Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Green Party

In the current federal election, the one party that has slipped completely from the radar is the Green Party.

I live close to where Elizabeth May is running and I hear as much about her as I do about the major party candidates in this region.   The Greens in the two neighbouring ridings have a much lower profile than in the past.

Nationwide, I see little coverage of any Greens, I am hearing very little buzz of any Green candidates running strong campaigns that are getting any notice.

It is not only less media, it is also much lower polling.

Their polling is dramatically down from the 2008 election.   The numbers in the 2008 election were running at about 10% in the last week and a half of the election, they finished at about 2/3s of that result on election day.   In 2006 the Greens were polling about 6% in the last week and half the election and finished at 4.5%.  Comparing to 2004 is not realistic because the Greens were not really on the polling radar yet.

In this election the party support has been down in the polls, and it looks like it is lower than in 2006.   Either the pollsters are better at judging the Green support or the party is headed to their worst result since they have been running full slates.

The rise of the NDP in Quebec will harm the Green vote in that province.  In Ontario the Green are running well below their 2008 election result.   In BC the numbers are all over the place, but no polls none that are dramatically better than their 2008 result.

One of the reasons I think the Green polling results have been out of sync with their election results is because the polls find a lot of youth support for the Greens and seem to over estimate the youth voting population.

With all that said, I am now expecting the Green to finish the election with 4-5% of the vote.  

This sort of result will mean the Greens will get less media coverage and be written off.   I suspect there will be a move to replace Elizabeth May as leader, but the question is if there is anyone that can do that as long as she has access to large financial resources.   The Greens will still be worth something because they are still going to be getting the per vote government subsidy.

The Green Party did not spend enough money and energy in the last 30 months building 20-30 strong local riding associations.   There should have been some strategic thought given to being strong in some media markets.   As an example, if there were three very strong Green campaigns in the Victoria area, the Greens would be much more of a presence which would ultimately benefit Elizabeth May in Saanich Gulf Islands.
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