Monday, July 8, 2013

Westside-Kelowna - what would it take for Christy Clark to lose? Also my prediction of the vote

Is it possible for the NDP to win in Westside-Kelowna, but a whole host of factors have to come into play:
  1. Voter turnout has to be low overall
  2. Voter turnout in downtown Kelowna has to do better than that on the Westside
  3. The NDP voters from May have to show up
  4. The BC Conservatives have to capture some disaffected Liberals
  5. Where will Dayleen Van Ryswyk get votes from?
  6. Are people motivated to vote for the premier or against her?
What is almost important to know is if we are in a similar situation to Social Credit after the 1969 or 1986 elections.

The 2012 Chilliwack-Hope by-election had all the factors come into play and lead to the NDP the winning in what really is one of the most conservative parts of BC.   One very important factor that lead to Gwen O'Mahony winning in the by-election was that even though the voter turnout went down the NDP vote not only held but rose.  Meanwhile there was some degree of division among the Liberals and the Conservatives.

Chilliwack-Hope was a little bit easier of a target than Westside-Kelowna is.

Assuming the NDP hold their vote, the Conservatives gain a bit and Dayleen Van Rysyk has the impact we get the following:

  • NDP Carol Gordon       7,000
  • Cons Sean Upshaw       3,000
  • Ind Dayleen Van Ryswyk 1,000
  • Others                   500

That is 11,500 votes.   If the voter turnout is 80% of what it was in May that would mean 18,000 voters leaving Christy Clark with 6,500 votes, in the danger zone of losing.   This is not any sort of prediction but just showing that it is possible for the NDP to win.  I honestly do not think that all the factors will come into play.   I do think Christy Clark will be elected.

Now to trying to predict this race.   First off, we need to get some reasonable estimate of the voter turnout.

Here is how turnout numbers have compared in the by-election compared to the previous general election going back to 1994  - the percentages are not turnout percentage, but percent of the last general election's turnout

  • Chilliwack-Hope 2012      85.2%
  • Parksville-Qualicum 1998  78.3%
  • Delta South 1999          77.7%
  • Surrey-Panorama 2004      77.3%
  • Abbotsford 1995           70.9%
  • Vancouver Point Grey 2011 69.5%
  • Matsqui 1994              69.5%
  • Surrey-White Rock 1997    65.3%
  • Port Moody-Coquitlam 2012 60.1%
  • Vancouver-Burrard 2008    48.5%
  • Vancouver-Quilchena 1994  47.5%
  • Vancouver-Fairview 2008   43.9%
This is an average turnout of 66.1% of the previous general election - this is higher than what happens federally in by-elections.  I calculated out the average change in turnout over 50 federal by-elections and the result was 59.4% of the previous general election.   If we factor out the three by-elections in Vancouver with the lowest turnout we get to an average turnout of 72.6% of the previous general election.

Using 72.6% of the turnout of the recent general election we end up with  roughly 16,000 people likely to vote.  Based on a decent advance turnout, this seems more likely than not now. 

The existence of five more candidates than in the recent general election will take some of the votes, my estimate is 1,000 votes total.  This leaves 15,000 votes for the Liberals, NDP and Conservatives.

I think the BC Conservatives will see vote drop to 1,500 total because I see little or no evidence of any sort of strong campaign from them on the ground in the riding.

My best guess if that the May NDP voters are motivated to show up again, I think they can hold 6,000 to 6,500 votes which means we are at the following result:

Christy Clark Lib  7,250 45.31%
Carol Gordon  NDP  6,250 39.06%
Sean Upshaw   BCCP 1,500  9.38%
The Rest           1,000  6.25%

So my prediction is that the race will look close at the end of the day but not as close as the 2011 Vancouver-Point Grey by-election was.

Riding Polling
There have been two polls by Forum of the riding, though the sample size was very small in each case I do do not have the details on the poll.

June 6th - 354 surveyed, no idea how many said they vote or what the sample looked like
Liberal 57%
NDP 31%
Others 4% - I am assuming this because I did not see it reported

July 3rd - 308 surveyed, once again no idea of the details and this time I do not have numbers for the 
Liberal 55%
NDP 36%

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