Monday, September 15, 2008

The Decline of the Federal Liberals

In a Canadian election it is important to be either first or second because you gain a lot in those slots from strategic voting. From 1993 to 2004 the Federal Liberals benefited from strategic voting like no one else has ever managed to in Canadian history.

In the five last elections, there is only one province in the country where the Liberals were not consistently first or second and that was in Saskatchewan. In 1997 the Liberals came a close third in Nova Scotia but were shut out of the seats. 28.4% of the vote and 0 of 11 seats.

In 2008 the Liberals go into the election as acknowledged third place party in BC, Saskatchewan and Quebec. They go into the election being the ones having to fight against strategic voting in those provinces. Over 40% of Canadians live in the provinces where the Liberals are not a top tier party.

This is new territory for the Liberals as they have to do as the NDP has always had to do, justify why you should vote Liberal when this will only help elect more Conservatives. They have to campaign in a very different way and they do not even realize it. If they miss the boat on this, as it looks like they will, they will see their vote drop further close to October 14th. Polling behind the NDP nationally is much more likely at this point than becoming any sort of a threat to Stephen Harper.
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