Conservative Momentum Stalls Short of Majority

The following projection for LISPOP (Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy) is based upon a series of polls conducted during June, 2019 by Nanos, Angus Reid, Ipsos, Ekos and Forum, producing a blended sample of 9700 respondents. This is not to be interpreted as a prediction of the future, but is an estimate of parliamentary seat distribution during the period of polling.

The primary conclusion to be drawn is that the momentum away from the Liberals and toward the Conservatives and others noted in recent months has stopped. The collective average of seven national polls has narrowed over the previous month from a 5% Conservative lead over the Liberals to a 4% difference. However probably more noteworthy,  was that in all the various regions, the differential was also marginal. There were places of narrow Conservative gain such as Quebec and Atlantic Canada, but that was offset in Ontario with a narrow Liberal gain of a net 2% change (1%  Liberal lead compared to a 1point Conservative lead in May) which led to a 5 seat Liberal rise in that province. This results from Ontario having so many marginal seats.

There were also slight gains for the Bloc Quebecois and the Greens in BC, but it might be that those parties represent a default for "none of the above". At the moment it doesn't appear that the traditional parties have excited the public, and that anyone is on the verge of a majority government. This should make the forthcoming election campaign, particularly eventful. Ontario will be a particularly hard fought battleground, as it contains most of the swing seats available. As the numbers stand in this projection, it would pose an intriguing dilemma for Andrew Scheer as to how to maintain majority support with such a legislative configuration.

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Table 1: Federal Seat projections - July 2019 (2015 election results in brackets)

Canada 156 (99) 138 (184) 24 (44) 14 (10) 5 (1) 1
Atlantic 12 (0) 20 (32) - - - -
Quebec 13 (12) 48 (40) 2 (16) 14 (10) - 1
Ontario 54 (33) 54 (80) 13 (8) - - -
Prairies / North 24 (18) 6 (8) 1 (5) - - -
Alberta 33 (29) 0 (4) 1 (1) - - -
British Columbia 20 (10) 10 (17) 7 (14) - 5 (1) -

Note: The "regional swing model" is more fully explained in a paper presented by Dr. Barry Kay to the 2009 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, entitled "A Regional Swing Model for Converting Canadian Popular Vote into Parliamentary Seats 1963-2008." It should be noted that the application of the model above does not make use of the "incumbency effect" described in that paper. In tests for past elections, using late campaign polls to project electoral outcomes, the model has proved to be accurate within an average of four seats per party since 1963. Readers interested in post-dictions for past federal elections dating back to 1963, for projections using pre-election polls dating back to the 1980 federal election and for three Ontario provincial elections, may contact me at [email protected].

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