2019 Canadian election log, III : Is unstable Scheer Conservative minority government a real prospect … mmm yes ??

Oct 9th, 2019 | By | Category: In Brief

GANATSEKWYAGON, ON. OCT 9, 6 PM ET/3 PM PT. A new Forum Research poll shows Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives suddenly pulling well ahead in the wake of the October 7 TV debate.

This at least raises the prospect that Green party leader Elizabeth May may have been wrong towards the end of this past Monday’s debate, when she rudely advised Mr. Scheer that he will not be the next prime minister.

To the uninformed naked eye this latest Forum poll, which puts Conservatives seven points ahead of Liberals Canada-wide, does seem to notably under-represent Ontario and over-represent Western Canada. And the companion or same-date Nanos Nightly Tracking shows no sign of a similar trend. (It puts the Trudeau Liberals one point ahead!)

Another post-debate online Leger poll has Liberals and Conservatives tied, with Jagmeet Singh’s NDP up four points. Still others may wonder about the latest Forum poll’s finding that the admittedly surging Bloc Québécois has now surpassed the Liberals in Quebec.

For no doubt further good reasons Éric Grenier’s CBC Poll Tracker assigns the Forum poll a very low weight in its current polling average calculations, despite the very recent vintage.

At the same time, however much of a suspicious outlier it may appear, some later-campaign Conservative surge is the only possible conclusion from the latest Forum poll. And this does draw attention to vaguely parallel current prospects in the more moderate CBC Poll Tracker exercise (as just one case in point).

In his latest Poll Tracker update as of October 9, 10:33 AM ET Éric Grenier does assign the Liberals six less and the Conservatives five more seats than just two days ago.

On these calculations the Liberals still have 17 more seats all told than the Conservatives. But they are now as many as 13 seats shy of even a bare majority in the House. And this draws further attention to the Tracker’s probability percentages for majority and minority governments.

In his October 9 update Grenier is still giving the Scheer Conservatives a very low 10% chance of reaching a majority government. And according to no less than John Ibbitson if the Conservatives don’t get a majority government they ultimately loose – because no other party with enough votes will support a Conservative minority government. (Well … unless it might be a last-minute-surging Bloc Québécois, as in the early times of PM Stephen Harper??)

Yet Grenier’s Poll Tracker October 9 probability percentages for Liberal or Conservative minority governments are not in fact all that different : 30% Liberals and 27% Conservatives.

The Liberals still do have a much greater chance at a majority government (32% on the latest CBC Poll Tracker). But if trends of some Liberal faltering lock in, it would seem that a Scheer Conservative minority government is almost as likely as a Trudeau Liberal one – on these current CBC numbers in any case.

Philippe J. Fournier at 338canada.com may be challenging this assessment in his October 8 article, “The Conservatives have fallen behind the surging Bloc, cutting the odds of seat gains needed to win the election.” But maybe not, exactly. In any case a Conservative minority government does appear to be something that very few of those most directly involved are paying much serious attention to … yet ???? And it does not seem unreasonable at this juncture to say that Elizabeth May could prove to be wrong. Who knows? Stray tuned, etc, etc, etc … .

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