Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Current Estimate of a BC Election

We are still more than a year away from an election but here is my current estimate of what I think the election will look like:

  • Party  total votes  percentage   Seats 
  • NDP      780,000      42.7%       51
  • Liberals 600,000      32.9%       29
  • Cons     300,000      16.4%        3
  • Greens   115,000       6.3%        0
  • Ind       20,000       1.1%        2
  • Others    10,000       0.5%        0
  • Total  1,825,000

There is a broad range in these numbers and I have no idea what is coming in the world of BC politics that could change this.  For the moment this is what I am going with.

I think the NDP will win, but I do not think a landslide is on the cards.  Nothing like 1972 or 1991 when the NDP won with a landslide.   I do think this election will mark the highest percentage of the vote the NDP has achieved when it has won the election.   The NDP achieved 39.59% in 1972, 40.71% in 1991 and 39.45% in 1996.

The quirks of our electoral system has meant that the NDP has been more popular when it lost - 45.99% in 1979, 44.94% in 1983, 42.60% in 1986, 41.52% in 2005 and 42.06% in 2009.

I can not find anything that shows me the party is any more popular that it has been in the last couple of elections and what data I can glean from the polls shows the party seems to be gaining support in the areas it has already been winning in.  Specifically the NDP seems to be gaining on Vancouver Island, a place they really do not need a lot more support.

I see the NDP's 90,000 vote increase coming as follows - 50,000 2009 non-voters, 25,000 2009 BC Liberal voters, and 15,000 2009 BC Green voters.

The BC Liberals have lost supporters to the BC Conservatives, but I think on election day the bigger impact will be the Liberals that decide to stay home and not vote.   They are 150,000 votes lower than in 2009.   50,000 I assigned to the Conservatives, 25,000 to the NDP and 75,000 to non-voters.

Can the BC Liberals recover?   I think it is not impossible if the premier switches to a positive campaign to convince centrist voters in BC to vote.    There are a lot of people that did not vote in 2009 that are at heart Liberals.   If only one in three of the people that intended to vote in 2009 but changed their mind on election day did actually vote in  the next election for the Liberals, that is enough to make the election a dead heat.   I am assuming 1,825,000 people will vote, but there will be something like 2,800,000 people that will be intending to vote in 2013.   There are more than enough votes there for a well done positive campaign to allow for a serious increase in the vote.   I see Christy Clark as likely the politician with the most likability in a long time to get people to vote if she gives them a reason to come out and vote.

Though, given the approach by the Liberals to date to focus on convincing NDP and Conservative voters not to vote in the next election, I currently do not think that Christy Clark will be able to get any large number of non-voters in 2009 to come out and vote for her party.

Most of the support for the BC Conservatives is coming from non-voters in 2009, a total of 215,000.   The polling data I can glean is not very positive for the BC Conservatives winning a lot of seats.   They do not seem to be building a core of enough support in any region that I would expect them to start winning a lot of seats.   If I was seeing data that showed the BC Conservatives running at well over 20% in the interior, then I would expect them to start winning seats.   The three seats I see them winning are Peace River North, Chilliwack, and Chilliwack Hope.

I see nothing that indicates to me that either Vicki Huntingdon or Bob Simpson will be defeated in the general election.   Delta South is simply not on the radar for the NDP and the Liberals are unlikely to do as well as in 2009.   Meanwhile Bob Simpson has done a very good job of building a following in his neck of the woods.   I can not see the NDP, Liberals or Conservatives taking much of the vote.

As to the others, the host of minor parties like BC Refederation, BC First and the 7-12 parties, 10,000 votes is all I see.  Since none of them seem to actually be doing any active prep for the election, I am assuming their combined vote will not change from 2009.   If they were smart, they would be spending every penny they have on the two coming by-elections and building campaign teams of 250 to 500 people, but they are not doing this.
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