Upcoming Federal by-elections

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West Coast Lefty
Upcoming Federal by-elections

Following Dawn Black's resignation as MP from New Westminster-Coquitlam, now we get word that BQ MP Paul Crête is going to resign his seat and run in the provincial by-election to replace Mario Dumont as MNA from Rivière-du-Loup.  Crête is MP for Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup and won by a comfortable 7,000 votes in October 2008.  The riding should be a safe BQ hold, but it will be interesting to see how the CPC and LPC do in the race for 2nd place.  I don't think the NDP has much presence here.

So, the QC by-election should be a solid BQ hold, but Dawn Black's seat will likely be a tight 3-way race between NDP, Libs and Cons.  Are there any other rumoured resignations coming soon? I heard some buzz that Hochelaga BQ MP Réal Ménard will be stepping down to run in the Montreal municipal election this fall.  Any word on what Stéphane Dion will do? I would think he'd want to go back to teaching at this point.

David Young

I'm waiting to see if Elizabeth May will jump into the NEW WESTMINSTER-COQUITLAM by-election, so she can ruin the NDP's chances at victory, just like she did in CENTRAL NOVA.

Wilf Day

West Coast Lefty wrote:
I heard some buzz that Hochelaga BQ MP Réal Ménard will be stepping down to run in the Montreal municipal election this fall. 

The NPD candidate in 2008 was Jean-Claude Rocheleau, one of the top stars. He came third with 14.4%, compared to the Liberal 20.7%, the Bloc 49.7%, and the Conservative 9.2%. The Conservative will fall even lower, but there's not much joy for the Liberals in the small number of votes available from that 9.2%. After Ignatieff turned his back on the Bloc, if Rocheleau runs again, could he overtake the Liberal?
West Coast Lefty wrote:
Any word on what Stéphane Dion will do? I would think he'd want to go back to teaching at this point.

He's stubborn beyond all predictions. He's come back from the dead once, and won one underdog leadership campaign. What will he do next?
But a by-election in Saint-Laurent-Cartierville would be interesting. The Bloc got only 11.3%, the NPD 9.0%. Could be wide open???

ottawaobserver

There's some speculation at the end of a Canadian Press story on CTV.ca online tonight that Dion would like to step down at some point after the Liberal convention, but is looking for an international environmental job.

ottawaobserver

Meantime, it looks like Réal Ménard backed off the idea of running municipally, if I correctly understand the French idiom in this story from a few days later.

West Coast Lefty

ottawaobserver wrote:

Meantime, it looks like Réal Ménard backed off the idea of running municipally, if I correctly understand the French idiom in this story from a few days later.

Thanks for those 2 updates, OO - Ménard is being very vague and ambigious in that article- saying he has nothing to announce "yet" and that he is still reflecting on how best to serve his constituents.  It's the kind of thing you say when you know you are going to run but you want to keep your cushy MP job for a few more months without being criticized.  I like Ménard a lot, though, and he's toyed with running provinicially before and then declined, so it's still up in the air.  I know Rocheleau and the NDP organization in the riding are working to prepare for a possible by-election.

Dion will be gone by the end of the year, I predict.  Either there will be an election this fall and he won't run again, or he'll resign his seat to accept a university post or international position as per the speculation in the article. 

I predict May will not run in any of the by-elections.  She is nowhere in Quebec, her French is shaky, and New West-Coquitlam is not a good fit for the Green message. She'll run in the next general election and then resign unless she wins a seat, which is less likely than ever, IMHO.

ottawaobserver

I like Ménard a lot too, WCL.  The two seats, Hochelaga and St-Laurent--Cartierville, make for two very good test-runs for the NDP in Montreal, I believe: one an east-end francophone seat in the top-ten of low-income ridings in the country with the second-highest percent tenants in 2006; the other a west-island seat in the top 10% of ethnically-diverse ridings and the highest proportion of Arab voters, still a very high rate of tenants, and again a very high percent of low-income residents.

The Bloc didn't have much vote to speak of in Dion's old riding, while the Conservatives didn't have much against Ménard.  The question is, with the incumbents gone, who can scoop up the Liberal vote in StL-C and the Bloc vote in Hochelaga.  Obviously the parties that hold the seats will try to run high-profile candidates to keep them.  I'm looking forward to seeing how things unfold, and I'm glad to hear the Hochelaga preparations are already well underway just in case.

V. Jara

2011 could be a big year for byelections given all the provincial elections that are taking place that year. Otherwise, BC and Nova Scotia have probably seen their window of federal candidate draws pass. Until 2011, the only provincial election is in New Brunswick.

New Brunswick opens up the possibility of Liberals jumping ship to try and be in government or the ressurection of the political careers of Charles Isaac Hubbard or Paul Zed Yell

Debater

West Coast Lefty wrote:

Following Dawn Black's resignation as MP from New Westminster-Coquitlam, now we get word that BQ MP Paul Crête is going to resign his seat and run in the provincial by-election to replace Mario Dumont as MNA from Rivière-du-Loup.  Crête is MP for Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup and won by a comfortable 7,000 votes in October 2008.  The riding should be a safe BQ hold, but it will be interesting to see how the CPC and LPC do in the race for 2nd place.  I don't think the NDP has much presence here.

So, the QC by-election should be a solid BQ hold, but Dawn Black's seat will likely be a tight 3-way race between NDP, Libs and Cons.  Are there any other rumoured resignations coming soon? I heard some buzz that Hochelaga BQ MP Réal Ménard will be stepping down to run in the Montreal municipal election this fall.  Any word on what Stéphane Dion will do? I would think he'd want to go back to teaching at this point.

 

The BQ will probably hold the seat, but the Liberals have an outside shot at it as they are on the rise in Quebec, including in Francophone Quebec.

ottawaobserver

Debater wrote:

The BQ will probably hold the seat, but the Liberals have an outside shot at it as they are on the rise in Quebec, including in Francophone Quebec.

The Liberals held the Montmagny-l'Islet side in 1997 and 2000, but the redistributed seat put them back quite a bit in the 2000 Transposition, and they placed third there in the last two elections.  I know you folks are in the middle of a new Leader rosy glow right now, but even "outside shot" is a bit of a stretch here, unless you can recruit some kind of superstar candidate.

janfromthebruce

Considering debator that the liberals are corinating the most "regressive supposed progressive" lib leader, outside shot is way off the mark.

ottawaobserver

Looks like we can add Bill Casey's riding to the list now ...

 

Independent MP Casey to be Nova Scotia's new man in Ottawa

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2009/04/28/ns-bill-casey-intergovernmental-affairs.html

KenS

Debater wrote:

...the Liberals are on the rise in Quebec, including in Francophone Quebec.

Moving up from the low teens among francophones was a real challenge there.

Stockholm

Well i guess that settles one thing for sure. If EMay decided to run in another byelection and her choices were New Westminster-Coquitlam, North Nova or one of these green 99 and 44/100ths dead zones in Quebec - the obvious place for her to run would be North Nova which is right next door to Central Nova.  Of course her chances of winning there would still be zilch - but I think that would be a better place for her to run than across the country in vancouver - not that May has been known for applying any rationality to her political decisions in the past.

KenS

Well- I heard it here.

This is some strange. In the first place, there is no substantive or personal reason for Casey not to serve out his term.

He is a really honourable guy. Not to mention he doesn't need the money. I think it is SO unlikely it is a patronage appointment to get him out of the way

Maybe its some weird poke in the eye at Harper and to make Rodney look good, and 'strong', with the election coming up. But that sounds pretty far fetched.

If it was done with Harpers blessing it would be a combination kiss and make up for all the conservatives, make Rodney look good, etc. I can't see that there would be an advantage for the Cons in a by-election. The announced candidate for the Cons is Scott Armstrong who is loved by all sides among the scrappers in that family fight. Maybe it would be easiest for him to win in an orchestrated by-election love-in????

Even if it was something like that, calling a by-election here means they'd have to call it for New Westmisnster where the Cons will want to run out the clock and not have a by-election.

But maybe they've done this in case the general is not this Fall and there will have to be a by-election in New West. The time for Casey to make the shift would be now so Rodney can bask in the glow. And between Casey and the federal and provincial parties they EASILY have the resources to keep a de facto consitiency office running after it is officialy shut down... keep the constituents happy, lots of time for escort Scott around as the 'MP in waiting,' anooited by Saint Bill. Something like that.

I'm just winging it off the top of my head.

Good entertainment even if none of it turns out to reel... I mean true. Eh?

KenS

Its going to put EMay in a real interesting pickle.

She can't possibly win here.

But I don't see how she can decline running. She has paid resources right next door, but I'm guessing that for all they've put into Central Nova, still pretty thin volunteer resources.

So what would it look like when she can't even beat a noboby?

And right close to home.

Stockholm

If the NDP wins the NS provincial election, could they parlay the momentum into make a major stab at winning North Nova? If they can do so well in Central Nova - why not in North Nova?

ottawaobserver

I thought the riding was called "Cumberland - Colchester - Musquodoboit Valley". I think they tried to call it North Nova for awhile, but that's not how Casey gets recognized by the Speaker in the House.

Stockholm

Since there may be a lot of talk about that riding over the next while - let's just refer to it from now on as CCMV.

robbie_dee

Rodney Macdonald has also suggested a provincial election in NS may be [url=http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5i9CHQw8WbWP... days away.[/url]
I wonder if the appointment for Casey is contingent on the PCs being reelected? Presumably if the NDP would win they would want their own man or woman in Ottawa.

remind remind's picture

Interesting, will we be hearing a press release from the EMay camp, or will she ignore it and hope for a federal election prior?

KenS

Rodney suggested the election is just days away- stating the obvious.

Anyway, referring to my reflections above when I first heard about this... that its so strange leads one to consider just about anything.

As to the possibility I posed of it being something more than the crassesst of politics... after listening to the Premeir at the press conference, I guess not. Not even a hint of discussions with the PMO.

So its no orchestrated kiss and make up love in or anything like that- just a gimmick of Rodney trying not to look pathetic.... get some of the heroe's glow, make him not look so cozy with Harper [which everyone's probably forgotten, but they wouldn't think of that].

And no- the NDP would leave him in place if they are govt. a]- they can work with him, and b] it would look awful to shunt him aside.

David Young

This appointment is a desperate move by a Premier who's looking at any means to boost his standing with Nova Scotia voters before having to call an election.

Rodney MacDonald thinks that by having Bill Casey as Nova Scotia's 'point man' in Ottawa, somehow some of Casey's good standing with the voters will rub off on the Premier.

The Conservatives will easily win this by-election, and if it forces Elizabeth May to become the Green candidate there instead of New Westminister, all the better for the NDP's chances to hold that seat.

Bring on the Nova Scotia election!

Debater

ottawaobserver wrote:

Debater wrote:

The BQ will probably hold the seat, but the Liberals have an outside shot at it as they are on the rise in Quebec, including in Francophone Quebec.

The Liberals held the Montmagny-l'Islet side in 1997 and 2000, but the redistributed seat put them back quite a bit in the 2000 Transposition, and they placed third there in the last two elections.  I know you folks are in the middle of a new Leader rosy glow right now, but even "outside shot" is a bit of a stretch here, unless you can recruit some kind of superstar candidate.

"You folks"?  Do you mind if we stop trying to label the political allegiances of posters here and just focus on discussion of the actual ridings?  It's interesting on this thread I am called a Liberal, and on another one I was called a Conservative.  One thing I am not is a Conservative.  I supported the NDP a lot when Ed Broadbent was in Parliament and worked on one of his campaigns, but I have also voted Liberal too.  Like millions of other Canadians, I am a Liberal-NDP swing voter.  Neither party should take us for granted since we can determine elections.  Now, with that issue hopefully put to rest, let's focus on the actual discussion:

The only party showing any momentum in Quebec right now is the Liberals - that doesn't mean they are going to start winning every riding, but they are certainly in contention in places they haven't been since the Chretien years.  In fact, even before Ignatieff took over, they were already going up in Quebec even under a weak leader like Dion.

For example, did you know that on election night in October the Liberals almost beat the BQ in a riding in the Gaspesie?

David Young

Just wondering!

If (when) Paul Crete resigns his seat to run provincially, would Mario Dumont try going federal and run for the Conservatives in that federal riding?

Debater

David Young wrote:

Just wondering!

If (when) Paul Crete resigns his seat to run provincially, would Mario Dumont try going federal and run for the Conservatives in that federal riding?

Why on earth would he want to run for a party that is on the verge of being wiped out in Quebec?

ottawaobserver

It's not a bad question David.  Why, you ask, Debater?  Perhaps because if it were a by-election and the Conservatives poured body and soul into it (or, in their case, a truckload of cash), and the hint was that Dumont would become a cabinet minister, that's something Dumont might not mind for awhile.  Then he could segue into a leadership bid when Harper steps down.  That should keep the seat for him.

The Libs did come in a strong second in the Haute Gaspesie riding, with Nancy Charest as their candidate.  That riding will be vacant in the next election, since the BQ member is stepping down.  Do you know if Charest will be running again there, Debater?

ottawaobserver

Stockholm wrote:

Since there may be a lot of talk about that riding over the next while - let's just refer to it from now on as CCMV.

I'll second that!

Stockholm

"Then he (Dumont) could segue into a leadership bid when Harper steps down."

Not a chance. There is no way that the Tories would give the slightest consideration to having Dumont as their federal leader. His English is quite poor, he supported the Yes side in the last referendum and he proved a total flop as opposition leader in Quebec. Enough said?

Stephen Gordon

No, not as leader. But Dumont would be a very credible Quebec lieutenant. He wasn't able to recruit enough decent candidates to make a go of the ADQ, but his personal popularity is still a not-insignificant asset.

OTOH, he'd likely be something of a loose cannon: I can't imagine him shutting up because Harper tells him to.

David Young

ottawaobserver wrote:

Stockholm wrote:

Since there may be a lot of talk about that riding over the next while - let's just refer to it from now on as CCMV.

I'll second that!

I don't know how much chatter there will be about C.C.M.V.

It contains 5 provincial seats, Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, Colchester North, Cumberland North, Cumberland South, and Truro-Bible Hill.  All of which have faithfully voted (provincially) Conservative since 1998.

 

Wilf Day

David Young wrote:
Rodney MacDonald thinks that by having Bill Casey as Nova Scotia's 'point man' in Ottawa, somehow some of Casey's good standing with the voters will rub off on the Premier.

Casey has good standing with the voters despite having announced his support for the federal Liberal-NDP coalition back in December?

But . . . but . . . I thought all the voters considered the coalition toxic and would punish its supporters? At least, that's what I keep reading from the punditry and the commentariat.

West Coast Lefty

I'm puzzled that CCMV is considered a Conservative lock by many babblers- the NDP finished 2nd in 2008 (and I believe in 2006 as well) there and their results were going up from 2000-2008 until Casey won the landslide as an Independent in 2008.  After the way Harper treated Casey, the Altantic Accord betrayal, etc, I would think CCMV voters would be itching to punish the Cons in a by-election where the government is not at stake - and would possibly lean NDP given Dexter's popularity and the likelihood of an NDP government being elected provincially in early June.  Is an NDP upset at all possible in CCMV, or just a West Coast pipe dream? I am totally ignorant of NS politics at the riding level, so please enlighten me! Cool

I agree that Harper will put on a full-court press to get Dumont to run in Crête's federal seat - it would be Mario's only shot at being in government, but he just moved to Montreal with his family so it will be hard fo him to justify coming back to politics that soon.  If he ran, though, he would have a decent shot at winning the seat on his personal appeal.  Mario is a total loose cannon but Harper is roadkill in Quebec now, so he needs a game-changer.

May will have to run in CCMV whether she wants to or not, to back down from that race would be a humiliation for her. 

 

 

Debater

ottawaobserver wrote:

The Libs did come in a strong second in the Haute Gaspesie riding, with Nancy Charest as their candidate.  That riding will be vacant in the next election, since the BQ member is stepping down.  Do you know if Charest will be running again there, Debater?

No, I don't I'm afraid.  I don't have a phone line to the Liberal HQ. Smile

I didn't know the BQ member wasn't running again.  Thanks for the info.  Was that announced recently?  I hadn't heard that.  Perhaps he is leaving because he knows he will be defeated next time?

If the Libs could come within 600 votes of taking it under Dion, it's likely they can take it under Igantieff.

ottawaobserver

No, Debater, it's for health reasons.  Give up the partisanship for a second, winning isn't everything.

Debater

ottawaobserver wrote:

No, Debater, it's for health reasons.  Give up the partisanship for a second, winning isn't everything.

 

? ? ?Surprised  That's what this whole topic is about - who can win in what ridings  And aren't you normally quite partisan?

Anyway, are you saying you believe the health reasons?  That may be part of it, but I don't think it's the full story - he saw the results in October and can see what's likely to happen in the next election.

That's like David Emerson saying he was leaving for family reasons - everyone knew it was because he couldn't win in that riding as a Conservative.  He knew it would go Liberal or NDP and it ended up going NDP.  I think Mr. Roy has seen similar writing on the wall, and thus I think that contributed to the "health reasons"

adma

Debater wrote:

If the Libs could come within 600 votes of taking it under Dion, it's likely they can take it under Igantieff.

Not generically.  It was a Nancy Charest vote more than it was a raw Liberal vote.

adma

West Coast Lefty wrote:

I'm puzzled that CCMV is considered a Conservative lock by many babblers- the NDP finished 2nd in 2008 (and I believe in 2006 as well) there and their results were going up from 2000-2008 until Casey won the landslide as an Independent in 2008.  After the way Harper treated Casey, the Altantic Accord betrayal, etc, I would think CCMV voters would be itching to punish the Cons in a by-election where the government is not at stake - and would possibly lean NDP given Dexter's popularity and the likelihood of an NDP government being elected provincially in early June.  Is an NDP upset at all possible in CCMV, or just a West Coast pipe dream? I am totally ignorant of NS politics at the riding level, so please enlighten me! Cool

If an upset's possible, then we're looking at an NDP sweep or near-sweep of NS.  Look: we're talking about 69% vs 12.3% re second place last time around; it's just that fewer Dipper voters felt comfortable parking their vote on principle with Casey than Tory or Liberal voters.  (And the NDP was still third behind the Grits in 2006--though not by too much.)

ottawaobserver

Debater wrote:

ottawaobserver wrote:

No, Debater, it's for health reasons.  Give up the partisanship for a second, winning isn't everything.

 ? ? ?Surprised  That's what this whole topic is about - who can win in what ridings  And aren't you normally quite partisan?

Anyway, are you saying you believe the health reasons?  That may be part of it, but I don't think it's the full story - he saw the results in October and can see what's likely to happen in the next election.

That's like David Emerson saying he was leaving for family reasons - everyone knew it was because he couldn't win in that riding as a Conservative.  He knew it would go Liberal or NDP and it ended up going NDP.  I think Mr. Roy has seen similar writing on the wall, and thus I think that contributed to the "health reasons"

And you draw this conclusion not even having read the story or knowing the man's age?  This may be the last time I even engage you on something this silly, but at my age and looking at the guy's photograph, it seemed quite plausible to me, particularly because he's saying so this early.  The Bloc may be many things, but scared of Liberals is not one of them.

I'm certainly partisan, but I'm not blind and I've lived a little.

Debater

ottawaobserver wrote:

 The Bloc may be many things, but scared of Liberals is not one of them.

I'm not sure if scared is the right word, but they are concerned right now.  There was an article out earlier this week pointing out that the BQ is now getting ready to go after Igantieff - they wouldn't be doing that if they weren't considered about his rising numbers in Quebec.

Remember, the only party to take seats away from the BQ in October was the Liberals, and that trend is likely to continue in the next election.

Stockholm

If the BQ starts to fear losses in Quebec - they could decide to prop up harper for several YEARS.

Debater

Well the BQ is pretty much guaranteed to lose seats to the Liberals in the next election - it's just a question of how many and whether or not what they lose to the Liberals can be offset by what they can take away from the Conservatives.

ottawaobserver

Debater wrote:

Well the BQ is pretty much guaranteed to lose seats to the Liberals in the next election - it's just a question of how many and whether or not what they lose to the Liberals can be offset by what they can take away from the Conservatives.

"Pretty much guaranteed", eh?  The same way Paul Martin was pretty much guaranteed to win a 220-seat majority, or Stephen Harper was finished after the 2004 election?

Debater, NOTHING is guaranteed in electoral politics, and pretending otherwise doesn't help your reputation for insightful and considered political analysis on this board.

KenS

Let alone nothing is guaranteed, or even 'sort of guaranteed'... as to what is even likely, looked at right now, with all the caveats that entails...

In Quebec the Cons are looking to have nowhere to go but down.

All the Bloc has to do is stay close to where they are and they stand to pick up a chunk of seats on that.

As always, the Liberal vote is so concentrated in Quebec [and even the francphone vote being somewhat that way] that big province wide gains, or even gains in the Montreal breakdown- that the lions share of those gains are in seats they already have. And in seats where they are close enough to the Bloc, Cons going down can lead to more gains for the Bloc than the Liberals.

Another factor is that a number of those seats where the Liberals are in range of the Bloc is that they had those seats and lost them. The several I can think of, losing them closely in 2006 turned into losing them by a much larger margin in 2008. That is largely because the incumbency factor kicks in, and while rolling that boulder uphill is not impossible... probabilities again, the odds are that predictions do not pan out for things like 'we don't have Dion holding us back anymore, and we were only 1,000 votes behind last time'.

Right now at least, it looks like the contingencies of the Liberals getting ANY seats [or more than 1 or 2] from the Bloc are MUCH greater, than is the likelihood the Bloc is going to pick up seats [and more of them] from the Cons.

Debater

ottawaobserver wrote:

Debater wrote:

Well the BQ is pretty much guaranteed to lose seats to the Liberals in the next election - it's just a question of how many and whether or not what they lose to the Liberals can be offset by what they can take away from the Conservatives.

"Pretty much guaranteed", eh?  The same way Paul Martin was pretty much guaranteed to win a 220-seat majority, or Stephen Harper was finished after the 2004 election?

Debater, NOTHING is guaranteed in electoral politics, and pretending otherwise doesn't help your reputation for insightful and considered political analysis on this board.

I didn't say it was guaranteed - I  said it was "pretty much" guaranteed; I qualified what I said and am aware of how language works.  What my statement meant is that unless the Liberal vote drops significantly in Quebec before the next election, it is almost a sure thing that they will pick up new seats there.  I therefore provided for the possibility that the projection can change.

I'm not sure why you feel the need to always scold me and give me lessons on politics and the use of language.  You are not my mother. Laughing

ottawaobserver

Finally something we can agree on !

Debater

KenS wrote:

Let alone nothing is guaranteed, or even 'sort of guaranteed'... as to what is even likely, looked at right now, with all the caveats that entails...

In Quebec the Cons are looking to have nowhere to go but down.

All the Bloc has to do is stay close to where they are and they stand to pick up a chunk of seats on that.

As always, the Liberal vote is so concentrated in Quebec [and even the francphone vote being somewhat that way] that big province wide gains, or even gains in the Montreal breakdown- that the lions share of those gains are in seats they already have. And in seats where they are close enough to the Bloc, Cons going down can lead to more gains for the Bloc than the Liberals.

Another factor is that a number of those seats where the Liberals are in range of the Bloc is that they had those seats and lost them. The several I can think of, losing them closely in 2006 turned into losing them by a much larger margin in 2008. That is largely because the incumbency factor kicks in, and while rolling that boulder uphill is not impossible... probabilities again, the odds are that predictions do not pan out for things like 'we don't have Dion holding us back anymore, and we were only 1,000 votes behind last time'.

Right now at least, it looks like the contingencies of the Liberals getting ANY seats [or more than 1 or 2] from the Bloc are MUCH greater, than is the likelihood the Bloc is going to pick up seats [and more of them] from the Cons.

The BQ support is actually not that entrenched in Quebec these days - it is a struggle for them just to get to 40%, and they only got 38% in October.  Their days of getting 49% of the vote and 54 seats seems to be over.

Incidentally, L. Ian MacDonald, who probably knows more about Quebec politics than any of us, recently wrote that the Liberals can win 30 seats in Quebec in the next election.  That's a little high IMO, but it shows how things are shifting.

KenS

Shows how much some people can spin stuff. Operative word is they could. If I tell Ian that $1,000 of his next paycheck rides on his prediction, do you think he'd say '50% probability for that 30 seat figure.

It isn't even guaranteed the sun will keep shining out of Iggy's orifices. And if it does, and a whole bunch of things also go right, yes, they might win 30 seats. Its a reasonable hope for them to entertain.

As to the BQ- the fact it is unlikely they are back to 49% of the vote and 54 seats means squat. Their vote is highly efficient in getting seats. As long as they stay even close to 38-40%, the Liberals can't make more than piddly gains. And unless the trend changes more than they usually do, the highest probability is that the Bloc is going to have at least enough seats to guarantee us AT LEAST another minority government.

Debater

KenS wrote:

Shows how much some people can spin stuff. Operative word is they could. If I tell Ian that $1,000 of his next paycheck rides on his prediction, do you think he'd say '50% probability for that 30 seat figure.

It isn't even guaranteed the sun will keep shining out of Iggy's orifices. And if it does, and a whole bunch of things also go right, yes, they might win 30 seats. Its a reasonable hope for them to entertain.

As to the BQ- the fact it is unlikely they are back to 49% of the vote and 54 seats means squat. Their vote is highly efficient in getting seats. As long as they stay even close to 38-40%, the Liberals can't make more than piddly gains. And unless the trend changes more than they usually do, the highest probability is that the Bloc is going to have at least enough seats to guarantee us AT LEAST another minority government.

You're right that the BQ vote is "efficient" if by efficient you mean they receive a very disproportionate number of seats relative to their popular vote!  SmileAs Ed Broadbent said a few years ago in his report on democratic reform, of all the parties, the BQ receives the most seats for the fewest votes under first past the post.

However, the "efficient" vote will only hold up for so long.  The Liberals are likely to make more than piddly gains in Quebec based on the current numbers.  The Liberals took 2 seats from the BQ in October when they were much lower in the popular vote, and almost won in half a dozen others.  The Libs can easily pick up 10 seats or more in Quebec based on their current numbers.  The next election for the BQ is likely to resemble 1997 or 2000 in which they lost a number of seats.

Another interesting thing to watch in Quebec down the road will be the issue of Duceppe himself.  Many people thought the last election would be his last - it now appears he plans to stay on for another.  But when he retires, the BQ vote may go down further.  Nanos research shows that many people vote BQ because of Duceppe and the BQ may lose voters when he leaves.  

Stockholm

"Nanos research shows that many people vote BQ because of Duceppe and the BQ may lose voters when he leaves."

...and their second choice tends to be the NDP.

Debater

Stockholm wrote:

"Nanos research shows that many people vote BQ because of Duceppe and the BQ may lose voters when he leaves."

...and their second choice tends to be the NDP.

It was up until recently - it is now beginning to increase for the Liberals again now that Ignatieff is there.  BQ voters clearly didn't like Dion.

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