 2015.” Polls at that time showed “Quebecers strongly support the Conservatives' stand on terror.” JACQUES BOISSINOT / THE CANADIAN PRESS.

[UPDATED OCT 2, 1PM ET]. CBC Poll Tracker guru Éric Grenier published an intriguing piece yesterday – “Are Stephen Harper’s Conservatives inching toward victory? … Conservatives occupy best position they’ve been in since the campaign began.”

Grenier notes that his current averaging of other people’s polls “gives the Tories a significant edge in the seat count, but still puts them below the 170 seats needed to form a majority government. This is a more important number for the Conservatives to reach than the other parties, considering that both Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair have said they would not support a minority Conservative government.”

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, greets NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair during a campaign stop in Montreal, August 16, 2015. GRAHAM HUGHES / THE CANADIAN PRESS.

Grenier notes as well that recent polls have disagreed about the relative positions of Liberals and New Democrats right now. But they all seem to agree “on the increase in support for the Conservatives. This has also been reflected in other polls published throughout the week … The question is whether the Liberals are keeping up with the Tories. Subsequent polls may shed light on whether the race remains close between the Liberals and Conservatives or whether Stephen Harper is on track for another victory Oct. 19.”

Adding fuel to the fire, according to current calculations of “‘The Signal’, an election forecasting tool by Vox Pop Labs … the Conservative Party will win the election with 34.3% of the vote,” with “the Liberal Party receiving 28.7% … and the NDP …  26.3%.”

These numbers are strikingly similar to two other recent predictions. See “Conservatives out in front … controversy over the niqab has helped shore up public support for the federal Conservatives, pollster Forum Research says.”

PM Harper knows it's important to speak French in Quebec, and in Ottawa too!

Forum has “Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s party ahead with 34% support, compared to 28% for the NDP and 27% for the Liberals.” And a September 30 poll from  Angus Reid reports  Conservatives 34% … NDP 27% … Liberals 27%.

Who knows where all this will finally lead? Yet so far the crucial points still seem to be that the Harper Conservatives remain “below the 170 seats needed to form a majority government.” And : “This is a more important number for the Conservatives to reach than the other parties, considering that both Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair have said they would not support a minority Conservative government.”

Mr. Grenier’s latest CBC Poll Tracker seat allocations – “Updated October 1, 2015, including polling in the field to September 30, 2015” – similarly give 128 seats to the Conservatives, 110 to the Liberals, 98 to the New Democrats, and one seat each to the Greens and the Bloc Quebecois. The Liberals and New Democrats together on this scenario have a super majority of 208 seats. And parliamentary democracy means that if they can somehow agree to work together, they certainly do command the support in the elected branch of parliament required to govern.

Mulcair greets Trudeau in Toronto. PHOTO: REUTERS.

On the other hand, if the Conservatives continue to gain popular support over the next while as they have most recently, they just may wind up with the high 30s/low40s percentages of the vote usually required for a majority of seats in parliament, with three more or less major parties in our current electoral system …

So … many eyes will no doubt be watching the next several days of polling very carefully … Mine will be among them – and I’ll report back … mmm, say late next week! Meanwhile, on Monday, October 19 remember that it’s not enough to watch it all on TV. You have to get out yourself, make your way to your assigned polling booth, and, as they used to say in the USA, “vote early and often.”  There is no doubt that a clear majority of Canadian voters do not want a second Stephen Harper majority government. But the way our Canadian democratic political system works at the moment, that is not what finally counts!

UPDATE OCT 2, 1PM ET. I know it’snot late next week yet. But to add to the immediate confusion here, the Nanos Nightly Tracking Poll for October 2 (with data from September 29 to October 1), appeared after this piece was first posted. In round numbers it puts the Liberals cross-Canada at 34%, the Conservatives at 32%, and the New Democrats at 26%. Regionally, according to Nanos the NDP has improved slightly in Quebec, and the Liberals are now ahead in Ontario and BC!  Mr. Grenier has also updated the CBC Poll Tracker as well since earlier this morning. He is now giving 126 seats to the Conservatives, 107 to the Liberals, and 102 to the NDP. So the Liberal-NDP combined super majority has also increased slightly to 209 seats. No doubt the best advice is still stay tuned!

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