Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The more things change....

There were two provincial polls released last week in Ontario, by Ipsos-Reid and Environics. Both suggest there is a virtual tie right now between the Liberals and Conservatives. There is a discussion of their implications in this column by the Toronto Star’s Ian Urquhart. As he reports, polls conducted a couple of months ago showed the Liberals ahead but they came after a relatively popular budget. These polls more likely tell us something about the longer-run trend.

To me the interesting thing is that they would almost certainly produce a minority government with the NDP holding the balance of power. Averaging the two polls and applying my seat forecaster would produce a minority PC government with 51 seats, 38 Liberals and 14 New Democrats.

It has all happened before. Ontario was governed by a Conservative minority led by Bill Davis from 1975 to 1981. And his principal secretary in the years just after he won back his majority in 1981 was - current PC Leader John Tory.

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