Latest Canadian poll

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The latest poll in Canada, as relayed by the expert Canadian politics watcher Captain Ed of Captains Quarters, shows Conservatives leading Liberals 39 percent to 27 percent.

This looks like a startling turnaround from the 2004 election, in which Liberals led in the popular vote 37 percent to 30 percent. Interestingly, the pollster sat on the figures for 24 hours and conducted more interviews before publishing the results. In Ontario, the poll showed Conservatives leading 44 percent to 33.5 percent.

So far, this poll seems to be an outlier. Still, if the numbers come out this way, Conservatives could have a parliamentary majority and would not have to rely on votes from the Bloc Quebecois to stay in government. This would represent a major change in Canadian politics. The old Progressive Conservative party, under Brian Mulroney, headed governments from 1984 to 1993. But the PCs were just about wiped out (I believe they won two seats) in 1993, and today's Conservatives are a different party. The Wikipedia entry here on Canadian elections seems to be pretty good; it has results from all recent elections, and the psephologists who are reading can spend all afternoon and evening crunching the numbers if they wish. See also University of Minnesota political science graduate student Tony Hill's Canadian Politics: Riding by Riding (ridings are what the Canadians call their parliamentary districts), which is something like my Almanac of American Politics.