Monday, May 24, 2004

The Conservatives' electoral math

In assessing the Conservatives prospects it is useful to look at the numbers from the 1988 election, the last time a party with Conservative in the name won a majority.

No matter what else happens this time the Conservatives are highly unlikely to win a single seat in Quebec. In 1988 they won 43% nationwide and 53% in Quebec. If the Conservatives reach or exceed 32% this time they will have done as well or better than the Conservatives in 1988 with the exception of Quebec which added about 11% to the PC total then – about what the Bloc gets now.

This means that they are trying to win a majority with two hands tied behind their back. They can win a bare majority only if they repeat the Mulroney 1984 experience in English Canada – by winning the equivalent of a landslide outside Quebec.

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