Federal Liberals and Conservatives have often been neck-and-neck over the past year when it comes to ballot support, according to Nanos Research’s weekly tracking. But Conservatives have gained a clear advantage when polling data is modelled out to show which party is currently positioned to win more seats in an election.
If a federal election were to take place today, the Conservative Party is projected to win 112 seats in the House of Commons, gaining seven seats since Nanos’ last projection in February. The Liberal Party would win 96 seats, meanwhile, after losing 22 seats since February, according to Nanos Research’s latest seat projections.
While a federal election is unlikely to take place anytime soon, due to a confidence-and-supply deal between the Liberals and the NDP, seat projections show voters’ preferences are shifting across the country.
“There’s a lot of movement, actually, that’s been taking place,” said Nanos Research Chair Nik Nanos on the latest episode of CTV News’ Trend Line podcast.
“The last couple of elections, the Liberals lost the popular vote but won more seats than the Conservatives, because of those big Conservative wins out in the West and those thin Liberal wins in many parts of the country.”
But now, Nanos said support for the Liberals is beginning to wane in provinces including Quebec, where seat projections show the Bloc Quebecois gaining momentum, and Ontario, where the NDP is doing the same.
Nanos’ projections show the Conservatives have lost a handful of seats in the Prairies and Quebec since February, but they’ve gained 11 in British Columbia and the North.
Nanos seat projection by riding (Nanos Research)
Nanos added that there are 77 ridings that are too close to call.
“But what we’re seeing here is that the old math that helped the Liberals is starting to unravel,” he said, “and right now, the Conservatives have the upper hand in terms of the projected number of seats that we can declare a winner, because they’re winning by more than seven per cent.”
Currently, the minority Liberals have 157 seats in the House Commons, while the Conservatives have 121. There are 338 seats in the House of Commons, with 170 seats needed for a party to form a majority.
Watch the full episode of Trend Line in our video player at the top of this article. You can also listen in our audio player below, or wherever you get your podcasts. The next episode comes out Wednesday, March 15.