April 22nd: new projections

With the recent NDP's surge, I need to revise my projections based on the average of most recent polls. After all, the NDP pointing around 30% in Quebec has been shown not in 1 poll, not in 2, but in 4 (Ekos, Ipsos, Forum and Crop). And I'm sure Nanos will soon show the same things, as soon as their 3-days rolling panel is replaced with new interviews. Therefore here you go, these are the new latest projections.

Let's start with the "star" of the moment: the NDP. They are up to a all-time high of 47 seats, mostly thanks to the 8 seats in Quebec. And if the trend observed in the last 4 polls keep going, they will soon be projected to win way more than that. By the way, 4 polls provide us with quite accurate results. Indeed, using only these four polls, we would get the following margins of errors in Quebec (note: I'm "giving" MOE to the Crop poll even though it was conducted online and is thus not a perfectly random sample. I honestly don't think it's such a big deal to be conducted online as Angus-Reid has been doing that for years and they have been very accurate):

MOE for the average of four polls: ±2.29%

CPC: 18.5%
LPC: 16.3%
NDP: 32.7%
Green: 3.2%
Bloc: 27.6%

So as you can, even by applying the MOE, we still get the NDP above 30%! At 95% confidence intervals, you can thus exclude the NDP to be below this threshold. Using this average only, we would get 26 NDP seats in Quebec and 26 Bloc. For the country, the NDP would finish close third with 66 seats, while the Conservatives are mostly unaffected (at 145 seats) since the NDP's gains are from Quebec. I'm not confortable enough to use these four polls only for the "official" projections yet. I provide this information out of curiosity, that's all.

So we have two main questions regarding the NDP: will the surge last in Quebec? And secondly, will it spread elsewhere? In 2006, most of the gains for Harper came from Quebec, so it isn't impossible that the rise will be contained in one province. I lived in Quebec and I have observed its politics for years. It's a very particular place where waves and movements happen really fast. In 2006, Harper started the campaign at 5% and finished at 25% with 10 MPs. In 2007, the ADQ rose from 4 MLAs and 15% to 31%, 39 MLAs and almost won the government! So can the NDP really get a lot of new MPs there? Totally! Of course, they will now be under attacked from the Bloc on a daily basis but you only have one week to go. Besides, it's easy for Gilles Duceppe to scare Quebecois off with things such as "abortion", Bush-like" or "oil sands" when he has to fight the Conservatives. But it's a all other story when he has to fight the NDP who shares so many policies with the Bloc. In many ways, the Bloc is a separatist NDP (I know I'll upset some die hard Bloc fans here, but this is the truth). The only card the Bloc can play is that the NDP is likely too "centralisateur" but I'm not sure this is the high issue in Quebec right now.

The other parties except the Bloc are not affected (yet) by the NDP's surge. Even though this party is clearly up in recent polls outside of Quebec, it isn't big enough to cause majors changes. I'm pretty sure Harper is not too worried at the moment as it doesn't really change his game plan for a majority. He is where he was 1 week ago: he needs 10 seats. On the other hand, Michael Ignatieff must be wondering what to do. If he spends the last week attacking the NDP, he could potentially leave Harper alone and lose some ridings in the GTA. This strategy would make sense though as this is what they have been trying to do since the beginning: getting vote from the NDP. It might be too late though.

You can see the riding-by-ridings pdf here. If you look in Quebec, you can see the NDP is winning a lot of close races, but is also losing quite a lot! What this means is that the NDP is clearly in the "paying zone" in this province. Every additional percentage point (especially if taken from the Bloc) could result in many new seats. I'd pay big money to see the partisans of the Bloc trying to change their startegy at the last moment (I'm sure they never planned on having ads against the NDP!).

The next couple of days will tell us if we can really expect this orange wave on May 2nd or not.