Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chilliwack-Hope, looking at some numbers

The current Chilliwack-Hope riding was largely similar to the past ridings of Chilliwack-Kent and Chilliwack.  Barry Penner represented Chilliwack(1996), Chilliwack-Kent (2001 and 2005) and Chilliwack-Hope(2009).    In 1991 Chilliwack was represented by Bob Chisholm for the Liberals.  The three ridings are not identical, but for the purposes of looking at the past they are close enough.

  • Party      1991  1996   2001   2005   2009
  • Liberals   8601  8977  13814  11368   9885
  • Right Wing 7619  3110      0      0   1198
  • NDP        5866  5749   2155   6534   5638
  • Greens      241   220   1511   1651    951
  • Others        0  5548    968    343     93
  • Spoiled     408   107     94    118     95
  • Total     22149 24467  18542  20014  16960 
Notes:
Right Wing means Social Credit in 1991, Reform in 1996 and Conservatives in 2009.
In 1996 the 5548 other vote was for incumbent MLA Bob Chisholm running as an independent..


Commentary:
  • In 1991 and 1996 the "right" took 16,220 and 17,635 respectively.
  • In 2001 there are about 2500 to 3000 New Democrat supporters that did not show up to vote, but the total vote was 6000 lower than it should have been.   My estimate is that about 3000 to 3500 right wing voters did to show up to vote in 2001 because there was no conservative party on the ballot.
  • In 2005 the NDP got all of their vote back and a bit more but at the same time close to 5500 to 6500 right wing voters did not show up to vote.
  • The voter turn out in 2009 was very low for the riding.  The total vote is lower than the "right" received in 1996.   The NDP vote dropped to core level for them.   Without any serious campaign, 1198 people voted Conservative.  There are still about 6000 right wing voters missing.
So what does mean for the by-election?
The simple answer is the NDP can not win.   There are about 18,000 people in the riding that do vote for all the time or some of the time and vote on the right side of the spectrum.  If there is an even split and decent turn out the Liberals and Conservatives both get close to 9,000 votes versus the NDP at 6,500. 


If either Laurie Throness or John Martin get to 10,000 votes, there is less than no hope for the NDP.  


For the NDP to win, they would have to get 100% of their vote out and have the right wing voters stay home.   I see no indication of this happening.  If anything, we will see a lower turn out than at the provincial election and the NDP vote drop more than the others, certainly that has been the pattern in BC by-elections when it has been under question who the dominant right wing party is.


Will it be John Martin or Laurie Throness that will win?   I suspect it will be John Martin but I do not have enough on the ground information to be certain.

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