With about 36 hours to go until the polls open, it’s time for me to post my totally unscientific, personal-opinion-only musings about the election and what the likely outcomes will be:
- The NDP will win 10 seats in Quebec. With polls showing an NDP surge in support, this could be the breakthrough that Jack Layton was looking for. I don’t, however, believe that Gilles Duceppe’s seat (my riding) will be one of them. I think he’ll hold onto his seat here, albeit by a slim margin.
- The Liberals will under-perform. No, it won’t be a total collapse, a la Progressive Conservatives circa Kim Campbell. They’ll hold onto their safe seats and maybe even steal a couple from the Tories in places where the anti-Tory vote goes Liberal. But the surge in NDP support in Quebec will mostly be at the expense of the Bloc, everywhere else in Canada it will mostly come at the Liberals’ expense.
- NDP/Liberal vote splitting will help the Tories. A cynic would say that the Harper camp is exaggerating the groundswell of support for the NDP, in a classic divide-and-conquer strategy in order to try and engineer a majority. I’m not quite that cynical, and I think the NDP’s support has emerged for a variety of other reasons. But I do think that the Conservatives will pick up a handful of seats due to NDP/Liberal vote splitting. That being said…
- The Conservatives will be held to another minority government. I think that there’s enough anyone-but-Harper support out there, helped by initiatives like Project Democracy, to stave off the dreaded Harper majority. I hope.
- The Greens will once again fail to pick up any seats. Their support has stagnated and there aren’t any ridings where their candidates are demonstrating a lead – or even a close second. The party began as a sensible alternative to the status quo, but has shifted more and more towards the fringe, policy-wise, in the past few years. And with all the mainstream parties (except for the Tories) making environmental issues a big part of their platforms, there are fewer reasons than ever to vote Green.
Remember to vote!