Toronto Star

Things I’ve learned so far in this federal election

- JOHN CORBETT CONTRIBUTO­R John Corbett is a retired pollster, actor and sailor. He lives in midtown Toronto with a splendid cat.

I’ve been a pollster in Canada for more than 35 years. I learned the trade at Gallup, in the 1980s and 1990s. I’ve worked for the Gallup poll, the Forum Poll, the Mainstreet Poll and the Campaign Research Poll, an operation I set up.

I’m no longer affiliated with any poll or media outlet. I’m retired now, so I have no skin in this game. I can call it like I see it.

Here are some things I have learned so far in this federal election (the tenth I’ve polled):

> There is no longer a Conservati­ve majority of seats in Canada. That dream died with the last Progressiv­e Conservati­ve.

> The Conservati­ves no longer have a path to victory in this election.

> The last pathway closed when Erin O’Toole refused to say he wouldn’t repeal the assault weapon ban.

> Women hate assault weapons. They will always vote to protect their children.

> A gender gap that previously didn’t exist suddenly yawned wide in the Conservati­ve campaign.

> The Conservati­ve promise to repeal $10-a-day daycare also contribute­d to this gender gap.

> The truest path to a majority still lies through the Island of Montreal, Toronto and its inner suburbs, and half of Atlantic Canada.

> When you add a solid base in Vancouver (as many as 12 to 14 seats), B.C. is no longer dessert at the end of election night, it’s a second course.

> The People’s Party of Canada is not your grandparen­ts’ Social Credit.

> It’s not your parents’ Christian Heritage Party, either.

> The PPC is Ford Nation writ large across Canada (the original Ford Nation, the coalition of disgruntle­d conservati­ves, NDP and ethnic interests and that came out for Rob Ford in 2010).

> They are young, ambitious, wealthy and they cut across gender and regional lines.

> The NDP had only one role in this election; to clear 25 per cent in the national popular vote, and escort in a Conservati­ve majority.

> Neither the party, nor Jagmeet Singh, could get it done.

> The Green campaign was stillborn, conceived in strife.

> The Green’s best day was the first day of the campaign.

> The Conservati­ves thought this was a change election. Then it changed.

> The change election changed into a wave election.

> A Liberal majority is not only likely, but probable.

Ask me Friday. Things move fast in the last week before E-day. It might be a Liberal blowout.

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