Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Canada 2006: Analysis part I

Part One; the Atlantic

Newfoundland and Labrador

An impressive showing by the Tories resulted in the Newfies popular vote gap between them and the Liberals shrink to just 0.15% and three seats out of seven. The return of some very familer old voting patterns seems to have happend, with easy wins for the St John's Tories and the solid gain of Avalon by maverick Tory Fabian Manning. The Liberals easily held on to Bonavista–Gander–Grand Falls–Windsor, but caming shockingly close to losing in Random-Burin St George's (which, for those interested in the link between politics and demographics, has a large Catholic minority).

P.E.I

Once again the Liberals took all four ridings and took over 50% in all of them. Not much else to say really.

Nova Scotia

The Liberals managed to put up a strong defense here and somehow managed to avoid losing any seats (and in a province in which they were wiped out in in 1997!) easily beating off a strong NDP challenge in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour and doing the same to a Tory challenge against ex-PCer Scott Brison in Kings-Hants. The rural swing riding West Nova was a much tougher fight with Robert Thibault hanging on by a couple of hundred votes.
The rest of the results were fairly predictable (with the voters of Halifax apparently disagreeing with Peter MacKay's claim that former NDP leader Alexa McDonough should stick to her knitting) with the possible exception of Central Nova, where the NDP cut MacKay's majority down to about 8%.

New Brunswick

The New Brunswick results were similer to the Nova Scotia results; with the exception of Tobique-Mactaquac (a very conservative rural riding narrowly gained by the Tories off rightwing Liberal Andy Savoy) the Liberals were able to hold off the Tory threat very sucessfully, even in traditionally Tory ridings like Fredericton and Saint John. There was also a tough fight in Madawaska-Restigouche (which is, after all, more of a Quebec riding than a New Brunswick one).
Meanwhile former miner Yvon Godin made mincemeat out of yet another "star" Liberal candidate over in Acadie-Bathurst...

And the results are in...

...and over twelve years of Liberal rule in Canada has come to an end. This wasn't the wipeout that it could have been (enough embattled Liberal M.P's won enough narrow victories to keep the Martin ship above the hundred mark) but it was a clear defeat for the Liberals in general and a personal defeat for Martin himself. At the beginning of the campaign it was his election to lose; and lose it he did. This election saw the worst Liberal campaign in over a decade and the second lowest share of the popular vote for the Liberals since Confederation. His political career is dead and, to his credit, he knows it himself.
But to what extent is this a Harper victory? Not much; despite everything he only has a narrow minority in Parliament and it's possible that his time as P.M could be measured in months rather than years. Still, if this election has taught us anything, it's not to underestimate him.
As for the other two... Layton has led his party to it's best showing since the '80's and one that is pretty good by historical standards. But despite that he might still want to have a few words with the people who drew the Saskatchewan riding boundaries (although if this election was a personal defeat for Martin, it could be argued to be a personal victory for Layton; what with Chow finally winning in Trinity-Spadina). And as for Duceppe... so near, and yet so far. He entered this campaign with the symbolic milestone of 50% of the vote in Quebec within his sights... and finished with 42%. The gains made off the Liberals were more than ofset by the losses to the Tories; many of which happend in seats considered to be safe just a few weeks ago.
Interesting times are certainly ahead of Canada.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Canada 2006... yet more predictions!

I won't be able to finish the seat by seat thing; I had meant to do it today, but for several reasons (including being very tired) I've not been able to... much to my irritation might I add... that said here's predictions for some races that could be interesting...

Beaches-East York: Tossup
Etobicoke-Lakeshore: Not sure whether this should be Liberal or Tossup... it's a real shame that no one polled this... I'll go with Tossup to be on the safe side...
St Paul's: Call me crazy, but I think this'll be close. Tossup (with a large expectation that I'll be wrong...)
Hamilton East-Stoney Creek: NDP gain from Lib
Newmarket-Aurora: Con gain from Lib. Bye, bye Belinda...
Jeanne-Le Ber: Tossup
LaSalle-Émard: Lib hold... but humilatingly close
Outremont: Tossup
Pontiac: Con gain from Lib
Fredericton: Tossup
Dartmouth-Cole Harbour: Tossup
Avalon: Tossup; if the Liberals lose, things get very grim indeed for them...

In general I expect to see the Tories to come close to sweeping SW Ontario (maybe no Liberals left? Not likely but... imagine SW Ontario being just blue and orange though) and making some decent gains in the 905 suburban area; I think there may be a chance of some big Liberal majorities falling there. I think that the BQ will fail to crack 50% in Quebec; not sure by how much. The Tories might just win a handful of seats, or they could shock us all and hit double digits there. Even old Peg Leg's former fief is in danger apparently; if it falls it'd be a big, big symbolic blow against the Bloc.
So... I expect Prime Minister Harper; yeah, so does everyone. Majority or Minority? Uncertain; hinges on Quebec I think. Opposition leader? Uncertain; could be Martin (not for long though). Could be Duceppe. Could even be (albeit very unlikely) Layton. Will Dithers himself go down to defeat? Seems unlikely... but not totally out of the question. Are my predictions any good? Not sure; I only let optimism creep in twice and pessimism never, if that helps. I do expect to be wrong on more than just a few guesses.
In a few hours I will awake and find out to all, well probably all, of these questions. And then it will be time to go into analysis mode; the best part of an election...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Canada 2006: Predictions part II

Alberta

Edmonton

Edmonton Centre: Con gain from Lib
Edmonton East: Con hold
Edmonton-Leduc: Con hold
Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont: Con gain from Ind
Edmonton-Sherwood Park: Con hold
Edmonton-Spruce Grove: Con hold
Edmonton-St Albert: Con hold
Edmonton-Strathcona: Con hold (although it might be tight)

Calgary

Calgary Centre: Con hold
Calgary Centre-North: Con hold
Calgary East: Con hold
Calgary Northeast: Con hold
Calgary-Nose Hill: Con hold
Calgary Southeast: Con hold
Calgary Southwest: Con hold
Calgary West: Con hold

Rural

Crowfoot: Con hold (and probably by biggest majority in Canada)
Fort McMurray-Athabasca: Con hold
Lethbridge: Con hold
Macleod: Con hold
Medicine Hat: Con hold
Peace River: Con hold
Red Deer: Con hold
Vegreville-Wainwright: Con hold
Westlock-St Paul: Con hold
Wetaskiwin: Con hold
Wild Rose: Con hold
Yellowhead: Con hold

Saskatchewan

Battlefords-Lloydminster: Con hold (Pankiw probably in second though)
Blackstrap: Con hold
Cypress Hills-Grasslands: Con hold
Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River: Tossup
Palliser: Tossup
Prince Albert: Con hold
Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre: Tossup
Regina-Qu'Appelle: I'll stick my neck out and say a narrow NDP gain from Con.
Saskatoon-Humboldt: Con hold (assuming that Pankiw's vote from last time breaks their way)
Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar: Tossup
Saskatoon-Wanuskewin: Con hold
Souris-Moose Mountain: Con hold
Wascana: Tossup
Yorkton-Melville: Con hold

Manitoba

Winnipeg

Charleswood-St James-Assiniboia: Con hold
Elmwood-Transcona: NDP hold
Kildonan-St Paul: Con hold
Saint Boniface: Tossup (never thought I'd be writing that...)
Winnipeg Centre: NDP hold
Winnipeg North: NDP hold
Winnipeg South: Tossup
Winnipeg South Centre: Tossup

Rural

Brandon-Souris: Con hold
Churchill: Tossup
Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette: Con hold
Portage-Lisgar: Con hold
Provencher: Con hold
Selkirk-Interlake: I'll be optimistic and go with a Tossup

Friday, January 20, 2006

Canada 2006: Predictions part I

When I did predictions for the 2005 U.K election I did very well in Northern England (with two major exceptions; Grogan somehow hanging on in Selby and getting the yuppy/student influenced seat we were in trouble in wrong; I thought it was NUT "Central", but it turned out to be Withington. If I'd bothered to double-check the demographics of both I wouldn't have got that wrong...) but made more than just a few mistakes for the south (New Forest East a tossup? In retrospect I can't believe I fell for that...) although the overall pattern weren't bad.

British Columbia

Vancouver Island

Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca: Tossup
Nanaimo-Alberni: Tossup
Nanaimo-Cowichan: NDP hold
Saanich-Gulf Islands: Con hold (due to split vote)
Vancouver Island North: Tossup
Victoria: NDP gain from Lib (might be close)

Interior

British Columbia Southern Interior: NDP gain from Con
Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo: Con hold (might be close; doubt it)
Kelowna-Lake Country: Con hold
Kootenay-Columbia: Con hold
Okanagan-Coquihalla: Con hold
Okanagan-Shuswap: Con hold
Prince George-Peace River: Con hold
Cariboo-Prince George: Con hold
Skeena-Bulkley Valley: a narrow NDP hold

Lower Mainland

Vancouver Centre: Tossup
Vancouver East: NDP hold
Vancouver Kingsway: Tossup
Vancouver Quadra: Lib hold
Vancouver South: Lib hold
Burnaby-Douglas: NDP hold (could be close)
Burnaby-New Westminster: Tossup
Delta-Richmond East: Con hold
Fleetwood-Port Kells: Tossup
Newton-North Delta: Tossup
New Westminster-Coquitlam: Tossup
North Vancouver: Tossup
West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country: Tossup
Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam: Con hold
Richmond: Tossup
South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale: Con hold
Surrey North: NDP gain from Ind (no idea how close or not)
Abbotsford: Con hold
Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon: Con hold
Langley: Con hold
Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission: Tossup

Note that I expect most of the *outer* Lower Mainland tossups to vote Tory; I'm not sure which and the situation out there is very confused.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Canada 2006

While a lot of things are still very much up in the air, it's now looking almost certain that the long reign of the Liberals will come to an end in a matter of days. Only questions now are whether or not the Tories can win a majority... and just how badly will the Liberals do, exactly?
The latter question in particular is very interesting.

Add to that the usual fun of elections and analysing the results... and just for once my insomina might come in handy.

Intial seat predictions up soon

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I Return

...as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted...

I'll try to actually get round to updating this from now on. Some stuff on the Canadian Elections will be up tomorrow, and a longrunning load of stuff on the forthcoming U.K local elections will be too.