Tuesday, September 05, 2006

With no NDP on the ballot, do the Liberals gain?

The NDP are missing from the ballot in 7 New Brunswick ridings:
  • Campbellton-Restigouche Centre
  • Centre-Péninsule-Saint-Saveur
  • Tracadie-Sheila
  • Kent South
  • Moncton West
  • Albert
  • Fredericton-Fort Nashwaak
In Campbellton and Fredericton-Fort Nashwaak I am already calling Liberal wins so it doesn't matter. Tracadie-Sheila and Albert are going to go strongly PC anyway so it doesn't matter there either. But in Centre-Péninsule, Kent South and Moncton West, the lack of an NDP candidate could make a significant difference.

Let's take a look -

2003 results - Lib 3097, PC 3045, NDP 396

This riding is running a re-match of 2003 and 1999. Denis Landry won in 2003, Louis-Philippe McGraw in 1999. This is a finicky riding and Landry could have been damaged by his claim that the Liberals would build a regional hospital in the riding, a claim later rebuked by Shawn Graham. McGraw though has been out of the riding since his 2003 defeat, recently working for the new Tory government in Ottawa. I get the impression that the NDP had no organization here in 2003 so therefore I think most of their vote would still go to the polls. If the vote were to split 70-30 for the Liberals (a fair measure I think?) it would widen the Liberal share from 47% to 51.6%. That is significant but, in a two-way race, still razor thin. While the lack of a New Democract here makes me think it is a bit close for the Libs, I still can't bring myself to move this from the too close to call column.

Kent South
2003 results*- PC 4933, Lib 4065, NDP 671
*a significant change has occurred in this riding in redistribution, with Bouctouche moving to Kent, the following are the 2003 results, less Bouctouche:
modified 2003 results - PC 4005, Lib 3339, NDP 475

Even with the NDP on the ballot, I thought that the Liberals had a pretty good shot here in what should be a safe Liberal seat. Redistribution doesn't really change anything (the PC margin is actually widened by 0.2%). Nadine Hébert has instant name recognition and as the lone voice of opposition in an area where government is unpopular, I think that this might be enough to push her over the top. I am moving this to leans Liberal.

Moncton West
2003 results - PC 3143, Lib 2710, NDP 437

I have this seat down as safe PC and I had already been thinking about moving it to leans PC because of a stronger than expected Liberal candidate (former Moncton North MLA and Environment Minister Gene Devereaux) and because the 2003 margin was far closer than I had realized. Now with the NDP off of the ballot it would be a nail biter in any event and I am tempted to actually swing this all the way over to the Liberal column. That is probably premature, but I am going to move it down two notches from safe PC to too close to call. Watch for this one to move Liberal if there is any evidence at all of Liberal momentum in Moncton.

UPDATE: Upon tabulating these new results, I see for the first time, I am projecting that we are leaning towards one party winning with the Liberals hitting the magic number of 28. I would stress however that is is pretty meaningless. The debates and full platforms are yet to come and I suspect people will just now be tuning into the campaign. The real numbers to watch are the "safe" seats which give the Liberals an edge of only 16 to 11 with the other 28 seats largely in play.


Cooker Boy said...

I think you are over evaluating Kent South.. Nadine Hebert is very inexperienced and has major ties to oil. Claude Williams has been a greta MLA and has the Education portfolio. Not to mention he was the first PCer to ein that seat in decades. It will be close but Williams will take it.

nbpolitico said...

I think it is close but leaning Liberal. At the end of the day it could go either way and I may well change it before election day but right now, I think Hebert has the edge.

I don't think her ties to oil will hurt her. Her ties are with the "little guys" and that shouldn't hinder her in my view.

Your point that Williams was the first PCer to win in decades just goes to show that his hold is likely tenuous.

scott said...

I think you first should look at historical demographics. In other words, how many females have been sent to the Legislative Assembly by New Brunswick francophone ridings in the last 20 years? That is where you will find your answer.

Anonymous said...

Very good evaluating for Kent South

Anonymous said...

Although I am not impressed by Liberal's campaigning so far but anyone is better than another 4 years of Bernard Lord.

Anonymous said...

NB Politico...I said once and I'll say it twice.."What is the color of your sky in your world". One word of advice listen to cooker boy and spinks...Claude Williams will probably win one NB biggest majority....Up Route 15, don't be surprise that Saulnier pulls one out of the hat against Graham...Looking at internal/exernal polling and TALKING to Lib/PC candidates...Hell Moncton West candidate Devereux had a ad in T&T which stated "Looking for volunteers"

Here's my prediction:
34 PC
21 LIB

Why a PC majority:
1) Graham factor: Duh!
2) Liberal volunteer are taking a break this time around
3) No thirst for change
4) PC not making many campaign mistakes
5) Francis McGuire fires Lib campaign team midway

nbpolitico said...

The sky is blue, but that doesn't mean the government will be ;)

As I have it right now the Libs have a slight edge with 16 seats to 11 for the Tories, the rest of the seats are either too close to call or just leaning slightly one way or the other.

I think a PC majority is possible, but here are the reasons why it may not:

1) Voters are dissatisfied with Lord. Though electors may be underwhelmed by Graham, the old adage says governments lose elections, oppositions don't win them

2) The Liberal incumbents are stronger. The Tories won 44 seats in 1999 when they had been in the political wilderness for 12 years and started off over 20 points back in the polls. The could not attract quality candidates. Lord has 25 incumbents, 18 of which were elected in 1999. 5 others were elected before and Williams (in a 2001 by-election) and Bruce Fitch (in 2003) were elected after. The Liberals in the other hand recruited an "A team" in 2003 which in my books explains their success as much as auto insurance does. In ridings where it comes down to a toss up provincially and local candidates play the deciding factor, the Liberals have a huge advantage.

Restigouche Girl said...

I agree with anonymous who predicted
34 PC
21 LIB

And it could be worse yet for the Grits. We hear the Campbellton Liberals are feuding - wanted another candidate - and of course picking on their own candidate when he is ill is hardly the compassion of anyone attempting to be like M. Robichaud aka T Louis.

There are some safe Liberal seats - The Tories have an outside chance in Dalhousie because of a weak Liberal MLA but the Tory candidate is not that well known (even if he is a well known doctor). Rumours are that he has brought in his on people and not all the traditional Tories are that happy. The NDP should have been able to do well here but Aurele Ferlatte and other Labour Leaders are campaigning for the Liberals - this alone may give the Grits the edge here. (They have a paper candidate who barely got her paper work in on time!) Makes one really wonder about St. Saveur area - what is it with Labour and Ms. Brewer? - never mind, it's a rhetorical question. Where is Labour when the NDP needs it?

She has an outside chance in her riding but that's all it is. She should be part of the French debate tho as someone who resides in the north where even the less well eduacted who would not comprehend the term "blog" speak both official languages, unilingualism in anyone aspiring to higher office in NB is not a trait to be admired. Still, I suspect the fact she is a woman plays into the way she has been treated by the media.