April 2nd: Conservatives at 41% in Nanos poll, but growth kinda "useless"

The boost the Liberals got 3 days ago, when they jumped 4-points to 32%, seems to be going away slowly. Of course, I'm well aware that if you apply the margins of errors, most (if not all) the changes observed so far are not significant (especially at the provincial level since the MOE are so big). But writing a post everyday about unsignificant changes would be kind of boring. So I don't bother much about this, I take what we see.

At first, you would think that the latest Nanos poll is only good news for the Tories. 41.3% nationally? 11-points ahead of the Liberals? Well not so fast, it depends where this lead comes from. And the increase comes mostly from Quebec where the Conservatives are at 26.7%. In the mean time, in Ontario, the 16-points lead observed the other day has been reduced to 45-34.5 lead. Still comfortable but maybe not enough to win a big majority (my post next week in the NP will be about what the Conservatives need in order to gain seats in Ontario and specifically in the GTA). As for the Prairies, increasing the level of support over there is really useless for Stephen Harper. Finally, this Nanos poll still gives the lead to the Liberals in the Atlantic. So at the end, despite a huge national lead, the potential gains for the Conservatives aren't that big. Let's focus on Quebec.

In 2008, with 21.7% of the votes, the Conservatives got 11 seats (including André Arthur). In 2006, with 24.6%, they got... 11 seats. Ok the Bloc's support decreased as well during the two elections and that explains partially why the CPC didn't lose seat. But the big story is: their seats are safe. That also means: potential gains are difficult! If we use the Nanos poll only with the Tories at 26.7% and the Bloc at only 35.8%, we get the following:

CPC: 13 seats
LPC: 17
NDP: 2
Bloc: 43

Surprinsigly, the Tories are not the party who gets the msot benefits from the drop of the Bloc. Their only gains would be Chicoutimi-le-Fjord and Louis-Hébert. They would also get close in the following ridings (and I'm being very generous in my definition of close): Drummond, Gaspésie, Haute-Gaspésie, Abitie-Baie-James, Québec and Montmagny-l'Islet-Kamouraska (won in a by-election). Yes if the Conservatives could get all these ridings, that would represent important gains. But where they stand right now, their national lead isn't that useful as far as gaining seats is concerned.

Of course, as I've said before, the Conservatives might not need a big lead everywhere. They could simply focus on the key ridings they want to win. In Quebec for instance, Harper could visit the 3-4 ridings where gains are possible. And that could well be enough to secure a majority.

By the way, I'll not do daily projections using this Nanos poll as the changes are not big enough. As always, you can simply use the simulator.

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