Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Lies, damn lies, statistics...
I keep telling myself I should leave the politics to Wells, Coyne and Cosh. But I haven't seen this anywhere else so I figured I'd offer it up.

By now most Canadian readers will have seen this week's Ipsos-Reid poll which shows the Liberals continue to slide. Nationally Ipsos-Reid puts the parties as so:
Liberals 35%
Conservatives 27%
NDP 17%
Bloc Quebecois 11%
Green Party 5%

But the most interesting numbers, at least to me, are the regional breakdowns. Now, be warned, the samples aren't terribly large, so there's lots of room for error. Still, they present an interesting picture of our divided little country.

B.C. - Conservative 32; Liberal 27; NDP 27; Green 9
Alberta - Conservative 58; Liberal 20; NDP 8; Green 2
Prairies - NDP 34; Liberal 29; Conservative 28; Green 2
Ontario - Liberal 41; Conservative 26; NDP 21; Green 7
Quebec - Bloc 45; Liberal 31; Conservative 10; NDP 8; Green 3
Atlantic - Liberal 47; Conservative 32; NDP 12; Green 1

The Liberals remain the only true national party, but they're only able to dominate two regions - Atlantic Canada and the all-important, riding-rich Ontario. The Conservatives take Alberta. The Bloc take Quebec. And the Prairies and B.C. are virtual dead heats. Imagine if this country worked on some sort of Electoral College System.

Now also imagine those results if the NDP could somehow bring the Greens into the fold without driving away any of their own voters. Suddenly the NDP leads in British Columbia, extends their lead in the Prairies, takes second in Ontario, and third in Quebec.

Even without the Greens, the NDP seem bonafide contenders in the Prairies and British Columbia and assured of stealing some seats in Ontario. A far rosier picture than that presented by the rather stagnant national number - the one J. Kelly was bemoaning recently.

Then again, this analysis only gives them 16 seats after the next federal election.

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