Monday, July 25, 2011

In Sask. and PEI re-election campaigns, there are no guarantees

Canada’s two youngest premiers will be asking voters in their respective provinces for a second mandate this fall, and unless a major shift in support occurs on the campaign trail both should easily win another four years in office.

Both Robert Ghiz of Prince Edward Island and Brad Wall of Saskatchewan enjoy high approval ratings and their respective parties are leading their rivals by wide margins in the polls. And while the re-election of these incumbent governments might be the safest electoral bet to make this fall, both races could still have some surprises.

You can read the rest of the article on The Globe and Mail website here.

I have not begun work on the models for Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan, but will do so soon. Manitoba is all but done and I will tackle Newfoundland and Labrador next, before moving on to PEI and Saskatchewan.

Things to watch for in these two elections:

- Can the Liberals sweep all 27 seats in Prince Edward Island? The potential is there, and it would not be a great departure from PEI's recent electoral history.

- Will Brad Wall capitalize on his high approval ratings to win an even bigger majority than he did in 2007? There were not a lot of marginal NDP seats in the last election, so the Saskatchewan Party would need a big boost to win a lot of new seats.

- Can the PEI New Democrats return to the legislature? Will the Progressive Conservatives survive? This could be an opportunity for the NDP to form the Official Opposition with a single MLA.

- How has the federal NDP's success transfered over to the provinces? In PEI it might help elect an MLA, but in Saskatchewan it could throw a wrench in Wall's works.

- And can the Liberals hold on to third spot in Saskatchewan?

It seems highly improbable that Ghiz or Wall could be defeated, but these elections still will have some interesting storylines. The Manitoba election could have a big influence on Saskatchewan as well, as the re-election of the NDP in that province would certainly boost Dwain Lingenfelter's chances - perhaps not for winning the election, but improving upon 2007's results.

My column in The Hill Times would normally appear today, but it is on hiatus for the summer and will return in September.


  1. I look forward to your provincial models.

    My in-laws from Alberta are predicting the new Alberta premier will call an election for late in the year, as well. They guessed November.

  2. I hope not. I'll be busy enough, and if there is no Alberta election in 2012 the schedule will be pretty light, unless BC and Quebec fill the void.

  3. Brad Wall's high approval ratings are one thing, but paired with NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter's truly horrible ones there is the potential for some sharp declines in the NDP vote - even in diehard ridings. Nevertheless, my own feeling is that the NDP will hold its core vote and retain 17 or 18 of their current seats (most at risk is Saskatoon Meewasin).

    The decline of the Liberal party should be more-or-less complete this year. They achieved 9.4% of the vote last election (it has declined steadily from a high of 34% before the SaskParty was created). They have a new leader who has been unable to garner much public attention. I predict <5% this year (which is about where Ralph Goodale had the party in 1982).

  4. I sincerely doubt the Manitoba results will impact SK in any meaningful way other than perhaps a boost in morale and some campaign workers from Winnipeg. Won't essentially change the likely result in Saskatchewan.

  5. Mr. Mowat is correct. Dwain Lingenfelter's policy positions entered the realm of parody quite some time ago.

  6. I don't know how many of you saw the pix of Jack Layton on the National, CTV, Global or other news sources. All I can say is we have lost another of our"great" politicians.

    AS others have said this is potentially a major loss to the body politic in Canada.

    From Douglas to Lewis to Broadbent to Layton the party has always been the party of the Leader.

    So now we have a big problem. Yes there is an interim Leader who isn't one of the two Deputy Leaders but should Jack really step away as those pix indicate then what ??

    Whatever will hurt the country !!


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