Thursday, February 04, 2010

EKOS is wrong – there is no need for a coalition

Good news from Mr Graves in his latest speculation about the number of seats each party might win based on latests polls.

The best news is the start of the collapse of the Harper Tory vote, which would result in that party losing a big whack of seats if the election were held soon.

The next best news is that the Liberals would gain enough seats to become the biggest party in Parliament.

This is what EKOS is speculating:

"A Liberal-NDP coalition government is beginning to look like a possibility, given new seat projections from EKOS pollster Frank Graves.

In his latest model, the Liberals would win 122 seats while the New Democrats would take 31. Together, the two parties would have 153 seats – just shy of a majority government in the 308-seat House of Commons.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, would win only 109 seats compared to the 145 seats they have now. The Liberals currently have 77 seats.

As well, Mr. Graves’s projections – based on the results of his poll of 3,406 Canadians surveyed between Jan. 27 and Feb. 2 – gives the Bloc 45 seats, the Greens come up empty and there is one “other” seat, that could be won by an independent in Quebec.

The idea of a coalition fits with recent Tory spin. Indeed, Conservative strategists and officials have been talking about a new coalition forming between the Liberals and NDP as Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton plot a strategy to limit Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s power to prorogue."

Dead wrong, Mr Graves.

There is no need for a formal coalition.

If the Liberals end up with the largest number of seats, they would be given the chance to govern, if they could gain the confidence of the House.

So Ignatieff would become prime minister, face a vote of confidence, and if supported by the NDP and Bloc, would become the government, albeit a minority government.

And if he governs wisely, he could stay in power for four or more years.

Harper did that.

So why cannot Ignatieff?

Having said all that, The Cat's preference is a more formal agreement between the NDP and Liberals, leading to an eventual merging of both parties.


  1. How do you think a Liberal-NDP merger would work out? I've always thought that would be the end result too, because it really does make a lot of sense, but there is still a lot of animosity between the Liberals and the Dippers. Such a merger would take more negotiating over than Iran.

  2. Agree on core policies, and have lots of free (unwhipped votes) for the rest, along with a much greater say for individual MPs in the House. In other words, fix our democratic deficit so that MPs can represent their own constituencies better and have a looser party discipline (only whip the critical decisions).

  3. To be clear I never said there was a "need for a formal coalition". I said the possibility was more promising given that the combined seats would approach a majority without having to include the Bloc. I also said that the negative response to the last proposed coalition was more rooted in opposition to the possibility of Stephan Dion as Prime Minister rather than the idea of a coalition .
    I have no firm view on whether or not a coalition should be pursued or how it would work out . I am merely commenting from the evidence of how the idea works from the perspective of public opinion . So to be clear I never said , nor do I believe that there is a "need" . I merely observed that the idea looked more plausible in light of shifts in voting intentions

  4. My apologies for misstating your position, Mr Graves! You did not advocate a coalition; I read that into your comments.

    And it does look more plausible now than when Dion raised the idea and Harper framed it as a godless pact with separatists...

    A minority Liberal government supported on a case by case basis by enough MPs from the other three parties would work very nicely for a few years, in my thinking.


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