The lay of the land – February 2014
CRA is out today with the first poll conducted after the dust has settled on Kathy Dunderdale’s resignation. Here is what the notional-projection electoral map would look like in a general election where the CRA vote-intent figures reflected actual popular support.
Dark colours indicate holds. Light red indicates notional Liberal pickups, while light blue indicates narrow PC holds. Grey indicates districts where the forecast models are in disagreement about the notional outcome. (Click to enlarge.)
The Liberals would take 28 seats – up from 25 in the other most recent poll by Abacus – including St. John’s West. Another nine seats would be tossups in which the Liberal candidate would be one of the contenders.
The incumbent PCs would retain at least eight seats, and would be contenders in eight of the previously-mentioned tossups. If all of the cookies crumbled their way, the PCs would have a remote chance of retaining up to 16 seats and official opposition status.
The NDP would notionally hold on to three seats... but one of those is St. John’s North, where things have changed. Note the important caveat that the forecast models do not take into account changes in party affiliation of the incumbent (St. John's North, St. John's South, Mount Pearl, Straits and White Bay North), nor a seat which has changed hands through a by-election (Carbonear–Harbour Grace). These districts are marked with an asterisk.As with all poll projections, the overall seat-count result tends to be more accurate than the district-by-district count when the models are tested post-election. The errors in individual district forecasts tend to cancel one another out.
Interestingly, the notional “tossup” seats, those in which the projection models are in disagreement, are heavily concentrated in and around St. John’s. These include the newly-vacated Virginia Waters, where a recent IVR poll showed a close contest between the Liberals and PCs as the by-election campaign looms.Poll projections in the latter half of 2013 also suggested a notionally close or “tossup” race in Carbonear–Harbour Grace, which in a real-world by-election test was carried by the Liberal candidate.