Monday, August 23, 2010

2010 New Brunswick Election Coverage

As you can see, the site has been changed to incorporate my projection and electoral coverage for the 2010 New Brunswick provincial election.

Above you see the projection itself. The upper pie chart shows the projected popular vote for each of the parties (Progressive Conservatives are blue, Liberals are red, New Democrats are orange, and the Greens are green) while the lower pie chart shows the projected seat totals. The projected seat total is based on the projected popular vote, and the result is achieved by comparing the projected popular vote to past elections.

The bar chart at the bottom of the above chart shows the amount of seats each party currently has in the Legislative Assembly.

Above right, you can see a chart that tracks voting intentions. The chart runs all the way from the 2006 election to the date of the 2010 election: September 27. Everything before the black line is pre-campaign, everything after is during the campaign. And while the pre-campaign section does not give equal space to equal time (instead, each tick is one poll), the campaign section gives one tick per date of the campaign. My intention with this chart is not just to show polling results, but also to track how they are changing over time.

For example, if a poll runs from September 1 to September 3 and has the Progressive Conservatives at 40%, I will have them running at 40% on the chart from September 1 to September 3, rather than just on September 3 as I am currently doing with the federal chart. If another poll runs from September 3 to September 5 and has the Progressive Conservatives at 50%, I will average them out and so have the PCs at 45% on September 3 and at 50% for September 4 and 5.

Here is a larger version of the chart, which you can also see by clicking on the image to the right.

Below the voting intentions chart, you can see who I project will be sitting in the 55 seats of the Legislative Assembly. And at the very bottom of the page you can see the full details of my projection, including a list of polls and electoral results running back to 1991. The polling results highlighted with light and dark colours marks each party's highest and lowest result.

For the projection itself, I am currently projecting a Progressive Conservative majority government under David Alward. The PCs would win 29 seats (with 43.5% of the vote) while the Liberals under current Premier Shawn Graham would be reduced to 24 seats and the opposition benches with 41.9%. The NDP, who have never elected more than one MLA, will elect two and make a (for them) historical breakthrough at 11.7%.

With the most recent poll being almost three months old, the projection is heavily weighted by past elections and old polls. This will change as polls are released during the campaign.

Later this week I will have a 2010 election primer in order to give everyone who doesn't follow New Brunswick provincial politics their bearings.


  1. Wow, I love this site.

    It doesn't get said enough.... Thanks Eric for all the hard work!

    It's very interesting to see all the analysis.

  2. Hmm I wonder if a provincial Liberal loss will give momentum to Conservative efforts at the federal level in this province.

    Godin and Leblanc are safe.

    But Brian Murphy is very vulnerable. (I don't know why Bernard Lord doesn't scoop this seat up, if he ever wants to be Prime Minister he needs to get back into politics.)

    And someone could make a run at D'Amours.

  3. I echo Barcs thanks Eric.

    Now I'm not sure whether that slow rise of NDP support mirrors say the Federal version or not but is does show a definite trend.

  4. Fantastic, Eric! I'm really glad you've taken the time to do this for us politicos. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we appreciate everything you do here!

  5. I look forward to that primer. Both for New Brunswick and for other provinces as their elections approach. Even people familiar with a partpcular province would benefit from reading your take on them.

    It's a change the provinces in which I'm most interested are so far away from elections. makes this a great time to be a political junkie.

  6. Hi Eric:

    Let me add my thanks. Congratulations on fine site.

    Thanks again, Earl


    Some shocking results for McGuinty's Liberals! Not so shocking for the rest of us. Unfortunately he's put us between a rock and a hard place. We have get rid of him before he bankrupts us.

    Look at this:

  8. Yeah, thanks for this work product Eric. What I don't understand is the fact that the two major parties are both in the 40's range in NB with the NDP at 11.7% - yet the NDP is slated for 2 seats.

    When the Greens are in the 10% - 12% range either provincially or federally across Canada they are never slated for any seats. Is that due to NDP vote concentration in NB?

  9. The NDP in NB is tricky (I won't rhyme for the rest of the comment), because they have never won more than one seat and in each case it was very much about the individual. But they are polling very well, for them at least. Roger Duguay, who was just a plain old candidate last time but who is leader this time, did very well in the 2006 election but was not elected. He has a good chance, at these numbers, to be elected in 2010.

    The party also has done very well in the Saint John region, with one blip being the 2006 election. So if the NDP is polling at several times what they had in 2006, we have to expect they have a chance to take a seat or two.

    I also get the impression that neither the Liberals nor the Progressive Conservatives are very awe-inspiring at the moment, which opens up an opportunity for the NDP and their new leader. Plus the NDP government in Nova Scotia doesn't hurt.

  10. Correct link:

  11. As many others have said, nice to get this info on another province which I know very little of (outside of it being a nice place to visit).

    The poll on Ontario is somewhat interesting. I'm surprised by how high Hudak is on things as I am a bit of a junkie of politics and know very little about him as a leader. I wonder how high the 'no opinion' was and how variable everything is on it. I suspect most know McGuinty and know how much strength to put onto any promise he makes (none). Hudak latching onto Harris is probably a good idea - latching onto Tory would be a waste of time of course and I doubt anyone would try to hook onto Harper's coattails (at least directly).

    The Star article only lists one item where all 4 parties are listed, with 25% having an opinion on the Green Party when I seriously doubt 25% have a clue who is running the Green Party in Ontario (and I say this as a Green) let alone have an opinion on him.

    My gut tells me Hudak's support is at the KM wide and a CM deep level right now. How he performs next year will decide the election. Never forget (on all sides) how high Tory seemed pre-election and how low he fell during it.

  12. Ouch poor Ontario.

    Next to commodities one of the biggest input costs for manufacturing is hydro rates.

    Those jobs will now go to China where they have next to nothing for emissions standards and get their energy from very dirty sources.

    And so the irony of Green policies is that not only do they destroy the economy they also hurt the environment.

  13. Earl, you're an Ontarian? That explains why you support a strong central government.

  14. Seeing a poll like that one Coyle referenced makes me more inclined to think the McGuinty government is fairly safe. With the eco-fees thing, the realty corp investigation, and the HST coming on line, you'd think they'd be pretty weak right now. The LPO been polling worse at times in the near past, and it's Hudak who'll need the majority more than McGuinty.

  15. Also, I'm surprised Graham has recovered as well as he has after his big missteps.

  16. And so the irony of Green policies is that not only do they destroy the economy they also hurt the environment.
    Race to the bottom, eh?

    So we should adopt Chinese emission non-standards to save the environment and the economy.
    But to save the economy we'll also have to adopt Chinese workplace safety standards and "right to work" (no minimum wage and no unions) laws.
    But that won't be enough, we'll also have to adopt the Chinese model of totalitarian dictatorship. Hey wait a minute.

    Now I see where you are going with this.

  17. "Race to the bottom, eh?"


    Canada has plenty of competitive advantages that make it an attractive place to invest, even with tougher environmental laws than China.

    The point is that a tipping point is reached where our regulations make the investment climate so unfavourable that capital flees to more inviting jurisdictions which typically have next to nothing in the way of environmental laws.

    Another example is emissions standards on cars and appliances.

    Ever hear of price elasticity of demand ? You raise the price of something past a certain point and demand falls.

    In the case of cars and appliances if emmissions standards are too tough then people don't make purchases and instead use older, less energy efficient models that are worse for the environment.

    Green policies and the Green party generally have very little understanding of real world economics.

    Its often the case that if their ideas were put into practice the environment would WORSEN.

  18. Shadow: And so the irony of Green policies is that not only do they destroy the economy they also hurt the environment.

    And the evidence for this is...?

    The Green platforms (both federally and provincially) support the environment by building the economy--and vice versa.

    That last time I checked, though, we didn't have a Green government at Queen's Park. Don't mistake Dalton McGuinty's well-meaning stumbles for a Green policy.

  19. Shadow, I will say that John has pretty much condemned what McGuinty has done here in ON as far as his "Green" program.

    I Agree though that while we shouldn't abandon our environmental policies nor should we unilaterally make it more difficult for our industry to compete.

    Kevin Sutton If you read Coyle's article I believe it says that this is the first time with Hudak as leader that the PC's have led the LP of ON. Although the lead is a small one, all Hudak would need to do to make it solid would be to promise to rescind the HST in 2016 when it is now possible to do so without penalty. BTW a new study shows middle class families will pay $400 - $500 more per year in taxes under the HST with higher income families paying even more. Also rather than 90% of the tax cuts to business being passed onto consumers only 60% will be passed on.

    Dalton would have lost the last election had John Tory not promised to fully fund all religious schools as long as they taught the ON curriculum in addition to their religious studies. Ontarians rebelled at the thought of funding ever more school systems. The full funding of the Catholic system still rankles many here in ON 25 years after it was done.

  20. John never being in government means you never have to take responsibility for your ideas eh ?

    "The Green platforms (both federally and provincially) support the environment by building the economy--and vice versa."

    Yes, one hears this sort of rhetoric often even though after a point the two goals conflict and Greens wish to take us well past that point.

    Beyond the usual job killing regulations, standards, and mandates most Green platforms share 2 planks:

    * Carbon pricing either through direct price signals (carbon tax) or indirect markets (cap and trade).

    Ideas very on what to do with revenues raised, the "in" thing to do seems to be to return it to consumers with tax breaks in other areas. This is a laughable shell game because carbon taxation has an inflationary effect as it makes production less efficient.

    * Direct subsidy to solar, wind, and other renewables. Sold as "creating the jobs of tommorow" or the "New Green Economy".

    Since this money comes from taxation its essentially redistributing wealth from more productive sectors to less.

    Anything requiring government subsidization is less efficient and sub-optimal (or else private capital would have already invested in it).

    So once again we have a job killing, living standard lowering, inflationary policy.

    These two planks seems to be EXACTLY what Ontario is doing.

  21. John, he was pointing out examples.

    Ethanol (corn/grain based) is another good one. If you measure the energy input to output.

    When measured from grain to alcohol (which most people quote) you get a positive number. But if you include the energy I use in creating the grain... there is a negative energy output from ethanol in nearly every region (Iowa corn being one of almost no areas with a positive balance). In mechanized agriculture of the world, it averages to 3-4 calories of fossil fuels to make 1 calorie of energy in the grain.

    The bigger problem than producing less than is consumed in the process is: There is not a food surplus in the world. Every single acre that is taken out of food production for ethanol results in someone creating another acre somewhere. Since there are no more iowa corn acres to be created... the creation is in the knocking over of forested areas, all the areas across north america saline, poorer land in general that produce less and cost more to utilize.

    But when the greens calculate ethanol production and use they use the iowa numbers rather than the poor land numbers. It is basically spinning science.

    Even the US acknowledges indirect land use caused by ethanol production and intend to impose levy's on corn ethanol when it causes forests to be clearcut for land to replace ethanol utilization.

    Hydro is another good one when environmental impact isn't done properly. Flooding land that could otherwise be used, organic matter degrading in anaerobic conditions producing mercury, salmon spawning, They say that James Bay project may have killed 10,000 caribou in the migration season as the basin was being filled. Moving the rivers also affected the flats and delta's, coastal marshes where migratory birds nest. The rivers no longer carry the same nutrients to the ends which affected the plant and animal life there.

    But it's ok. Keep paying lip service to the environment in order to push an agenda to save the "sexy" portions you want,... those other areas?? they probably weren't important anyway.

  22. OT:

    The debate that isn't yet:

    We should keep Potash Corp Canadian, use Government funds if necessary to do so.

  23. Oookay... seeing some stuff Green's fight against being listed as things Green's support here.

    Ethanol via growing corn is a very non-green method of making gas. I've yet to see a Green say it was a good thing. Using waste product is OK as are some other methods, but using corn is about as bad as it gets (wasted land, environmental damage of over farming, etc.).

    Most Green's are against hydro dams that are built in the method used for the James Bay project. Properly done dams can be a reasonable method (far better than coal, nuclear, oil, gas and various others). In truth I'd like to see Ontario hook up to the Quebec grid and use their power as those dams are there now and not going anywhere and in many cases are being turned off as they have too much power. Far better to use that than to blow tens of billions on new nuclear or coal or gas.

  24. We should keep Potash Corp Canadian,

    Totally and completely agree Earl. It's time to stop selling off the country.

  25. Shadow - when it comes to taxation policy I guess you think subsidizing carbon-users and overtaxing income is a good thing?

    A carbon tax (far more efficient and transparent than cap and trade) puts a cost onto carbon thus making it easy for businesses to adjust their production practices. If you, at the same time, cut things like payroll and income taxes then you encourage job creation. If China wants all the jobs that damage the environment, so be it as we'll never match their levels (I hope). But if we cut the cost of doing business here otherwise then suddenly a lot of jobs are cheaper for businesses to put here.

    Government has to collect taxes, like it or not. How they collect can make a big difference though. So would you rather tax all jobs or just the polluting ones?

  26. Barcs - In fact, US government subsidies for the production of ethanol from corn have lead to food shortages in Mexico already.

    It used to be that US corn producers would sell their high-quality corn to American consumers, and then export their low-quality corn to Mexico (where they'd be used in tortilla flour, the primary source of calories for poorer Mexicans). But now, the US government will pay ethanol producers enough that they can now buy that corn from farmers, and this is causing famine in Mexico.

    Earl - Did you just say we should but Potash Corp with government money? Do you have any idea what sort of chilling effect that level of government intervention would have on business investment?

  27. I'm on the fence on that one Earl.

    For example:
    "BHP, like others before it, will pledge that the head office will remain in Canada, that decisions will be made in the Saskatchewan/Canadian interest."

    While it is a Saskatchewan law that the Head office be in Saskatchewan for as long as the company is called potash corp.... 7 in 10 of the administration of the company is in Chicago.

    The only real difference I see is in the pricing. BHP increases their influence in pricing,.. tho it is mostly constrained to the market, they will have the ability to play a little bit. Potash corp for example sat with their bins full for most of the year when they didn't not want to follow the market back down through the recession.

    The royalty structure in Saskatchewan is not going to change. The stuff is in the ground here... its not like the company can move the mining operations to Mexico. There may be a little fighting, but both sides would be hurt by lost revenue, not just the province.

    And going back to marketing. Canpotex. Which again is run basically out of Chicago. (You go where the market is). Losing them alters almost nothing in Saskatchewan revenue (since royalties are fixed anyway only volume alters the $$$ they receive) or in jobs/taxes that are not really paid here.

    In other words. The only thing that really changes with a sale to BHP is symbolic and we can't say we control the company any more (if we do now).

    What is scary is a Chinese company buying it. Their government is more prone to poor actions than Australia (like Russia banning wheat exports)

    And on a side note, to your side note... The offer at $130/share is laughably low, the current market price is $140, and the peak before the recession was $240/share. There is alot of volatility,... but really the share price is nearer the bottom than the top at the moment.

  28. Barcs:

    like Russia banning wheat exports

    Russia actually had no choice. Due to an incredible drought this summer yield is so low that Russia may have to go to the world market to get enough grain to feed its own people. Not bad judgement Barcs, rather necessity.

  29. John N. If we let China have all the manufacturing jobs then what Sir will we do as a nation?

    Just what jobs and please be specific, would be available to Canadians and how do you know it? Do you have any substantive proof that Green policies will work without government subsidy? I'm willing to provide startup costs if the Green industry turns out to be a long term winner like the oil sands did. ight now what I see is a lot of wishful thinking. Where we could practically make a difference such as using Quebec's hydro or converting our automobiles to natural gas we are doing nothing.

    Elizabeth May, rather promoting workable Green projects now seems to be another Harper hater. She again sounds like a green tinged Liberal.

    Canada has to produce goods. Ask Canadians if they are willing to see their standard of living drop 20 - 40 percent or more to implement a "Green" Canada that in the grand scheme of things is a drop in the bucket.

    I've read the "Green" Party platform and for the most part find it unworkable. It all depends on Canada in isolation putting a price on carbon. The world doesn't work that way. If you want that kind of economy then be prepared to close the border to imports because domestic industry will only be able to serve the domestic market and costs will be exceedingly high. While we'll be able to cheaply import manufactured goods we won't be able to export and therein lies the problem.

  30. "Earl - Did you just say we should but Potash Corp with government money? Do you have any idea what sort of chilling effect that level of government intervention would have on business investment?"

    I would assume it would go part of the way back to being a 300 million dollar company with sales back in the 30-50 million range that it used to have when the Saskatchewan government used to run it.... it lost 800 million from 1975 til 1989 despite the NDP government bankrolling the purchase of 40% of the provincial production before Devine privatized the money losing venture in 89.

    In the 20 years since (under private management) is has become a 60+billion dollar company,.. with annual sales in the 10B range.

  31. Ira I said that I'm not prepared to see another Canadian Company sold off to to a large foreign conglomerate. You bet.

    Inco and Falconbridge ought to have merged and with some government assistance might have pulled it off. Sure shareholders should get top dollar. When US Steel bought Stelco in Hamilton they made promises they never intended to keep. Their real reason for buying Stelco was to shut it down. That they've pretty well done. Vale tried to break the union in Sudbury. Exstrada is trying to do the same thing. We've lost head office functions. We will lose more if we let every large Canadian Corp. be bought out. Try buying out Vale or Petro Bras. You can't do it. Try buying a large US company and the US congress will get very upset but as Canadians we just sit back and worry about foreign investment. Japan, Korea and India are other nations that have barriers to direct takeovers of their large companies, to say nothing of China. Why not us?

  32. Barcs: John, he was pointing out examples.

    Ethanol (corn/grain based) is another good one. If you measure the energy input to output.

    This is indeed a good example. The Conservative federal government supports subsidies for ethanol-based fuels. By contrast, Vision Green states, "The Green Party opposes the development, manufacture and use of ethanol or biodiesel fuels from food crops." (The party advocates research into cellulosic ethanol production, but only research at this point.)

    This isn't uncommon: people dump on the traditional parties' positions while attributing them to the Green Party. They simultaneously support Green positions but attribute them to the traditional parties.

    Admittedly it's often hard to tell where traditional parties stand since they don't have the equivalent of Vision Green. On the Green Party end, though, TD Chief Economist Don Drummond reviewed Vision Green at the party's Biennial General Meeting on Friday and gave it an overall thumbs-up while noting the GPC's uniqueness in presenting a full platform. Experts who review the evidence like what they see.

    (Oh, and did Drummond approve of the entire platform? Definitely not. He had some valid criticisms. You can bet that the next iteration of Vision Green will consider them. Greens listen.)

  33. John Northey when it comes to taxation policy I don't believe it should be used to try to reduce carbon, no.

    But let's address some of your claims on how this tax would work.

    * Nobody is disputing that a pricing scheme would reduce carbon emissions in this country if the price was high enough.

    I'm saying its likely we would just start buying everything from overseas because they'd have a competitive advantage.

    China uses a lot of dirty coal. So we'd have that carbon plus all the carbon it takes to ship stuff over here.

    * Cutting payroll taxes and corporate taxes (but not income taxes) would encourage job creation sure.

    But at the same time the cost of everything in a company's supply chain would go UP considerably so the effect would be a net negative.


    1) You need an import tarrif to make this policy work.

    2) You need to stop pretending it'll create jobs and help the economy.

    Saving the planet will cost $$$ and require sacrifices.

  34. John, part of the problem you describe might be in the name.


    People (like me apparently) have difficulty separating the policy of the green party from all the green groups that are the basis of the parties support.

    Neither have I seen very many policys articulated in the public eye. As has been said, May would seem to rather bash Harper than promote the greens.

    "The Green Party opposes the development, manufacture and use of ethanol or biodiesel fuels from food crops."

    I would suggest tho, that your support demographics might change if you started publicizing stuff like that... just not sure if it would be better or worse for you.

  35. Éric,

    Nous sommes rien en politique sans ton site web!

    Mes meilleurs félicitations.

    Quel bon travail.

  36. Shadow,

    "But Brian Murphy is very vulnerable. (I don't know why Bernard Lord doesn't scoop this seat up, if he ever wants to be Prime Minister he needs to get back into politics.)

    And someone could make a run at D'Amours."

    You know what they say about Lord -- out of sight, out of mind. The day he hit Montreal was the day he screwed his leadership aspirations big time. He's on the outside looking in. That's about the size of it.

    D'Amours -- ah, my former riding when I was working in radio in Campbellton. In those days, Maurice Harquail (Lib.) was the MP and Fernand Dubé was a provincial minister under Hatfield.

  37. I support the production of ethanol...

    ...from sugar cane. And pretty much only sugar cane. Sugar cane is a great source material for the production of ethanol.

    Oh, and one more thing. Something else that often gets ignored when talking about ethanol is how much more of it you need to burn to produce the same amount of energy compared to diesel or octane. Ethanol has a much lower heating value, and the internal combustion engine runs on heat.

  38. Hey Ron I guess Lord is making a killing as a super lobbyist for the telecom industry.

    Not that its working for them. Harper seems determined to take a baseball bat to the major telecom companies and open up more competition.

    Maybe if the election gets pushed out until next fall we'll see more candidates step forward.

    Lord would be a big fish and a slamdunk against Murphy I bet.


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