Three weeks ago Forum had it 35% PC, 30% Lib, 26% NDP and 6% Green. The latest behemoth leaves the PC's stalled, the Liberals up 5%, NDP down 3% and Greens down 1%, translating into a dead heat between the two main parties. From the Liberal perspective any evidence of NDP erosion to the Liberal camp is welcome news, to win they must drive down that NDP number.
One quibble with the pollster, they come out with seat projections, then make a prognostication about minority, even though over 25% of seats are completely in play:
If those numbers were to be repeated on Oct. 6, the Liberals and Tories would be tied at 47 seats with the NDP only holding 13 seats in the 107-member Legislature. However, the results for at least 28 ridings are within the margin of error, so seat predictions are not nearly as reliable as the total sample.
Even so, none of the parties appears likely at this point to be able to win the 54 seats needed for a majority government, which leaves Ontario poised for its first minority government since 1985.
Forum finds 26% of seats are within the margin of error, meaning there is still significant room for gains or losses. In fact, this finding leaves open the possibility of a majority, a late rush will firm up one sides ridings and could easily pull the 7 more required to sneak in with a majority. If the debate were to bring a small percentage change in vote intention, a majority is easily attainable, so I'm still not prepared to buy into the "looming" minority just yet, to early and to much evidence of volality. Let's not forget, a few weeks ago a PC majority looked a "certainty", so educated wisdom is forever leary of "looks like". Throw in what I see as a large subset of marginal support and Ontario may still yet surprise.
One argument is solidified, namely this debate will probably decide who becomes the next government. The late timing of the debate in this campaign almost guarantees any momentum would be unstoppable, heading to election day. Make or break is an understatement, given the now clear backdrop.