February 7, 2011 by Joseph Krohn
Little change would be the result, if a federal election was held this month.
The governing Conservative Party would still hold unto a minority government with 138 seats, which is approximately 45% of the seats in the House of Commons. This would present a decrease of 5 seats for the Conservatives or a decrease of about 3%.
The opposition Liberal’s hope is to win enough seats to be able to form a coalition with the NDP and then form the government. Their seat count would increase from 77 to 96, a gain of 19 seats. This would increase their seat count by approximately 24%. Much of their gain is at the expense of their sister party the New Democrats, thus dashing their hopes to outweigh the Tories. The NDP and Liberal projected seat count combined being: 117 (21 less than the Conservatives).
The Bloc is expected to gain 6 seats in their fortress of Quebec, raising their total from 47 to 53. There is a real need for a federalist party to court the Quebec voters, especially with the 75 seats found in this province. Quebec is an important province to carry, 25 of the 40 general elections held in Canada since confederation was determined by the governing party’s seat count here in this province. A future majority government for the Conservatives or Liberals depends on this province. In Mr. Chretien’s era, he was able to win three consecutive majorities without Quebec, because the Progressive Conservatives and the Reform Parties had divided the right — allowing the Liberals to sweep into power. It all comes down to which political party can promise the most… not necessarily deliver, just promise…
The New Democrats under Jack Layton have the most to lose, with a potential decrease of 15 seats or 41% of their seat count. It might be time for Mr. Layton to realize that his party’s closeness to the Liberals is eating away at his right flank. The NDP should be focusing their attacks on the Liberal Party, with the hope of picking up the left wing voters. The NDP’s future depends on how many seats they can take from the Liberals. If the NDP campaign well, resulting in persuading Liberal voters to come their way, it could very well allow a Conservative majority without the support of Quebec. The Liberals are very afraid of this… but not so much of a Conservative majority, as the fear of coming third to the NDP. In the 1984 general election it was realized that the NDP had the potential to overtake the federal Liberals. Mulroney’s Conservatives captured 211 seats, the Liberals 40 and the NDP 30 seats. Yes, the Liberals have reason to be nervous.
The next federal election may determine a change in scenery for some of the party leaders:
- 51% – favour Mr. Harper to stay on as leader of the Conservatives if he should loose the election.
- 27% – want Mr. Ignatieff to remain as Liberal chief (signally that he might return to Harvard as the Conservative ads suggest!)
- 60% – would love Mr. Layton to remain when he loses the 41st general election to the Liberals or the Conservatives.
- 66% of Quebecers want Mr. Duceppe to remain as the head of the treasonous Bloc Separatist Party.
Yes, this spring promises to be a little more interesting as the parties continue to battle it out on the Hill.