Start fizzy, end flat?

What is it about starting a federal election as the front runner? Parties that enjoy a lead at the outset almost always seem to fade at bit. In the past four elections the pre-campaign top party drifted down anywhere from two to six points by election day.

The current Conservatives, who once looked to be climbing slowly but surely toward a majority, now seem to be in danger of continuing the pattern. According to Ekos today, to pluck one poll among many, the Tories now stand at 36 per cent, down from 38 per cent in the last pre-writ Ekos poll.

The only exception to this rule in the past 15 federal elections came in 1974, when Trudeau’s Liberals rose to 43 per cent on election day from 40 per cent in the last pre-campaign survey.

I’ve written elsewhere that I see similarities between the ‘74 Liberal campaign and the ‘08 Tory one, so maybe there’s reason to imagine Stephen Harper beating the front-runner’s curse.

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