I am starting with 1,900,000 voters in 2013. This number is based on the sort of turn out that seems reasonable based on past federal and provincial elections in BC for the last 12 elections.
My best estimate of what happened in the 2009 BC election is that 200,000 or so right wing voters did not vote in that election and are unlikely to vote for the BC Liberals after reluctantly voting for them in the past.
In my opinion it is important to approach the election from total votes and not from percentages. Based on what I think are the current best estimates of support for the political parties, I get to the following:
- Party Total Vote Pct
- BC NDP 850,000 44.7%
- BC Liberals 600,000 31.6%
- BC Conservatives 300,000 15.8%
- Greens 150,000 7.9%
I do not see any realistic way for the BC Liberals to get any significant amount of the BC Conservative vote. Where I think the growth is possible for the BC Liberals is among the reluctant or occasional voters. I suspect voter turn out will be 1,900,000, but I also think that another 600,000 to 800,000 people who will be considering voting. This is a large enough block of voters to decide the election.
For those of you that point to the polls contradicting my numbers, if you read this blog regularly you will know of my skepticism over polling methodology which means I take them with a grain of salt. Data on past voting patterns and how often and when people vote in elections is at least as important to understanding probable election outcomes. Feel free to disagree, just do you mind doing it politely?
Greens, BC Conservatives, and Independents
These levels of support do not indicate to me that the Greens have any hope of winning a seat. For them to win a seat it would take focusing all their resources on a handful of seats and a lucky break of the votes on election day.
The BC Conservatives could win a couple of seats, but nothing is certain. John Van Dongen is an incumbent and is running in a conservative area, he could be re-elected. John Cummins as leader may win in Richmond East. Beyond that I have trouble seeing any other serious chances of BC Conservative wins.
I lean towards Vicki Huntingdon and Bob Simpson being re-elected as independents.
The one other person that might win a seat is Arthur Hadland in Peace River North. He came a competitive second in 2009 and as far as I understand plans on running again in 2013.
With the sort of scenario as I suggest above, realistically I see the NDP taking 60 to 70 seats. I have the NDP on about 50 safe seats.
Realistically I see the BC Liberals taking 12 to 23 seats. I am working on a list in order of how safe the Liberal seats are, but it it is not complete and a bit messy. Currently the list has about eight safe Liberals seats and 20 more that are in play.
Safe Seats - Seats in Play
Assuming the scenario as I see it happens next May, 60 of the seats in BC are safe and only 25 are realistically in play.