Sunday, September 20, 2015

Why Harper is Vulnerable: His margins are razor thin

In the  2011 election Harper managed to eke by with the slimmest of margins, driving up the middle between two opposition parties. How thin was the Tory victory? Check this:

In the 2011 election, Harper won his majority with just 6,201 votes out of 14.8 million votes cast. Those 6,201 votes were the difference between the Conservative win and the second place finisher in the 14 closest races across Canada.

In other words, a small shift in votes could have taken the majority away from Harper and the Conservatives.

For instance:

Don Valley West in Toronto was one of the 14 closest races in 2011: the Conservative beat the Liberal by 609 votes. The NDP was in a distant third place with 11 per cent.

In Manitoba, in Elmwood-Transcona, the NDP lost to the Conservative by 284 votes and the Liberal was in a distant third place with only 5 per cent of the vote.

So, if 700 NDP supporters in Don Valley West (where the NDP had little chance of winning) had swapped their votes with 700 Liberal supporters in Elmwood-Transcona (where the Liberals had little chance of winning) – both groups of 700 would have got what they want – one more MP for their party – and collectively two fewer Conservative MPs.

Here’s my post with further analyses of the 14 birddog ridings.

Think about these stats:

Think about that.

Harper's majority depends on 14 seats which he won by 6,201 votes or an average of 443 votes per riding.

The Tory combined votes for those 14 seats was 219,939 votes. The second place candidates gained 213,738 votes.


This throws into sharp relief the staggering impact that the fluidity of the votes in this 2015 election will have on the final results. With more than half of the voters who in polls indicate they support either the NDP or the Liberals, prepared to consider voting for the other party in order to unseat a sitting Conservative MP, we can expect dramatic changes on October 19.

That is why I expect the Conservatives to be absolutely trounced.

And that is why almost 20% of sitting Tory MPs are not running this time. And that is why Harper finds himself alone on the bridge of the sinking Tory ship, abandoned by so many senior Tory MPs.

This election won’t be close: it will be a blowout, more like the thrashing given to the Conservatives after Mulroney stepped down, than like the 2011 election.

So think carefully about just who you vote for this time round. Let’s first clear out the sitting Conservative MPs, and then buckle down to reforming our electoral laws and remedying our democratic deficits.

And then we will be able to raise our heads with pride again.

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