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article imageNDP gains popular vote but so do PCs in Ontario

By Ken Hanly     May 29, 2018 in Politics
The last debate is over and the final week or so of campaigning lies ahead. The latest CBC poll tracker average of polls updated today shows the Progressive Conservatives (PCs) and New Democrats (NDP) neck-and-neck.
The poll-tracker results
The results are an average of several polls up to May 29. The PCs have a marginal lead at 36.6 percent but the NDP are virtually tied with 36.4. Some polls put the PCs ahead and others the NDP so they might as well be tied. The NDP gained 1.2 percent but the Conservatives also did not decline but rose 0.7 percent. It was the Liberals who fared badly losing 1.9 percent. The Greens lost 0.2 percent while other parties gained 0.2 percent.
Seat projections still have the PC well ahead at 70 while the NDP is only at 50. The Liberals are predicted only to win four seats. Neither the Green nor other parties are expected to win any seats.
There is an 80.4 percent probability that the PCs will win a majority and a 7.4 percent probability that they win the most seats but will be lacking a majority. There is still only a 11.4 percent probability that the NDP wins the most seats and only a 0.2 percent probability of the Liberals doing so.
The NDP has to lead the PCs by several percentage points before it can hope to win the most seats. The Conservative vote distribution is more efficient in winning seats than is that of the NDP.
Although the NDP are ahead in the city of Toronto in the Greater Toronto-Hamilton-Niagara region where there are many seats, the PCs are still ahead – as they are in eastern Ontario. Chances of the NDP winning the most seats are still only one in nine. The Liberals look to be able to salvage only a handful of seats both in an around the cities of Ottawa and Toronto. If Liberal support declines much further they could find themselves actually with no seats.
The final debate
The Ottawa Citizen has an article giving the opinions of a number of commentators on the outcome of the final debate. The debate is appended in its entirety, including pre-debate analysis.
Erin Gee's interests range from politics and public policy to food and fashion. He was not impressed by Ford's performance in either debate. He complained that while promising a transparent government Ford still had not unveiled his government policy so that the public can know what it is and debate it before the election. Wynne the Liberal leader went into the debate as a clear underdog even though the Liberals are at present the governing party but was probably the best in the debate.
Mischa Kaplan, an economic development advocate and chair of the West Ottawa Board of Trade thought that probably Ford won. He said nothing that would cause a supporter to jump ship. He might even have convinced some voters that he is not a conservative nut as some Liberals and Conservatives are keen to portray him. He admitted he believed in man-made climate change. He advocated reducing child-care fees and appeared more confident than in the first debate.
Andrew Cohen a journalist professor and author. Cohen thought NDP leader Andrea Horwath had a strong debate, although he also noted that she occasionally seemed irritable and impatient. However, she came across as informed and self-confident. Cohen was not so charitable to Ford, whom he said "came across as a windy ward-heeler, repeating canned lines as the captain of cliché. It is unlikely he expanded his base." However, Cohen concludes that if there was a winner it was Liberal leader Wynne.
Brigitte Pellerin, a writer and commentator, was sure that Ford did not win and did not even belong on the stage. She believed that Kathleen Wynne clearly won the debate.
Many commentators appear to have thought that Kathleen Wynne won the debate. However, this has not shown up in the polls as yet but perhaps it will in the next update. The NDP needs to continue to gain many more votes before it has much of a change of winning the most seats.
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