Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Incumbents leading in provincial elections

Change is a major theme in world politics lately. But not in Canada, where 2011 is setting up to be the Year of the Incumbent.

Canadians from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains are in the mood for the status quo, as five and possible six of the provinces headed to a fall election are on track to re-elect their incumbent governments.

Even this year’s federal election was an exercise in smooth sailing. Though the New Democrats soared to second place and the Liberals and Bloc Québécois fell by the wayside, Stephen Harper’s five-year-old government was re-elected for another five years. In Quebec, scene of much of the election’s change, it could even be argued that the province’s voters simply exchanged one social democratic opposition party for another.

Popular governments in Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island are safely on course to be re-elected, with their incumbent governments leading the main opposition parties in their respective provinces by about 30 points. Brad Wall and Robert Ghiz, the country’s two youngest premiers, will almost certainly be re-elected for a second term in Saskatchewan and PEI, while Kathy Dunderdale is expected to extend the lifespan of the Progressive Conservative government in Newfoundland and Labrador, first established by Danny Williams in 2003.

You can read the rest of the article on The Huffington Post Canada website here.

I'll be updating the projection later this morning. There is a new poll from Abacus Data for Ontario out, though it does use an unusual methodology.

Though they won't be added to the projection, there are also some polls to discuss from Forum Research on the Toronto vote and from the Corporate Research Associates on how Prince Edward Islanders view the parties in their province.

I've also heard word of another poll lurking about, with a release later this morning. I'll probably hold off until that one is available.