Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Federal vs. Provincial Results in New Brunswick

Though it feels like an eternity has passed, it has actually been only a little more than two weeks since the New Brunswick provincial election.

I've compared provincial and federal results in the past, with various levels of correlation, so it is about time to take a look at how federal and provincial results compare in New Brunswick, and whether we can take anything from that for the next federal election.As you can see from this chart, the Liberal and Conservative/Progressive Conservative numbers have been relatively consistent. It is clearly the same people who are switching their votes between Team Red and Team Blue.

While it doesn't seem that there is a direct correlation between provincial and federal elections, they do seem to act as indicators.

We'll start with the Conservatives. For the period prior to 2004, I've combined the results of the Canadian Alliance/Reform with the Progressive Conservatives. I've also included the results of the Confederation of the Regions in the Progressive Conservative numbers at the provincial level.

Provincial and federal fortunes for the Conservatives seem to have a relatively similar narrative. We see Conservative success in the early 80s followed by trouble until the 1997 federal and 1999 provincial elections, when the Conservative vote increased. There was a drop in the 2003 and 2004 elections, but since then the Conservatives look to have made modest gains. If the trend continues, we can expect the Conservatives to increase their vote slightly from the 39.4% the party earned in 2008.

Liberals at the provincial and federal levels seem to mirror each other even more. After difficulties in the early 80s, the Liberals at both levels soared between the provincial elections of 1987 and 1995. They then swiftly tanked, and since then the provincial and federal parties have been running at almost the exact same level, though the federal version of the Liberal Party has been under-performing since 2006. If the trends continue, we can expect the Liberals to drop from their 32.5% they had in 2008.

Finally, the New Democrats. Their gains and losses do not seem to have mirrored each other very much, but they do seem to be drawing from the same pool of voters. The provincial NDP was remarkably consistent from 1982 to 2010, with only the disastrous 2006 election interrupting a generally straight line. The federal version of the party, however, had a bit more of a roller-coast ride, dropping from 16.2% in 1980 to only 4.9% in 1993. But since then the party has been doing very well, and has maintained about 21% support over the last three elections under Jack Layton. Since the provincial version of the NDP has also been relatively stable, we can probably expect the federal NDP to remain at about 1 in 5 support.


  1. Hey, look - another bad decision by the Canadian government:

    Canada has just added bisphenol-A to the Toxic Substances List, even though there's no evidence to suggest that it's dangerous to adults.

    The journal of the American Chemical Society wrote:

    The fact is that the evidence linking BPA with adverse health effects is weak. Many studies have been carried out, and the results have been contradictory. This is why FDA has acted cautiously with regard to BPA and why the chemical and food-packaging industries resist stringent regulation of it. FDA announced earlier this year that it has “some concern” about the potential health effects of BPA in infants and children, but also said that more research is needed to fully assess the safety of the chemical.

    Nevertheless, the drumbeat against BPA continues. Once suspicion of any kind has been leveled against the safety of a chemical, watch out. No amount of contrary evidence will ever convince some chemophobic environmentalists that use of the chemical should continue. Ban it. Period. It’s no wonder the chemical industry shudders at the mere mention of the precautionary principle.

    A front-page story in the Feb. 23 Washington Post, “Replacing BPA in Cans Gives Foodmakers Fits,” carries on in that tradition. Despite the fact that it calls BPA a “synthetic estrogen,” which it isn’t (BPA exhibits weak estrogenic activity, but it is not related to estrogen structurally), the story is, for the most part, factually accurate. Its underlying premise, however, is that exposure to BPA is dangerous. Running throughout the story is the assumption that BPA should be removed from all food containers.

    No one has shown that adults exposed to BPA at the levels that leach from food container liners suffer any harm. Potential replacements for BPA don’t work as well and very likely will pose risks of their own. BPA and the polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins that are made from it are useful chemicals that are getting a bum rap from people who don’t know what they are talking about.

    Banning BPA is a cheap political stunt that will cost us money and possibly lives, and it's not even a big enough issue to produce meaningful political gain.

    I've very angry.

  2. Sounds like the right decision to me, why gamble with something until all the facts are in ?

    Now if only we could shut down asbestos exports from Quebec!

    BTW - Tories up in the polls.

    The Ignatieff slide is on!

    Talk of a by-election sweep is in the air!

  3. I do look forward to Éric's projections based on the new Ekos poll (released today).

  4. Ekos was good but not great for the Tories, a lot of their gains was western provinces.

    That usually fits a pattern though, western support is the last to leave and first to come back. Ontario/Quebec/Maratimes support is first to leave, last to come back.

    Noticing their western base Jane Taber felt like writing a headline saying Tory support was all old, white men in Alberta.

    (Being an old white man isn't fashionable these days I guess. They're not "real Canadians". Wait ? Is that wedge politics ?

    You mean the political left engages in wedge politics too based on gender, race, age ??

    Gasp! I thought it was the CPC that invented wedge politics six years ago!)

  5. I'd suggest Jane Taber check the average age of the various provinces.


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