Another minority Parliament led by Stephen Harper's Conservative government is inevitable if an election were held tomorrow, according to new EKOS Research seat projections.
Pollster Frank Graves found that the Tories would win 114 seats compared to 110 for the Liberals. Last week, based on better vote intention numbers for the Grits, Mr. Graves had Michael Ignatieff's team winning 122 seats compared to the 77 they now have in the 308-seat House of Commons. The Conservatives would have won only 110 seats; they now have 145 seats.
For the governing Tories, he says, this is "far short of the nearly 180-seat majority that was on the table last October."
His seat projections are based on numbers from his latest poll. The survey of 3,006 Canadians, conducted between Feb. 3 and 9, shows 31 per cent support for the Conservatives compared to 29 per cent for the Liberals. The NDP attracted 15.5 per cent; the Bloc got 10. 3 per cent and the Green Party pulled in 11.3 per cent.
The EKOS pollster says these seat projections must be "distressing for roughly 35 Tory MPs who would be dusting off their CVs, but clearly better than last week's prospect of sitting in opposition."
What this tells him, he says, is that although the vote intention numbers have been fairly stable over the past few weeks, "there is lots of elasticity in the configuration of the next Parliament based on pretty modest shifts in voting patterns."
Elasticity, indeed: His projections give Elizabeth May and the Green Party two seats, both in Ontario. Last week's projections showed the Greens with none.
The NDP would win 35 seats, down just two from what they have now; the Bloc would win 56 compared to the 48 seats they have today. There would be one independent.
(Photo: The Prime Minister attends a Lunar New Year parade rehearsal at Vancouver's Chinese Cultural Centre yesterday. Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)