Saturday, October 3, 2009

By-Election Frenzy!

The Globe and Mail is reporting that the government will call four by-elections to fill the empty seats in Parliament. The vote is likely to take place sometime in November.

The four by-elections are in New Westminster-Coquitlam, a riding east of Vancouver previously held by Dawn Black of the NDP, Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, a riding in central Nova Scotia encompassing the cities of Truro and Amherst and previously held by independent Bill Casey, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, an eastern Montreal riding formerly held by Réal Ménard of the Bloc Quebecois, and Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup, a riding in the Bas-St-Laurent held by Paul Crête of the Bloc Quebecois.

What fun!

The two Bloc ridings are the closest thing to a lock. They're Bloc strongholds.


In Hochelaga, only NDP candidate Jean-Claude Rocheleau is confirmed, according to the Pundit's Guide. This was the result in 2008:

BQ - 49.7%
LPC - 20.7%
NDP - 14.4%
CPC - 9.2%
GPC - 4.3%

If we take the proportional change of the current projection in the province from the result in 2008, and apply it to the riding, we get:

BLQ - 47.9%
LPC - 25.8%
NDP - 12.9%
GPC - 7.5%
CPC - 7.0%

So the Bloc would comfortably win this riding.


Candidates for the Bloc (Nancy Gagnon) and the Conservatives (Bernard Généraux) have been confirmed. Here is last year's result:

BLQ - 46.0%
CPC - 30.6%
LPC - 15.4%
NDP - 5.5%
GPC - 2.2%

With the proportional change, we get:

BLQ - 44.3%
CPC - 23.3%
LPC - 19.2%
NDP - 4.9%
GPC - 3.8%

Another comfortable win for the Bloc. Something to watch here is how the Conservative vote goes. This used to be Mario Dumont's provincial riding, and in the provincial by-election the ADQ vote melted away. Will the same sort of thing happen for the Tories?

New Westminster-Coquitlam

This one could be a good race. Apparently, the NDP plans to make political hay out of the HST issue. It isn't an NDP stronghold, but over the last few elections the NDP has narrowly beat out the Conservatives. Last year's result:

NDP - 41.8%
CPC - 38.8%
LPC - 11.3%
GPC - 7.2%

With the proportional change:

NDP - 39.1%
CPC - 32.4%
LPC - 15.4%
GPC - 9.0%

So the NDP holds on to it. One thing to watch is the Liberal vote. It sank from the mid-20s to 15% in the last election. Will it get back to the 25% mark?

Diana Dilworth (CPC), Fin Donnelly (NDP), Rebecca Helps (GPC), and Ken Beck Lee (LPC) have been confirmed as candidates.

Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley

This is the real contest. Bill Casey left the Conservatives because he felt their 2007 budget violated the Atlantic Accord. He ran again in 2008 as an independent, and virtually swept the riding:

IND - 69.0%
NDP - 12.3%
CPC - 8.8%
LPC - 8.5%

So what will happen to those Casey voters? Will they go back to the Conservatives? This makes it wide open. But let's look at the 2006 result:

CPC - 52.0%
LPC - 23.9%
NDP - 20.7%
GPC - 2.1%

This suggest the riding is a safe Conservative seat. Let's apply the change between the projection and the 2006 result to this riding:

CPC - 42.6%
NDP - 23.4%
LPC - 22.9%
GPC - 5.9%

So it all depends on how the Liberal/NDP vote splits. The Conservatives look like they'll be a little vulnerable, but should win it if they don't mess it up.

The confirmed candidates are Scott Armstrong (CPC), Mark Austin (NDP), Jason Blanch (GPC), and Jim Burrows (LPC).

I'll be watching these by-elections closely, and maybe I'll make some projections before the vote takes place.