Originally Posted by easy as pie
as for the lpbc rise in recent polls, look no further than the collapse of the cpbc, which is sort of a shame. anyway, i'd wonder if there was an example anywhere in canada when a party (here, the ndp) held such a large and durable lead (a couple years now) and then went on not to form government.
Just look ay BC as an example:
1. May, 1983 Election
The Socreds were embroiled in numerous well-publicized scandals (the dirty tricks affair) for years, Premier Bennett Jr. was very unpopular, Barrett's NDP was leading opinion polls for years leading up to the May, 1983 election. On the date the '83 election was called the NDP held a commanding public opinion lead, numerous people interviewed on the then BCTV News Hours (archive) stated that they had abandoned the Socreds in favour of the NDP, etc.
A slam dunk NDP win?
Nada. During, the 28-day campaign, Barrett and his MLA wannabes made some statements that spooked voters. What happened? Socred landslide win and Barrett resigned.
2. October, 1986 Election:
Again, the post May-1983 massive restraint program resulted in massive upheaval and anger at the Bennett gov't, Bennett was very unpopular as usual, the NDP was leading public opinion polls for years. Same old same old.
Bennett then resigned and Vander Zalm became Socred leader (bad choice IMHO). In any event, during the October, 1986 election campaign the Socreds surged to an unprecedented high 50% support level and the NDP slam dunk win became another Socred landslide.
3. October, 1991 Election:
The Socreds had been disintegrating under Vander Zalm (with his social conservative views and conflicts of interest), some Socreds sat as independents, the NDP won 6 straight by-elections in strong Socred seats, the NDP was leading opinion polls for years and Harcourt was a moderate.
After the leader's debate, the Gordon Wilson Liberals surged - BCTV daily tracking polls showed them leading narrowly, even NDP internal polling showed the Liberals ahead. In fact, the NDP was so worried that they called a press conference attacking Gordon Wilson, his candidates, and Liberal policies, which blunted the surge. Later, NDP strategists confirmed that had the election campaign continued for another week, the Gordon Wilson Liberals would have won.
4. May, 1996 Election
With many scandals, financial upheavals, etc. the NDP was regularly polling in 3rd place after the Liberals and Reform. Harcourt resigned and Glen Clark became leader. Only during the course of the election campaign did the NDP surge enough and with luck the riding splits went the NDP's way even though the Liberals garnered a slightly higher level of the popular vote. For years, the Liberals were expected to win that election.
Just look next door to Alberta's 2012 provincial election and some public opinion polls prior to the election:
1. Abacus Data (March 28): Wild Rose - 43%/ PC - 31%
2. Forum Research (April 9): WR - 43%/ PC-31%
3. Think HQ Public Affairs (April 10): WR - 43%/ PC 29%
4. Abacus Data (April 11): WR - 46%/ PC 29%
That's just a sample. What happened? Massive PC landslide with the PC's at 44% to 34% for WR. Who woulda thunk?!