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Tonight's Debate May Be Martin's Last Chance

The latest poll has the Conservatives at 37%, the Liberals at 29%, and the NDP at 15%. This is the most extreme lead by the Conservatives yet.

It is interesting to note that:

  • At 37% the Conservatives have improved from their 29.6% result in the 2004 election. However, they still score below the combined right-wing vote for any recent (1968 and on) election other than 1993 and 1980.
  • The Liberals, at 29%, are very low, historically speaking. In 1984 they scored 28.0%. Their second worst performance was 31.92% in 1988. Other than that, they have been solidly in the 30s, 40s or more since Confederation.
  • The NDP appear to be right around where they were in the last election (15.69%). Though disappointing, this is still better for them than any election since 1988..

After tonight's debate, we should have a better sense of how things might really end up this time. On one hand, it feels like the wheels are really coming off the Liberal campaign. On the other hand, Canada changed its mind in 2004 after they saw Harper take the lead. They'll be watching tonight, and many will be deciding whether or not they really want Stephen Harper to be the next Prime Minister.

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