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Scary projection – Harper wins majority with only 34% of the vote!

October 11, 2008

Immediate release

Fair Vote Canada

Projection based on CP-Harris-Decima poll shows

first-past-the-post system could hand Conservatives

a majority with just 34% of the popular vote

Green Party could be shut out with as many as

1.75 million votes

A projection based on the October 9 Canadian Press Harris-Decima rolling survey shows the Conservative Party, with a very minor increase in support, could set a new record for the least-supported “majority” government in Canadian history, dropping significantly below the Liberals 38% “majority” in 1997.

The bizarre, but plausible, possibilities do not end there. In the 2006 election, the Green Party won more than 664,000 votes, setting the record for the most votes won by a federal party without capturing a single seat in Parliament. The Fair Vote Canada projection shows the Green Party could still be denied seats with more than 1.75 million votes.

“The possibility of such ludicrous and undemocratic outcomes should be a wake-up call for all Canadians on the urgency of replacing our dysfunctional first-past-the-post voting system with one based on voter equality and proportional representation,” said Barbara Odenwald, President of Fair Vote Canada. “This is nuts. We’re in the 21st century. Most other Western industrial nations scrapped first-past-the-post last century.”

The projection, prepared by British Columbia mathematician Julian West, is based on the regional results of the Canadian Press-Harris-Decima poll, supplemented with additional regional data from a recent Ekos poll.

The projection applied the current regional results to predict how votes might shift on a riding-by-riding basis based on the voting results in the 2006 election, and then determined how many additional Conservative votes would be needed to win a majority of seats (see footnote for further detail on projection methodology.)

The projection showed that if a relatively small number of additional votes were cast for the Conservatives across the country, nudging them to just 34% of total votes cast, that might be sufficient for a net gain of 32 seats, which would create a 156-seat majority.

Applying this model, the following seats tip to the Conservatives (all from the Liberals, unless stated):

NL Labrador
NL Random-Burin-St George’s
NS West Nova
NB Fredericton
NB Madawaska-Restigouche
NB Miramichi
NB Saint John
ON Brant
ON Huron-Bruce
ON London West
ON Mississauga South
ON Oakville
MB Saint Boniface
SK Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River
BC 18 seats (every opposition seat, except Vancouver East)

Fair Vote Canada (FVC) is a national multi-partisan citizens’ campaign to promote voting system reform. FVC was founded in 2001 and has a National Advisory Board of distinguished Canadians from all points on the political spectrum.


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  1. Stan Leung says:

    until the green party has a legitimate stance on issues they will always be on the outside looking in

  2. […] – Scary projection – Harper wins majority with only 34% of the vote! saved by yester5002008-10-16 – The Bill Ayers Question – by KC Wilkerson at […]

  3. trashee says:

    I dunno – there are factors at work other than the type of electoral system used by a particular country that can dictate the relative stability of said country.
    Any system, including PR, has its warts, but what PR does do is guarentee that a vote cast is a vote that is worthwhile and not “wasted”.

  4. David Neal says:

    The proportional representation crowd often points out the only three countries that use first past the post are the US, Britain and Canada. Those aren’t the three countries with the longest steak of effective stable governments. Sounds like first past the post works.

  5. trashee says:

    Dion was not confused. Three different versions of the question were asked and that would have confused a little Alglo comme moi!
    I would love to see the outtakes of Stevie mussing up either official langauge… I’m sure it has happened!
    In any case, Stevo is toast. His failure to improve on the 2006 results will result in a new leader of the ReformCons!

  6. Leo Geront says:


    Anybody But Confused Dion Eh

  7. trashee says:

    Touche, Ken.

  8. Ken says:

    It would be “scary” no matter the result. The sooner we move to proportional representation the better.

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