What are the chances that the Bloc could become the Official Opposition? - The Intrepid

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What are the chances that the Bloc could become the Official Opposition?

Several analysts have suggested this possibility, but the chances of this happening are slim. Although the Bloc was the official opposition from 1993 to 1997, it is highly unlikely that circumstances will allow the Bloc to achieve this again.

As it stands now, the Conservatives are pretty much guaranteed a minority government. In the early 90s, the split in the conservative vote between the Progressive Conservatives and Reform Party allowed the Bloc to become the Official Opposition with only 54 seats. In the 1997 Federal Election, Bloc support in Quebec fell and the Reform Party’s growing victories out west helped Preston Manning become Opposition Leader.

The Bloc are currently enjoying yet another renaissance at the expensive of declining Conservative support in Quebec. However, the stage is not set for Duceppe to move into Stornoway. To win enough seats, the Bloc needs to steal Conservative support in rural areas and Liberal and NDP support in urban areas. If the Bloc is able to do exceptionally well on the 14th, the most they will probably come away with is 55 seats. The Liberals will hold most of Montreal, unless the NDP are able to draw away significant support, and the Conservatives have a strong foothold in parts of Southern Quebec.

55 seats simply isn’t enough. Even if the Liberals are trounced, they will still win at least 65-70 seats. More than enough for the Liberals to maintain their position as the Official Opposition.