20 ridings to watch according to the National Post: comparisons with the projections

The NP lists 20 ridings where the action will likely take place during this election. This is very interesting but it is based on the results of the last election, and not the CURRENT situation. Using the latest federal proejctions, let's see if those 20 ridings are really that interesting.

Vancouver South: Ujjal Dosanjh won by only 20 votes last time. But thanks to an increased in this province since Ignatieff is the leader, this riding seems safer for the Liberals.

Burnaby-Douglas: Here the NDP would lose this seat won by only 798 votes last time. This is due to the fact that the Tories are pretty stable in BC since 2008, as opposed to the NDP who dropped a couple of points. With that being said, the polls in BC seem to have a high debree of volatitly (most likely due to the small sample size) and sometimes the NDP is pictured as being very high (around 30%), while some other times, this party would finish 3rd, barely ahead of the Green.

Esquimalt-Juan De Fuca: Another seat won by a handful of votes by the Liberals last time. As for Vancouver-South, the margin of victory seems to be safer, but still under 5-points. The question for those ridings is how effective could the Conservatives be in targeting such specific ridings.

Edmonton-Strathcona: The only seat not won by the Tories last election. The projections still give this riding to the NDP, but it's gonna be a close race. If I had to guess today, I would say the NDP will eb able to keep it simply because this party in this province will most liekly invest a lot of money and effort and this simple riding. And the NDP seems to have become quite efficient in that (like Outremont in Quebec).

Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar: close win for the CPC ovet the NDP back in 2008. The model currently projects this riding to stay within the CPC, with a slightly increased majority.

Winipeg North: Weird case for this riding. Easily won by the NDP in 2008, this party lost it to the Liberal in a surprising by-election in 2010. Since the model does an average of the last general election's results and the by-election's ones, this riding is projected as being a safe NDP seat again, despite the incumbency effect now working for the Liberals. It's a very tricky riding to predict when you see such a big difference between a general an a by-election. My feeling is that the notoriety of the Liberal candidate will be less of a factor during a general election.

Kitchener-Center: tough loss for the LPC in 2008, to the CPC. Since then, the Tories have increased their leads in Ontario and are thus projected to not only keep the seat, but have an "easy" win.

Brampton-Springdale: The Conservatives lost this riding by 773 in 2008 and are now projecting to win it by a margin of... 0.7%! So yes, it is definitely a riding you want to watch.

Vaughan: Another tricky case since this riding changed colour after a by-election. After years of Liberal domination, the Conservatives won it back in 2010. The current projections give the riding back to the LPC for... 0.1%!

Eglinton-Lawrence: a close win for the LPC in 2008 and a riding currently projected to be even closer, although the Liberals should be able to keep it.

Simcoy-Grey: A very easy win in 2008 for the Tories, but the MP has since then been ejected from the caucus and is running as an independant. The model currently proejcts this riding to remain a safe Conservatives seat, but I haven't made any adjustment to take into account of this major independant candidate. Will she be able to win? Or will she split the votes enough to aloow a third party to win? I'll have to think more about this one.

Outremont: The surprised win by the NDP during a by-election and the even bigger surprise that this party was able to keep it during a general election. With the NDP being so high in Quebec in almost every poll, it seems Mulcair will keep this seat. But it will largely depend on the star-factor of the new liberal candidat, Martin Cauchon.

Lac-Saint-Louis: easy win for the Liberals in 2008. So why is it on this list? Cause the Tories are running a new star: a former CFL player. It still seems like a really, really long shot to win this riding. Especially with the Tories being usually polled low in Quebec.

Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe: A close win for the LPC last time. Given the new strength of the Tories in the Atlantic, this riding is now projected to switch to the Tories in a very close fight. However, if the rumours of Bernard Lord running are true, I think ths riding will then become a safe win for the CPC. [update: it seems Lord has ruled himself out]

Halifax: honestly, I'm not sure why this riding is on this list. The NDP won it easily last time and are doing quite well provincially in NS. I think the NP is wrong on this one.

Egmont: a win by only 55 votes back in 2008, for the Tories. The projections seem to indicate that the race will indeed be very close again, with a slight edge currently given to the Conservatives.

St-John's South-Mount-Pearl: Not much change there, a close win for the Liberals (over the NDP) in 2008, and currently projected as an unsafe LPC seat. Except that the race is now between the Liberals and the Tories. How is that possible? Well, as I explained in another post, I'm assuming that 50% of the effects of the ABC (anything but Conservatives) campaign are gone. Therefore the Liberals are down, the Tories up and the NDP down. But as it is the case for almost the entire province of NF-L, this is tricky to predict.

The three territories: No change according to the model, but given the lack of polls for those ridings, it's hard to tell.

So here you go, the NP is right in that most (if not all) of those ridings are interesting to watch. As opposed to 2008, we currently project 4 changes as compared to the results of the 2008 election. But with so many close races, it's really hard to tell.