On October 4, Greg Selinger will be asking Manitobans to hand his New Democratic government its fourth mandate in his first election campaign as leader. Until recently, it appeared that the days of Mr. Selinger’s tenure as premier were numbered, but newfound popularity could extend the life of Manitoba’s longest running government since the 1950s.
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Manitoba will be an interesting race, and at the moment it is the election whose result is most difficult to predict. The latest polls put the New Democrats and Tories in a tie, and the two parties have been running neck-and-neck almost since the 2007 election.
But the odds seem to be stacked in the NDP's favour. My projection model gives them a good shot at winning a majority of seats even with a larger gap between the PCs and the NDP than currently exists in the vote projection.
The NDP wins a lot of close races in Winnipeg, while the Tories pile up huge majorities outside of the city. This is the key reason for the inability for the Progressive Conservatives to win without a large lead in the popular vote.
This has actually been the case for a little while now. Using the UBC's uniform swing model for the 2007 election, the New Democrats would have still won a majority of the seats with 41.1% of the vote to the Tories' 44.6%. The re-districting does not seem to have reversed the situation. Indeed, it seems to have entrenched the NDP even more reliably. We shall see how it plays out.