I've been going back and forth over who would come out on top for quite some time now so I just decided to go with a dead heat. If nothing else, it will make for an interesting post-election period as everyone scrambles to sort things out.
Here's a region-by-region breakdown of how I got at these numbers:
I would be absolutely shocked if anything changes here. I don't expect more than 1 or 2 seats to switch hands in the four Maritime provinces unless one of the party leaders declares he hates Great Big Sea.
The Tories and Dippers don't have a chance. A lot of people think there's a glass ceilling on the number of seats the BQ can win but consider the 1988 election results in Quebec:
PC 52.7% 63 seats
Lib 30.3% 12 seats
NDP 14% 0 seats
I know it's not a perfect comparison, but if the BQ can somehow pull off a 53-30 edge in the popular vote, there's no reason they can't take over 60 seats. I don't think they'll be quite that dominant, but the BQ is gaining seats this election regardless of how the campaign goes. Gilles Duceppe should just fly to Florida and come back for election day. We all know there are plenty of Quebecers down there this time of the year anyways.
I don't expect major changes on the Prairies. The NDP should pick up a seat or two in Saskatchewan and I think Anne's luck may have finally run out in Alberta. The real question mark is BC, so I'm sure we'll all be up late on election night. I'm basing my predictions on NDP gains in BC, but it could really break any number of ways.
Excluding Ontario, I've got the NDP making some gains at the expense of the Tories out West, and the BQ making gains at the expense of the Liberals in Quebec. So, the Liberals enter Ontario with their current 30 seat head start on the Tories. I'm going to guess that Ontario finally takes a (small) chance on Harper this campaign and 12 or 15 seats swing his way. Coupled with Liberal loses and a few NDP gains, that leaves us with my above prediction.
PS: Ethel's going down in the NWT!