Monday, January 18, 2010

What a Difference a Week Makes!

I was on vacation over the past week, and upon my return online (though not yet in North America), I realized that I've missed one of the most exciting weeks of polling since last Fall! This is in fact true both in Canada and in the U.S., where the Democrats are in danger of losing a Senate seat in solid blue Massachusetts in a special election tomorrow.

But coming back to the Great White North, four polls were published over the last week: Strategic Counsel, Harris-Decima, EKOS and Angus Reid. Nationally, the Tories are way down, while all opposition parties appear to be up. The numbers seem to be heading back to where they were last summer, and in a big hurry (except for the Bloc, which is doing quite a bit better than in August). This is pretty much what I had predicted for 2010, but I had no idea it would happen in the first two weeks of the year! Prorogation seems to have struck a nerve, much like Ignatieff's election-mongering in September.

Regionally, the Liberals, in a reversal that isn't quite stunning as it is stunningly quick, are now slightly ahead in Atlantic Canada and Ontario. The Bloc got very good numbers in Québec this week, which bumps their seat count up at the expense of the Liberals (recall that the last projection was heavily based on one EKOS poll that had the Grits at 27.5% in Québec - that now looks like an aberration). The Liberals have also reclaimed second place (by a hair over the NDP) in MB/SK and BC, despite the Dippers not doing poorly at all. The Tories are big losers in every single region polled, and they are suddenly no higher than 34% nationally in any of the polls.

The updated aggregate projection is:

CON - 129
LIB - 87
BQ - 53
NDP - 39

This is the worst result for the Tories since mid-September, and the best for the Grits since late September. It is also the best for the Bloc and the NDP since the creation of this blog. The latter suggests that while the Liberals have recovered somewhat, they are not getting as many voters dissatisfied with the government as they should. So the Liberals still have lots of work to do before they can be ready for an election.

Also of note, the Tories' steep drop in BC means that, just like at the end of last summer, the projection model is close to spitting out a seat for Elizabeth May in Saanich--Gulf Islands.

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