NDP solidifies lead in latest seat projections

The latest seat projections still show Tom Mulcair forming the next government. From left to right: Darryl Dyck, Sean Kilpatrick, Fred Chartrand / The Canadian Press

The NDP is solidifying its lead over the governing Conservatives according to the latest seat projections showing the party with an 18-seat lead.

Harper’s Conservatives have suffered a net loss of five seats over the last two weeks – one in Quebec, three in Ontario, and two in British Columbia (while picking up one in the prairies).

Ontario seats like Brampton Centre, Brampton North, Brantford, Kitchener, Waterloo, London West, Markham-Stouffville, and Oakville have all shifted from leaning Conservative during the last round of projections to being too close to call.

“That’s where the election is won and lost,” Barry Kay, a politics professor at Wilfrid Laurier University said in an interview Tuesday.

The NDP is projected to win four more seats in Quebec, and two more in Ontario, but one fewer seat in B.C. than in the last Lispop projection on Aug. 13.

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“Most of the seats the NDP is seriously competitive in, they’re competing against the Liberals,” Kay said.

The Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy (Lispop) used a blended and weighted aggregation of polls from Forum, Leger, Abacus, Mainstreet, and CROP conducted between Aug. 10 and Aug. 19 with a combined sample size of nearly 12,000 people.

Since the provincial NDP won the May election in Alberta, Kay said, not much has changed.

“Public opinion can move in waves dramatically or it can be quite stable for extended periods of time,” Kay said. “Since mid-June not a whole lot has happened.”

LISPOP’s first seat projection since the Alberta election suggested the NDP was poised to win 130 seats in the House of Commons, the Conservatives 119, and the Liberals 86. In the following two months, the NDP picked up an additional four seats, the Conservatives lost three, and the Liberals haven’t changed.

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Regional breakdown

The Conservatives are still projected to dominate Alberta federally and are expected to win 27 of province’s 34 seats.

The NDP’s base of power continues to be Quebec as it’s expected to pick up 58 of the province’s 78 seats.

“The NDP has moved up a bit in Quebec, largely at the expense of the Bloc Quebecois, I think that’s more than can be explained just by sampling error and the Bloc Quebecois is on the verge of being wiped out. I gave them one seat but it’s very close,” Kay said.

The only area where Quebec is competitive is in the lower Saint Lawrence area near the Gaspe, ridings including Avignon, Becancour and Gaspesie.

“At the moment, they’re all close,” Kay said. “Frankly if the Bloc goes down a point or two in the next iteration, they’re not going to win any.”

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The Liberals hold slight leads in the Atlantic provinces but compete in the prairies, and Ontario, trailing the NDP by two seats, and eight seats, respectively. However the Conservatives are projected to pick up the most seats in those two regions as well.

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