Final projections: Tory minority, NDP official opposition.

Here we are, the final projections! So let's answer the big question first: Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are projected to win this election, but only with another minority. So the big wish of Harper to finally get his majority is not projected to happen. It could still happen (look at the total safe+100% all races for the Tories), but it will all come down to Ontario. It's way more likely to be another minority. Thus the official call of this site.

The second big news is the NDP finishing second, thanks to a big surge in Quebec as well as, to a lesser extent, in the rest of Canada. Jack Layton is projected to become the leader of the opposition surely. Will he be the PM within the next 3 months? Maybe, it all depends on two things. First, how will Harper react to another minority? Will he try to reach out to the opposition or not? Also, will the Liberals support the NDP or the Tories? I would say that a big factor in this equation is whether NDP+LPC have the majority. But all this is beyond the basic objective of this website and will not be resolved until weeks.

For the Liberals and the Bloc, it's like a race for the biggest collapse. For the Grits and Michael Ignatieff, this election could well be remembered as the equivalent of 93 for the Tories (although, I'm not saying the Liberals will only elect two MPs)! They have no chance to win this election and are even out of reach of the second place.

As for the Bloc, for the first time since this party exists, it will almost surely finish second in Quebec! And not only in the number of votes as in 2000 (when the Liberals finished first), but also in the number of seats. This is historic. In the worst case scenario, Gilles Duceppe could even lose his seat and/or be the leader of only 10 MPs. Please notive that the projection of 14 seats is probably too harsh. Indeed, the Bloc is projected to win only 4 out of 20 close races. It's too low, the Bloc should probably be projected around 19 seats. And Liberals and CPC should be a little bit lower in la Belle Province.

So let's go region by region.

1. Atlantic Canada.

It was a source of a lot of potential gains for the Tories at the beginning of the campaign. However, recent regional polls, as well as some polls conducted in specific ridings in NF-L, tend to show that the Tories won't make many gains there. Remember that my model take into account the fact that the regional swing for the each party has two components: the ABC effect and an actual regional swing. That could be very important to predict the numbers of seats won by each party outside of NF-L. Indeed, imagine everything is the same except that the ABC is gone. That would result in a regional lead of 6-points for the Tories! But if you don't adjust for the fact that this increase is entirely in NF-L, you'll overestimate the Tories everywhere else, in particular in IPE.

In this region, the party who is actually likely to make gains is the NDP which was projected to finish first in many last minute polls. Finishing first in the Atlantic won't likely give Jack Layton the majority of the seats in this region (mostly because of the large majorities a lot of Liberals in incumbent had in 2008), but would boost the numbers of MPs from 4 to potentially 8.

2. Quebec.

Ok let's be clear here: this province will likely be completely crazy. I worked very hard on my model for this province, trying many specifications, in order to be as correct as possible in the context of a possible historic orange wave. At the end, my projections are favourable to the NDP but less than a pure uniform swing model. If you compare my projections to the ones from Ekos for instance (which uses, I'm sure, a uniform swing), you'll see the Bloc and Liberals higher and the NDP a little lower. While I completely believe the NDP will finish first in this province, I think it will fall short of a total sweep where the Bloc would fall to 10 seats or less. However, no matter the specification of the model used, the number of seats won by the NDP vary a lot depending on whether this party gets 37% or 40% of the votes (and alternatively, whether the Bloc gets 25 or 28%). So it could really go either way, but I choose the medium one. You can see the high volatility in the 95% CI.

3. Ontario.

This is the key of a possible Tory majority. Actually, it is really the only place where it can happen. As I said, the Atlantic is unlikely to provide Harper with enough seats, while the CPC will probably be happy to lose only 3 seats in Quebec! In Ontario, the potential gains are mostly in the GTA, in particular in the suburb of Toronto (in the west 905). However, the Conservatives have been polled around 41% (+2 compared to 2008) consistently during the entire campaign. This provincial swing would probably not be enough to secure enough gains. Yes the CPC might shift its support to the GTA, but that would then mean they would be down somewhere else in the province. Given the surge of the NDP, that could well result in some losses. So the overall net gains will, in all likelihood, not be enough to reach a majority (the Tories basically need to win 65-70 seats in this province). One way it could happen is if the NDP "only" reaches 23% and the Liberals fall to 28%. That scenario would lead to a lot of vote splitting and give some seats to the Tories.

4. Prairies/Alberta.

I haven't covered these regions very much during this campaign. But I had a good reason: we haven't seen much change in the polls. The Conservatives will surely win a large majority of the seats over there. Will they make any gains? Maybe some riding, but the overall results should be, at best, very similar to 2008. The NDP could even make gains there. This party will also likely keep its only Alberta riding.

5. British Columbia.

The Tories already won 22 of the 36 ridings in 2008, so they don't have that many potential gains. With the NDP polled close second in some recent polls, the only hope for the Tories is to steal some seats from the collapsing Liberals. For instance Vancouver South where the Liberals incumbent won by only 21 votes last time. However, the Conservatives candidate got into a lot of troubles during the campaign. On a personal note ( I live in Vancouver Kingsway but I drive a lot in Van South), I would say I saw more Liberals sign this time around than in 08. So I think the Liberals will lose some seats, but not all of them. In any ways, Harper just can't really count on BC to get a majority, not with the NDP so high.

Also, Elizabeth May is projected to lose her riding but it will be a close race. I actually wouldn' be surprised if she won, mostly thanks to a heavy campaign from the Green and a lot of Liberals voters switching. Her "boost" might be even bigger than estimated using the 2006 by-election and the Nova-Scotia run of 2008 (I "boost" her by 20-points in the model, more than any other candidate).

Here is the pdf
. Enjoy the election!