This week in satire…


This will hopefully become a weekly post with mainly funny political videos. This week it will be a bit full, due to a backlog, but I’ll try and limit in the future to 2 or 3 of the best.

Sarah Palin’s second part on this week’s Saturday Night Live (sorry, this video starts automatically, if someone knows how to fix that let me know). Update – this isn’t gonna work, so I’m going to move the video below the fold. It’s the best of the lot, so check it out.

New Daily Show correspondent Kristen Schaal takes a page out of Sarah Palin’s book, taking over hosting duties.

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.1682073&w=425&h=350&fv=videoId%3D186765]

Jon Oliver discusses George W Bush’s legacy, in the wake of the economic crisis.

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Jon Oliver breaks down the stupid vote in the lead-up to the November election.

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John Stewart reviews the Canadian election.

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Fox News: “the world is unfair and we are mentally unstable”

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John McCain, like Frankenstein, loses control of his monster.

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ACT Election: the aftermath


So here’s where we are the day after the election.

Labor suffered a 9.3% swing against them, while the Liberals suffered a 3.7% swing and the Greens polled 15.8%, a 6.6% swing.

In Brindabella, Labor lost one of its three seats, resulting in two Labor, two Liberal and one Green. It appears that two sitting MLAs have been defeated by their own parties: Mick Gentlemen and Steve Pratt both came third, with a new candidate polling second.

In Ginninderra it appears that two Labor, two Liberal and one Green have been elected. The ABC website says that the second Liberal is at risk of losing to a third Labor, but I can’t see it. It really depends on the preference flows.

In Molonglo, it has become much more interesting. Three Labor (the three sitting Cabinet ministers), one Liberal (Zed) and one Green (Shane) have all been elected. The last two seats appear to be a contest between five people: Jeremy Hanson on 0.30, Giulia Jones on 0.21, Caroline le Couteur on 0.30, Elena Kirschbaum on 0.29, and Frank Pangallo on 0.31. A third sitting MLA has been defeated in Jacqui Burke, who was the fifth-polling Liberal.

First of all, it’s worth pointing out that one of the Liberals will win one of these seats, but either of them could lose. Also remember that Zed Seselja has 0.49 surplus, and 0.48 quotas cast for other Liberals. This should be enough to solidify the position of either Jeremy or Giulia, but would leave the other out in the cold. On the other hand, Shane Rattenbury polled 0.89 quotas. Considering the high vote for his fellow Greens, they should hold on long enough for Shane to be elected with preferences from other candidates, allowing most of the third Green’s preferences flow straight to the second Green. This would put either Caroline or Elena on almost 0.60 quotas. I find it difficult to see how the third Liberal could get above 0.5 quotas without non-Liberal preferences. It seems impossible that Pangallo, without fellow candidates preferencing him, can compete. Although his preferences could decide the race.

William Bowe at Poll Bludger has also pointed out that a lot of Gallagher voters may be feminists voting specifically for women. Considering that none of the other Labor women are in with a shot of winning, those votes could flow to the two Green women.

Overall, it could go any way. The two Green women are effectively tied in the race, which reflects the vast majority of Greens voters who cast a donkey vote down the Green ticket, evenly splitting their votes between the three candidates. This donkey vote also means that preferences should flow almost universally between the two women, assuming Rattenbury doesn’t use up many votes reaching quota.

Liveblogging in the Bush Capital


8:44pm – No great news. Appears fairly certain the breakdown will be 7-7-3. There might be some interesting races within each party for seats, but I don’t expect any more results tonight.

7:52pm – In other news, Greens have gained votes in all four NSW by-elections. Swings of about 2% in Port Macquarie and Cabramatta, with a swing of 3% in Ryde and a whopping 10% swing for Kristian Bolwell in Lakemba. Congrats Kristian on a big result.

7:50pm – Nothing much has been happening. Here in Campbell they have finished sorting ballots into each column and are now dividing them by individual candidate. The Greens vote is very evenly spread between the three candidates, although Shane is leading. I guess it shows that Greens voters don’t strongly personalise. We saw the same with Deb Foskey in 2004. They are yet to do any tallies. When they are done I will post them and head for the tally room. Meanwhile the Greens are hoving between 1.35 and 1.4 quotas in Molonglo. I’m still waiting for more figures before ruling out Caroline.

7:13pm – Greens vote picking up in Molonglo, now 1.42 quotas. Shane now on 0.71 with Caroline on 0.37 and Elena on 0.35. Interesting. It’s not unreasonable that one Caroline or Elena could beat Giulia or Jeremy Hanson for the last spot.

7:10pm – Just realised that my booth is the closest booth to Duntroone and ADFA. Apparently the booth workers got a lot of questions about “who are the army guys” (for those of you playing along at home, the answer is Mike Hettinger and Jeremy Hanson). Because if there’s one skill you want in an MLA, it’s the ability to kill a man.

7:01pm – Looking at the breakdowns by candidates, the only interesting cases are Liberals in danger in Molonglo and Ginninderra. In Ginninderra new Liberal candidate Alastair Coe is leading over sitting MLA Vicki Dunne, although both should win. In Molonglo, MLA Jacqui Burke, who filled a casual vacancy in 2001, lost in that election, then filled another casual vacancy in 2002 before being re-elected in 2004, is in serious danger of losing, currently polling fourth amongst the Liberal candidates.

6:52pm – Gallagher, regardless of Labor’s poor performance, remains the most prominent Labor candidate in Molonglo by far. It’s not surprising that the bulk of the Labor vote went to her.

Here’s another thought. The second and third Liberal are both on 0.29 while Caroline le Couteur of the Greens is on 0.36 quotas. She’ll last a long time and Rattenbury should be elected solely on Elena Kirschbaum’s votes. If she lasts and picks up some preferences from Labor and Liberal and a few from Elena, she could be in with a shot.

6:34pm – Now that the electronic pre-poll votes have been counted it’s gonna be a while before the count changes. Currently the ABC computer is predicting 7-7-3, which is reasonable. That sees even numbers of Labor and Liberal in every electorate and one Green in each. Also interesting is the raw votes. There has been a 11.1% swing against the ALP and a 1.8% swing against the Liberals. The Greens have gained 6% while the balance has gone to other parties/indies.

6:24pm – Pre-poll votes counted electronically, resulting in about 15% being counted already. Brindabella has Labor and Liberal both on just over 2 quotas (a large swing against Labor) with Greens on 0.84. Labor on 2.27 in Ginninderra with Liberal on 1.72 and Greens on 0.88. Molonglo has Labor and Liberal both under 3 quotas, with Greens on 1.35 quotas.

6:11pm – I’m in the room. No scrutineer for Labor here, interestingly.

5:55pm – I’m at Campbell Primary School, about to begin scrutineering for the Greens team in Molonglo. I’ll try and keep up with liveblogging. Poll Bludger will likely also be liveblogging both the ACT and NSW, while ABC Elections is the best place for official results.

Ginninderra stories


So I just got back to my house in Hackett in the Canberra inner north.

I spent the day travelling around the Ginninderra electorate visiting polling booth workers campaigning for Meredith Hunter, Greens candidate for Ginninderra.

First of all, the polls today continue the strong performance for the Greens. Again the Greens polled well in Brindabella and Ginninderra, sufficient to win a seat in both electorates. The 23% in Molonglo would again appear to be sufficient to elect a second Green along with Shane Rattenbury, although that relies on a strict preference flow within the Greens ticket, which isn’t that common in the ACT.

The other major development was the decline of the Liberal vote and the surge in popularity for Jon Stanhope in Ginninderra. This resulted in the poll predicting 3 Labor, 1 Green and 1 Liberal.

Despite this poll, I stand by my prediction of 7 Labor, 7 Liberal and 3 Greens, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it went the way the poll predicted, with 8 Labor, 5 Liberal and 4 Greens.

ACT elections ban all handing out of how-to-votes within 100 metres of polling booths. In effect this means that most voters are missed by a booth worker, with many driving into school carparks within the 100m perimeter. The effect of this is interesting, with campaigning being much more relaxed and sleepy, and generally quiet. Most people packed up hours before polls closed. It is also interestnig that most ACT voters appeared to have no trouble voting without a HTV, with very few going back out to pick up a piece of paper. It really has convinced me of the merits of banning all handing out of HTVs on election day, with a “how to vote” magazine handed out to voters with their ballot paper.

It was also fascinating seeing the interaction of different candidates from the same party. The Greens only campaigned for Meredith Hunter, but in addition to Hunter and the three sitting MLAs, Stanhope, Dunne, and Porter, there were a few others with a strong position: Alistair Coe and Jacqui Watts for the Liberals, and Adina Cirson on the left and David Peebles on the right.

Anyway, I’m running out of time before I need to leave. I’m scrutineering tonight and I’m going to be at Campbell Primary School, before going to the Tally Room and the Greens election night party. I’ll try and liveblog through the night. For now, here’s some images from today.

A bunch of different candidate corflutes.
A bunch of different candidate corflutes.
Every booth had these Liberal "How to vote? Drive in here". It was bizarre. No-one could tell they were Liberal posters, as opposed to Elections ACT posters. A lot of them were also in the wrong place, misleading voters. I saw one at the entrance to a petrol station across the road from the booth.
Every booth had these Liberal corflutes, totally bizarre and ineffective.

NSW Super Saturday: last minute coverage


The best coverage is being provided by Antony Green.

This is the problem with having so many elections in short order. It’s election morning and only now am I getting around to covering what will finally bury the legacy of the Iemma years in NSW.

Ryde is a north-west Sydney seat, covering the westernmost parts of the Lower North Shore close to Parramatta and Hornsby. Previously a marginal seat, it became safe under John Watkins, former Deputy Premier, whose resignation triggered the end of the Iemma government. A Taverner poll in last Sunday’s Sun Herald predicted a Liberal victory with 64% of the 2PP vote, up from 40% in 2007. Duh. I doubt anyone is expecting a Labor victory in this electorate. It’s a pity Taverner didn’t poll the other three races, which should be more interesting. Prediction: Liberal win.

Cabramatta is Labor’s second-safest seat in New South Wales. It’s also Labor’s second-safest seat going to a by-election on Saturday. While it is incredibly safe by normal standards, it’s going to be an interesting contest tomorrow night. Cabramatta is one of the most diverse communities in Sydney, and indeed Australia. With a large Vietnamese population which exercises a lot of influence over local politics, Cabramatta should favour Liberal candidate Dai Le, a Vietnamese refugee and ABC documentary-maker. The ALP candidate is recently re-elected Fairfield Mayor Nick Lalich. The Taverner poll in Ryde showed a 24% swing to Labor, which would fall short of unseating Labor in Cabramatta, where a 29% swing is needed. On the other hand, Watkins was seen as a strong local member, while “the grim” Reba Meagher lived in Coogee for her 14 years as the local MP. Could this be enough, in combination with the general terribleness of Meagher, Iemma and the whole gang, to see a 29% swing? Maybe. Prediction: an incredibly narrow Liberal win.

Lakemba is in the inner south west of Sydney, previously held by Morris Iemma, is held by a 34% margin. It should be enough to hold on, but there’ll be a big swing. Prediction: a huge swing, maybe over 20%, but it shouldn’t be enough.

Port Macquarie was vacated by sitting independent MP Rob Oakeshott with his election to federal parliament in the over-lapping electorate of Lyne. The Nationals are trying to win back the seat, that they lost to Oakeshott when he defected from the Nationals in 2002. His chosen candidate is former staffer Peter Besseling. Also running are the Greens, a former ALP candidate as an independent, and three independents who were previously councillors in Port Macquarie-Hastings prior to the council’s sacking earlier this year. Prediction: Besseling continues the Independent hold.

ACT 2008: Ginninderra and Brindabella


More election-eve coverage from Poll Bludger and Decomposing Trees.

Voters will go to the polls on Saturday in the Australian Capital Territory to elect their Legislative Assembly. I’ve already covered the race in Molonglo. Unfortunately due to the Canadian election I haven’t had time to fully preview all of the races being fought tomorrow, so I’ll cover them briefly here.

I’ll be scrutineering tomorrow night in Campbell in the ACT electorate of Molonglo for the Greens. I’ll take my laptop with internet there and hopefully I’ll be able to put some updates in.

The ACT election tomorrow will almost certainly result in Jon Stanhope’s Labor government deprived of its majority. It also looks likely that the Greens will gain ground and will likely hold the balance of power, which suggests that Stanhope will be much more likely to form the next government, over Liberal leader Zed Seselja. The chances of a Labor government supported by Greens was boosted with today’s Canberra Times Patterson poll. When asked who they would prefer as Chief Minister, Greens supporters backed Stanhope over Seselja with 52% for Stanhope and 20% for Seselja.

Ginninderra covers the north-west suburbs of Canberra, centred on the major suburb of Belconnen. Prior to the 2004 election, when three Labor MLAs and two Liberals were elected, there had always been one crossbench MLA, with the seat changing hands at every election. Greens MLA Lucy Horodny was elected in 1995. She retired in 1998 and Greens candidate Shane Rattenbury failed to hold the seat, which went to conservative Dave Rugendyke, elected on Paul Osborne’s ticket. Rattenbury was narrowly beaten by Democrat Ros Dundas in 2001. In 2004, Greens candidate Meredith Hunter again came close, but missed out.

A large number of votes in Ginninderra are up for grabs this time. Highly popular former Liberal leader Bill Stefaniak will not be standing again after being appointed to a tribunal by the ALP government. Wayne Berry, the current Speaker and the most left-wing of the sitting ALP MLAs, is also retiring. Some of his vote will likely flow to the Greens simply by his retirement, outside of any broader swing. The top polling candidate in Ginninderra in 2004 was Chief Minister Jon Stanhope, who polled over two quotas. While Stanhope will be re-elected, he will provide less assistance to his fellow Labor MLAs. It looks likely that the three MLAs running for re-election will be re-elected, along with Meredith Hunter and one of the new Liberals.

Prediction: 2 Labor, 2 Liberal, 1 Greens

Brindabella covers the southern suburbs, centring on Tuggeranong and including the rural south of the ACT. The first Hare-Clark election in 1995 saw two Labor, two Liberals and independent Paul Osborne elected. A similar result was repeated in 1998. In 2001 and 2004 Labor won three seats and two Liberals. The Greens have never come close to winning here, with 0.4 quotas in 2004.

With Labor’s popularity dropping, the recent Patterson poll put the Greens on an incredible 18%. While that seems high for the Greens, it does suggest that the Greens are on track to win the seat. Greens candidate Amanda Bresnan is definitely going to struggle in comparison to Hunter and Rattenbury, but will have a strong shot.

Prediction: ALP 2, Liberal 2, Greens 1

Total prediction: ALP 7, Liberal 6, Greens 3, Richard Mulcahy 1

Postscript: as a light-hearted conclusion to the campaign, RiotACT has been getting candidates to prove their abilities by playing three hours of Sim City. While no sitting MLAs participated, a number of new Labor and Liberal candidates competed. Greens Ginninderra candidate James Higgins, as well as Shane Rattenbury, both competed as well, trying to put their policies into practice. I’ve posted the YouTube videos showing Shane and James’ performances. You can look at all the other competitors here.

Oh, Canada…


This should be about it for the Canadian election.

Ontario saw the Liberals lose a number of seats, mainly to the Conservatives with the NDP making gains. The NDP lost one seat in Ontario to the Liberals while gaining five seats in Northern Ontario and one near Niagara Falls. The Conservatives gained three ridings on the outskirts of Toronto, one in the far north of the province, and four ridings in Western Ontario.

Toronto is dominated comprehensively by the Liberal Party. Prior to the election, the Conservatives held only two ridings around Oshawa, a smaller city to the immediate east of Toronto. The NDP also held three seats in inner-city Toronto, including seats held by NDP leader Jack Layton and his wife Olivia Chow. The NDP lost the seat of Parkdale-High Park to the Liberals, while Layton and Chow held on. The Conservatives also won two seats at the edge of Toronto, Brampton West and Thornhill.

Central Ontario is dominated by the Conservatives. Only one of the eleven Central Ontario ridings was held by the Liberals prior to the election. This seat, Newmarket-Aurora, is a urban riding on the northern edge of Toronto, as opposed to the largely rural ridings that dominate this region. It was won by the Conservatives at this week’s election.

Eastern Ontario is made up of the rural ridings around Ottawa, bordering Quebec and New York State. Six of the seven ridings were won by the Conservatives in 2006, with the exception of Kingston and the Islands, won by the Liberal Party. There were no changes in 2008.

Ottawa consists of four fringe ridings held by the Conservatives, two suburban ridings held by the Liberals and an inner-city riding held by the NDP. There were no changes in 2008.

Hamilton, Burlington & Niagara covers those towns and the entire coast of Lake Ontario between Toronto and Niagara Falls. Out of the ten ridings, six are held by the Conservatives, while the three ridings in the town of Hamilton are held by the NDP. The riding of Welland, the only one won by the Liberal Party in 2006, was won by the NDP in 2008. All others remained in Conservative or NDP hands, respectively.

Midwestern Ontario covers the part of Ontario between the coasts of Lake Erie and Lake Huron. It includes a number of rural ridings, as well as one riding in the town of Guelph and three ridings in Kitchener. Prior to the recent election, the Liberals held five seats, with the Conservatives holding six. The Conservatives won three seats off the Liberals: both of the Liberal seats in Kitchener, as well as the riding of Brant.

Southwestern Ontario covers the tip of Ontario reaching close to the city of Detroit in the US state of Michigan. It has ten ridings. The five rural ridings are held by the Conservatives. The three ridings in the city of London and the two ridings in the city of Windsor were held by the NDP and Liberals. The NDP retained its three ridings, two in Windsor and one in London. The Liberals lost one of its two seats in London to the Conservatives.

Northern Ontario covers most of the land mass of Ontario, bordering Manitoba and Hudson Bay. The southernmost riding remains in Conservative hands. The other nine ridings were previously dominated by the Liberals, winning seven ridings to the NDP’s two ridings. The Liberals held onto one of these ridings, while five others were lost to the NDP and one to the Conservatives.

Manitoba elected eight Conservatives, three Liberals and three NDP in 2006. The NDP won the vast riding of Churchill, covering half of the landmass of the province, off the Liberals in 2008. The Conservatives won the Winnipeg riding of Saint Boniface off the Liberals.

Saskatchewan elected twelve Conservatives and two Liberals in 2006. A 2008 by-election in Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River was won by the Conservatives off the Liberals. The 2008 election saw the parties stay stable, with only one Liberal elected in Wascana.

Alberta, with 28 ridings, is the fourth-biggest province. In 2006, every single riding elected a Conservative, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In 2008 the NDP won the seat of Edmonton-Strathcona off the Conservatives in a surprise result.

British Columbia elected 17 Conservatives, 10 New Democrats and 9 Liberals at the 2006 election. Since then Liberal Blair Wilson became an independent and then a Green MP. The Conservatives won the NDP seats of Vancouver Island North and Surrey North, as well as the formerly Liberal seats of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, North Vancouver, and Richmond. In Vancouver-Kingsway, David Emerson, who defected to the Conservatives from the Liberals after the 2006 election, the NDP won the seat. This resulted in 22 Conservatives, 9 New Democrats and 5 Liberals.

Canada 2008: results, take two


So let’s start with the obvious.

Stephen Harper’s government was re-elected as another minority government. Harper gained nineteen seats on his 2006 performance, winning 143 seats, 12 short of a majority. Stephane Dion’s Liberal Party lost 27 seats, falling to 76, less than a quarter of the House of Commons. The Bloc Quebecois stayed fairly steady, winning 50 seats, down one from 2006. The New Democratic Party won eight extra seats to go to 37 seats. This is their second-best result, behind the 43 seats won by Ed Broadbent in 1988. It is also a remarkable recovery for a party that fell to 9 seats in 1993 and has almost tripled its representation since Layton was elected leader.

I’m going to dive into which seats changed hands in a moment, but thought I’d take a moment to examine the implications of the result. It’s important to remember that three minority governments in a row is generally very unlikely, and the Liberals were always likely to perform poorly in the campaign, meaning a re-elected Conservative minority is no huge result for the government. William Bowe at Poll Bludger has examined the idea that the performance of the Canadian government, as the first developed country to go to the polls since the global financial crisis, would give an indication to either the impact on conservative governments or on incumbent governments, regardless of their political orientation.

Most minority governments are defeated with a vote of no confidence, resulting in an early election. Yet Harper chose to go to an early election without a defeat in the House of Commons, suggesting he believed he could win a majority. The first half of the campaign suggested he would achieve it. Then the debates and the financial crisis saw the Liberals rise and the Conservatives fall. So increased numbers for the Conservative government does not indicate support for Harper’s economic policies, it rather indicates the dismal state of the Liberal Party. Harper won in spite of the economic crisis, not because of it. It’s easy to imagine that, without the crisis, Harper would have had more time to tear down Dion, and would have made greater inroads into BQ territory, enough to win the remaining 12 seats they needed for a majority.

So let’s go to the run of the board.

Newfoundland and Labrador saw a fierce “ABC” (Anything But Conservative) campaign from Progressive Conservative Premier Danny Williams over claims that Harper had broken a promise to the province. It has worked out. The Liberals retained their four seats and won two seats of the Conservatives, while the NDP won the last Conservative seat, wiping out the Conservatives and electing an NDP member in the province for the first time since 1979.

Prince Edward Island has four ridings, all of which have gone to the Liberals since 1988. This changed this year, with the Conservatives winning Egmont off the Liberals.

Nova Scotia saw very little change. The NDP retained their two seats. The Liberals lost one of their six seats to the Conservatives, and the Conservatives lost one of their three ridings with the re-election of the sitting independent, a former Conservative. Greens leader Elizabeth May fell well short of toppling Defence Minister Peter MacKay in Central Nova.

New Brunswick previously had six Liberal ridings, three Conservative ridings and one NDP riding. The places have been reversed, with the Conservatives winning three ridings off the Liberals.

Quebec saw very little change. The NDP and Conservatives each retained seats won in 2007 by-elections, while the BQ won one seat off the Conservatives in Quebec and lost a seat to the Liberals in Montreal.

Northern Quebec saw the Conservatives win Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean, won by the Conservatives in a 2007 by-election off the BQ. Every other seat went to the BQ, as it did in 2006.

Quebec City, dominated by the Conservatives in 2006, saw the BQ win back the seat of Louis-Hebert.

Montreal, which was previously divided evenly between the Liberals and BQ, remains with a similar split. The seat of Papineau was won by the Liberals off the BQ by Liberal candidate Justin Trudeau. Meanwhile the Liberals failed to win Outremont back off the NDP, which became the NDP’s first seat in Quebec in many years at a 2007 by-election after being a Liberal stronghold for decades.

That’s enough for tonight, I’ll do British Columbia, Ontario, the Prairies and the Territories whenever I can. Also look out for final coverage of Super Saturday in the ACT and NSW coming up this weekend.

Canada 2008: results


Polls close in Newfoundland and Labrador at 10am AEDT. The last polls in British Columbia and Yukon close at midday. Even though there is 4 1/2 hours gap between the opposite ends of Canada, there are staggered voting times which narrows the gap between close of polls.

I’ll try and update this post throughout the morning as the results trickle in. You can follow it all at the CBC Canada Votes website.

1:34pm: So I guess this hasn’t worked out well, because of Canada’s broadcast laws. I’ll post this evening with a full breakdown of results, but it looks like the Conservatives have gained about a dozen seats, giving them a stronger minority. The NDP have gained slightly, while the Liberals and BQ went backwards. Elizabeth May was not elected in Central Nova.

9:15am: It turns out that there are Canadian laws which prevent the broadcast of results to places still voting. This will probably mean that CBC won’t start broadcasting online until polls close in Vancouver. But there should be text-based results available online.

Canada 2008: election eve


Canadians will begin voting in a few hours in their third general election in less than five years, which looks likely to result in yet another minority government.

The campaign has been split into two parts. The first part saw the Conservatives performing strongly, looking like they would make substantial gains against the BQ in Quebec while the Liberals would lose seats to the Conservatives and the NDP in British Columbia and Ontario.

The second half began with the two election debates two weeks ago. The first debate saw Dion impress with a strong result, as did Gilles Duceppe. The second debate saw the effect of having four left-of-centre opposition leaders collectively ganging up on Stephen Harper. Harper seemed constantly on the offensive, while the four others effectively worked as a team. Indeed, the only moments with serious confrontations not involving Harper occurred when the NDP and Liberal leaders argued with each other about who had been most supportive of Harper.

Even though Dion’s poor English meant he was the weakest of Harper’s critics, he benefited in the polls in the aftermath of the debate, as Harper’s poll numbers began to decline, first in Quebec, where the BQ took back its dominant position, then nationally.

The debate coincided with Canada being rocked by the global financial crisis. It appears that voters have blamed Harper’s government and turned against them on this issue, which contributed to the Conservatives’ decline. The NDP has also consistently polled between 17-22%. Since they polled 17.5%, this points to a likely increase and at the very worse a steady result. At some points during the campaign the NDP looked like they could have taken second place away from the Liberals, but that has since faded.

It’s important to bear in mind that the Conservatives have never lost their lead in the polls. At their lowest level of support the Conservatives were still 4% ahead of the Liberals.

With four left-of-centre parties running effectively all in opposition to the government, strategic voting has also been a factor. In particular, has become a central website in directing pro-environment voters to vote for the left-wing candidate considered most likely to win in marginal seats where two different left-wing candidates are running to win. In many cases the group has made a decision to support a less progressive candidate. For example, despite stating that the Greens’ policy is the best on the environment, the party is only advocating a vote for the Greens in the Nova Scotia riding of Central Nova, where Greens leader Elizabeth May is running against Defence Minister Peter MacKay. In two British Columbia ridings where the Greens are considered competitive the website is supporting the Liberals.

Anyway, here’s my prediction for the result:

My prediction: Conservative 120, Liberal 82, Bloc Quebecois 60, New Democrats, 40, Independents 2

This would change very little. The BQ would gain 9 seats, the NDP 11, and Independents 1. This would mostly come at the expense of the Liberals, who have had a particularly dismal performance, with the Conservatives losing a few seats. This will almost certainly result in another unstable minority government, and likely another early election. The BQ will hold the balance of power again, with the NDP and Liberals again failing to win a majority of seats combined.

Polls open at 10:00pm in Newfoundland and close in Newfoundland at 10:00am tomorrow. Last polls close in BC and Yukon at Midday tomorrow. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation broadcasts from half an hour before polls close in each timezone. I expect that means you can get coverage online from 9:30am. I will try and post some updates as results come in during the day.