Monday, November 9, 2009

By-Elections Today

In British Columbia, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, by-elections are being held today. If you live in any of these ridings, be sure to vote.

Here are some predictions (not projections).

New Westminster-Coquitlam

This Vancouver suburban riding was held by Dawn Black of the NDP. She had won this riding by three points and about 1,500 votes over Conservative candidate Yonah Martin. This is really a race between the NDP and the Conservatives. The former have been trying to tie the provincial government's HST plan to the federal Conservatives, while the Conservatives are fighting hard to win back this riding. The Liberals and Greens are not in the race. The NDP has been relatively stable in BC of late, but are actually under-performing from their 2008 result. The Conservatives are also under-performing, but have some positive momentum. That, coupled with the Tories being in government, make me lean towards the Conservatives. But this is a 60-40 chance.


Formerly held by Réal Ménard of the Bloc Quebecois, this is a sovereigntist stronghold. He had almost 23,000 votes and 50% in the last election. His closest competitor was Liberal Diane Dicaire, who had 21% and 9,000 votes. Daniel Paillé is going to try to keep the riding for the Bloc. He's a "star" candidate, and the Bloc has been pushing hard to elect him. The NDP has also been pushing hard to elect their Jean-Claude Rocheleau, who had 14% in the 2008 election. The media is making this out to be a race where the Liberals will finish third, but the NDP's momentum in Quebec isn't much better than the Liberals'. This is a 95% chance of a Bloc win, but I'd say it is 50-50 as to whether the Liberals or the NDP will finish second.


This riding has been voting a lot of late, five times over the last year. They had a federal election, then a provincial election, then a provincial by-election, then municipal elections, and now a federal by-election. This riding has been Bloc since 1993, and Paul Crête won it last year with 46% and 20,500 votes. The Tories were second with 31% and 13,600 votes. Nancy Gagnon is up for the Bloc, while Bernard Généreux, former mayor of La Pocatière, is up for the Tories. This is supposed to be a close race, but the Bloc sent 20 of their MPs to the riding to help out over the weekend. I've also heard that outside of La Pocatière the Conservative candidate is having trouble. The Conservatives do have some positive momentum in the province, but it has only gotten them back up to 2008 levels. The Bloc is steady. Some people have called a Conservative win here a "game changer", but it actually fits the profile of a Tory Quebec riding, as the adjacent riding is Lévis-Bellechasse, held by the Conservatives. Nevertheless, this is likely to be a Bloc win. I'd give it about a 75% chance.

Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Vallet

This riding was left vacant after Bill Casey left the Conservative Party and won as an independent. They elected him with a huge 69% majority with 27,000 votes. The Conservatives and NDP have been fighting for this riding, but it has a very blue history. The only way the NDP has a chance is if Casey loyalists are still displeased at the Tories for booting him out of caucus. I'd say that isn't enough of a possibility to make this anything but a Tory win. Say, 80-20.

So, that makes two Conservative wins and two Bloc wins, putting them up to 145 and 49 seats, respectively. We'll find out what actually happens tonight!

So, again, if you live in any of these ridings, GO VOTE!