Projections update September 17th: Liberals possibly in majority territory

With new polls from Ipsos, Mainstreet and Nanos yesterday, the projections have moved a little bit. Thanks to strong numbers in Quebec and Ontario, the Liberals of Justin Trudeau are right at the door of another majority.

Before going further, here are the projections:

The riding by riding projections:

I understand that it might seem weird given some of the recent trends regarding the nationwide numbers. Nanos for instance has shown the Tories moving from almost a 3 points deficit to a 1 point lead in 3 days. Mainstreet has also seen the CPC rising.

But Ipsos, that had the CPC ahead, now has them tied with the Grits. More importantly however, the numbers in Quebec and Ontario are just too good for the Liberals. and they might actually be undesestimated there!

As I was discussing the other day (in French), the collapse of the NDP in Quebec is opening wide open a door to many gains for the Liberals. Trudeau and his candidates don't even need to gain votes or anything, they'll likely recover a majority of the 16 NDP seats from 2015. The Conservatives are doing fairly well in Quebec (slightly above 20%) and would likely keep their seats and make some gains. But their support is simply way too concentrated to really prevent the Liberals from winning 50+ seats. Could it change? Sure, I mean everything is possible. But Scheer's French is definitely inferior to Harper's. I don't really see any reason why the Conservatives would suddenly go above 25% in that province.

The Bloc could. Almost dead in 2011, this party is now on the rise. At 20-22% in the polls, it's still too low to really compete with the LPC in most of the province. However, we can easily imagine the Bloc gaining back some of the NDP votes. Should the nationalist party climb back to 25% and above, this could cost the Liberals multiple seats (in the east of Montreal island, the suburbs and elsewhere). The Bloc's message is very well aligned with the CAQ's one and this party remains extremely popular in Quebec.

I should mention that Mainstreet is providing riding polls and so far, in Quebec, they show the NDP even lower than the national polls. It's possible the party of Jagmeet Singh is below 5%! The Liberals, on the other hand, are higher in those polls by a few points. I haven't made any adjustment yet but it'll come soon. So if you're somehow hoping for the national polls to be wrong and overestimate the Liberals, well the riding polls are bad news for you.

Then there is Ontario. This is the province Andrew Scheer needs to win. Without major breakthrough in Quebec, he can't afford to be behind in Ontario. Sure he's in very good positions in the Prairies, Alberta and especially BC to make significant gains, but he'll fall short of the magic number of 169 without Ontario. As a matter of fact, he would fall of even creating any suspense and finish behind the Liberals.

Polls have been fairly clear over the last two weeks: Trudeau and the Liberals are ahead in Canada's most populous province. Yes they might be down compared to 2015 (and it's actually not sure), but they are still ahead. And by enough to maybe win a majority. The seats they'd lose would be compensated by the gains in Quebec.

There as well the riding polls are showing that the Liberals might actually be even higher than what the national polls are indicating. And the NDP is below any expectations. I'm talking of the NDP collapsing below 10% in Ontario. Yes that seems absurd but those are the current numbers.

The one thing surprising to me is that all those numbers don't match well with a very detailed Innovative survey. In this one, we can clearly see that the Liberals are actually down among some major groups of voters, including what they refer to as the "core left". So you wouldn't really imagine the Liberals being able to compensate some losses by having some NDP voters joining them. More importantly, you have the "Canadian dream strugglers" where the Tories are now ahead. Those are exactly the people targeted by the Conservative campaign. So it's a little bit surprising to see the Liberals doing so well in Ontario where non-horse race numbers would point to a less favourable scenario (that includes the numbers regarding a desire for change).

In any case, I think it's fairly obvious the campaign is just starting. The Liberals will need to play defense for one long month. In Quebec the Bloc will attack them non-stop on bill 21. A Leger poll published recently clearly indicated that a vast majority of Quebecois support this bill. Although, it should be said, there might be just enough of a sizable minority for the Liberals to win enough votes.

In Ontario, I'd expect the CPC's message to resonate well in the GTA. Google Trends is showing that people are starting to learn more about Andrew Scheer. And while I don't think his campaign was spectacular during the first week, he also seems to be delivering his message to the people he wants.