Firstly, my apologies for not updating this blog more frequently. Among other things, I've been working on an actual election campaign (hey, you didn't think I was nonpartisan, did you?). But in any case, as you're no doubt aware, there seems to have been a dramatic shift in the last few weeks. The chances of a Conservative majority seem to be greatly reduced, although it's not impossible that the NDP surge could pull enough votes away from the Liberals to push the Conservatives over the top.
Last week, based mostly on poking around on the Election Prediction website, I came up with the following guess as to seat distribution: Conservatives 138, Liberals 67, NDP 59, Bloc 41, Green 1, Independent 2 (André Arthur and Hec Clouthier). However, the NDP could very well do even better, and indeed some seat projections from the latest polls put the NDP firmly in second place in the seat count. In fact, many of the projections have the combined NDP and Liberal seats adding up to a majority. But what then?
My suspicion is that the Liberals would be reluctant to defeat the government and allow the NDP to take power, because this would greatly diminish the Liberals' opportunity to rebuild their party. After all, once the NDP is out of third place they, and not the Liberals, will be seen as the main alternative to the Conservatives. On the other hand, for the Liberals to prop up the Cons once again, they'd have to swallow a lot of pride, and so it's not impossible that Layton will end up in the PMO. We'll know soon enough...
Also interesting is the race in Saanich-Gulf Islands. I have a sneaking suspicion that Elizabeth May will manage to win that seat, which could be the beginning of a slow ascent for her party. On the other hand, if she doesn't win that seat it may be quite some time before the Greens are a significant force.