Monday, November 28, 2005

Much ado and little change

I’ll be posting later on my thoughts after the performance of the party leaders tonight (save the BQ, because I don’t really care that much), but first I thought I’d make my vote predictions.


I’ll start in BC and I’ll be more specific there, since I’m most familiar with the picture there. We Liberals had hopes for big gains there in 2004 with a fresh face in Paul Martin at the helm and a roster of star candidates. Unfortunately, Gomery dashed most of those hopes. While there was a gain and BC got strong cabinet representation, it was far less then hoped for and now the time has passed.

The Liberals should manage to hold most of their seats, but it will be tough. Emerson, Dosanjh and Chan should be fairly safe. Keith Martin squeaked by last time, but voters are now used to him as a Liberal, and his role as parliamentary defence critic should help him in the military riding. Blair Wilson might take Powell River this time with John Reynolds bidding adieu and Bill Cunningham might pull it out this time in Burnaby, and the Grewals are toast, but those gains could be negated if Svend takes out Hedy in Vancouver Centre, or David Mulroney can’t hold Victoria with David Anderson out.

This time in BC, it will probably be between the NDP and the Conservatives. A wide ideological gap there I know, but BC politics have always been known for large pendulum swings. Much of the BC vote is always anti-establishment, and the Liberals are the establishment. A lot of the coastal seats especially have a history of voting NDP, and went Reform not for ideology, but because they wanted the West in. With the Conservatives now back as a mainstream party, most of that vote swung back to the NDP in 2004. I spent that campaign in Skeena-Bulkley Valley, where we focused our attack on the incumbent Reform Conservative MP. Turns out the real threat though was from the NDP candidate, who won a solid victory. Here he turned the late Liberal vote for us to stop Harper strategy against us, saying the polls showed he was the only one who could beat the Conservatives in this riding.

Look for the NDP to play that card on a larger scale this time. They’ll pick up seats on the coast and Vancouver Island, and hold their earlier gains, at the expense of the Cons. The Liberals will gain a little in the GVRD, and the Cons will lose ground. Still, when I look at it riding by riding I see hopes for the Liberals. I won’t go seat by seat yet, but for B.C. I predict:

Conservatives: 16, down nine (They’ll take Cadman’s seat but goodbye Grewals)
Liberals: 10, up three.
NDP: 10, up six.

For the rest of the country I’ll be far less scientific or specific. Goodbye Annie, it’s a Liberal sweep of Alberta. That’s 28 Conservatives, up two.

Ralph will hang on and the NDP will take one from the Cons, for Conservatives 12, NDP one and Liberals one.

If Bev runs as an independent the Liberals take her seat, otherwise status quo. Conservatives 7, Liberals 4, NDP 3.

So many seats, so little time. I’d see Conservative gains in the 905, Liberal holds in the GTA, some NDP possibilities in the North. Roughly, I’ll say Liberals 76, Conservatives 23, and NDP 7.

A BQ sweep with the Liberals confined to Anglo Montreal and the Gatineau. The Liberals will drop eight, for BQ 62, Liberals 13.

(Sorry, you all get lumped together.) Pretty much status quo, but the Cons will pick up a seat somewhere at Liberal expense. Liberals 23, Conservatives 6, NDP 3.

The North
We can’t forget the North. The NDP picks up one, Liberals hold the other two.

The Big Picture
Add it all up and you get:
Liberals: 130
Conservatives: 91
BQ: 62
NDP: 25

Or something like that, math has never been my strong suit. We’re probably heading for another Liberal minority, with the NDP propping them up. Could it be a coalition, with Minister of Health Jack Layton? HRDC (or whatever the heck it is now) Minister Libby Davies? It would also mean goodbye Stephen Harper, and probably adieu to Paul Martin too. And a big screw-you to the political establishment from Canadians disgusted with politicians of all stripes.

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