Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Federal By-Election results

Monday night a was a good night for the Conservatives and the NDP. The Conservatives come out with two new MPs, one of them a surprise in Quebec. The NDP retains a marginal seat and comes second in two ridings where it has no history of any strength.

The night was bad for the Liberals and the Greens. The Liberals did worse in three of the ridings than they did in the 2008 election. The Greens came in with results that were far under what they should have been able to achieve when they had a chance to focus their resources.

The new standings in the House of Commons
  • Conservatives - 145
  • Liberals - 77
  • Bloc - 48
  • NDP - 37
  • Ind - 1

This places the Conservatives closer to a majority. The magic number is 154 and with some support from Indepedent Arthur Andre in Quebec, the Conservatives are at 146. It only takes a few MPs to be absent for the government to be able to have a working majority. The Bloc has 9 MPs over age 65, the Liberals 5 and the Conservatives 7. MPs over age 65 have much higher odds of being absent due to illness.

New Westminster - Coquitlam
This is a win for Fin Donnelly. With the low turn out of a by-election, someone with a strong local following can do very well. Fin Donnelly has a strong personal following, in the 2008 municipal elections he comfortably topped the polls. In fact he got 20% more votes than the next candidate, former MP and Mayor Lou Sekora. He did much the same in 2005.

The Conservatives did slightly worse than in 2008 but above their 2004 and 2006 results. I expect the Conservatives to much closer to the NDP in the next election.

The Liberals did awful here. This is one of the few suburban ridings the Liberals have ever won in BC. Lou Sekora won for the Liberals in a by-election in 1998. In 2004 the Liberals came a competitive third and were only 2600 votes out of first. This time around they barely broke 10%. The only thing that did not happen is coming fourth.

The Greens could not even break 5%. In a by-election they should have been able to marshall several hunderd volunteers and at least managed to get to 15% of the vote. I saw no evidence of Elizabeth May helping campaign here. If this were their only bad result on Monday I would out down to a tacit endorsement of Fin Donnelly, but this was their best result on the night.

Hochelaga
This a Bloc riding that they comfortably held.

The NDP almost reached 20% and came second. The party has had a steady climb upwards over the last four elections. If this riding were in Toronto or Vancouver it would hardcore NDP. When the Bloc falls apart as a party, I see the NDP picking up this riding.

The Liberals have been passed by the NDP as the number two party, not good for a party seeking to be the government in waiting.

The Conservatives did as well as they could be expected to do here.

The Greens were fringe party status.

Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup
This was the surprise result for me on Monday night, I really did not give the Conservatives much chance of winning here. This win must chill the hearts of the Bloc. This is one of safe Bloc seats and the Conservatives won.

There is a real chance that in the next election a lot of bleu parts of Quebec will shift from the Bloc to the Conservatives. The soft nationalist vote but socially conservative people could shift enmass to the Conseratives. Harper does not need high polling numbers in Quebec, he just needs wins in the 25 or so bleu ridings of the province. This result puts the idea of a Harper majority well within reality for the next election.

The Liberals continued to slide in support and are not a factor here any longer.

The Greens could not even break 2% of the vote! A total of 472 votes is less than the number of spoiled ballots in 2008! It would not have taken a lot of effort for the Greens to place ahead of the NDP.

Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley
No surprise here for the winner, a very comfortable Conservative win. This is Conservative country.

The NDP should be happy with their strong second place finish. This is the first time the part has managed to get more than a 1/4 of the vote here.

For the Liberals this has to be a big disappoinment. Other than the unique election of 2008, the Liberals have never polled so low in this riding.

The Greens should have done much better here. There was no risk in voting Green in the by-election. The Greens managed 8% in 2008 in Nova Scotia, so anything less than 10% in this riding in a by-election is backward movement for the party. The Greens basically tied with the Christian Heritage party.

The Senate
With the resignation of John Bryden October 31st, three years before mandatory retirement changes the setting in the Senate

  • Conservatives - 46
  • Liberal - 50
  • Others - 6
  • Vacant - 2
By the end of the year, assuming the new appointments are all Conservatives, will leave us with the following Senate:

  • Conservatives - 50
  • Liberals - 49
  • Others - 5
Assuming no deaths or early retirements, the Conservatives will have a majority in the Senate by the end of 2010.

This means that the Conservatives will have the largest caucus in the Senate.

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