Monday, February 23, 2009

Look at the May 12th Election

With 11 weeks to go to till the election, one would expect most of the candidates of the major parties to be nominated and ready to run, but that is not the case. Take the numbers with a grain of salt as they are changing constantly at the moment.

The Liberals are at 66 candidates nominated. Seven of the remaining 19 are in ridings the party is competitive in.

The NDP meanwhile is at 52 candidates. In only five of the remaining ridings to have nominations is the NDP really in the race.

What I am reading from this is that the NDP is focusing their election campaign much more defending the ground they won in 2005 than trying to win the seats they need to get to a majority. Certainly that would fit the ongoing lack of a strong government in waiting image from the NDP and the lack of a clear definition on their part as to what the election will be about.

I suspect that the realistic number crunchers inside the NDP are telling the inner circle that things are looking bad for the party that the election has to be focused on holding as many seats as they can. They can do the same sort of math I do with polling numbers, they can see the scenarios that show the NDP losing ten to fifteen seats.

In 2001 the NDP did not choose to try and target a core of seats to hold. Since they did not do this, the party was reduced to two seats instead of the five to eight they could have won.

In 2009, short of some monumental disaster by the Liberals, there is no electoral scenario I can envisage that has the NDP winning the election. The NDP is at a precarious point and need to decide what sort of defenses they to build in this election to ensure that the party does not fall below 25 MLAs. The nature or our electoral system is brutal when the gap in popular vote between the winning party and the second place party is anywhere close to what the polls have been showing in BC.

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