I think this election will be one of the most exciting on record. I don't see a real sweep for anyone. Some of the pollsters and pundits in their hype are predicting a replay of the major success stories of John Diefenbaker and Brian Mulroney.
But we didn't have as many major parties then to split the vote.
And if the Bloc is on the ropes, it's difficult to predict who would gain. According to Andrew Steele in the Globe, the NDP don't have many quality candidates in the province.
The challenge for the Liberals this election is getting the 800,000 faithfuls who stayed home in 2008, to get out to vote, and I think they will do that. Because despite the questionable national polls, Michael Ignatieff is packing them in.
This election will be determined riding by riding, with the only national commitment to get rid of Stephen Harper, or at least hold him to a minority, though I don't think that will help. He needs a clear loss.
The Hill Times is reporting that there are as many as 95 close calls across the country. And regional polling is not showing the same as the national polls.
Lorne Bozinoff, president of Forum Research, also said polling has been mostly stagnant. With the exception of Mr. Layton in Quebec [margin of error 6.4], polling shows the Conservatives still dominate in the Prairies, and the Liberals have been holding steady in Ontario after initial Tory gains.However, while they are suggesting little will change, a high voter turnout could very well change everything.
And we have to look at some of the pollsters weighing in. Summa Strategies vice-president Tim Powers is a Conservative insider, and David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data, is a colleague of Tom Flanagan's.
I wouldn't put too much weight on anything they say.
The anticipated high voter turn out and youth participation, will be the game changer. And if this doesn't split the vote, the Conservatives could be in trouble.
Cheryl Gallant is struggling in her riding of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. Dean Del Mastro and his brother have waged a war against constituents in Peterborough, coming across as bullies.
In the Ontario riding of Brampton-Springdale, where Conservative Party candidate Parm Gill is running against Ruby Dhallah, there are charges of inappropriate access to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, and even the possibility that Gill, a private investigator, is selling visas for votes.
Former prime minister Joe Clark is backing Liberal Scott Brison, not that Brison's seat is really vulnerable, but it is a reminder that Harper's party is not the same as the historic Conservative Party that folded in 2003.
And while it would appear that the hype over the NDP surge has drowned out the debate on healthcare, that is still prominent on people's minds.
Few pollsters are paying attention to the Green Party, and I think they are about to make a breakthrough. Elizabeth May is in front in Saanich-Gulf Islands, and the Green platform will appeal to young voters. It may not be a splash, but I think we'll see a few Green MPs this time. Hopefully.
But there is one very important factor that is being missed. The determination of the Canadian people to get rid of Stephen Harper. The fact that his candidates are not showing up at debates and avoiding the media, only shows further contempt for Canadians.
If I had to make a prediction I would say that we could be looking at a Liberal minority, with a stronger NDP presence. The Bloc about the same, perhaps a bit diminished, and 3 or 4 Green MPs.
Hey, I can't be any further off than Nik Nanos. I just have to say with "a margin of error" requiring all fingers and a few toes, and I'm covered.
But in another prediction, where I'll be spot on, is that this election is going to be very exciting and yes, unpredictable.