Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ridings revisited

After having driven around New Brunswick, talked to people, looked at signs and felt the mood of some folks, it is time to revise a number of my predictions.

Not so safe after all?

Kings East - currently listed as a strong Liberal hold, every one else seems to think otherwise. I still think that the Liberals will hold this seat but I am going to move it from "safe Liberal" to "leans Liberal" and take a more extensive look later on in the campaign.

Hampton-Kings - another riding which I have listed as a strong hold that I am no longer so certain about. Bev Harrison won in a slightly different riding by a relatively small margin in 2003 and was facing a weak Liberal candidate who did not even put up any signage. This time the Liberals have a better candidate and the riding has gained from territory which was neglected under Brenda Fowlie in the old Kennebecasis district. This moves from "safe PC" to "leans PC" pending further analysis.

I can see clearer now

Lamèque-Shippagan-Miscou - though this riding has a history of changing hands, the Liberals are running the same candidate as in 2003, a candidate that Robichaud beat at that time by a huge margin so, barring something unusual, I am going to call this a safe PC hold.

Tracadie-Sheila - though the Liberals had a chance here, they have nominated UdeM law professor Serge Rousselle who ran here in 1999 and also ran federally in 2004. Rousselle is a talented professor who could probably be a good candidate for them in a Moncton/Dieppe riding but seems to be a bit out of touch with the folks here in his home. I am going to call this leans PC.

Memramcook-Lakeville-Dieppe - all signs seem to point to this being a Liberal pick up. I will call it leans Liberal for now.

Grand Lake-Gagetown - an analysis of polls leaving the old Grand Lake riding and polls coming in from Oromocto-Gagetown shows a net PC gain of 540 votes. McGinley won in 2003 by 2318, so if we re-run that campaign, he still would have won by 1778 votes which is a pretty comfortable margin. That said, anger over the Minto hospital closure has probably died down a bit so it will be a narrower margin but still safe enough to call this, at least, leans Liberal.

Change of heart

Restigouche-La-Vallée - under the merger of Madawaska-la-Vallée and Restigouche West, Percy Mockler lost some very solid polls in St. Basile while Burt Paulin lost only territory where he ran roughly even with the Tories. If you run the results of the last election over again, Paulin would win by about 200 votes. Add into the mix the fact that St-Quentin, ordinarily the most Conservative part of Paulin's old riding, will be likely to vote against the government due to their hospital being closed in 2004. As a result I am prepared to move this from a weak Tory hold/gain to a weak Liberal hold/gain.


Anonymous said...

"We know that our best days are ahead, and we know that New Brunswick has great potential. We've been working for seven years to develop that potential. We've moved this province forward, but we're not done yet," Bernard Lord as quoted in media.

When he says, "we're not done yet", he scares the crap out of me. Healthcare screwed, Orimulsion screw up and NB Power screwed, and much more. And he is not done yet?????

Anonymous said...

Restigouche La Vallee will go Strong Blue...why? Saint-Leonard will vote Blue...Saint Quentin will vote Blue traditionally...Mayor of Kedgwick Jean-Paul Savoie, former Liberal minister seconded Percy's nomination....so Kedgwick at leat 50/50

Cooker Boy said...

Memramcook-Lakeville-Dieppe will go Liberal. No contest. I lean Blue and am telling you this.

nbpolitico said...

Anon at 1:15...

I think it will be a close race but St-Quentin will go less Tory than usual, Paulin will carry the rural areas (including Rivere-Verte in Mockler's territory). As for Jean-Paul Savoie, his pull will be limited in Liberal Kedgewick especially as he had been preparing to run against Paulin for the Liberal nomination until the Liberals appointed their incumbents.

Cooker Boy...

I agree, hence why I said "all signs point to it going Liberal"

Cooker Boy said...

Just backing up your claim...

nbpolitico said...

Sorry, I misread the intent.

Anonymous said...

Just for any readers you should clarify how many voters you spoke to. Some of those ridings have thousands of people, unless you do a LOT of talking you spoke to no more than a hundred, if that. IT's great to see you attempt to be objective though.

Anonymous said...

Just for any readers you should clarify how many voters you spoke to. Some of those ridings have thousands of people, unless you do a LOT of talking you spoke to no more than a hundred, if that. IT's great to see you attempt to be objective though.
Just remember McKenna in 87-theres no such thing as 'traditionally blue' in NB-at least not all the time. And those blue spots are rural, which Lord hasn't exactly helped out much.

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Alex said...

This must be the blog where New Brunswick Liberals come to be delusional. Have you been paying any attention to the campaign at all? The polls put the Tories ahead, the Liberals are firing campaign workers, Graham can’t make an announcement without screwing it up or contradicting one of his candidates.

For instance, he first says he’s going to scrap gas regulation then clarifies and says maybe not. He said in 2005 (front page story in L’Acadie Novelle) that he would establish a new RHA in the Northeast, last week he says he won’t. His candidates are fighting among themselves on the property tax assessment cap and Graham’s answer is that he’s not talking about it. He wants to create a new level of bureaucracy. Not to mention the fact that he is now saying no to public automobile insurance after stating emphatically in public on multiple occasions that he would sack the private system and introduce public automobile insurance in the Province.

In fact things are so bad for Graham that he is virtually not making any public appearances for three days in a row (his last appearance was scheduled for 9:00 am this morning, he has nothing scheduled for tomorrow or Monday, this time alone amounts to about 10% of the entire campaign) – no body does this in the middle of an election unless they are in serious trouble and need to regroup. Your seat projections have no basis in reality.

nuna d. above said...

Kings East is in no way a safe Liberal seat. Armstrong won by a handful of votes in 95 and then lost by thousands in 99. The Liberals took it last time because many young Conservatives were unhappy with the sitting Conservative MLA and voted for a Conservative who ran for the NDP. There is a huge Liberal split in Kings East and many Liberals will be voting for the Conservative candidate.