Friday, April 29, 2011

Federal election prediction - New Brunswick

If you looked at my prediction from last night, you may have noticed my New Brunswick prediciton - 6 CPC, 2 Lib and 2 NDP. I was expecting some reaction to that but maybe my blog isn't as widely read as I'd like to think!

In any event, I will break that out into three categories: easy holds, close holds and seats changing hands.

Easy Holds

The ridings of Tobique-Mactaquac, Fundy-Royal and New Brunswick Southwest are among the safest Conservative seats east of Alberta. They would only change hands if there was a big anti-Conservative sweep. And there doesn't really seem to be one.

The riding of Beauséjour should be just as strong for the Liberals. Acadie-Bathurst for the NDP is a no brainer.

And Miramichi, though some view it as a close race, will be solidly in the blue column Monday night.

Close Holds

I think that Fredericton will stay with Keith Ashfield for a second term but with a surprisingly strong showing by the NDP. I see the NDP placing a close third or even second. Ashfield will be held to the low 40s in terms of percentage of the popular vote.

Brian Murphy will expand on his narrow win in Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe from 2008, but just a bit.

Changing Hands

Jean-Claude D'Amour's three elections have been somewhat flukey. He won Madawaska-Restigouche in 2004 because francophone New Brunswickers weren't ready to accept Harper's new "Reform-Conservative Party". He barely survived in 2006, despite the fact that his Conservative opponent hadn't been on a ballot in 19 years nor really heard from in that time. D'Amours built some strength back up in 2008 but he'll certainly note be able to fend off the force that is Bernard Valcourt.

And I save my boldest prediction for last. There is only reason that Jack Layton went to Saint John this week that I can fathom; their internal polls showed something that is counterintuitive. Rob Moir's record of building the NDP up from nothing in the uber-conservative stronghold of Fundy-Royal coupled with the NDP's strong showing in Saint John in last fall's provincial election (despite not really paying any attention to the Port City) bode well in theory. Layton's visit suggests that there is emperical evidence (in internal NDP polls) to suggest this seat could flip orange.

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