New seat projection puts Liberals close to majority

A word of caution about polls, then a closer look
The Peace Tower is framed in an archway on the East Block of Parliament Buildings on Parliament Hil in Ottawa, Thursday September 10, 2009. Opposition MPs, and even some Conservatives, agree Canada’s parliamentary committee system is broken.They just don’t agree on what’s gone wrong or who’s to blame. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

A new seat projection based on recent polls shows the federal Liberals cresting close to majority territory. But before we proceed to the details, let’s get the caveat out of the way. Given the surprise outcomes of the most recent Alberta and British Columbia elections, Canadian pundits and politicos are more cautious than ever—or at least should be—about using opinion polls.

Among other problems with polls, voters have this inconvenient habit of changing their minds. Still, tracking their intentions is part of the game. And today, the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy, a research center at Wilfrid Laurier University that uses its own model to translate polling results into hypothetical election outcomes, released its projection based on blending the polls conducted from May 21 to June 19 by Leger, Ipsos, and Forum.

LISPOP shows that Justin Trudeau has put his Liberals in a position to win 166 seats, just three seats shy of what will be needed for a majority in an expanded, 338-seat House for the 2015 election. According to the LISPOP model, those late-May, early-June polls, conducted with the Senate expenses fiasco raging, suggest that an election held now would knock the Tories down to 113 seats. The outlook is even grimmer for New Democrats, who would be relegated to 55 seats, despite overwhelmingly positive reviews for NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair’s prosecutorial performances in question period during the spring House sitting that ended last week.

The Liberal gains are most pronounced in Quebec, according to LISPOP,  and the NDP losses are worst there. But the Trudeau bounce is evident across the country.  Even in Alberta, should the late-spring voter-intention numbers hold, the Liberals stand to pick up a five seats in Edmonton and Calgary, benefitting, according to LISPOP, from redrawing of riding boundaries and the creation of some new constituencies.

Here are the national LISPOP seat projections: