Saturday, October 03, 2009

Michael Ignatieff's Charmed Life

One might think from perusing our national press that it had been a bad week for Michael Ignatieff. Not so at all. It is true that the full extent of Mr. Ignatieff's lack of skills for Canadian federal politics was on full display (something previously noted by TC). However, the worst fate that could have befallen the Liberal leader would have been actual success in his failed effort to bring down the government.

TC has averaged the three polls out this week from L├ęger, Ekos and Angus Reid (the latter reported exceptionally weak results for the Liberals) and applied them to my seat model. Here are the results:


Polls

Cons.

Libs.

NDP

Green

Bloc

Other

Total

CANADA

36

29

16

8

10

1

100

Atlantic

28

38

25

9

0

1

100

Quebec

16

28

12

5

38

1

100

Ontario

41

33

15

9

0

1

100

Man/Sask

50

21

22

6

0

1

100

Alta.

64

16

10

9

0

1

100

B.C.

39

25

24

11

0

0

100









Constituencies

Cons.

Libs.

NDP

Green

Bloc

Other

Total

Atlantic

7

21

4

0

0

0

32

Quebec

7

21

0

0

46

1

75

Ontario

55

36

15

0

0

0

106

Man.

9

1

4

0

0

0

14

Sask

13

1

0

0

0

0

14

Alta.

28

0

0

0

0

0

28

B.C.

20

8

8

0

0

0

36

North

0

2

1

0

0

0

3

Total

139

90

32

0

46

1

308


Note in particular that Liberal weakness translates not just into Conservative strength but also NDP victories in most of the party's 2008 seats, even with a smaller overall NDP popular support. So Mr. Layton's that was then, this is now act in supporting the government after many votes of non-confidence (which was overshadowed this week by the Liberals' troubles) is not costing the NDP. Note also that, for all that has been going well recently for Mr. Harper, he is nowhere near a majority.

All of the above is hypothetical and Mr. Ignatieff does not actually have to face the electorate despite all his mistakes and difficulties. He actually escaped this week with no election. As I said at the outset: a charmed life. Circumstances could yet make him prime minister, despite his own best efforts to derail his campaign to get to 24 Sussex Drive.

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