Friday, April 22, 2011

Some numbers around the cost of an NDP boom

To put a bit more substance on the post below, I analyzed the riding-level numbers that Three Hundred and Eight calculates using his model.  Under the scenario of 5% of voters leaving the Liberals for the NDP, applied uniformly accross all 308 ridings here's what I found:

The Liberals lose 18 seats they're currently projected to win (10 go CPC, 4 go NDP, 4 go BQ)
The NDP hold 2 seats the Conservatives are currently projected to win
The NDP takes 1 seat the BQ is projected to win

Net result:
CPC +8
LPC -18
NDP +7
BQ +3

And the new seat totals would be:
CPC 158
LPC 58
NDP 43
BQ 48
Ind 2

I realize this is a very unrealistic scenario in that many voters are aware in their riding whether the NDP is competitive and probably would still vote strategically for the Liberal even if they decide they prefer the NDP, but the point was more to illustrate my claim about there being multiple tipping points.  A 5 point gain for the NDP at cost to the Liberals would result in a safe Conservative majority, the Liberals would still be official opposition and the NDP would still be the fourth party, only managing to tie Ed Broadbent's historical top result (which was done in a smaller parliament).

In that result, could the NDP hold on to those voters?  Many of them would regard this as simply a disaster and it would be hard to predict how loyal they would remain.

I think it is all or nothing in this game.  The NDP have to overtake the Liberals and become the official opposition in order to solidify their gains.  I don't know how they do that given that there are relatively few ridings outside the ones they're already winning where they are in second or a close enough third to actually win, absent a real tidal wave/landslide shift in support (like 10% instead of 5%).


  1. I saw this on dkos:

    In brief, a large sample of over 3,000 taken over the Easter weekend shows the governing Cons with 33.7%, NDP with 28.0%, and the Liberals with 23.7%. The separatist Bloc Quebecois is collapsing in Quebec. The NDP has 38.7% there, compared to 25.2% for the Bloc and under 15% for both the Cons and the Libs. The NDP currently has but one member from Quebec, but these numbers should translate into a majority of Quebec's 75 seats. This would be absolutely unprecedented.

    If these EKOS numbers hold true, election night results would give the Cons something like 130 seats, well short of a majority, and the NDP around 100 seats, with the Libs trailing around 60. Under these circumstances, it's hard to see that the Cons could continue to rule (although under our constitution they would have the right to try). In any case, it would be a whole new political landscape.

    It's worth noting that, while other pollsters aren't pegging the NDP so high just yet, the surge is showing in all polls, especially in Quebec.

    that would be fine? the cons would get to try first, they'd fail, and then the ndp would try second, get the libs and form a gov't?

    the libs don't hate the ndp so much as to refuse to join them and form a gov't?

  2. Ignatieff has stated he would work with the NDP if they win more seats, so I don't think he could avoid it.

    However, to be generous, I think this is wishful thinking on the part of NDP true believers. I'd be happy to be wrong, but 100 seats looks like dreaming to me. The people running the actual electoral models debate whether the NDP will get 2 or 3 seats in Quebec currently. If they got 10 it would be a huge surprise, never mind winning the majority of Quebec seats.

    Still a few days to go, but if the election was held today, a Harper majority is more likely than it would have been a week ago.