A brand new set of polls from Ipsos, Pollara and Leger among approximately 3000 respondents released this week with virtually identical results, suggest that popular support levels in Ontario at the moment are NDP 38%, Conservatives 37%, and Liberals 21%. When that gets translated into seats through the LISPOP algorithm, the totals are Conservatives 64, NDP 48, and Liberals 12. This would put the province on the verge of minority government. The Conservatives could only lose one more seat and retain a majority. The discrepancy between vote support and seat totals results from the Conservative vote being more efficiently distributed than the New Democrats, who would waste votes by winning a number of ridings by big margins. All these polls were conducted before the Ford membership buying tape was known, and this Sunday's leadership debate could also have a huge impact upon the election outcome.
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.