NDP surprises in Quebec?

Note: if anybody has the provincial breakdown of the latest Forum Research Poll, I would appreciate a link as I'm currently trying to write a post about projections post-debates. So far, I only have one Nanos poll and one from Ekos.

In my (shorter than usual cause I had a lot of marking to do this week) article today in the NP, I mentioned at the end that people should pay attention to the NDP in Quebec, as this party now stands at almost 20%, even higher in some polls (Ekos for instance). If Jack Layton really gets as many votes on May 2nd, it would be huge. I mean, not so long ago, EVERY BODY in Quebec kept repeating me that the NDP had no chance in this province cause they are "centralisateurs" and blablabla. Back to 2004, the NDP got only 4.6% in Quebec. Then 7.5% in 2006 and up to 12.5% in 2008, with finally a seat (in Outremont) won during a general election (actually, they kept the seat the won during a by-election).

So where could we see surprises? After all, so far, the model only projects 2 NDP seats (Outremont and Gatineau), even with the Bloc around 35%. Well, to be honnest, if the NDP really manages to move from being a third party to (possibly) be the number one federalist party in Quebec, my model is not the best tool to analyze that. I said it before but the model is valid as long as percentages remain within the results of the past elections. Since we never saw the NDP so high in Quebec, we thus need to extrapolate. It's usually fine most of the time, as my model can take care of that (let's say it is "robust" to a little bit of extrapolation). But in this case, we are talking about a game changer swing. Moreover, the NDP seems to be stealing some votes from the Bloc. And by campaigning so much in Quebec and with a good french debate performance, I truly believe a lot of (center-left-wing-urban) federalist voters would now consider the NDP, which is bad news for the Liberals.

So let's look at Outremont first. In 2006, they got 17.2% of the votes. In 2008, it was 39.53%! Yes, as I said, there was a by-election between the two and there is the star effect of having Thomas Mulcair, former cabinet minister for the PLQ. But still, what it shows is that the NDP can jump greatly in some ridings.

Therefore, I think the best thing to do is to look at the projections in each ridings, and every where the NDP was already high in 2008 (by high, I mean over 15-20%), we could expect a larger swing than projected. Also, using the model, you can simply increase the swing for the NDP and input the Bloc lower. This way, you can see where the Bloc is less resilient.

-Hull-Aylmer (yeah yeah there was a poll in this riding showing the NDP behind, but it was a small sample and it was 2 weeks ago)
-Brossard-La Prairie (mostly because Liberals and Bloc were at "only" 30% last time)

As I've said, winning more than the first two ridings would require very large swings in these ridings. But if surprises do happen on May 2nd, I think this list is a safe bet. Basically, we are looking at ridings where the NDP was already above its provincial average and where the Liberals and Bloc are pretty close. This way, by stealing votes from both parties, the NDP can win.

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