The widely respected www.threehundredeight.com is predicting the NDP will make a massive breakthrough today and become the official opposition. The Tories will end up where they started with 143 seats.
The author of 308 admits his riding by riding polls have wide variations depending on the quality and frequency of underlying poll data but he was pretty close in 2008.
He is predicting no change in New Brunswick and a very limited orange crush effect here. If he is right the NDP wave really didn’t hit New Brunswick.
If he is right, I can’t help but feel the Liberals made somewhat of a strategic mistake by fighting it out for the centre-left/left vote with the NDP, Bloc and Greens. Again I don’t claim much expertise in this area but it seems right now the Conservatives have a lock on about 38% of the vote. What is the hard blue Tory number? What is the percentage that will never vote anything but Conservative? If it is 38%, we are almost certain to be in minority parliaments for a generation or more.
In that case, like other countries, we are liable to see regional and niche parties step up – especially if the NDP gets PR on the agenda. Don’t forget the U.K. The Lib Dems made their coalition dependent on a PR referendum. That could easily happen here and soon if the NDP really does win 78 or more seats.
It is conceivable that a Jack Layton government will be running Canada within 12 months, a PR referendum will be put to Canadians within two years and not that long after, we start to look like Brazil with numerous regional and niche parties forming broad coalition governments.
Or the Conservatives will eke out a majority by taking advantage of Liberal/NDP vote splitting – mostly in the Toronto area.
The NDP/Liberal merge movement will certainly be back in force no matter what happens. If that goes ahead, PR might be taken off the agenda.