Thursday, August 10, 2006

A brief look at the ridings

UPDATE: The election is now over. Browse through this page to see how my initial August 11 prediction evolved and follow links to individual updates. My final call was L30-PC24-NDP1 while the result was L29-PC26. Relatively close. For my self-evaluation click here.

PREDICTION UPDATES: August 14; August 15; August 17; August 29; September 5; September 6; September 7; September 8; September 9; September 10; September 13; September 14; September 15; September 17

Well now that we have a date the true excitement begins. My regular daily media round up was pre-empted by the setting of a date and rather than get to that, I am going to do my preliminary "ridings to watch" that I promised a few days ago.

Please remember that we are facing new ridings for the first time since 1995 so that in and off itself makes things interesting. I'll begin with the easy ones which are ridings which will not change hands and I won't bother with any commentary.

Safe ridings

  • Campbellton-Restigouche Centre (Liberal); moved to leans Liberal on September 8, to too close to call on September 10 and to leans PC on September 15 and finally to Liberal in the final prediction on September 17

  • Dalhousie-Restigouche East (Liberal)

  • Nigadoo-Chaleur (Liberal)

  • Bathurst (Liberal); moved to leans Liberal on September 9 but back to safe Liberal on September 15 listed as Liberal but a "riding to watch" in the final prediction on September 17

  • Caraquet (Liberal); moved to leans Liberal on September 14 but back to safe Liberal on September 15

  • Miramichi Bay-Neguac (Liberal)

  • Rogersville-Koouchibouguac (Progressive Conservative); moved to leans PC on September 13 and marked as a "riding to watch" in the final prediction on September 17

  • Kent (Liberal)

  • Shediac-Cap-Pelé (Liberal)

  • Moncton West (Progressive Conservative); moved to too close to call on September 5 and then to leans PC on September 6 and listed as a "riding to watch" in the final prediction on September 17

  • Moncton North (Liberal)

  • Moncton-Crescent (Progressive Conservative)

  • Petitcodiac (Progressive Conservative)

  • Riverview (Progressive Conservative)

  • Albert (Progressive Conservative)

  • Kings East (Liberal); moved to leans Liberal on August 29 and then to too close to call on September 8 and to leans PC on September 9 and marked as a PC pickup in the final prediction on September 17

  • Hampton-Kings (Progressive Conservative); moved to leans PC on August 29 but back to safe PC on September 10

  • Saint John-Fundy (Liberal)

  • Saint John Harbour (Liberal)

  • Saint John Lancaster (Liberal)

  • Charlotte-The Isles (Liberal)

  • Oromocto (Progressive Conservative)

  • Fredericton-Fort Nashwaak (Liberal)

  • New Maryland-Sunbury West (Progressive Conservative)

  • Carleton (Progressive Conservative)

  • Victoria-Tobique (Liberal)

  • Grand Falls-Drummond-Saint-André (Liberal)

  • Edmundston-Saint-Basile (Progressive Conservative)

  • Madawaska-les-Lacs (Progressive Conservative)
In the bag: Liberals 17, Progressive Conservatives 12

I know I am going to be accused of being partisan here, but it is no secret that the Tories have a weak caucus (due to having had trouble recruiting candidates when they were 20 points back in 1999 and then winning big and keeping all of those (only Bruce Fitch is not from the class of 1999 or earlier) while the Liberals have remarkably strong caucus members for an opposition party. This gives the Liberals a strong advantage (one which I think is actually stronger but I am trying to temper any koolaid I may have drank).

I am pretty confident that the above 29 seats will not change hands but, if the tide turns hard in either direction and there is a big sweep coming things could be revised.

Preliminary ridings to watch

Nepisiguit - currently Independent, formerly Liberal

Frank Branch could run again, either as an independent or as a Liberal, largely to try and vindicate his name. His candidacy as an independent would make this race very interesting. It remains unclear what effect the controversy surrounding him has had on his local popularity, I'll need to do some digging there. Also, Gilles Halley, the NDPer who ran here in 1999 and got 28% is still interested in the party and said in 2005 that he would have run for leader but the timing was difficult for him. If he were to run, particularly if Branch was running as an independent, he would have a real shot here. Changed to leaning Liberal on August 15 and to safe Liberal on September 7
Lamèque-Shippagan-Miscou - currently PC

Paul Robichaud may be the first person to have ever been re-elected in this riding. I know it went Liberal in 78, PC in 82, Liberal in 87, PC in 91, Liberal in 95 and PC in 99. Not sure what happened in 74 though it probably was Liberal so maybe Robichaud is the second person. In any event, the electorate is clearly volatile and, notwithstanding Robichaud's huge margin in 2003, it is worth looking at at least preliminarily. Changed to leans PC on August 29 and to safe PC on September 7
Centre-Péninsulke-Saint-Sauveur - currently Liberal

This is a rural riding with probably the worst economic problems on the Peninsula, Liberal Denis Landry (who won in 95 but lost in 99) may face problems simply due to general frustration among the electorate and he won very narrowly in 2003. Moved to leans PC on September 8 and to leans Liberal on September 15, finally it is listed as PC but as one of ten "ridings to watch" in the final prediction on September 17.
Tracadie-Sheila - currently PC *incumbent retiring

This riding, once the fiefdom of Doug Young, has had a bitterly divided Liberal Association ever since. With the seat open, depending on the Liberals unity and the quality of candidate the PCs pick to replace the popular retiring Elvy Robichaud it could go either way. changed to leans PC on August 29 and to safe PC on September 10 but back to leans PC on September 15 but marked as a PC hold in the final prediction on September 17.
Miramichi-Bay du Vin - currently PC

Before 2004, Tanker was undefeatable. After the hospital controversy the Tories were destroyed here but Tanker's personal rep managed to survive though with some damage. After February 18, 2006 people were uncertain but when Tanker rejoined the Tories he was toast. That faced with the fact that the Liberals are running Bill Fraser who chaired the hospital protest committee, this is the first seat I am going to call to change hands. Liberal gain. Moved to safe Liberal on September 10.
Miramichi-Centre - currently Liberal

This has been the most reliably Tory seat on the Miramichi going PC in 1982 and 1999 and almost in 1991 (the Liberals won in a tight three-way race involving the leader of CoR) so with a good candidate the Tories could win here, particularly if they are going to hold government. Moved to leans PC on September 9 and to leans Liberal on September 15 but marked as a Liberal hold in the final prediction on September 17.
Southwest Miramichi - currently Liberal

This is, on paper, a perfect conservative seat (notice the small c). It is rural and religious. Hunting and fishing and the tourism surrounding them are key industries. That said, Liberal Rick Brewer is a conservative, at least socially, and I would have expected an easy win for him. Brent Taylor, former MLA here from 1991 to 1995 and briefly leader of the CoR Party however is a formidable challenger. Folks in these parts primarily read the Miramichi Leader and Fredericton Daily Gleaner in which Taylor has had a column since 1998. He is still well known, perhaps better known, than he was when he was elected 15 years ago. I think this could go either way but the edge is to Taylor and I'll call this a Tory gain.
Kent South - currently PC

Kent County is supposed to be Liberal country but Kent South did elect a Tory in the big 1982 victory and that Tory's EA is today's MLA. Moreover, it looks like the Liberal candidate will be former Bouctouche Mayor Raymond Duplessis. The problem? Bouctouche was redistributed into Liberal leader Shawn Graham's riding and Duplessis fought it angrily. This should have been a Liberal pick up but, unless there is a big sweep, I am going to call it a Tory hold. Changed to too close to call on August 14 and then to leans Liberal on September 5 and back to too close to call on September 8 and then to leans PC on September 10; kept in the leans PC column as one of ten "ridings to watch" in the final prediction on September 17.
Tantramar - currently PC *incumbent retiring

This riding is interesting in that it seems to be almost American in its favourables to incumbents. It was when the incumbent Tory Lloyd Folkins retired in 1982 that the NDP managed to pick it up. Though the Liberals stole it from an incumbent in their sweep, the widely popular NDPer Bob Hall could not regain it in 1991 and by 1995 the Liberal MLA Marilyn Trenholme Counsel had widened her lead to 46%! In a 1997 by-election however, the Liberal vote slipped from 62% to 33% in what was a three-way race between now retiring Peter Mesheau at 34% to 33 for the Liberals and 30 for the New Democrats. Mesheau managed to dominate here in 1999 and 2003 with 63% and 58% of the vote respectively. History tells us that an open seat here means a tight race. Moved to leans NDP on September 10, then to too close to call on September 13, to leans PC on September 15 and as a PC hold in the final prediction of September 17.
Memramcook-Lakeville-Dieppe - new district, entirty of territory currently represented by PC

New district which I will need to take a look at which polls from the old district came over of to offer much comment. Changed to leans Liberal on August 29 and to safe Liberal on September 7.
Dieppe Centre-Lewisville - new district, vast majority of territory currently represented by PC

Incumbent from Dieppe-Memramcook Cy LeBlanc is running here. He won in the old riding by only about 100 votes last time and both of the candidates running for the Liberal nomination are strong. I need to look at the polls from the old district to see whether this has taken a predominately Liberal or Tory part of the old riding but, barring this being a gerrymander of some kind it is probably safe to say it will be a Liberal gain. Changed to safe Liberal (from leans Liberal) on September 7.
Moncton East - currently PC

Premier Lord's riding should be interesting indeed. He won by about 10% in 2003 which is not too bad but far less than he did in 1999. In 2003 he faced a little known Chris Collins whose only political experience was running as an NDP sacrificial lamb in 1987. Since that time Collins has been elected to city council and has built himself a good name and a lot of credibility. If Collins runs here again in what was once the most reliable Liberal seat in Moncton, Lord will be in for a fight. If Collins runs and the government changes, Lord is done for sure. Right now it is too close to call. Collins is not running and, as such, changed to leans Tory on August 17, to safe PC on September 9 and back to leans PC on September 13. In the final prediction of September 17 it is marked as a PC hold.
Quispamsis - currently PC

Fowlie only won here by 18 votes in 2003, but some of the closest Tory wins in 1999 became safe ones in 2003. Have people further soured on Fowlie due to her controversies or are they sympathetic towards her? I'll need to investigate before making a call here. Moved to leans Liberal on September 9 and to safe Liberal in the final prediction of September 17.
Rothesay - currently PC

Margaret-Ann Blaney surprisingly left the cabinet earlier this year and in 2003 she was cut down to a narrow margin. Paul Barry looks to be the Liberal candidate here which could spell trouble for Blaney. Moved to leans PC on September 10 and marked as a PC hold in the final prediction of September 17.
Saint John East - currently Liberal

The Tories are a non-factor in this riding and have been since 1984 when they lost it to the NDP in a by-election. The NDP, however, remains strong here and if they have a strong candidate as they did in 2003 they will give Roly MacIntyre a run for his money. Smart Tories here would shift their efforts to the NDP which could upset the popular and effective Liberal critict. For now though, the edge goes to the Liberal. Changed to safe Liberal (from leans Liberal) on September 7.
Saint John Portland - currently PC

The lessons of Saint John Harbour show us that Lord's popularity is sinking in Saint John. Moreover, Trevor Holder will have to personally take the blame for the lack of harbour clean up now that he is environment minister. Holder barely held on in 2003 against then politically inexperienced Colleen Knudson and the rematch could be trouble. What kind of Harbour action plan the Tories release during the campaign and how credible it is will determine the result here. Moved to leans Liberal on September 8 and declared one of ten "ridings to watch" in the final prediction of September 17.
Fundy-River Valley - currently PC *incumbent retiring

This riding, essentially unchanged from the old Grand Bay-Westfield, will requite a closer look from me before I can really comment. Changed to leans Liberal on August 14 and to safe Liberal on September 10.
Charlotte-Campobello - currently PC

Tony Huntjens barely won in 2003 and has since been in and out of cabinet, promised cabinet and then, when that didn't work out, the speakership and then, when that didn't work out who knows. I suspect his credibility is pretty badly damaged. The Liberal nomination is between the Mayor of St. Stephen and the former EA to the Liberal MLA and minister. Depending on which wins the nomination, it will either be a close race or an easy Liberal pick up. Changed to leans Liberal on September 6
Grand Lake-Gagetown - new district, territory currently represented by ~ 70% Liberal, 30% PC

The Grand Lake portion of this riding was won 2 to 1 by Liberal McGinley last time so I am tempted to call this a safe Liberal seat. McCready's father hasn't been on the ballot since 1982 and it was a much different riding (I need to look and see exactly where he represented) so I think McGinley could fend him off. On the other hand, Jack Carr is not only Jody's brother, he is his identical twin. If he wins the nomination, he'll do very well in the Gagetown-area polls and that could make this a close race. Changed to leans Liberal on August 29 and to safe Liberal on September 10.
Fredricton-Nashwaaksis - currently Liberal

Though I think Liberal T.J. Burke should be safe here, Fredericton North (just recently renamed) has not re-elected a member or a party since 1982. I'll take a closer look at this later but for now it is in the watchable column. Moved to leans Liberal on September 8 and to safe Liberal on September 10.
Fredericton-Lincoln - new district, territory currently represented by ~ 60% Liberal, 40% PC

New district, if Greg Byrne is the Liberal candidate as suggested by the media then this is an easy win for the Liberals.
Fredericton-Silverwood - currently PC

Brad Green is in deep trouble here. He only managed 38% of the vote in 2003 despite facing a weak Liberal candidate. With the NDP likely to, at best, hold there vote from '03 (22%) and likely to lose some, it should be winnable for Liberal Anne Bertrand. If the NDP manages to keep their vote high or increase it slightly, Green could narrowly win on a vote split but I don't expect that to happen. I will call this a Liberal gain. Dennis Atchison will be the NDP candidate here and could do very well allowing a vote split. Changed to too close to call on August 17 and then to leans PC on September 6 and back to too close to call on September 10. In the final prediction it was declared, reluctantly, leans NDP and listed as one of ten "ridings to watch" on September 17.
York - currently Liberal *incumbent retiring

York like Fredericton North and Shippigan is notorious for changing parties every election. Coupled with the retiring incumbent, the loss of Liberal-leaning Nackawic from the district and no apparent strong Liberal candidate. I'll call this a Tory gain pending the selection of candidates. Moved to too close to call on September 10 but back to leans PC September 15. Marked as one of ten "ridings to watch" on September 17.
York North - currently PC

Kirk MacDonald won re-election by only about 100 votes last time and has picked up some Liberal-leaning areas from Nackawic. The Tories, under his department though, have done some good work getting the Nackawic mill up and running so I suspect that this will be a Tory hold. Changed to safe PC (from leans PC) on September 7. In the final prediction however, it was marked as leans PC as one of 10 "ridings to watch" on September 17.
Woodstock - currently PC

Hospitals, hospitals, hospitals. Unless the Liberals choose a really bad candidate (which they did in 2003) then this is an easy Liberal pickup. Moved to safe Liberal.
Restigouche-La-Vallée - new district, territory currently represented by ~ 50% PC, 50% Liberals

This will be an interesting battle. Burt Paulin has been a very strong MLA for the Liberals and has climbed the ranks to a senior critic (Natural Resources and Parks) and really seems to know his files and his constituents. Unfortunately for Paulin, Percy Mockler runs his part of the district like a personal fiefdom where opposition is crushed. His electorate will not dare to oppose him, at least not publicly, so it is hard for momentum to build there. In the meantime, Paulin has lost some of his more Liberal polls to the neighbouring Campbellton district. St-Quentin, from Paulin's district, is usually reliable Tory country but may back Paulin over the hospital issue but it will probably not be enough. Another unknown factor is Rodolphe Martin. He ran very successfully federally in 04 and 06 (getting near 30% both times), if he were to run provincially in this tight race he could have an outside chance. I'll need to see if his support was concentrated here (as I suspect it was) and whether or not he will run. In the interim though, I think Mockler will win, making this a Tory hold/gain in this merged district. Changed to leans Liberal on August 29 but back to the original leans PC on September 15. Left in the leaning PC column, it was marked as one of ten "ridings to watch" in the final prediction of September 17.
So from the ridings to watch we have the Liberals with 6 more (5 gains and 1 hold) and the Tories with 5 more (3 gains and 2 holds). This in my mind makes sense because the Tory incumbents are weak, they are going to lose some. Period. Any hope of their being re-elected means they are going to need to pick up 2 or 3 minimum to stay even and then pick up more beyond that to get into safe majority territory.

So the preliminary total is:
Liberal 23
Progressive Conservative 17
To early to say 15

Update (August 14) Lib 24, PC 16, Too close 15
Update (August 15) Lib 25, PC 16, Too close 14
Update (August 17) Lib 24, PC 17, Too close 14
Update (August 29) Lib 27, PC 18, Too close 10
Update (September 5) Lib 28, PC 17, Too close 10
Update (September 6) Lib 29, PC 19, Too close 7
Update (September 8) Lib 29, PC 20, Too close 6
Update (September 9) Lib 30, PC 22, Too close 3
Update (September 10) Lib 29, PC 22, NDP 1, Too close 3
Update (September 13) Lib 29, PC 22, Too close 4
Update (September 15) Lib 30, PC 24, Too close 1
Update (September 17 - FINAL) Lib 30, PC 24, NDP 1, Too close 0

This is preliminary and just off of the cuff with little research. Please don't be too hard on me in the comments section!!!!


Anonymous said...

You have a great blog and goes on my favourite list right away. .

One suggestion. Is it possible to shorten your updates?

nbpolitico said...

LOL - well I think most of them are reasonable in length but not much chance to go shorter on the ridings I don't think

Anonymous said...

O.K. understood.

Very good and extensive analysis. My! Where you get this information and time. If you are not paid for this you should be. Do not be shy about your biases. We all have them. That is human nature and that is life otherwise there will not be that many political parties. I personally believe that Bernard Lord is done. Imagine if he loses his own seat, which is quite likely if Chris Collin runs. I never met the guy but he comes across as down to earth, with a heart and lot of social conscience. Our current Premier unfortunately lacks all that. Will be watching the election with great interest.

Last couple of days I did not look at newspapers. May be getting addicted to these blogs and I find yours quite interesting. Lot of insight. I am amazed with the insight & extent of information you have.

nbpolitico said...

very very very kind words. I appreciate it!

scott said...

Early predictions usually go by the wayside nbpolitico. That's why they have the election in the first place. If I were u, I would wait 'til there are a few gaffes before you start talking certainty here.

Nice riding by riding analysis, especially my riding of Tantramar. Great work!

Spinks said...

It's early but what the heck, predictions are fun and I'm with you on most of them. A few differences

Miramichi Bay-Neguac (PC)

Rogersville-Kouchibouguac (Liberal)

Saint John-Fundy (PC Lean)

Quispamsis - Liberal

Saint John East - Liberal

Rothesay - PC

By the way, I just noticed the link to my site. Much appreciated and I've returned the favour. You make no bones about being a Liberal partisan but the commentary and analysis is refreshingly realistic. Good work. It is lengthy reading but it's still good work.

MonctonLandlord said...

I too appreciate the time and effort to compile the various entries.

NDP, at zero, too bad, i have always felt we should have more than 2 parties. It was announced today that the NDP will try to find a candidate in all ridings. Gosh, the little energy they have isn't even rolling-out a fresh platform.

At least we can give the NDP some credit for making the deadline to announce they would be running in the election!

The race has begun, each day, I try to scribble a question to put forth to the candidates in my riding when they come knocking on my door.

Anonymous said...

Not all are that lengthy, and I agree, people can figure out how to use the scroll button on their own. Certainly don't shorten on some posters advice, if anything in politics you can never have enough analysis-as the papers prove. I've weaned my elderly folks off the irving rags, I'm working now on getting them onto the net and blogs.

As I've said before, I'm not big on predictions, but they are harmless fun, unless people are stupid enough to vote according to what some guy says might happen, in which case we've got far bigger problems on our hands.

I'm working on that website, which is essentially the riding map of the province, each link will go to the riding which will list the communities in the riding, as well as a link to the statscan community profiles.

Then of course would be a page with the candidates, and I thought perhaps then I'd do up a form email and letter to all candidates and offer them space to make their 'pitch'. Maybe even contacting organizations and asking them for questions to ask the candidates.

I do have a living to make and other things to do, so if anybody wants to help out, post it here. I'd prefer to make it non partisan, the facts will speak for themselves.

Anybody with web page design experience or who wants to do something besides blogging then post it here. I'd like next friday to be a tentative starting date as thats when the platforms and candidates will be out there, and when it can reasonably expect to be done.

I thought it would make a good "get out and vote" campaign piece. One of the biggest complaints of people is that they 'don't know the issues'. I'm not sure how to reach the non voters, but currently I'm going through the polls of last election to find the areas of lowest voter turnout. If we can find people in those areas to deliver flyers, then that would be great. So people here, feel free to post where you're from.

I don't agree with our host that anything is 'in the bag', as said above, even Bernie Lord is not safe. He won by 1000 votes, which isn't huge, and in his riding almost 6000 people didn't vote. Anybody here from Moncton? I can handle Oromocto and have people in Fredericton.

Blogging is fun, but playing a role is even funner.

Cooker Boy said...

Memramcook-Lakeville-Dieppe will go Liberal. They are fielding star candidates compared to the PC's, plus it's a traditional Liberal area.

As for Chris Collins, the rumours are that he will not run due to a personal comitement. I don't see Bernie having trouble against him this time since there is no outcry in 2006 like we had in 2003 for insurance. Collins was simply a protest vote.

nbpolitico, I thank you for the work you are doing. Keep it up. It's refreshing that you can share you political view but remain an open book. If only politicians would do the same...

MonctonLandlord said...

Hey Cooker,

You are right, but to refresh my memory, I did a quick google on the last results:

Bernard Lord Élu
Parti conservateur 4177 52,12%

Chris Collins
Parti libéral 3113 38,84%

Not exactly a slam dunk, also, I my memory is accurate, didn't Chris Collins lead the race early in the polling results?

The people will vote, it's like the longest standing reality show to see who gets voted off.

Spinks said...

Just for some perspective, I'm not sure what folks think is a strong win. I wouldn't call Lord's victory in '03 a tight one (although not as impressive as '99) 50% plus is actually a really solid showing. Most winning MLA's would have loved to get that. You can win a riding if you're in one where the NDP is relevant with 36 or 37% of the vote. Brenda Fowlie was a close election in '03, Lord was not.

nbpolitico said...

scott - you are right, these are early predictions and they could go out the window. As it stands right now I am calling 29 of 55 seats "in the bag" (about half) but even those I say "if the tide turns hard in either direction and there is a big sweep coming things could be revised". IF there is not a big sweep, those seats are in the bag in my books and I don't think there will be a sweep. If there are major gaffes or what have you and the tide turns, I'll throw this stuff away. Thanks for the compliment on the analysis!!

spinks - Thanks, I really enjoyed your two top tens and you've given me some traffic so I figure I owed you a link. I think I disagree with some of your disagreements, here's why:

Miramichi Bay-Neguac - this is a strong Liberal riding and Carmel Robichaud is popular there. If you are thinking she'll lose over the drunk driving letter, I don't think that is the case my understanding is that it has increased her popularity in the riding.

Rogersville-Kouchibouguac - I had this down to go Liberal in 2003 but Poirier managed to increase her margin from 100 to 1200 votes with the same opponent so I assume she is a strong incumbent who has grown on people. This should probably be a riding to watch leaning PC but I was trying to give the Tories more safe seats at least preliminarily.

Quispamsis and Saint John East - I agree both will go Liberal but it is early and I want to wait a while before calling them.

Saint John-Fundy - my analysis here is that Stuart Jamieson won in 1991 and 1995 on bare margins due to vote splits with CoR and was trounced in 1999. Then, in 2003, despite Rodney MacDonald being a rising star, Jamieson trounced him. I have chalked this up to people having not known what they had until they lost it and wanted Jamieson back and will keep him.

Rothesay - I think it could go either way but Rothesay is a pretty blue blooded town and Barry fits that mould better than Blaney. She only won by 600 in 2003 over Tom Young who certainly doesn't fit the blue blood label!

monctonlandlord - I think the NDP may win some seats but it will be due to local candidates not the provincial campagin so, until we see who the local candidates are, it is impossible to call.

cookerboy - Thanks for the input on Memramcook I appreciate it. On Collins, it is too bad if she doesn't run, but I think he would win if he did. Insurance was not a major issue in Moncton and I don't think it can be used as an excuse for Collins' results.

nbpolitico said...

spinks - to your second comment. As I said, Lord's race wasn't really close but it was "relatively close"... i.e. you expect the Premier to win by a large margin and he won by 10% (significant but not huge) against a novice. If the government is changing and he was doing a rematch against that novice who has a provincial race under his belt and 2 successful years on council then I think you could expect a 6% swing AT LEAST which would make it 45-45.

Anonymous said...

The one big standout is that Lord's riding has one of the lowest voter turnouts in the province. The question will be whether liberals (or others) can hit those areas with low turnout and get them out to vote. Typically, after two elections the party in power starts taking a beating, in NB it started after just one.

52% is a nice lead,but in a riding where your lead has dropped from 3000 votes to 1000 votes in one term, that doesn't bode well. Insurance rates stopped going up, and some went down some, but more to do with insurance companies than Lord.

And in a riding where so many don't vote, you simply don't know what may suddenly motivate those people. Trudeau used to say that living next to the US was like being next to a sleeping elephant, but of course politicians always make out well, their real 'sleeping elephant' that they have to fear is the voters.

Cooker Boy said...

As for Lord's riding I do not think Collins would do as well for 2 reasons:

1) Lord pumped a lot of dought into the riding with the new schools and community center.

2)Collins was supportive of the Shediac Road Active transportation plan, which had a huge voter revolt. Collins is a good guy and if he were not up against the premier, I would agree with you.

BTW, insurance was a huge issue everywhere including Moncton. Do not forget that Lord's riding consists of a University and has a poor population which both are heavily affected by rising insurance costs. Just my $0.02.

Spinks said...

Call Miramichi Bay some wishful thinking on my part. Robichaud should go for such a serious lapse of judgement...but, you're probably right.

nbpolitico said...

spinks - well I disagree with you on the lapse of judgment there. I honestly think she did the right thing.

She is in a rural riding with no form of public transit and yes the person made a huge mistake and should be punished but it is better for him to have a restricted driving permit (which can by authorized by the minister under the law - he could be restricted to drive between the hours of 8 to 9 and 5 to 6 on weekdays or whatever the case may be).

He should be punished, the taxpayer should not be punished and he would be able to collect EI if he was unable to make it to work.

Brent said...

The "restricted driving permit" reference above is incorrect.

The minister can overturn a loss of license due to points, but cannot overturn a prohibition from driving as demanded by the Criminal Code. Section 259(1) of the Criminal Code requires judges to give a prohibition-from-driving order.

The ONLY way a prohibited driver can operate a motor vehicle is if his province has approved an impairment-measuring safety interlock device system.

That was clearly not the case in the matter at hand. The MLA should never have made the attempt to restore the driving prvileges of a convicted criminal.

"Suspended" and "prohibited" are two completely different animals, and most people are not able to make the distinction, unfortunately. This apparently includes the MLA for Miramichi Bay.

nbpolitico said...

brent - thanks for the clarification and thanks also for visiting my blog; it is not every day that we see candidates for the legislature stop by!!!!

Best of luck in your campaign.

Spinks said...

Nbpolitico, I hear what you're saying but I have to disagree. Even if what Brent said was not true, what Carmel Robichaud did was inexcusable because it could have set a dangerous precedent.

Punishments for drinking and driving need to be stiff (and probably should be stiffer) because innocents are killed and injured by these irresponsible people all the time. Robichaud should have said "Sorry, I can't help you." and ended it at that. I'd rather pay the guy EI than cut him leeway on a "mistake" which could have ended someone's life. Robichaud was a school teacher and is a respected MLA. She should have known better. Sorry to go off topic but I was really disgusted by this one. I've seen too many people's lives ruined by drunk drivers and I don't think they deserve any "special considerations." There is a consequence for their action and to be effective it needs to be followed. Robichaud will probably get back in but she shouldn't because her actions could have put an innocent's life in jeopardy.

Anonymous said...

"Lord pumped a lot of dought into the riding with the new schools and community center." cooker boy.

Paul Martin pumped lot of dough everywhere and we all know where he is now. Bernie is not much different. He made lot of wrong decisions and public may not forgive him for that. However, situation in his own riding may be different? With Chris Collin in the running, Lord's own quarters on the ship may get flooded and may drown him.

Cooker Boy said...

Yeah but Martin got re-elected in his riding...

Anonymous said...

Brent, are you running against Ms. Robichaud. I do not know the ridings in Miramichi that well. I agree with nbpolitico that the letter will actually help her. It is the perceptions which counts. Publics sees the letter as she trying to help a constituents to drive to work and back only and I assume that is during the day. May be she sent the letter to the wrong minister and it should have gone to safety minister. The people who will be badly hurt with the letter are Lord and the other Robichaud (Minister of Trans.). It is the way the letter was used with very little respect for the privacy of the individuals involved. I would sue the pants off of these two if I was the driver involved – (I never ever drive when I drink though:):)

Anonymous said...

Martin did spread the dough far and wide to win the election. It does not always work. He was popular in his own riding. We will see what happens to Lord.

Brent said...

Hi, Anon 2:30. No, I'm not running in that riding. Mine is SW Miramichi, where Rick Brewer is the current (Lib) MLA. Rick's a very good guy. The Miramichi can be a rough and tumble place for politics, but I think up in my end, things will be quite calm and civil.

Thanks for the welcome, NBPolitico. I really enjoyed your analyses (one of them in particluar, lol).

nbpolitico said...

I thought you might like that Brent... though I am a dirty Grit, and rooting for Rick, I am sincere in my wishes of good luck.

Anonymous said...

Spinks, you are the only one that makes sense in the whole bunch...nbpolitico, what color is the sky in your world?

Here is what's going on:

- Campbellton (Tory) Boudreau executive in turmoil
- Bathurst (Tory)Nancy McKay is cabinet material
- Kings East (Tory) why in the hell you think it would be red? That a traditionnal Tory riding.
- Grand Falls (Tory) Mayor of Drummond is great guy.
-Shippagean (Tory) Robichaud will probably win biggest Majority in NB!
I could continue to go on and's my predictions:

PC 31
Lib 24

The ridings to watch:
- Bathrust
- Tantramar
- Memramcook
- Quispamsis
- Grand Falls
- Fredericon-Nashwaak

Why the Liberals won't win:

1) I like old people, but the Liberals have approx. 15 sitting candidates over 60 years old
2) We all know for a fact that Leadership hopefuls are openly seeking their own candidates
3)At caucus this week in Memramcook, I hear it was not pretty, it's 1982 all over again
4) I can see it Liberal candidate saying "If we had another leader, we would have a chance!"
5) Fedreal Conservative Government will certainly make a 2003, Fed Lib were also great help for Shawny
6) Personnally, I think we have seasoned 2006 press gallery compared to 2003 who were a bunch of rookies. We'll have better coverage this time.

nbpolitico said...

anon at 4:11 - I responded to the other thread you had which was a cut and paste of this here

Anonymous said...

You know what they say about predictions. The only people qualified to make them never bother-they are all millionaires from the lottery.

Charles LeBlanc said...

Very good work....I'm going to blog that I'm the only private citizens who knows all these mla's. I lived next to them for six months in my tent...had no'm going to wait till the election is called......Keep up the good work.....people are starting to read blogs...

Anonymous said...

You, sir, are peculiarly well-informed.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I can only comment on the Grand Falls riding as Ive lived here all my life and would say that its 50-50 too close to call. Libs have a soso incumbent candidate but the tories had a terrible candidate in 2003 and decent one this time. I think things will gel in the debate next wed on CJEM french radio. The tory can speak well publically but the liberal isnt particularly gifted.