New polls show huge Tory gains:
Ipsos CPC 46, LPC 23, NDP 13, BQ 9, GPC 8
Ekos CPC 44, LPC 24, NDP 15, BQ 9, GPC 8
— Bourque Newswatch
So here we are, more or less quietly reposing after Parliament has been prorogued (aside from the Coalition rally in Vancouver tonight, where a tweet decrying the fact that “Conservative staffers are here” was sent out, as though the secret police were listening to the insurrection, and “Big Brother” Stéphane Dion addressed the crowd via video). Yet into the middle of this calm comes two of the national polling firms, showing that the events of the past few days have actually accrued to the Conservatives’ benefit — and significantly so, for 44% is generally considered to be “majority territory”.
Andrew Coyne, in his usual complete way, has detailed some other aspects of these readings of the public mood:
Ipsos numbers show, further, that 60% of the public opposes the coalition, 62% are “angry” with it for trying to take power, while 68% support the Governor General’s decision. The Grits can read the numbers as well as I can. There is no way they will return to this well.
When one looks at the sheer amount of time given to the coalition, and the general presumptions that Stephen Harper shot himself in the foot permanently that have coloured newscasts, opinion pieces and punditry in the media, and that it was inevitable that the coalition would topple the Government on the House’s return, you do have to wonder how much of these numbers is your average Canadian saying “go away, leave me alone: if I have to vote in a majority to get you to stop, then I will”.
I say this because of the reaction today to all this within my own family. Both my wife and my daughter wash their hands of the whole process. “I might vote once more simply to get this to end” was my daughter’s view — and she is anything but a fan of the Conservatives or the Prime Minister. But, like an ongoing thunderstorm, there comes a point where “enough!” kicks in.
One has a greater appreciation of Bob Rae’s foaming at the mouth now. These numbers say clearly “that was your chance”.
In any event, I do expect the confidence motions to topple the Government. At that point I expect the Prime Minister to ask for a writ of election — and if the Conservatives make moves to be conciliatory, I daresay he’ll get it.
The Monday following a minimum length campaign after that fall would be March 9.
This time, I expect Canadians to vote in enough Conservative MPs to put an end to instability. Most of these will probably come in Western Canada, affecting a few Liberal seats and a number of NDP ones. Possibly the rest in Ontario, in the 905 and possibly one in the 416. These will make up for any losses in Québec.
The most interesting variable will be if the Liberals and NDP do not run candidates against each other but divide up the ridings. I don’t see this happening — look at the uproar of running in only 307 ridings last time within Liberal circles — but it is a possibility. Even so, 44%+ is a solid lead.