Friday, August 2, 2013

Half of past Ontario Liberal supporters stayed home or voted for some other party in the 5 August 1st by-elections

These matter because there were five of them at once and the ridings are the same federally and provincialy.   These were five Liberal held seats, if they can not hold these, they are unlikely to be hold onto government in the next election.

What seems to have happened in the by-elections is that a lot of Liberal voters simply did not show up.   The Liberals took huge drops in their support but this was not picked up by the other parties.   They are lucky to have retained two of the five seats.

Here is are the results of these five by-elections as percentages of the vote

Elect Liberal  PC     NDP    Green
2013  30.03%  34.77% 29.23%  3.13%
2011  47.26%  28.47% 20.16%  2.43% 
2007  49.45%  26.14% 15.19%  8.06%

The fall for the Liberals is dramatic with the PCs and NDP both gaining in support though seemingly the NDP more so.   In 2007 and 2011 they won all five seats, this time they still managed to win two of them but they were pushed into third place in two of them.

Etobicoke Lakeshore
Elect Liberal  PC    NDP  Green
2013   42.0%  46.6%  7.8%  2.3%
2011   51.0%  29.2% 15.5%  2.7%   
2007   46.0%  30.7% 13.3%  7.9%
This should have been safely Liberal but even with a fall in the NDP vote the PCs managed to gain a lot and win the seat.

London West
Elect Liberal  PC    NDP  Green Freedom
2013   15.8%  32.7% 41.9%  4.3%  5.0% 
2011   45.7%  29.5% 21.7%  2.4%  0.6%
2007   52.4%  24.3% 11.2% 10.5%  0.5%
In 2007 the NDP was in the same territory as the Greens in this riding but now they won it in this by-election.  The Liberal vote collapsed here, does that many Liberals voters strategically voted for the NDP?  In terms of raw vote, the Liberals lost close to 17,000 since 2011 and more than 20,000 since 2007.  The NDP gained close to 5,000 in 2011 and another 5,000 in the current by-election.   It says to me that a lot of Liberal voters simply stayed home.

Ottawa South
Elect Liberal  PC   NDP   Green
2013   42.3%  38.7% 14.3%  3.1%
2011   48.9%  33.4% 13.4%  3.2%
2007   50.1%  29.7%  9.3%  8.2%
The Liberals saw their support drop here but lucky for them the PCs could not get all their vote out and experienced a small drop of 1000 votes, enough to give the Liberals the win.   If there had been even a 300 vote increase instead for the PCs, they would have won this seat

Scarborough Guildwood
Elect Liberal  PC   NDP   Green
2013   35.8%  30.8% 28.4%  2.2%
2011   48.9%  28.7% 19.4%  1.3%
2007   42.5%  28.0% 21.9%  5.3%
The Liberals were luck to retain this seat given that they lost 7,000 votes from the last election.  The PCs also lost support though only 1500 votes while the NDP only managed a modest gain of

Windsor Tecumseh
Elect Liberal  PC   NDP   Green
2013   11.9%  20.1% 61.3%  3.6%
2011   42.8%  20.8% 32.8%  2.2%
2007   49.3%  16.8% 24.7%  7.4%
People said the NDP were likely to win, but I not expected them to win this convincingly and to have the Liberal vote evaporate.   It is not as if a lot of Liberals decided to vote for the NDP, they only gained 3400 votes from 2011 while the Liberals lost 12,900.   Once again, huge droves of Liberals stayed home and idd not vote.

The story of the night is that past Liberal supporters simply chose not to take part in the election.   When you look at the overall raw vote results it is clear that the PCs, NDP and Greens keep something on the order of their 2011 vote but it was the Liberals who lost 50,961 votes on the night from their 2011 results.  For  comparison the PCs lost 4,503 and the NDP gained 4,061.  

What matters for the next Ontario election and federal election is how these disaffected Liberals will act.  Clearly the PCs and NDP were not doing it for them, so will they not vote again or will they show up and vote Liberal?  Clearly Etobicoke Lakeshore and London West are within reach for the Liberals to win if they can convince their past supporters to vote/

For the federal scene the results would seem to indicate that the honeymoon of the Liberals is ending and that the NDP is not going away.   It is also good news for the Conservatives because the PCs were the most popular party yesterday.   The PCs were a serious factor in four of the five races though only winning one.  In 2011 and 2007 the PCs were not close to winning any of the seats.

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