Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Looking at the final results

In no order here, just a few interesting results:

Pat Pimm, new Liberal MLA for Peace River North has the distinction of being the person elected by the fewest votes - 3992 in total. Province wide 164 candidates managed to get more votes than he did, 80 of whom did not get elected. Three members of the Greens managed to get more votes than he did.

Colin Hansen top the polls province wide with 15731 votes, this is more votes than the bottom four MLAs achieved - Pimm (Lib) 3992, Donaldson (NDP) 4274, Lekstrom (Lib) 4801, Rustad (Lib) 4949.

52 candidates managed to get more than 10 000 votes, five of them did not manage to get elected - Holman (NDP) 12875, McNabb (NDP) 12508, Van der Veen (NDP) 11316, Adair (Lib) 11215, Salter (NDP) 10136. All of five of them are from Vancouver Island.

Of our 85 MLAs that were elected, 60 of them managed to convince a majority of the people in their riding to vote for them, 25 of our MLAs had more people vote for someone other than the person elected. In 2005 43 of the 79 MLAs were elected by a majority. 14 MLAs managed to get more than 60% of the vote, in 2005 that was only six.

New Liberal Eric Foster has the distintion of being elected with the lowest percentage of the vote, 37.27%. 33 candidates managed a higher percentage of the vote than he did and were not elected.

New Democrat Charlie Wyse had the highest percentage of the vote and lost. He managed 47.18% of the vote and still lost. 14 people elected as MLAs did worse than this.

Even though we saw the election of Vicki Huntingdon, this was not a good election for candidates not with the NDP or the Liberals. Only eight candidates not with one of the two major parties broke through the important 15% barrier - two independents, one Conservative and five Greens. But this is in fact an improvement over 2005 when only six candidates managed to do the same and one of them was a sitting MLA (Paul Nettleton) that ran as an independent.

Three New Democrats did not manage to break 15%, they had no one go below that mark in 2005.

The Conserative Party clear has some strength in the Okanagan. They managed to take 11.13% of the vote in the Okanagan's seven ridings, enough to edge out the Greens for third place in the valley. The Greens managed 11.07%. In total 23.98% of the vote in the Okanagan did not go to one of the major parties, that is double the provincial average.

Topping the polls in percentage of the vote was Sue Hammell of the NDP with 72.73% of the vote.

The seven Conservatives took close to half the votes of the Conservative party in the election. I would be very surprised if the seven Okanagan ridings had some strong three and four way races in 2013. When that happens, odd results can happen and people win with as little as one third of the vote.

The Greens were down in support in this election, but when you look closer at the results, they do not look as bad I thought at first glance, though still not great. If one takes out the Adrianne Carr vote in Powell River Sunshine Coast, the fall in vote is marginal, but more important is that party seems to building some actual regional strengths, something fundamentally important if you are going to win in First Past the Post. The Greens seem to have an emerging core on the south island, the Okanagan, and the North Shore. None are easy places to win, but building regional strength is the first step towards winning.
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