(Almost) first day day of the campaign: game over already?

I know we are not officially in election right now, but everybody knows we actually are. So we have our first poll, conducted between March 22nd and 23rd, thus at a time where the government had already fallen or was about to. It is from Ipsos-Reid. If this poll is true, it's game over already! Just remember that you are supposed to apply the margins of error to these results. Still, it's an interesting experiment to use this single poll for projections.

Remember when I posted this? Showing the huge gap that happened between the CPC and LPC right at the beginning of the last election? And how I thought that could well happen again. Well, it's too early to tell, but the Conservatives sure are happy to fall tomorrow.

This poll is just crazy and, let's face it, some of the numbers are more than likely due to a small sample size (and/or at the extreme of the margins of error). But still, I believe they reflect a general trend going on. The Tories have a 19-points lead nationwide. In Ontario, they stand at 46%, 16-points ahead. In Atlantic, they even stand at 54%! (I don't believe this number if you ask me though). They are even up in Quebec (25%) and let's not mention everything west of Ontario.

With this poll only, you get the projections above. Yes it isn't a typo, the Conservatives could win as many as 183 seats. If you look at the detailed projections here, you see that the new seats would mostly come from the Atlantic and Ontario. Again, while I can believe the big lead in Ontario, I trully think the Tories are not at 54% in Atlantic Canada and this is only due to a sample size of less than 200. But even if we use an average of other polls for this region, we would still get the Tories with 168 seats.

The Liberals would not even finish as the official opposition. Again, if we use an average for the Atlantic, this party would get 59 seats. Miacheal Ignatieff would still go back to Harvard if that was the case. You have to admit that it would be a weird situation, with the Conservatives getting a huge majority without any breakthrough in Quebec, and the Bloc as the official opposition!

Time will tell us if this poll was simply way off or not. But as John Ivison from the NP writes, it would be almost impossible for Ignatieff to avoid a big loss on May 2nd. And you should really wonder how on earth did the opposition parties decide to take the government down!

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