Monday, August 31, 2015

Conservatives in the right position to win

#cdnpoli #cdnelxn2015 - 

Elections are about timing and momentum. After the 1st month, with the CPC, LPC, & NDP in a virtual tie, I'd say the CPC are in an ideal position given the circumstances. 

The postponed Duffy trial has likely effected its maximum damage to the CPC soft-supporters and the party has now seen its low mark--meaning they can only go up from here. 

The NDP have been very good at building quick momentum and timing their support to peak on Election Day.   However, iteems as though they have already peaked--especially in Ontario, Alberta, and BC where a bunch of the new seats are. 

The election issue has become the economy and the deficit and I believe the Libs and NDP have fallen into Harper's trap. 

Justin and the Liberals gambled with a bold announcement for deficit spending to stimulate the economy, while equally having to retreat on attacking Harper on balanced budgets. Now they are instead focusing on Mulcair's numbers and the "big hole" to try and balance the budget with Liberal John McCallum as the attack dog.  And in looking at the affects of NDP provincial policies on their economies, the people might tend to remember. 

Meanwhile, the federal government conveniently announced that for the first quarter this year, there was actually a $5 billion surplus--essentially negating any further argument there from the Liberals or NDP. 

Then lurking in the background is the NDP's $2.7 million own expense scandal, which appears to be gaining some traction among soft-NDP voters and the cause of NDP support slipping. 

Right now, voter attention appears to be on Mulcair. With that look for more Liberal attacks on Mulcair from the left, while the Conservatives hammer from the right.

Justin has a real opportunity here to gain their support and possibly why he made the deficit spending announcement. Will it help the Liberals "shoot up the middle" with voter discontent? It's possible. 

Essentially, what's happening to the NDP is the same ideological squeeze-play the NDP and CPC did to the Liberals last election. 

And it's why far left NDP supporters are calling for Mulcair to move back before it's too late.  But all the NDP needs to do is continue populist policy announcements that ring well in rural BC and Ontario--ironically former Reform Party territory I might add. 

In the end, I think voter turnout will be very low, which plays well for incumbents, why people will vote for the devil they know, why the Conservatives are in a good spot, and why I still think they will win. 


Anonymous said...

I think it's sort of a mixed bag. For the Tories, the bad news is the time for change is really high and with few exceptions when you have 2/3 + saying it's time for change, it's unusual but not unheard of (BC 2013 is one example) to get re-elected. By the same token the demographics the Tories are strongest amongst generally are groups with higher turnouts than those they are weakest amongst. Also in Ontario which is key to winning, I've found the incumbent party be it Liberal or Tory tends to perform around 3-5% better than the polls say while in BC it has been notorious for a lot of shy Tories.

For the Liberals, they are fighting over the anti-Harper votes which are around 2/3 of the population and if the NDP is able to make the case they are the best party to unseat Harper there isn't much they can do. At the same time with the Tory's nasty attack ads, expectations of Justin Trudeau are much lower than a year ago so if he rans a decent campaign and performs better than expected he just might pull it off, although it will likely only be a minority.

For the NDP, there are in reasonable good shape, but unlike in Alberta this past spring, Ontario in 1990, or Quebec last federal election, the fact they are leading this early means they will come under a lot more scrutiny which could hurt them. In the above three cases, they weren't a real threat until less than two weeks before the election so there wasn't enough time to pick apart their weaknesses and parties typically ignore parties they don't think have much chance at winning. By the same token Mulcair is a very strong leader and seasoned veteran so if any NDP leader can push them through it would be him.

So in sum too early to tell as it's anyone's game at this point. A majority for anyone seems highly unlikely due to regional weaknesses (Conservatives east of the Ottawa River, Liberals in Western Canada outside Winnipeg and Lower Mainland, Francophone Quebec, and Rural Ontario; NDP in suburban Ontario, and much of the Prairies as well as some rural Ontario ridings) so although each party could in theory win a majority, it would mean in the Tory's case pretty much holding everything they've got or picking up some new ridings while for the Liberals it would mean winning in ridings they were massively defeated last time around in (i.e. under 20% support) and for the NDP it would mean winning in areas that have never voted NDP before and where they usually aren't a factor.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think things are shaping up poorly. It seems in each region either the Liberals OR the NDP are emerging as the challenger, except in areas where Conservative support has tank. If that continues then the Liberal and NDP support will be distributed far more effectively.

L said...

I am not as confident, but remain hopeful, but am afraid. Mulroney was vilified by all by 1992 and it worked (same media and other lies by others while campaigning), and I think all the anti-Harper sentiment could work, as most voters know nothing about how governments work nor about economics, including what federal governments can actually do or should do to affect the economy. Certainly, this is no time for economic stimulus spending resulting in more deficits. Certainly, we can not have any new (EVER) pay-as-you-go programs.

Obviously, there is a core group of us who do the research and know of the accomplishments, but most Canadians do not. I do hope the Harper election team has some rabbits to pull out of hats after Labour Day. Most certainly, I will be supporting my local candidates with $ and time, but this is not going to be a fun or stable time for Canada, as minority governments can be somewhat unstable.