Monday, August 14, 2006

The Times & Transcript's ridings to watch and other news

The Times & Transcript is running 10 ridings to watch, most of which are fairly well on.

Here is the run down:
  • Bathurst

  • Centre-Peninsule-Saint-Sauveur

  • Dieppe Centre-Lewisville

  • Fredericton-Lincoln

  • Fundy-River Valley

  • Miramichi-Bay du Vin

  • Quispamsis

  • Restigouche-la-Vallee

  • Southwest Miramichi

  • Tantramar

They describe these ridings as follows as: "the next government could hinge on the outcome of these 10 hotly contested ridings".

I don't think that that is a very accurate picture. Though the above are all interesting races for different reasons, these certainly won't be the 10 closest races by any means. If the Liberals lose Bathurst then they are in BIG trouble. If the Tories can't pick up Southwest Miramichi then the party's over. If either of those ridings are close then the election won't be.

Having read some stuff in the papers today, I see that there are a few candidates names popping up so I will make a few prediction changes shortly.

There is a big puff piece in the TJ with Lord and his candidate in Kent suggesting they can take out Shawn Graham. I laughed. However, I maintain that Saulnier shouldn't be underestimated and work in the riding will be required on Graham's part. Bouctouche will be a real challenge and the margin will not be as comfortable as it was in 2003.

The Liberals seem to be managing, so far, to dominated the media as they did in 2003. There is a good favourable piece for the Liberals on their education platform to be announced today, several pieces on SJ harbour cleanup and one positive article on Graham pledging not to go negative. On the other hand the Tories are mentioned as footnotes in most articles and the only article on the Tories has Lord promising to stay positive and then through out the article he and Brenda "the offenda" Fowlie going hard negative. Moreover, Lord had little of his own to say. Every quote from Lord was in response to something the Liberals had said or done. This campaign is looking like deja vu all over again but this time, Lord isn't starting with as big of a lead and the campaign is one week longer. If Lord doesn't right his ship soon, then there will be a Liberal majority getting in the neighbourhood of 40 seats.


Spinks said...

Never let your opponent set the agenda. I know there's lots of Stepehn Harper haters here but the guy ran a quality campaign by setting the agenda every day and having the Liberals react. Lord would be wise to start doing the same instead of having to respond to Graham.

Shawn has his seat in the bag but of course Lord is going to say they can win it. It's political rhetoric. Both parties seem to be getting pretty deep into it while Allison Brewer starts the pre-campaign in Grand Manan!?! Not exactly a hotbed of NDP support over there.

nbpolitico said...

Yeah it looks like Brewer will make the same mistake the NDP has made in the past -- campaigning provincially instead of focusing on a few winnable ridings -- but without Weir's gravitas it will be an unmitigated disaster.

You are right on Harper - he ran a brilliant campaign this year absolutely. Graham's Liberals did the same in 2003 though, they completely controlled the agenda and I think that is why they came from no where to almost quadrouple their seats. Auto insurance was a big help but I think that even without it the quality of campaign they ran would have delivered at least 20 seats.

I would have assumed Lord had learned from his mistakes, and maybe he has and will wow us as the campaign goes on, but if not this could be a huge Liberal sweep something I would not have expected.

Anonymous said...

Oh, la la. I have already predicted Liberals 40 and Cons 15. NDP zip this time.

Yes Lord government has screwed up Kent riding and Shawn Graham may have to work harder to win.

Bernie is done. Kaput. I heard there are quite a few used car outlets in Fredericton. He may have a career there. I will never hire him as my lawyer. He lies too much.
Sorry Spinks, this man deserves no politeness.

Anonymous said...

I have to differ on Harper. I do not think he ran a brilliant campaign. I think Liberals ran a lousy campaign and they were already injured by Gomery inquiry.

Spinks said...

That's funny 3:15 although you're right the Liberals helped authour their own demise, even Liberals like our blog host admit Harper ran a brillant campaign. I understand you don't like Harper and that's you're right but man if the NDP did the same thing I'd admit they had a good campaign.
Whenever you can get the other guy playing catch-up you're doing a good job. Nbpolitico's right too, Graham did something similar in '03 particularly with auto insurance. Lord had to totally revamp his campaign late in the game because of it. In elections, especially short ones, never follow, always lead.

Anonymous said...

I believe Harper's campaign was lousy. Only thing he did differently is use duct tape on all of his candidates’ ship-sinking lips. If you call that brilliant then be it.

Actually very effective campaign was by NDP. They were very aggressive and exceptionally negative towards Liberals. First Gomery and then stock market fiasco, spearheaded by NDP again, was the final straw in camels back. NDP did not add that many seats as a result. Instead it resulted in loss for Liberals. Already limping Liberals could not form a government. However, for “brilliant” campaign by Harper he has a bare minority to survive. Liberals did exceptionally well under the circumstances.

Lord and leadership. Too separate entities. He could not control his caucus. He is in deep trouble.

We have minority government federally and they did not call an election. Nova Scotia has very much minority government and MacDonald is not calling another election. What is so special about Bernard Lord that his Royal Highness has to have majority only in order to govern. That in itself is going to hurt him.

Yes your great leader is in great trouble. He is on his political deathbed.

Then he has done too much damage to health care and his political health is in a critical condition.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree as well. The only difference between Harpers win and Martins was the media, pure and simple. Harper toned down the rhetoric and started acting like a good liberal so the media softened on him. The media elects governments here, not policy. You can look for more nice press at the next election because he's proven what a good liberal he really is.

In NB its the same. The media will decide who gets elected. How many times have you heard the NDP mentioned? Do you really think it matters if the leader focuses on winnable ridings? A lesbian pro choice advocate, hell, every riding outside an urban setting, and even some of those, probably don't want her to set foot in their riding.

Just because a couple people say so doesn't make ANYTHING true. In reality, there is no way to say "if they don't win X riding they won't win". That's crazy. The simple fact is that if they get more votes in a higher number of ridings, they will win. It's that simple. It's not like the people in Saint John are waiting for polls in Campbellton to close to see how they voted, people have no idea at voting time how others will vote.

And pundits have NO idea right now how they are going to vote. The only thing that last polls showed conclusively is that a good percentage don't even know themselves.

Alvy Singer said...

nbpolitico, I love your analysis this week. However, it is a little weak to assume that Brewer's trip to Grand Manan last week is indicative of an overall campaign strategy.

Loved your look at ridings the other day.