The now daily EKOS update shows little change from yesterday on national numbers. In the Atlantic, the NDP is still in the lead, with an increased gap over the Grits and Tories. In MB/SK, the Liberals are down while both the Conservatives and NDP are up.
Numbers moved a little more in Québec, and for the first time in a while, the NDP is flat (actually half a point down). The Bloc is also down, to less than 25%, while the Tories are up a point. Ignatieff gets a boost - possibly because the last day of the sample came on the heels of his very successful visit to Tout le monde en parle - and gains 3 points.
We also have, through ThreeHundredEight.com, regional numbers outside Central Canada from the Environics poll. Given the small size of the poll, these don't mean much, but let's see what we have just for fun. In the Atlantic, the story is very different from EKOS: Environics has the Grits and Tories tied 18% ahead of the NDP. Across the Prairies, the Tories get over 60%, even reducing the Liberals to 8% in MB/SK. In BC, Environics calls for a replay of 2008.
ThreeHundredEight.com also reports on four Québec riding polls, three in the Saguenay region and one in the Coeur-du-Québec area. These surveys suggest very erratic swings: a 9-point increase in the Bloc lead over the Tories in Richmond--Arthabasca, but a 23-point increase in the Tory lead over the Bloc in Roberval--Lac-St-Jean, both to 26%. Good thing the gap is so big in these ridings, so the projection doesn't need to worry about them too much! The NDP has increased its support in both, but remains third.
The two other ridings are more interesting: the Bloc leads by 6% in Chicoutimi--Le Fjord over the Conservatives, just like in 2008. I had this riding going Conservative by 2%, so this is enough of a nudge to bring it back under the Bloc fold. However, the NDP is not too far behind, 12% from the Bloc, just 4-5% more than the model suggests. The projection model did reasonably well here: it hinted at a three-way race, and that's what we have.
In Jonquière--Alma, however, if the riding poll is right, the model completely flunks. The poll has this also as a three-way race, with the Tories leading, followed by the NDP and Bloc within 10. The model had it as a safe Conservative seat. At least it got the party right...
So there you have it: the Saguenay, a crazy region. Tories do much better than expected in Roberval--Lac-St-Jean, but worse in neighboring Jonquière--Alma and Chicoutimi--Le Fjord. The NDP surges in a major way in Jonquière--Alma, but almost not in Roberval--Lac-St-Jean. Only the Bloc performance has a semblance of consistency (well, the Liberal one as well - completely absent).
All this makes for the following changes in the projection:
- As stated, Chicoutimi--Le Fjord goes Tory to Bloc.
- But Bloc loses St-Bruno--St-Hubert to NDP.
- Liberals lose three seats to Tories: one in PEI and two in the GTA.
CON - 156
LIB - 63
NDP - 52
BQ - 36
IND - 1
The Conservative national lead is 13.3% over the Grits and 15% over the NDP.
One of the two changes in the GTA is due to the further phasing in of the GTA effect, which now affects 3 seats. That's currently the difference between a majority and a minority. For what it's worth, the effect is around 4% in the latest EKOS poll, and our friend Bryan over at Too Close to Call informs me that it's also around 4% in the latest Environics poll. That's less than the 10% earlier EKOS polls suggested. I currently apply a 2% effect in the model.