In the wake of the Ontario Conservative leadership contest, four new polls have been published, all of which confirm the basic trend pointing to a majority victory for the party. The data from Ipsos, Leger, Campaign Research and Forum was based upon over 4300 weighted interviews held between March 11-14. In the aggregate, the provincial distribution of party support was Conservatives 43%, Liberals 27%, and NDP 25%. The accompanying map indicates the Conservatives have swept most of rural Ontario outside of the north, made serious inroads into suburban ridings around the metropolitan centres, and have even cracked into the city of Toronto where they have been shut out for many years. Our overall projection at this time indicates the Conservatives would win about 82 seats, the NDP 22 and the Liberals 20. This isn't a future prediction, and customarily election races tighten up over time. However for the Conservatives to fall out of majority territory, it would probably require a vote swing away from them of at least 5%.
Note: The "regional swing model" is more fully explained in a paper presented by Dr. Barry Kay to the 2009 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, entitled "A Regional Swing Model for Converting Canadian Popular Vote into Parliamentary Seats 1963-2008." It should be noted that the application of the model above does not make use of the "incumbency effect" described in that paper. In tests for past elections, using late campaign polls to project electoral outcomes, the model has proved to be accurate within an average of four seats per party since 1963.