I generally dislike campaigns trying to end splitting the vote because the thinking behind them and the assumptions made are very superficial and tend to misunderstand how and why the public votes. That said, I have become more impressed with the process that 1 Calgary Centre used and how well they have managed to engage with the public for their process.
What 1 Calgary Centre aimed to do was to get the public to unite around one candidate that was not the Conservative. The way they did this was to have people in the riding register with them and then vote on who they wanted to be the one progressive candidate to back against Joan Crockatt.
The selection vote was yesterday and the results are in today.
They managed to get 454 voters in Calgary Centre to take part - which is about 1.5% of the people that are likely to vote in the by-election. While that is not a large number in itself, it is better than anything I have ever seen from one of the stop the vote split to defeat the Conservatives campaigns.
Candidate 1st choice 2nd choice 3rd choice
Green Chris Turner 318 70.0% 93 20.5% 27 5.9%
Liberal Harvey Locke 120 26.4% 192 42.3% 105 23.1%
NDP Dan Meades 14 3.1% 140 30.8% 244 53.7%
Even without going to second choices, Chris Turner is the overwhelming preferred candidate with 70% of the votes cast yesterday.
So why did Turner do well? Maybe his supporters were much better at taking part in the process than the NDP or Liberals.
It will be interesting to see how these results are used given that a new poll from Return on Insight has come out and is largely in line with the last Forum poll expect for the Green Chris Turner being much further behind.
Candidate Forum ROI
Nov 17 Nov 22
Crockatt 35 37
Locke 30 32
Turner 25 17
Meades 8 12
Respondents 374 293
MOE 5.1 5.7
Eric Grenier was provided with the raw data from ROI and it seems less weighting was needed in their poll. One of my issues with the Forum polls has been the huge amount of weighting they have needed to do to their polls because they have had wildly too many people aged 55+ responding.
I hate to put much weight on a single small sample poll from a company I do not well at all and that I can not find much of a track record on, but based on what Eric has to say about their poll, and the deficiencies of the Forum ones, I would be leaning towards the ROI numbers being closer to reality of public opinion in Calgary Centre.