Friday, July 5, 2013

August 1st, five by-elections in Ontario

Holding five or more by-elections on one day is not a common occurrence in Canada    It has happened a couple of times that I know of.  Here is a list of them since World War 2 that I can find - 8 times federally and now for the 3rd time in Ontario

# Seats % of seats  
  15      5.7% Fed Oct 16 1978 - 7 govt + 8 opps - govt lost 6, gained 1, opposition gained 1 from govt and lost 1 to govt, 1 final opposition seat changed hands between two oppoistion parties
   8      3.1% Fed Oct 24th 1949 - 7 govt + 1 opps - govt lost 1 to the opposition and 3 to ind Liberals
   7      2.3% Fed  May 13th 2002 - 6 govt + 1 opps, govt lost 2
   6      2.0% Fed  March 25th 1996 - 5 govt + 1 opps - no loses
   6      2.3% Fed  May 24th 1977 - 4 govt + 2 opps - govt gained 1
   6      2.3% Fed  Nov 8th 1954 - 5 govt + 1 opps - govt lost 1
   6      2.3% Fed  May 26th 1952 - 5 govt + 1 opps - govt lost 3
   5      4.0% Ont  Dec 13th 1984 - 4 govt + 1 opps - govt lost 2
   5      1.9% Fed  Sept 19 1967 - 5 govt seats - no losses
   5      5.1% Ont  Jan 18th 1962 - 3 govt + 2 opps - govt lost 1

The five August 1st by-elections in Ontario represent 4.7% of the seats in the Ontario Legislature and they are all government held seats.

The odds tend to be against government in by-elections, but with the new premier the results may not be too surprising.   I think there are moderate odds of the NDP winning one seat and the PCs taking one to two seats.   Let us say they do lose three seats, here is what the Ontario Legislature would look like

  • Liberals  50
  • PCs 38
  • NDP 19

Once you take the speaker into account, this means the government is eight seats short of what it needs to win a vote.   Given that the NDP and PCs are not in any sort of rebuilding mode but are interested in winning the next election, the minority government of Wynne looks in serious danger of being defeated this fall forcing an election.


Post a Comment