As a frustrated Greg Weston earlier griped, if it were up to
Indeed, the latest SES numbers show the Liberals up by nearly 10 points in
Liberals: 35.7 per cent
Conservatives: 26.6 per cent
NDP: 15.6 per cent
Greens: 5.3 per cent
Unsure: 16.9 per cent (more than support the NDP, interesting)
And when only decided voters are included:
Liberal: 42.9 per cent
Conservatives: 31.9 per cent
NDP: 18.8 per cent
Greens: 6.4 per cent
What is also interesting, and could lead to positive seat growth for the Liberals, is some of the demographic shifts taking place in the 905 belt, that suburban area outside of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). This suburban area is where Mike Harris won his majorities. They tend to be more Conservative-minded, and this is where Harper has been making inroads, with plans for more in the next election.
An interesting article in the Globe last month however, written after the provincial election, identified an interesting trend that could have important federal implications as well. The 905 ridings are becoming increasingly urban and, therefore, more likely to vote Liberal:
And those issues are particularly interesting, as they are issues that the Harper government has all but ignored, not boding well for his chances in the 905. The whole drop dead incident comes to mind. The issues?
Ryerson Universitypolitical scientist Neil Tomlinson said the movement of people from to rapidly growing suburbs such as Milton or Barrie was reflected in the shift away from the Tories on Wednesday. Their share of the provincial vote fell in 21 of 23 ridings, only eight of which went Conservative. Toronto
Prof. Tomlinson said the change in 905 voting comes from a fundamental shift in values.
"The whole character in these areas is now so different than a traditional suburban area. They are really urban. ... And as the character of an area changes, the issues that resonate with them change," he said.
…the new suburbanites are more concerned with issues such as urban sprawl and the environment than the 905 denizens of the past, who found their rural and small-town values better represented by the Tories.
Now, in the interests of fairness, the professor does say he doesn’t think Harper needs to worry, as provincial issues and dynamics drove the seat results in October. True enough. But if he’s correct in identifying the demographic shifts then I’d say Harper does need to worry.
If the Liberals can make city issues front and centre, issues Harper has continued to ignore, then there would seem to be great room for growth in the 905. And, if nothing else, fighting a holding action would make Harper’s majority much more difficult to achieve.
Now, the other major driving factor in the 905 belt is ethnic issues, an area Harper and Jason Kenney have been putting a lot of effort into. But that’s a whole other story, and one others are better suited to address then I. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers