With just over three weeks until Ontarians vote we have started to see some dramatic shifts in the numbers for Ontario. Polling needs to be taken with a grain of salt, especially this far out from the actual voting day. Since the start of the campaign the numbers have been relatively stable until the last few days. This week poll aggregators have seen both the Liberals and Progressive Conservative numbers fall and the NDP numbers go up.
I cannot be overstate this: projections are merely educated guesses based on previous elections and current polling - they are vulnerable to failures. That said, some of the projections have come up with some shocking outcomes.
One thing remains consistent so far and that is that the PCs are projected to win the most seats and a majority government. One of the most notable poll trackers in the province is CBC's. In the latest calculations CBC says the Liberals may win as few as two seats! The latest numbers from CBC suggest that the PCs would win 85 seats with 40.8% of the vote, the NDP would win 37 seats with 30.7% of the vote and the Liberals would win 2 seats with 23.5% of the vote.
But looking at these graphs the orange heart that beats in my chest cannot help but hope for the word momentum. As I've outlined on previous posts on this blog Kathleen Wynne and Doug Ford's unpopularity with the public offers a tremendous opportunity for the New Democrats. If Andrea Horwath has begun to succeed in convincing voters she and her party is the left-wing alternative then things could swing dramatically.
While digging online for information about seat projections I came across an interesting image on Twitter. Someone ranked the ridings that the NDP could win. It's normal after an election for parties to rank their ridings from strongest to weakest performance. It helps to identify ones to target. This is especially true in countries with clearer two-party systems where a swing between parties will indicate seats changing hands. Regardless the list of seats the ONDP may win to form a minority or majority government. Some of the seats on the list seem like challenges but not outside the realm of believability, like the Downtown Toronto ridings. Many of the others are from the 905 in Peel, Durham and York and Scarborough. These are the places the road to an NDP government must pass.
Lawn signs are mushrooming around my area. Every day I notice a new set have gone into the ground. Looking at the numbers the projections produce and what I feel on the ground can be difficult to square.
If you're interested in projections I would recommend the follow people's websites. They can also be valuable to follow on Twitter.
Eric Grenier - CBC
@ElectionatlasCA on Twitter
@EarlWashburn on Twitter