Friday, February 5, 2010

How the Liberal--NDP Coalition can circumvent the Bloc

For fun I decided to do a little hypothesis testing this evening. The Ekos kingpin is now proclaiming that the Liberals and the NDP have significant enough polling numbers to form a "two team" Coalition if a new general Election were held today. Despite the fact that Ekos consistently over-values the Green Party (before the 2008 election they averaged the Greens at 10.9%, and they scored 6.8% in the Election), I decided to experiment with some treaty scenarios that could increase the probability of the NDP and Liberals having enough seats to circumvent the Bloc.  Mike and Jack could even do a duet of "just the two of us" before the National Arts Gallery.

Since I don't trust your numbers Mr. Graves, I used 2008 as my baseline. What if Layton and Ignatieff agreed to pull candidates in ridings where theirs finished behind the others?  Instead of musing about "strategic voting", make it a real strategy. I will even assume that 100% of Libs and dippers defected to the appropriate coalition candidate, even though there are likely a percentage of Liberal voters who cite the Tories as their 2nd choice. Anyway, if you redistribute the votes, what is the new seat count?

Ladies and gentlemen, your modified election results! This is what parliament would currently look like if the Liberals and NDP agreed not to run against each other in any riding.

Tory 113
Liberals 111
NDP 43
Bloc 40
Andre Arthur 1

The Liberals would be exactly at the precipice of voting down the throne speech for a NDP Coalition without the need for the Bloc. How would your new government break down regionally?

Atlantic Canada

The Tories would fall from 17 seats to 8 seats. Peter MacKay still a Member of Parliament, Gerald Keddy not.


Bloc hit the hardest, losing 6 seats in Montreal alone. The NDP would even add Gatineau. Tories maintain strong support in the Quebec City region, led by the popular Maxime Bernier.


Liberals 52 seats, Tories 35 seats, NDP 18 seats. Most of the prominent Tories would retain their seats, with the exception of John Baird and Diane Finley.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta

All of 3 seats change hands.

British Columbia

Tories lose 4 seats, 3 to the Liberals, 1 to the NDP.

My suggestion to the Liberal Party, form an official exclusive coalition with the NDP at nearest opportunity.


  1. I'd like to see that too;and watch a Conservative majority materialize.

  2. With a Liberal/NDP coalition in the next election, the Conservatives would be running as Canada's only national party.

  3. Dave Rutherford interviewed the executive director of EKOS and he has a completly differnet take on the results of said poll. He says there will not be an election till at least fall, and probably not till next spring.
    If one goes to election you can get the results of every riding in the last election.
    Having done that today, I don't see where said strategic voting will result in a great loss of seats. In most of the ridings in Ont the PC candidate won by at least 47-over 50% and adding the votes for lib/ndp in said riding, they can't beat them. There are a couple that could be in danger. But Milliken could be in trouble, and Paul Dewar. If they gang up on Baird and Dianne they might take those two seats. Duncan will lose in AB and no liberal will be elected there. With Danny killing the ABC campaign some of those seats might go to the PM.

  4. MaryT, take all the results riding by riding. In each riding where the liberals finished ahead of the NDP, give all the NDP votes to the Liberals. Where the NDP beat the Liberals, give all the Liberal votes to the NDP. Don't forget to account for byelections.

    What is your seat count?

    Obviously I think the formation of a Coalition with the NDP would erode the Liberal right flank and strengthen Conservative support. I am just saying, what if the two parties do not contest each other in any riding? The Tories still win the most seats.