Home 338Canada A summer election would be a risky gamble for Liberals: 338

A summer election would be a risky gamble for Liberals: 338

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Philippe J. Fournier: The latest projection of the federal elections shows that the Liberals do not reach the majority, with a result eerily similar to the results of the 2019 elections.

If the rumors circulating around Parliament Hill in Ottawa are true, then Canadians will be called to vote in the 44th Canadian federal election late this summer or early next fall, just days before this Parliament blows out its second candle. in October. Analyzing the numbers over the weekend, the only question that kept popping up in my head is, “Why?”

Both the Bloc Québécois and the NDP maintain the balance of power in a Liberal-led Parliament, so neither party should be in a rush to get Canadians to the polls, as both parties are at their peak of relevance. Time can seem like an eternity as a third or fourth party in a majority parliament.

Therefore, if an election is called, it will most likely be a liberal initiative. Cynics will say, not necessarily wrongly, that a fall election would be an attempt at power by the Liberals: the numbers are currently favorable for the Liberal Party, and it would obviously prefer to spend the next four years in a majority position, without have to worry about pesky opposition MPs occasionally asking questions or threatening to vote against the government in a vote of confidence.

Recent precedent would also be on the side of an election in September or October. John Horgan, Blaine Higgs and Andrew Furey – all prime ministers who headed their respective legislatures with minority status a year ago – chose to bet on the relatively good performance of their provinces in handling the pandemic, and all three were re-elected with majorities. With a significant fraction of Canadians projected to be fully vaccinated by the end of August, the national discussion could gradually shift away from the pandemic and dive into the handling of the economic recovery, so liberals could, understandably, be tempted to cash in on some chips. of karma before the inevitable “What have you done for me lately?” feelings are installed. Politicians know that voters’ memories tend to be short.

However, they are the current figures so good for the Trudeau Liberals? Perhaps the party’s internal poll shows different trends than the polls published for public consumption, because this week 338 Canada Federal Update measures the most likely outcome as eerily similar to the 2019 federal election results.

Federal polls published last month have shown the Liberals leading the Conservatives by margins between one and 11 points, with a current average of five points. With such numbers, the Liberals would almost certainly win the most seats if elections were held this week, but the party will most likely end up below the 170-seat threshold for a majority in the House of Commons. These are the averages per party for this week:



Liberals win an average of 163 seats, seven less than majority status, but only six seats above their 2019 results. While Liberals continue to dominate in Atlantic Canada and continue to lead in Ontario, where seats abound, its only potential seat gains, as currently projected, would be in Quebec, where the LPC averages 38 percent and 41 seats. However, remember that the Liberals won 35 seats in Quebec in 2019 (and 40 in 2015). Given that support for the Bloc Québécois remains relatively in good shape (just under the 30 percent mark), it is quite unlikely that the Liberals will be able to find many more seats to win in the province. As for the Canadian Atlantic, adding Fredericton de los Verdes does not hurt (with Jenica Atwin crossing the court from the Greens to the Liberals this week), but it is unlikely to have any effect beyond the boundary of this constituency.

As for the conservatives, they seem to be trapped in a high-floor, low-ceiling scenario that would almost certainly guarantee them official opposition status. In the past month, the Conservatives scored between 27 and 32 percent nationally and showed no significant gains in central Canada, where the party needs it most. If it cannot grow its own support beyond current figures, the only scenario in which the party wins a plurality of seats would be if the NDP exceeds its polls and expectations.

Namely: Ontario’s current average of NDP polls is 20 percent, three points higher than its 2019 result in the province. If the NDP vote at the next federal meeting really matched the poll results, a net gain of six to 12 seats would be entirely plausible, and most of those seats would come at the expense of the Liberals. Just in the last week, both of us the Angus Reid Institute Y Leger it measured NDP support above the 20% mark nationally, and even the NDP garnered the support of one in four Ontario voters (25% from Angus Reid and 24% from Léger). With such numbers, a full sweep of Toronto with 25 seats would be nearly impossible for the Liberals (as opposed to the 2015 and 2019 federal elections). Without a crop of Ontario seats similar to those of 2015 and 2019 for the LPC, a majority would simply be mathematically out of the reach of Justin Trudeau.


Naturally, the confidence intervals for the projections extend into majority territory for liberals. In these scenarios, the Liberals would have to overcome their current positions and hope that the NDP does not get their vote effectively, especially in Ontario. In the final days of the 2019 campaign, polling averages showed the NDP was 18 percent nationally, but ended at 16 percent. This modest, but measurable two percent gap likely cost the NDP a dozen seats coast-to-coast, most of them in Ontario. We cannot rule out the possibility that the NDP may not be able to match their best results in the polls, especially if the NDP has the support of younger voters (who tend to vote in smaller numbers).

So, with the support of the NDP still hovering just under 20 percent and the Bloc Québécois still riding the coattails of the CWC in Quebec, where will liberals find enough seats to secure a majority? Maybe an extra seat in Manitoba? Maybe a seat each in Edmonton and Calgary? Maybe pick up Vancouver-Granville from independent MP Jody Wilson-Raybould? Nunavut? All of these “maybe” and “maybe” add up to a lot of uncertainty and result in a fairly low risk / reward ratio.

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Details of this projection are available in the 338 Canada Page. To find your home district, use the list of the 338 constituencies here, or use the regional links below:

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