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What the Conservatives, NDP, and Liberals need to win: Éric Grenier

Whether it starts early or late, the election campaign is on. And each of the parties is looking over the electoral map to find their own path to victory.

The Hill Times photographs by Jake Wright
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

OTTAWA—Whether it starts early or late, the election campaign is on. And each of the parties is looking over the electoral map to find their own path to victory.

The New Democrats might have the easiest path, considering they’re already on it. If an election were held today, the NDP would likely win enough seats to form a minority government. That would also likely be enough for Thomas Mulcair to become prime minister. After almost 10 years of Conservative rule, the Liberals would be hard-pressed to justify toppling the new progressive government.

Three provinces give the NDP the seats they need to win. By keeping the Conservatives weak in British Columbia, the party can win 22 to 27 seats in the province. Add to that 26 to 33 seats in Ontario, as long as the race remains three-headed, and 50 to 55 seats in Quebec, as long as Gilles Duceppe doesn’t boost the Bloc back to competitive levels of support, and the NDP already has enough seats to potentially come out on top.

But the party will need a little more than that to secure 24 Sussex Dr. Capitalizing on its provincial counterpart’s popularity, the federal NDP would need to wrestle away four to six seats in Alberta, particularly in Edmonton. The New Democrats would also look to win another six to nine seats in the Prairies, thanks in large part to new boundaries in Saskatchewan, and the retention of the NDP’s Manitoba seats in the face of an unpopular provincial government. In Atlantic Canada, if the NDP can continue to eat into the Liberals’ lead, they can hope for six to nine seats. The three seats in the north could jump on the bandwagon as well.

If the New Democrats can pull this off, they could win anywhere from 114 to 142 seats. That’s more than enough to head-up a minority government.

The Liberals can also target a similar number of seats, as a minority government led by Justin Trudeau would be just as unlikely to be defeated quickly.

It all comes down to Central and Eastern Canada for the Liberals. Ontario is most important, as the party needs some 58 to 63 seats. This can only happen if the Liberals can push the NDP out of contention in the province and regain the support they have lost in Ontario over the last few months. Another 18 to 30 seats would be needed in Quebec, which might be the hardest target to reach. It would need a little help from Duceppe to weaken the NDP, but also some movement of francophone Quebecers from the New Democrats to the Liberals.

A rebound in Atlantic Canada would desperately be needed to hand 22 to 23 seats to the Liberals there, but the West cannot be neglected either. Trudeau would need to rely on his B.C. roots to eat into the NDP’s support in the province and win 11 to 14 seats. He’d have to put his party back into position as the main alternative to the Tories in Alberta and win four seats there, primarily in Calgary. And a strong performance in Manitoba, along with Ralph Goodale’s re-election in Saskatchewan, could deliver seven seats in the Prairies. Here again, the North could get on board with Trudeaumania, giving the Liberals anywhere from 120 to 144 seats.

The electoral math is much more complicated for the Conservatives, who cannot aim for a minority government. With the Bloc Québécois no longer mucking up the numbers, the NDP and Liberals could easily combine for a majority of seats if the Conservatives do not get one themselves. That doesn’t necessarily mean a coalition, but it does mean a short-lived Conservative minority, if it ever gets to the Throne Speech to begin with.

So for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, it is majority or bust. That means 170 seats, or at least a minority so close to that mark that the opposition parties would not be able to combine for a majority without the support of the Bloc. 

A return to dominance in Ontario is needed for this to happen, with the party capturing 70 to 87 seats. This would require corralling all the voters that cast a ballot for the Tories in 2011. The Conservatives would also need to rebuild bridges with the West, knocking down the NDP in British Columbia to take 19 to 25 seats and counting on a split of the vote in Alberta and the Prairies to win 27 to 30 seats in the former and 19 to 20 seats in the latter.

But that alone won’t be enough. The Conservatives need to survive in Atlantic Canada with some nine to 13 seats, taking votes away from the Liberals. And the Conservatives can no longer ignore Quebec in the context of two formidable opposition parties winning seats in the rest of the country. They’d need 18 to 19 seats in the province, which could happen if the Conservatives take away enough soft nationalists from the Bloc and NDP. The party can also not afford to lose its two seats in the North.

Altogether, that gives the Conservatives between 164 and 194 seats. This keeps the Conservatives in power. But it poses a big challenge for the Tories, who have bled supporters significantly in British Columbia and Ontario and appear dead in the water in Atlantic Canada. The NDP’s breakthrough in Alberta can’t be swept aside so easily either. A minority government is more achievable, but in the polarized political climate in Ottawa it is no longer a plausible option for Stephen Harper.

Éric Grenier writes about politics and polls at ThreeHundredEight.com.

news@hilltimes.com

The Hill Times


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What the Conservatives, NDP, and Liberals need to win: Éric Grenier

Whether it starts early or late, the election campaign is on. And each of the parties is looking over the electoral map to find their own path to victory.

The Hill Times photographs by Jake Wright
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

OTTAWA—Whether it starts early or late, the election campaign is on. And each of the parties is looking over the electoral map to find their own path to victory.

The New Democrats might have the easiest path, considering they’re already on it. If an election were held today, the NDP would likely win enough seats to form a minority government. That would also likely be enough for Thomas Mulcair to become prime minister. After almost 10 years of Conservative rule, the Liberals would be hard-pressed to justify toppling the new progressive government.

Three provinces give the NDP the seats they need to win. By keeping the Conservatives weak in British Columbia, the party can win 22 to 27 seats in the province. Add to that 26 to 33 seats in Ontario, as long as the race remains three-headed, and 50 to 55 seats in Quebec, as long as Gilles Duceppe doesn’t boost the Bloc back to competitive levels of support, and the NDP already has enough seats to potentially come out on top.

But the party will need a little more than that to secure 24 Sussex Dr. Capitalizing on its provincial counterpart’s popularity, the federal NDP would need to wrestle away four to six seats in Alberta, particularly in Edmonton. The New Democrats would also look to win another six to nine seats in the Prairies, thanks in large part to new boundaries in Saskatchewan, and the retention of the NDP’s Manitoba seats in the face of an unpopular provincial government. In Atlantic Canada, if the NDP can continue to eat into the Liberals’ lead, they can hope for six to nine seats. The three seats in the north could jump on the bandwagon as well.

If the New Democrats can pull this off, they could win anywhere from 114 to 142 seats. That’s more than enough to head-up a minority government.

The Liberals can also target a similar number of seats, as a minority government led by Justin Trudeau would be just as unlikely to be defeated quickly.

It all comes down to Central and Eastern Canada for the Liberals. Ontario is most important, as the party needs some 58 to 63 seats. This can only happen if the Liberals can push the NDP out of contention in the province and regain the support they have lost in Ontario over the last few months. Another 18 to 30 seats would be needed in Quebec, which might be the hardest target to reach. It would need a little help from Duceppe to weaken the NDP, but also some movement of francophone Quebecers from the New Democrats to the Liberals.

A rebound in Atlantic Canada would desperately be needed to hand 22 to 23 seats to the Liberals there, but the West cannot be neglected either. Trudeau would need to rely on his B.C. roots to eat into the NDP’s support in the province and win 11 to 14 seats. He’d have to put his party back into position as the main alternative to the Tories in Alberta and win four seats there, primarily in Calgary. And a strong performance in Manitoba, along with Ralph Goodale’s re-election in Saskatchewan, could deliver seven seats in the Prairies. Here again, the North could get on board with Trudeaumania, giving the Liberals anywhere from 120 to 144 seats.

The electoral math is much more complicated for the Conservatives, who cannot aim for a minority government. With the Bloc Québécois no longer mucking up the numbers, the NDP and Liberals could easily combine for a majority of seats if the Conservatives do not get one themselves. That doesn’t necessarily mean a coalition, but it does mean a short-lived Conservative minority, if it ever gets to the Throne Speech to begin with.

So for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, it is majority or bust. That means 170 seats, or at least a minority so close to that mark that the opposition parties would not be able to combine for a majority without the support of the Bloc. 

A return to dominance in Ontario is needed for this to happen, with the party capturing 70 to 87 seats. This would require corralling all the voters that cast a ballot for the Tories in 2011. The Conservatives would also need to rebuild bridges with the West, knocking down the NDP in British Columbia to take 19 to 25 seats and counting on a split of the vote in Alberta and the Prairies to win 27 to 30 seats in the former and 19 to 20 seats in the latter.

But that alone won’t be enough. The Conservatives need to survive in Atlantic Canada with some nine to 13 seats, taking votes away from the Liberals. And the Conservatives can no longer ignore Quebec in the context of two formidable opposition parties winning seats in the rest of the country. They’d need 18 to 19 seats in the province, which could happen if the Conservatives take away enough soft nationalists from the Bloc and NDP. The party can also not afford to lose its two seats in the North.

Altogether, that gives the Conservatives between 164 and 194 seats. This keeps the Conservatives in power. But it poses a big challenge for the Tories, who have bled supporters significantly in British Columbia and Ontario and appear dead in the water in Atlantic Canada. The NDP’s breakthrough in Alberta can’t be swept aside so easily either. A minority government is more achievable, but in the polarized political climate in Ottawa it is no longer a plausible option for Stephen Harper.

Éric Grenier writes about politics and polls at ThreeHundredEight.com.

news@hilltimes.com

The Hill Times

  
Parliamentary Calendar
Wednesday, December 31, 1969
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
World Press Photo 15 exhibit premiere at the Canadian War Museum, July 22 July 24, 2015

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
A woman takes in the third prize for contemporary issues single photos by Italian photographer Fulvio Bugani. His series is called 'Waria: Being a Different Muslim.'
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Cees Cole, Netherlands ambassador to Canada.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Mark O’Neill, president and CEO at the Canadian War and History museums.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
World Press Photo representative Noortje Gorter.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Photographer Chris Roussakis, Hill Times reporter Rachel Aiello, photographer Cynthia Münster and Hill Times online editor Bea Vongdouangchanh.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
The music from these two string musicians flowed through the gallery all evening.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Jeanine DeVos taking in the exhibit.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Mark O’Neill, president and CEO at the Canadian War and History museums, with Silvie Morel.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Cynthia and Yves Bled.

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