Sunday, October 14, 2012

NDP Choose Murray Rankin to be their candidate in the Victoria Federal by-election

It only took one ballot and Murray Rankin won which did not surprise me.  What I had not expected was such a large win by him.   He manged to get almost 2/3s of the vote.
  • Murray Rankin    352 - 65.8%
  • Elizabeth Cull    96 - 17.9%
  • Charley Beresford 51 -  9.5%
  • Ben Isitt         36 -  6.7%
  • total            535 - about 49% turn out
We pundits that try and predict the outcomes of elections are more often wrong than right and the majority of cases when we are right it is either because the result was obvious or we were lucky.   I have no way to know if I was just lucky or my assumptions about how the race would go were right.

A bit more than three weeks ago I tried to make a stab at estimating the outcome of the vote.  I came moderately close on the total vote for Murray Rankin but strongly under estimated Elizabeth Cull.  I was in the right ball park for Charley Beresford though over estimated Ben Isitt.    The turn out was lower than I had expected, I had expected to be in the mid 50s and not a just below half.   Clearly some candidates had trouble getting the members to come out and vote.

The way I read it is that Murray Rankin and his team managed to get their people to turn out and that Elizabeth Cull really did not.   My assumptions assigned each endorser of a candidate that could have some reasonable direct personal connection to the riding a number of members they were likely to be able to personally bring out.   I know it is subjective but there was little else to go on and in my experience it tends to be true in nomination races with small memberships.   My model seems to have worked well for Murray Rankin and Charley Beresford but not at all for Elizabeth Cull.  It is because of that I suspect Cull's team simply did not manage to get the vote out.   In the case of Ben Isitt, when I made my prediction he was not yet candidate and he really entered the race very late so my numbers in September were a pure stab in the dark.

What I find interesting with the nomination of Murray Rankin that the three candidates nominated so far are all older middle aged men that are professors are UVic.    This leaves it open for the Conservatives to nominate someone different and potentially tap into some demographics that may otherwise not vote.  I have still not even heard a decent rumour of anyone that has been interested in running for the Conservatives.


Unknown said...

While I generally agree with your assessment, I must say that Paul Summerville has a bit more an impressive resume than being a UVic professor.

G West said...

First of all, the turnout was much higher than predicted - especially for the kind of day it was. The organizers actually had to move part of the overflow crowd out of the main venue at UVic.

Rankin gave the best speech of the four candidates and was clearly supported by Rob Fleming and the Victoria Labour Council - members of which numbered the majority of electors in the hall.

Not a surprise if you actually know anything about the fact, if the party could marshal as much interest and enthusiasm in every riding in the country then Stephen Harper really would have something to worry about in 2015.