Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The impact of Moe Gill and Gary Law running as independents

In the last week two men who had wanted to run as BC Liberal candidates but ran afoul of different plans of the party are now planning to run as independents - Moe Gill in Abbotsford West and Gary Law in Richmond Centre


Abbotsford West and Richmond Centre are two ridings that should be solidly Liberal even if the party is in real trouble but with two people feeling snubbed by the party and choosing to run against them, what is the likely impact?   The NDP does not have a history of achieving a high enough vote total in either riding to win and would only win if there is a very even vote split.


I am not certain either candidate will have enough support to win but I do think that they could take a reasonable amount of the vote, something in the range of 25% of the vote.  What is important is where will this vote come from.

In Delta South in 2009 one of the reasons independent Vicki Huntingdon won was because NDP and Green voters from 2005 strategically voted for her to defeat Wally Oppal but at the same time the BC Liberals did not manage to increase their vote total in 2009.   A major difference is that Vicki Huntingdon did not run as a pissed of BC Liberal.

Boundary Similkameen in 2009 had Joe Cardoso run as a BC Conservative after having been removed as the Liberal candidate.   He managed to break 20% but still came third and the BC Liberal candidate John Slater managed to win.

What I take from these results and some other data points is that the independents will take vote directly from the BC Liberals but could also take votes from the NDP and even Greens if people do a lot of strategic voting.


Abbotsford West:
Abbotsford city councilor Moe Gill had wanted to run in Abbotsford South but was "convinced" not to run to allow Daryl Plecas to be the BC Liberal candidate.  He has now decided to run in Abbotsford West against Mike de Jong and his campaign sounds bitterly anti BC Liberal.   This is the statement on his campaign home page:
Moe Gill says no to the Liberal Leadership Team manipulating the constituency of Abbotsford, forcing him to seek the position as an MLA for Abbotsford West as an Independent.
It is interesting to see he chose to run in Abbotsford West versus Mike de Jong and not in Abbotsford South where he wanted the BC Liberal nomination.   Is this because it is personal between him and Mike de Jong? Is he actively helping John Van Dongen to be re-elected as an independent?

Taranjit Purewal ran for the NDP against Mike de Jong in the last three elections but is not running this time.  The NDP are not running a strong candidate in the riding and I doubt will be able to get much more than the 5,106 votes they did in 2009.    

If Moe Gill takes 30% of the people that vote for Mike de Jong in 2009, Mike de Jong is still at 6,300 votes.   If Gill takes the 2009 BC Conservative vote and convinces an extra 2,500 people to vote, he is at 6,200.

If Moe Gill is seen as having the best chance of defeating Mike de Jong, I think he may get enough NDP votes to win.   If he is not seen as having a serious chance of winning, I think he will come third and the NDP has an outside chance of a win.

from the Richmond News
Richmond Centre:
In Richmond Centre Gary Law had wanted to run as the BC Liberal candidate but the party decided not have an open nomination and appointed Teresa Wat as the candidate.   He has also decided to run as an independent.

Richmond Centre has not each of the last three BC Liberals only run for one term and then retire - I have no idea what is going on with that.

A wildcard in Richmond Centre is that only 40.97% of people voted in 2009 which is the second lowest in all of BC.  The only factor I can see that might at play is that maybe the recently immigrated Canadian-Chinese community are not voting - will Gary Law be able to engage them to vote?

In quickly looking at the data there seems to be some correlation but I would have to do more work to be certain.  I would want to look at all 85 ridings and various ethnic origins

Riding                Chinese  voter turnout

Richmond Centre          55%     40.97%
Vancouver Kingsway       51%     46.99%
Vancouver Langara        45%     47.71%
Vancouver Fraserview     44%     51.09%
Richmond East            43%     45.16%
Vancouver Kensington     40%     51.98%
Burnaby Deer Lake        39%     48.65%
Richmond Steveston       38%     51.57%
Vancouver Hastings       38%     50.58%
Burnaby Edmonds          28%     49.07%
Vancouver Mount Pleasant 24%     46.47%


I am not sure how the vote would break out in this riding.  I need to see some more evidence of the sort of traction that Gary Law has.  The odds of the NDP being able to win this seat is higher now but the party has not yet nominated anyone to run.   I suspect it will be very hard to follow this riding if the campaign is heavily fought in the Chinese language media.





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