If this happens, Election Day could be as early as October 26. That's two weeks earlier than the originally contemplated scenario - the government falling on the Opposition Day following the EI panel's report.
For now, I have to admit that I've somewhat tuned out due to the lack of policy ideas lately. But with the Conservative EI proposal coming up, not to mention all the parties' platforms in an eventual campaign, there is sure to be much to talk about later on.
Meanwhile, I ask: what is each leader's minimum performance to hold on to his/her position? I would suggest the following:
- Harper: form government. How tall of an order this is depends on the NDP and the Bloc's willingness to support the Liberals without a formal coalition, which Ignatieff is unlikely to agree to.
- Ignatieff: prevent a Conservative majority. This should be pretty easy, and the bar is pretty low since it's his first crack at it, and he's not Stéphane Dion.
- Layton: 25-30 seats. Above 30, and he's still above his 2006 result. But below 25, and he'll have lost a third of his party's seats, after which no leader is safe.
- Duceppe: 40-45 seats. Above 45, and it's pretty much par for the course. But below 40 would give something close to the Bloc's worst ever result of 38 seats from 2000.
The current projected outcome would bring little change unless Ignatieff seizes power with the support of the NDP and Bloc. But much can change during a campaign, and if the Liberals pick up just another 3-5% nationally, it's not hard to see a scenario where Harper and Layton would both be toast. (On the other hand, the Tories would still be short of a majority with an improvement of 3-5% over their current poll position.)
And Harris-Decima seems to be patting itself on the back for its new website design instead of, you know, actually updating the content...