When Corporate Research Associates were last heard from in March, the notional result of their vote-intent figures would have been a seriously hobbled PC minority government.
Three months later, and the picture has continued to evolve along the recent trend-lines… only more so. On today’s CRA numbers, using reliable swing models to project a province-wide district-by-district result, either of the opposition parties would be poised to form a minority government of between 19 and 21 seats, with a slight statistical edge to the NDP.
The incumbent PCs would be humiliated into a distant third-place showing of seven to ten seats – Virginia Waters not being among them.
The humiliation would be tempered only by the possibility that, unless the NDP and Liberals formed a working coalition government to begin the hard work of dedannification, the PCs might be called upon to hold the balance of power in a minority legislature.
The February CRA figures, reported in early March, would have notionally resulted in 15 to 17 Tory seats changing hands, mostly to the NDP, and mostly in Labrador and the metro St. John’s area.
The May figures, reported today, would add another 10 to 13 districts to the notional PC bleed, and, with their impressive one-quarter surge, most of the new losses would be to the Liberals in coastal Newfoundland and the Trans-Canada Highway shire towns. Darin King, Susan Sullivan, Ray Hunter, Vaughn Granter, Wade Verge, Tony Cornect, Glenn Littlejohn, Derrick Dalley, Charlene Johnson and Ross Wiseman would be among the new notional casualties of a general election where the popular vote was identical to today’s poll release. Terry French, Keith Hutchings and Paul Davis would also be expected to be in tight races, too close to call.
Interestingly, the incumbent Tories are bleeding support not only to both the opposition parties, but, in a rapidly-developing worst-case scenario for the PCs, are bleeding to the different parties in geographically distinct areas of the province. The NDP is best placed to take advantage of the PC implosion in the northeast Avalon, portions of eastern Newfoundland, and urban Labrador. The Liberals are position to pick the Tory carcass in much of rural Newfoundland. Only a handful of districts, including The Straits—White Bay North (here too close to call), would see head-to-head or three-way races in which both the Liberals and NDP are in notional competition.
Worse for the incumbents, at 27% – barely over a quarter of the decided vote – not only would the PC party be crushed at the polls, most of their rump caucus would notionally squeak in with a margin of victory of less than 10%.
Here’s the notional district-by-district map.* For the opposition parties, dark colours indicate holds and pale colours are pickups. For the incumbent PCs, dark blue is a hold, while paler blue is a hold by less than a notional 10% margin of victory. Light grey indicates a district where the projection models are in disagreement about the notional winner.
* To be taken with a grain of salt – the overall seat totals in swing models are more accurate than district-by-district projects, as the errors in the latter tend to cancel one another out.