The outcome tells us the Liberals have gained about nine points overall since the October 2008 election with about six points of that coming from the Conservatives and three points from the NDP. The Liberals come out on top, but would today fall short of the 2004 victory of Paul Martin.
|Seven National Polls - Spring 2009|
It is clear that none of the opposition parties have any appetite for a spring election (and there are two provincial elections just ahead, one in BC on May 12 and another likely in Nova Scotia). While the Ottawa pundits have focused on the opposition, it is clear that Liberal strategy does not foresee an electoral contest before the fall. While all three opposition parties must cooperate to bring down the government, attention has now focused on the NDP and the Bloc.
The NDP would not support the government (NDP supporters despise Harper) and, while the Bloc has in the past voted once for a Harper budget, it is by no means certain they would vote to support Harper when the first confidence vote comes in the fall.
The government itself can postpone a confidence vote until late autumn. Even if they avoid one then, Harper will have to deliver a budget by February 2010. TC's guess is that, if they get that far, the government will fall on the budget, and there will be an election with Ignatieff the winner of the electoral contest but without a majority. The combination of the Liberals and NDP is two votes short of a majority in the table above. Although there hasn't been a sustained NDP-Liberal working arrangement, coalition, call it what you will, since 1972-74, that does seem to be the most likely outcome of the next campaign.