Politicians love to say "The only poll that counts is the one on election day." especially when they are down in the polls leading up to that day. Well, that day has arrived, and in a few hours we will either be crying in our beer, or raising our glasses deliriously in celebration. Well, perhaps it will be a bit of both, as I expect there to be some unexpected results. (How's that for an oxymoron? Sort of like expecting the unexpected, or predicting the unpredictable.)
The polling tells us that the NDP have vaulted past the Liberals, closing within a few points of the Conservatives. These polls also suggest that a lot of these gains are in Quebec, where Bloc support has seriously eroded. The NDP is also showing gains in other parts of the country. The big question of course, will these polling results translate into seats in Parliament?
For what it's worth (and it probably ain't worth much;), I have pulled some numbers out of a hat, done some basic arithmetic, and come up with some predictions. I have made no secret of how much I loathe the current government of Stephen Harper. I have written Stephen, and protested out side of his house, to let him know how I feel. However, I am only one voter, and, apparently, I am not representative of a plurality of voters in this country. (There are a lot of us, but, sadly, I don't think, enough of us yet to turf this guy and the rest of his entourage.)
I don't think the Conservatives have been able to cobble together enough support to yet extract a majority government from the electorate. I don't think I am basing this on hope, but on facts. (I'll be the one crying in my beer in a few hours if I am wrong on this one.) I do think though, that they will be re-elected with another minority, possibly with a few more seats. I think they will lose most of their seats in Quebec, perhaps retaining, at most, half a dozen in that province, but probably only two or three. They will make up for these losses in Ontario, gaining a few from the Liberals.
The Bloc will lose out to the NDP big time in Quebec, if the polls are anywhere in the ballpark of being accurate. Quebecers are much more progressive in their outlook, generally, than any other provincial electoral group. The NDP gives them that federal progressive outlet.
The Liberals, sad to say, still haven't got over the debacle of the Martin/Chretien fight. It was a barroom brawl that wrecked all the furniture and they still haven't yet rebuilt the place. They seem to have lost any sight of what they stand for, other than, "vote for us, you always have!"
The NDP appear set to gain from this, as they pick up progressive support across the country from those who are appalled (as I am) by the current Harper lead conservative government. They will gain in the Maritimes, big time in Quebec as mentioned, perhaps modestly in Ontario, and in BC.
Finally, I expect Elizabeth May to be the first Green Party member of Parliament.
So, (drum roll), the envelope please. Here are the predictions that fell out of my hat:
Conservatives - 147, NDP - 77, Liberals - 61, Bloc - 22, Greens - 1
My hopeful side would love to predict less seats for the Conservatives. My morose pragmatic side says don't let your heart get in the way of the facts. From where I sit, the Conservatives have been more successful at pedaling fear than the progressives of this country have been in promoting hope and positive vision for the future.
Am I close, or am I crazy? I'll know in a few hours.