Canada's Hippie Party, officially known as the Greens, have been in the news recently, though not exactly for what they've done, but rather that others have done that excludes them. In general, this isn't the sort of news cycle that's actually useful to a party trying to make itself seem legitimate - "we have policies too! But let's talk about how the broadcast consortium are bullies :(" - but, who am I to criticize them?
Anyways, they seem to be paying for their own decisions as their support has considerably dropped from where it was last election. In fact, when you average out the first 8 polls done in the first 5 days of Election 2008, the Greens averaged 9.4% - this time around, in the first eight polls of the "campaign season," starting from March 24 to today, they average just 6.7%, or just under what they received in the last election.
In fact, the Greens have lost a good amount of support since the last election (that, or polls have gotten more accurate), even in the lead-up to the elections. Here's a chart comparing the Green popular vote four months preceding an election call in three elections - 2006, 2008, and 2011. It's interesting, to say the least:
As you can see, compared to 2008, the Greens are polling on average about 1-2% lower in the run-up to this election, and in the first five days of polling, they're polling nearly 3% lower. I added a trendline which shows that if the Greens continue on this current path, by E-day on May 2nd, they may be polling only 6.1% - and that's not even taking into account the inevitable drop that we saw in 2006 and in a bigger way in 2008, once the votes were all counted.
This a serious issue for the Green Party. They have two options at this point: either pollsters are a lot more accurate and they're stuck at 6-7%, or they're facing a big drop on election day unless things turn around, and for some reason I doubt May's exclusion from the debates will be that thing.
The key thing to seeing of the Greens can pull themselves out of this decline will be whether or not, come the 14th day of the election, their average is within the range of 5.5% to 7.0% of the vote - if they can outperform 7%, then they'll have a good shot at turning things around. If not, well, it may be that the Greens aren't destined to be the force many thought they could be.