Friday, February 27, 2009

What will the ballot question be on May 12th?

There are a number of ballot questions that will resonate with the public, but which ones will be the ones that carry the day on election day?

If the issue is the economy, this is bad for the NDP. The general public in BC is simply not willing to believe that the NDP can manage the economy in BC. If this is the defining issue in the election, I would expect the Liberals to benefit from people voting this time that did not vote last time.

If the issue is the environment the result is a basically a wash for the two parties. The NDP certainly has not done much to place themselves as leaders on this issue with their opposition to action on climate change issues. At the same time the general public does not believe the Liberals are really green at all. For the voters that consider this issue as important, I see a large number of them that have supported the NDP in the past sitting out this election. I see the Greens getting support from the Liberals and NDP on this issue.

For people that have opposition to the Olympics as their big issue all voting for the NDP. The problem is that these people already voted NDP in 2005.

If your big issue is healthcare, seniors or schools, I see your voting going NDP. Once again the problem is that the NDP already has these votes.

Crime has suddenly become a big issue with all the gang stuff in Metro Vancouver. The NDP are unlikely to get a lot out of this issue. The Liberals may get some non-voters to come out and vote for them on this issue.

A deficit budget - no one believes the NDP could do better on this than the Liberals. The Liberals may lose some fiscal hawks on this as they sit on their hands this election.

Leadership - Campbell versus James. Neither one is strong pull for their party, though I could give the edge to Campbell keeping in mind the irrational and visceral hatred of him by the left.

I am curious, is there anyone out there that can think of an issue that will make the election for the NDP? I am serious, I can not think of it.

What I see is that the NDP has no single strong issue that they can either gain voters with or use to get Liberal supporters to stay at home. I see the Liberals as being able to grow their vote this election and the NDP holding even or losing a bit. I see the gap between the NDP and the Liberals on election day being about 8 to 11 percentage points.
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