Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What a BC 2013 election might look like with a strong BC Conservative Party

I am going to run through a few different possible scenarios for the 2013 election with a stronger BC Conservative party.   When crunching the numbers the results are not quite what I expected.

I am working on an assumption that a significant amount of Conservative vote will come from people that did not vote in 2009.   The impact of this is that even if the NDP total vote stays the same, the percentage of voters falls.  There is also a loss of some rural NDP support to the Conservatives in my scenarios

Scenario #1 - BC Conservative strength only in rural BC

  • NDP - 40%
  • Liberals 30%
  • Conservatives 20%
  • Greens 8%
  • Others 2%

Assuming that they gain in rural areas but not much at all in urban areas and we use the above province wide numbers, the election results look something like this:

  • NDP - 55-63
  • Liberals 15-18
  • Conservatives 10-13 - all in the interior or north

Both the Liberals and Conservatives do better than one would initially expect because they both have effective vote concentrations.

Scenario #2 - BC Conservatives are strong where the Anti-HST campaign was strong.  This may sound like the last one, but it is not quite the same, in this scenario the Conservatives unseat a number of New Democrats in locations where there were very strong Anti-HST campaigns in NDP ridings.

Here are the popularity assumptions - the Liberal popularity is  down  from the first scenario due to HST being a bigger issue
  • NDP 40%
  • Liberals 25%
  • Conservatives 25%
  • Greens 8%
  • Others 2%
 Number of seats:
  • NDP 54-59
  • Conservatives 20-25 - not a single one in Vancouver or on the Island
  • Liberals 8-12 - all in Metro Vancouver

Because the rural seats in BC have much lower populations, the Conservatives can actually win a lot of seats without needing a high percentage of the vote.  When one looks at the Anti-HST campaign, it is in smaller population ridings that the campaigners did better.   This scenario also assumes the Conservatives can bring aboard a large number of the Anti-HST canvassers as people willing to campaign for the party.

In running these scenarios I am really surprised the NDP does not come out with a lot more seats.   Normally I would expect a 10 to 15 point lead in percentage of the vote should indicate a landslide for the winning party but that is not what is coming out of my analysis when I look at the reality on the ground.   For the Conservatives not to do well in seat numbers a large portion of their 2013 vote has to come from suburban Metro Vancouver, this simply does not seem realistic to me.

All of this is predicated on the BC Conservatives choosing a good leader and not indulging in wingnut behaviour.

I should add that I ran various scenarios to try and find one in which the BC Conservatives win the 2013 election.   I could not come up with one that is within the realm of realistic in my opinion.   I ran one scenario in which the BC Conservatives achieved 45% of the vote and still lost in seat totals to the NDP at 40%.   In fact, any party that is rural focused on BC will not be able to win government and ultimately makes it easier for the NDP to be government.


Taylor Verrall said...

Assuming that the BC Greens pull through in some of their presently strong areas and pick up some liberal swing, what do you think could happen

Bernard said...

The problem is that there are no clearly strong areas of Green support anywhere in the province.

Greater Victoria could have been it but the Greens have not been putting in the energy to build the local organization.

Saanich and the Gulf Islands is supposed to be the the great hope for federal Green leader Elizabeth May, but there seems to be little evidence on the ground of much organization for her, in fact she is not really in evidence in this region.