Friday, August 24, 2012

Federal by-elections - when will they be called?

We have by-elections coming in Calgary Centre, Durham and Victoria.   There is a chance for a by-election in Etobicoke Centre pending the release of the Supreme Court of Canada decision, but the timing of the Etobicoke Centre by-election is from the decision of the Ontario Superior Court on May 18th 2012.

The Calgary Centre by-election has to be called by December 4th, the Victoria by-election can not be called before September 11th.   This means all three by-elections could be called together from mid September through to close to the end of November.

History of  by-election calls by Stephen Harper:
  • November 27th 2006 for two ridings, London North Centre vacant since September 20th 2006 and Repentigny vacant since August 28th 2006.
  • September 17th 2007 for three ridings. two were called on July 28th because that was the last possible day for the Outremont by-election. Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot had been vacant since February 21st 2007.  On August 11th a by-election was called for Roberval-Lac St Jean after a resignation on July 29th.
  • March 17th 2008 for four ridings, three of them became vacant before July 28th 2007.  Toronto Centre vacant since July 2nd 2007, Willowdale since July 12th and Vancouver Quadra since July 27th 2007.   Desnethe MIssinippi Churchill River became vacant on August 31st 2007
  • September 8th 2008 for three ridings, not held due to federal election called the day before the vote in the by-elections.  Westmount Ville Marie vacant since January 25th 2008(which could have been held on March 17th 2008 with the others), Saint Lamert since March 13th 2008 and Guelph since April 7th 2012.
  • September 22nd for Don Valley West vacant since August 1st - not held due to federal election
  • November 9th 2009 for four ridings,New Westminister Coquitlam vacant since April 13th 2009, Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley since April 30th 2009,  Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup since May 21st 2009 and Hochelaga since June 25th 2009
  • November 29th 2010 for three ridings,Winnipeg North vacant since April 30th 2010, Vaughn since September 2nd and Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette since September 15th 2010
  • March 19th 2012 for Toronto Danforth vacant since August 22nd 2011
There have often been long delays in by-elections, but when the writs are dropped there tend to be a number of ridings ready to go.   It all says to me we should expect a call for all three this fall.

I expect that no one wants an election in December so that means the by-elections need to be called by late October by the latest.   The campaign has to be at least 36 days long and that is normally the length they are.  The by-elections also have to be on a Monday so the possible dates for the by-election and when they would be called:
  • October 22nd - likely to be called on September 17th
  • October 29th - likely to be called on Sepetember 23rd
  • November 5th - likely to be called on October 1st
  • November 13th - this is a Tuesday because the Monday will be taken as a holiday by many - likely to be called on October 8th
  • November 19th - likely to be called on October 15th
  • November 26th - likely to be called on October 22nd
I have no idea what dates are the most likely out of this list
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