Macleans has taken the last six Federal polls (Decima, Angus-Reid, and Ipsos Reid from last week, as well as the SES, Léger and the Strategic Counsel polls from February) and aggregated the results. The result is as follows:
Bloc Québécois 9.17%
In other words, almost identical to election day, with the NDP doing a little worse and the Greens doing a little better.
All of which argues against a Spring election, especially since, should an election be called, everyone will know that it has been called at the whim of Stephen Harper and co. As Richard Gwyn writes in this morning's Star:
The politics of the matter are a bit different. While there's nothing to prevent Harper from calling an election tomorrow and explaining, "I'm doing it for no reason except that I'm going to win it," most political pros will judge this a Bad Thing for him to do.
Not bad in itself – since it would be the truth – but bad in its consequences. Canadian voters might get shirty.
Under this scenario, the Liberals might profitably dig up whatever piece of film has Stephen Harper telling the voters that he intends to govern until 2009/2010, and run it as their first attack ad.
But then why all the posturing? Well, it seems to me that the strategy works for the CPoC whether an election is called or not. They do have a budget to get through parliament, and would certainly like to move it through with as little compromise as possible. If empty threats work to grease the skids for this document, then what more is required? And if the next month brings even better polling numbers well, hell, they can still figure out a way to drop the writ. The point is, even if Harper et al didn't plan for a Spring election, it would make sense to behave as though they did.