Monday, October 21, 2013

Federal by-elections

There are four federal by-elections to be held on November 25th:

Toronto Centre - was held by Liberal Bob Rae
Bourassa - was held by Liberal Denis Coderre
Provencher - was held by Conservative Vic Toews
Brandon Souris - was held by Conservative Merv Tweed

Bourassa - Liberal Hold
With Georges Laraque stepping down as the Green candidates in Bourassa that race no longer seems to be an interesting one.   There is little chance Emmanual Duborg will not be elected as the new Liberal MP for the this riding.  The latest Forum poll for the riding has the Liberals with almost half the support.   I can not see much polling evidence of a swell because of Trudeau.

I do not see much strength with the Bloc and the NDP seems to be playing to come second and not to win.   This race will be as exciting as the eventual winner.

Provencher - Conservative Hold
Provencher is a very safe Conservative riding and the Forum poll has them with a big lead over the Liberals in second place.   Is the high Liberal support an indication of support for Trudeau?

The Green candidate, Janine Gibson, is running here for the Greens for the fifth time in a row.

Toronto Centre = Liberal Hold
Toronto Centre has an interesting race between the NDP, Linda McQuaig,  and the Liberals, Chrystia Freeland.   The Forum poll has Freeland with a decent lead over the NDP.    I am not sure the NDP can gain enough ground here in the campaign to be able to win.   I honestly had expected any poll to show the NDP and Liberals within five points of each other.  The NDP gained ground from the June 19th Forum poll but not nearly what I thought the impact of a well known name like McQuaig would have had  

One thing that I do find interesting is that the polling does not show the Liberals doing any better than they have historically done in this riding.   I had expected any Trudeau impact to be highest in this seat but the polling does not seem to indicate he is having a strong impact.

The only wildcard here is voter turnout.   If the NDP can get their 2011 vote to come out and the Liberals get roughly what they have in past by-elections, there is a potential for an upset.  

Brandon Souris - tossup
The interesting riding in these four by-elections is Brandon Souris.   The Forum poll only had a rather small sample from the riding, 372 decided voters, but the results show the Liberals with a small lead over the Conservatives.   If the Liberals can win this seat, that would be a dramatic in Canadian politics.  Even if they just come a competitive second would indicate the Conservatives and the NDP are in some trouble.

In 2011 the Liberals came fourth in this riding for the second election in a row.   The Liberals won this seat in 1993 with less than 1/3 of the vote.   For them to even get anything close to 39% of the vote would be a dramatic change.   Is this an example of the popularity of Trudeau?

I have to wonder how much of their support comes from the fact their candidate is the son of long time MP for the riding Walter Dinsdale.   He was the PC MP for the riding from 1951 till his death in 1983.  Rolf Dinsdale seems to have an impact on the public but it has been 30 years since his father was MP.

Meanwhile the Conservative candidate Larry Maguire was the PC candidate here in 1993 so it seems this race is really about old school PC politics more than anything else.

I do not have enough information to figure out how this seat will go.  

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