Any thoughts the coalition partners have of continuing the charade and running a slate of candidates in January’s february election should be put to rest today, in light of a new analysis of voting patterns by Glen McGregor:
The scenario assumes that the Liberal or NDP candidate who fared best in the October election would not be opposed in the riding by a candidate from the other coalition party. It also assumes that voters who cast ballots in the next election would redistribute their votes based on their second-choice preferences reported in an EKOS Research poll from shortly before the last election.
The result? A disaster.
The Liberals would pick up five extra seats, while the NDP would gain just one, giving the opposition coalition 120 seats. The Tories would again form a minority government with 139 seats, down from their current 143.
Worse (for the coalition partners), they would lose the $1.95 a vote subsidy they would get even from losing candidates.
With any luck, this will kill the “unite the left” musings once and for all. There is no left to unite — the Liberals are simply not the second choice of very many NDP voters, and many NDP voters would sooner vote Tory or Green than they would for the Liberals. The coalition might give the NDP some credibility, but it would absolutely destroy the Liberal brand. As Coyne has been arguing, the fact that Dion, Rae, and Ignatieff are all implicated in it suggests that none are qualified to lead the party.