Monday, April 18, 2011

Looking for a thin limb to stand on - what seats the NDP might win in Quebec

Thomas Muclair is safe in Outremont.

The Outaoais region is the region the NDP did the best in 2008, tied with the Conservatives with 20.8% of the vote in the three ridings.   The Bloc was at 24.6% and the Liberals at 29.3%.   The polling numbers seem to be saying there is a shift of left of centre nationalists to the NDP.   So if we shift 1/3 of the Bloc vote to the NDP and give the NDP some Liberal votes as well,

Gatineu
In Gatineau Fran├žoise Boivin, the former Liberal MP for the riding from 2004 to 2006, almost won for the NDP in 2008, she would seem to have good odds of winning against the Bloc who won with only 29.2% of the vote.

Before 2004 the riding was safely Liberal.  In 2004 it was a close two way between the Liberals and Bloc, in 2006 the Bloc comfortably won but there was strong rise in the Conservatives.   In 2008 the riding was a close three way race with the NDP coming second and even the fourth place Conservatives were not entirely out of it.

I suspect we will see a large NDP majority in the riding as they will gain Bloc and Liberals votes.

Hull-Alymer
This riding has long been in the hands of the Liberals for many years other than when Liberal Gilles Rochleau crossed the floor to the Bloc.  For the last three elections the Liberals have not overwhelmingly won.   The riding is within reach of the NDP if the nationalists shift to the NDP.

Pontiac 
I think Pontiac is the longest stretch in the Outaouais for the NDP.   The party came fourth in 2008.   I think the issue here will be who can defeat Laurence Cannon.

Other possible ridings
Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou
I think that by running Romeo Saganash the NDP has decent odds of winning.   If the Cree come out to vote and other federalist vote NDP, it should be a strong win.

Longshots
Jeane Le Ber
This is a left of centre area of Montreal and not strongly nationalist.

Rosemont - La Petite Patrie
If there is a shift of Bloc vote to the NDP, this is the sort of riding that could surprise people.  Being next to Outremont can't hurt, but the hill to climb is huge.

Saint Laurent Cartierville
I do not think Stephane Dion will lose this riding, but the fact he is remaining an MP could harm his numbers.   Ignore that I am suggesting this as a longshot.

There are some other ridings in much more strongly nationalist areas that are not two way Bloc Conservative races that could be in play for the NDP, but I have no way to know.  

You have to keep in mind that the odds are the NDP is now suddenly thinking they have some chance in a number of ridings but have no money or volunteers to make any use of it.  I suspect the NDP will have a more even rise all over the province than strong concentrations.  This means they are likely to get a lot more seconds.

At this point I think the NDP will come away with three to seven seats in Quebec.  
Here is the NDP history in Quebec over the last five elections.  2004 is the first election with Jack Layton as leader

Election $ spent    Votes  Percent Rebates
1997      77,746   71,558    2.0     0
2000      43,036   63,611    1.8     0
2004     224,785  158,427    4.6     5
2006     351,812  276,401    7.5     8
2008     678,339  441,098   12.2    50


Rebates of campaign expenses go to candidates that manage to get more than 10% of the vote

In the Broadbent era, the NDP did not that badly in Quebec but won no seats.   The peak was 1988 with 14.4% of the vote.
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