Minority government almost guaranteed, say experts
As the longest federal election campaign in recent memory draws to a close, experts say a minority government in Ottawa is almost guaranteed come Monday night.
Barry Kay of the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Polling has been churning out seat projections in the final weeks of the race, and told The West Block‘s Tom Clark that the growth in support for the Liberals has been substantial, but seems to have slowed as the parties approach the finish line.
“The Liberals have stopped growing in Ontario,” Kay said.
“The Liberals are substantially ahead of the Conservatives, but nobody is anywhere in near a position of being in a majority government circumstance.”
Darrell Bricker, CEO at Ipsos Public Affairs, noted that the numbers he is seeing today are nearly identical to the ones pollsters were observing one year ago. The Liberals are out in front with 37 per cent, followed by the Conservative Party at 31 per cent and the NDP with 24 per cent support nationally.
“As Shakespeare would say, a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing,” Bricker said of the intervening 12 months. “So essentially, we’ve expanded a lot of ammunition and not gained very much ground.”
Kay pointed out that a great deal has shifted over the past year, but that ultimately, Canadians do appear to be back where they started.
As for what to expect come Monday night, Bricker and Kay said it’s likely that voters will be up late waiting for British Columbia’s results to start pouring in before a firm declaration can be made about who has emerged victorious. That will be especially true if the ridings in Toronto and the surrounding regions don’t all get snapped up by the Liberals.
“Unlike the old days, British Columbia’s polls close only a half an hour after everyone else,” Kay noted.
“I expect lots of close seats, especially in the suburban ring just on the east side of Vancouver.”
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