Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Results from the Three Federal By-elections

These are the results along with some analysis from myself - (Alice Funke also some good data on the vote)

Victoria
Candidate       Party   Vote   Pct  change in vote 
                        Total          from 2011
Murray Rankin    NDP    14,519 37.23% (-16,160)
Donald Galloway  Green  13,368 34.30%  (+6,353)
Dale Gann        CPC     5,633 14.44%  (-8,642)
Paul Summerville Liberal 5,092 13.06%  (-3,356)
Ar Loww        Libertarian 194  0.50%
Philip Ney       CHP       191  0.49%
Total Vote              38,997        (-21,628)

 I am very surprised this was the closest race of the night.   It was also the race I was furthest off in my prediction.   I was only 1,997 short of the total vote and reasonably close on the CPC and Liberals but I was 3,868 low for Donald Galloway and 3,481 high for Murray Rankin.

I think the NDP had real trouble getting their vote out and the Greens took votes from the CPC and Liberals along with getting a significant number of non-voters from 2011 to vote in the by-election.

This is the closest race in decades for this seat.  The last time this seat was decided by less than 2.93% was in 1962 when the PCs defeated the Liberals by 0.54% or 216 votes.

For the record, even though the 37.23% looks low for Murray Rankin, this is better than Liberal MP David Anderson managed in three of his four elections.  

As to the Liberals, for one of few seats in BC the party has held in the last couple of generations, coming fourth is a new low for them.   The 13.06% they managed is only 0.43% higher than their record low in 1984.  This is also their lowest vote total since 1926.

The Conservatives should also be concerned.   Never before has the main right wing candidate dropped below 21.83% of the vote.   Their total vote has not been this low since 1911.

The results also mean the media will be expecting the Greens to be the serious challengers in this riding in 2015.

Calgary Centre
Candidate       Party   Vote   Pct  change in vote 
                        Total          from 2011
Joan Crockatt   CPC     10,201 36.89% (-18,200)
Harvey Locke    Liberal  9,034 32.67%    (+403)
Chris Turner    Green    7,090 25.64%  (+2,201)
Dan Meades      NDP      1,063  3.84%  (-6,251)
Antoni Grochowski Ind      141  0.51%
Tony Prashard Libertarian  121  0.44%
Total Vote              27,650        (-21,846)  

I had really expected more people to vote in Calgary Centre, the voter turn out is what I would have expected if the race was not competitve.  Because of the polling that showed it was close I thought this would boost the vote to about 35,000, that was not the case.   My predictions of the precentages were close to the final results, I was furthest off with NDP, I thought they would get 5.7%.

It is impressive the Liberals managed to get more votes than in 2011, but even more impressive is the increase in the Green vote.  

I am surprised the NDP completely gave up on this seat.   In the 2011, 2008 and 2006 elections the NDP achieved results comparable with the Greens and the Liberals.   In the by-election the party fell to fringe party levels of support.

Durham
Candidate       Party   Vote   Pct  change in vote 
                        Total          from 2011
Erin O'Toole    CPC     17,281 50.72% (-14,456)
Larry O'Connor  NDP      8,947 26.26%  (-3,330)
Grant Humes     Liberal  5,887 17.28%  (-4,500)
Virginia Ervin  Green    1,386  4.07%  (-1,748)
Andrew Moriarty CHP        437  1.28%     (-25)
Michael Nicula Online Pty  132  0.39%
Total Vote              34,070        (-24,381)

I was 4,000 votes short on the turn out and almost 4,000 votes short on the support for Erin O'Toole.  It looks like a nice symmetry but I do not know enough to know why this happened.

The Liberals should be concerned they have been replaced as the challenger party in a seat they almost won in 2004.   The Liberals won the old Durham riding in 1997 and 2000.   The result in Durham is an indication of how far the Federal Liberals have fallen as a political party.

The Greens should really have made some more effort here.  In 2008 they finished ahead of the NDP

Party                         Total Vote   (change from 2011 GE)
Conservatives 33,115 (-41,298)
NDP           24,529 (-25,741)
Greens        21,844  (+6,806)
Liberals      20,013  (-7,453)
Others         1,216

The Liberals should be very concerned to have come fourth in total vote.   Two of the seats in which the by-elections were held had been held by the Liberals during their last majority government, they were not even close to competitive in this.  

The Greens should be over joyed, their vote total puts them squarely into the ranks of the major parties.   The Greens now have to build on these results and not let them evaporate as has happened in London North Centre and Bruce Grey Owen Sound.

Turnout compared to the last general election
Victoria 64.32% of 2011 GE
Durham 58.29% of 2011 GE
Calgary Centre 55.86% of 2011 GE

I really do not understand why Calgary Centre did not have a higher turn out after several polls showed that it was in play.

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