STRONG LIBERAL MINORITY MOST LIKELY OUTCOME
IN our final poll for the 44th federal election campaign, we are predicting that the Liberals will capture the most seats on Monday. Given the trends over the past week and the regional patterns, we feel comfortable that the Liberals are going to win with a minority of seats, though it is unclear whether this will be a strengthened or diminished minority. Given the seat-efficient distribution of Liberal support, combined with recent movements in Ontario, the party has a plausible path to a majority, though a minority is still the most likely outcome.
Momentum seems to be favouring the Liberals, who have been edging steadily upward over the past few days, particularly in Ontario. The Conservative Party has seen a decline and are five points behind the Liberals. The Conservatives stumbled in the later stages of the campaign over issues such as guns and vaccines which, when combined with the rise in People’s Party support, appears to have thwarted the Conservatives’ aspirations for victory.
The Bloc Québécois, which faltered early in the campaign, has recovered and appears to be on track to repeat their 2019 performance. The NDP has been mired at or slightly below 20 points for the entirety of the campaign. However, the party does extremely well in British Columbia and among young people (particularly young women) and they are on track to expand their seat count slightly. The Green Party, despite their organizational meltdown earlier this year, is likely to hold on to its two seats and may very well pick up a third. The People’s Party has surged into a clear fourth place in recent weeks; however, their support is spread thinly across the country and given the nature of Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system, they are unlikely to capture any seats on Monday.
Our final projected seat tallies are as follows:
The results look very similar to the previous Parliament. There remain, however, a few key areas of uncertainty that could affect the final outcome. The critical factors will be Ontario and Quebec. In particular, the movements in Ontario over the past week have been quite profound and, if they hold, the Liberals will improve slightly on their last showing and may very well be on the cusp of a majority.
Another major wild card is the emergence of the People’s Party. While the party is unlikely to win any seats, they will nevertheless play a major role in shaping the final outcome. If the party’s supporters stay true to their stated vote intentions, the Liberals are headed towards a decisive minority win, if not a majority. Most notably, the People’s Party is at 19 points in Alberta, eating into what would otherwise be an insurmountable Conservative lead, which could see the Liberals eke out a few seats in the province.
If People’s Party supporters turn to the Conservative Party at the eleventh hour, deciding an O’Toole-led government would be the lesser of two evils, the picture becomes murkier. There are several conflicting factors telling us what is going to happen to People’s Party support come Monday. First, their support is disproportionately concentrated among the youth a group that routinely disappoints on Election Day (the party is at 17% among those under 35, but just 4% among seniors). People’s Party supporters are also the least likely to have already voted, meaning they have the most room to change their minds. However, the party’s supporters are also the most enthusiastic. Indeed, when we asked decided voters about their enthusiasm regarding their current choice, People’s Party voters are by far the most enthusiastic (65% say enthusiastic), beating out the Conservative Party (57%) and utterly eclipsing the Liberal Party and NDP (39% and 47%, respectively).
All in all, the 44th Canadian general election is shaping up to be one of the most uncertain elections in recent political history. In the interest of transparency, we are providing both our unadjusted numbers and the results to our likely voter model. The results are largely similar, though the Conservative Party has a somewhat stronger position under the likely voter model. Either way, it appears certain that the Liberal Party is headed towards victory tomorrow.