In a previous post I analysed the likely consequences of a swing in the votes from the Bloc to the other parties in Québec and suggested that only a small number of seats were likely candidates for a shift from the Bloc to the Liberals, and an even smaller number of seats that might change hands from the Liberals to the NDP or Conservatives. Lets now extend the analysis to Ontario.The following ridings were won last election with less than 10% margin of difference between the winning candidate and the candidate of the party that finished second.
Riding winning party 2nd party margin
1.)Ajax Pickering Liberal Conservative 6.6%
2.)Beaches East York Liberal NDP 8.9
3.)Bramlea Gore Malton Liberal Conservative 8.0
4.)Brampton Springdale Liberal Conservative 1.7
5.) Brampton West Liberal Conservative 0.4
6.) Don Valley West Liberal Conservative 5.6
7.) Eglington Lawrence Liberal Conservative 4.7
8.) Guelph Liberal Conservative 3.0
9.) Haldiman Norfolk Conservative Liberal 8.4
10.) Kenora Conservative Liberal 8.9
11.) Kingston and Islands Liberal Conservative 6.6
12.) Kitchner centre Conservative Liberal 0.8
13.) Kitchner Waterloo Conservative Liberal 0.1
14.) London North Centre Liberal Conservative 6.1
15.) London West Conservative Liberal 3.7
16.) Missisauga Erindale Conservative Liberal 0.7
17.)Missisauga South Liberal Conservative 4.6
18.) Oak Ridges Markham Conservative Liberal o.7
19.)Oakville Conservative Liberal 9.9
20.)Oshawa Conservative NDP 6.7
21.)Ottawa Orleans Conservative Liberal 6.1
22.) Ottawa West Nepean Conservative Liberal; 8.9%
23.) Parkdale high park Liberal NDP 7.0
24.)Sault Ste.Marie NDP Conservative 2.7
25.)Sudbury NDP Liberal 4.9
26.)Thornhill Conservative Liberal 9.8
27.Trinity Spadina NDP Liberal 5.8
28.Welland NDP Conserv/ Lib. 0.6/4.5
29.York Centre Lib. Conserv. 5.5
So in Ontario there are 29 ridings where the the winning party defeated the second party by a margin of less than ten percent. In one of these the third party was also within less than 10 % of the victor , the riding of Welland.
In 13 of these the Liberals came first. In 4 of them the NDP came first and in the remaining 12 ridings the Conservatives came first. So the nature of the swing in Ontario is critical. If it is from the Conservatives to the Liberals or the NDP then at maximum there are 12 possible switches to the opposition parties. If the swing is not uniform, in other words in some ridings it is from the Conservatives to the Liberals or NDP in others the other direction then very few net differences will be possible. But if the swing is more uniform but less than 5 % then some of the 12 might switch from the Conservatives. There are 6 that are more likely in such circumstances. They are Kitchener Centre and Kitchener Waterloo, London Centre, Oakridge Markham, Oshawa and Ottawa Orleans. On the other hand there are three ridings the two in Brampton and Guelph where the Liberals would be vulnerable to a small shift in the vote to the Conservatives or from a shift from the Liberals to the NDP.
The latest polls which have however a high margin of error for regions show that in Ontario the expressed preference for the Conservatives seems stable at about at the level of 39 % that they scored in Ontario last election. The Liberal expressed preference is slightly higher but well within the margin of error trending at about 3 to 4 % points above the last election where they scored 34 % and the NDP is trending a bit below their 2008 result of 18 % except in a two very recent polls where they score 24 % in one poll and 25 % in another..
Hence if current trends continue there is not likely to be a large shift in the seat outcome in Ontario. The Liberals might gain several more seats but the Conservatives could just as easily hang on to almost all of their current ones and even gain a couple of new ones from the Liberals. the New Democrats will probably hang on to most,if not all of their seats, possibly winning several more since only 4 of them are vulnerable to a shift in the vote and they themselves ran second in close contests in 3 ridings. The Conservatives in the 2008 election won 51 seats in Ontario, the Liberals 38 and the NDP 17.