For those closely following the various perambulations of the 2015 Canadian federal election, there are any number of "tools" that, daily, sate the need to remain informed, and just as is the case with tracking the Oscar race (yes, VanRamblings does that, as well — as we intend to write on this topic ad nauseum in the days, weeks and months to come ... beginning tomorrow, actually), there is little more satisfying an idiosyncratically subjective political "tool" than Milton Chan's totally unscientific, yet oft times surprisingly accurate, Election Prediction Project.
As can be seen in the graphic to the left, as of August 28th Chan believes that the Conservatives have 96 seats across Canada locked up, the NDP trailing with 85 seats, the Liberals a certainty to win 50 seats in the next Parliament, with one lone seat for beleaguered — but wildly popular and populist, and phenomenally articulate and incredibly sympathetic and credible political figure — Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, and 105 seats in the 338-seat 43rd Parliament simply too close to call fifty-one days out from election day, October 19th.
What is Chan's methodology? Answer: subjective input from constituents in each of the 338 federal ridings. Let's take the riding of Vancouver Centre, where NDP candidate Constance Barnes is battling it out with Liberal incumbent Hedy Fry, Conservative candidate Elaine Allen (who?), and 2013 COPE Council candidate / Green Party rep, Lisa Barrett. Chan says Fry is a lock to retain her seat; all one has to do is read the following comment to know why VanCentre is a lock for Hedy Fry ...
"The Liberals will win here by default not because they are strong in any part of the riding but rather both the NDP and Conservatives have sections which are hostile to them. The Tories will do well in Yaletown and Coal Harbour where you have a lot of wealthy condo owners but get clobbered in the West End which has a large gay community. By contrast the NDP will do well in the West End but get clobbered in Yaletown and Coal Harbour. The Liberals will win by simply being competitive in all sections of riding."
A compelling narrative that. Unless Ms. Barnes runs a hyperlocal "issues-based" campaign (as David Eby did in the 2013 British Columbia election), gets out of the NDP message box, and challenges Ms. Fry to address the critical issue of affordable housing (the NDP have a plan for Co-operatives, the Liberals ... nada on the subject), Hedy Fry probably has this riding locked up as a sure "we've got the bucks, we've had our office open for weeks, we've got a first-rate campaign team, and we're way better funded than you granola-eating NDP types" Liberal party win. Meanwhile, Grenier has Barnes dropping to 22.6% support, a loss of 7 points in the last week.
In yesterday's coverage of Decision Canada 2015, VanRamblings wrote that Eric Grenier — creator of political polling amalgamation site threehundredeight.com, and in the 2015 federal election the official CBC pollster — was predicting 126 seats nationally for the Conservatives, 120 seats for the NDP, 91 seats for the Liberals, and 1 Green seat for Elizabeth May. Here's Grenier on CBC Polltracker; what a difference a day makes. All of a sudden, the federal New Democrats are slated to take 127 seats, the Conservatives slide precipitously down to 116, the Liberals are on the rise with 94 seats, while Elizabeth May holds on to her lone Green Party seat.
A Liberal Party apparatchik was telling VanRamblings last week that star candidates recruited by the party are not doing close to as well as expected. Case in point: former Toronto Police Chief / taker down of Toronto Mayor Rob "Buffoon" Ford continues to drop in the polls, currently at 38.5% against NDP incumbent Dan Harris (35.4%). My informant tells me that Scarborough West is far from a lock for Blair, as the NDP continue to hammer the ex-police chief on his role in the abrogation of the civil rights of peaceful G20 protesters, and the police violence that followed.
In an August 27th Globe and Mail editorial, Bill Blair is held to account ...
"Mr. Blair has never adequately accounted for the misbehaviours of his force during the G20. Ontario Ombudsman André Marin called it "the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history." It was a very bad day for the Toronto Police Service. There was a failure of leadership at the highest level. Whether he lost control of his officers or failed to properly oversee their poor decisions, Mr. Blair needs to revisit the lost weekend of 2010 and explain his force's performance. An election campaign is as good a place as any to demand answers."
The steady drumbeat that demands Bill Blair be held to account means nothing but harm to his nascent candidacy, and the prospects for a win for this much sought after Liberal party candidate. Scarborough Southwest emerges, then, as a riding to keep an eye on through until election night.
Posted by Raymond Tomlin at September 2, 2015 12:10 AM in Decision Canada 2015