Just when the trending seemed to spell doom for the Conservatives, a ray of hope?Nanos
, the pollsters IMHO who have been the most responsive to changes in trending, are both reporting the Tories have stabilized and are building some of their lead back.Remember, from this point on, the actual numbers mean less than the trend. Up, down or sideways will give average folks a chance of figuring out which party has momentum. Recent voter intention surveys have shown that a gross majority of people who have indicated a willingness to vote for one of the four main national parties are about 75 per cent sure they will vote for that party. The undecided is also shrinking, to some extent. What that means is that over the weekend, over the turkey, people will make their decision on who to vote for. That's a lot of pressure.Although the Tories seem to be rebounding from their swoon, there is one more variable that could end up deciding this thing: Voter turnout.The only indication we have to predict the number of people who will case a vote is the advance polls.
About 1.4 million Canadians voted in advance polls, down from 1.5 million in 2006 when voter turnout was rather robust. Given that about 10 per cent of the electorate vote in advance polls, these early birds are usually a good indication of overall turnout. It's going to be down. A combination of election fatigue, Thanksgiving holiday distractions, and white-knuckle terror over the market meltdown will likely keep a lot of people home. The question now is, who is hurt by that?Could be the Tories, given that they needed strong turnout to win a minority. Remember that a surge in voting in Winnipeg South took MP Rod Bruinooge to victory over Liberal MP Reg Alcock. Lower turnout could hurt the drive to a majority.Could be the Liberals, given that they really need the Anybody but Harper forces to come out in force, and vote strategically, to slow the rebounding momentum the Tories are hinting they have now.NDP or Greens? Hard to say if they would be affected much at all. I'm not sure anyone thought there was a scenario under which hundreds of thousands of Green supporters were going to show up, people who didn't vote before, to carry them to victory in a handful of seats. But you never know.The only certainty? On election night, when the result is no longer in doubt, we'll all be scratching our heads and saying, 'Wow, I didn't see that coming.'-30-