Monday, September 22, 2014

A brief look at the ridings

As I have done in 2006 and 2010, I'm going to do a quick run down of each riding and my gut read on them.  The result is Liberals 38, PCs 8, NDP 2, Greens 1.

Restigouche West

Safe Liberal.  This riding covers almost all of Restigouche County except for Campbellton, Dalhousie and Belledune.  The Liberal friendly areas in the central and eastern parts of Restigouche County greatly outnumber the Tory-leaning swing areas of the west.


Safe Liberal.  Donald Arseneault has proved he can weather difficult storms and get re-elected by large margins.  And this time he doesn't even face a storm.


Safe Liberal.  This riding elected a non-incumbent in the Liberal wipe out of 1999.

Bathurst West-Beresford

Safe Liberal.  While this riding could theoretically vote PC in the right election, the PCs are not likely to win provincewide and do not have a strong candidate here.

Bathurst East-Nepisiguit-Saint-Isodore

Safe Liberal.  Though this is an incumbent-versus-incumbent battle, on paper this seat is among the safest for the Liberals in the province.  Ryan Riordon would have been wiser to run in Bathurst West where he might have been re-elected.


Safe Liberal.  This seat has only elected PCs in exceptionally good circumstances for their party (in 1982 when the Liberal leader was from rival town Tracadie and in a 2001 by-election when their choice was the government side of the house or opposition).


Leans Liberal.  This seat has been a stronghold for Tory Paul Robichaud since 1999, however under boundary changes it has gone from a riding 7 points more favourable to the PCs than the provincial average to 6 points more favourable to the Liberals.  That means in a generic election, the PCs would need to win the popular vote by 6 points to win here.  That outcome is highly unlikely.  I will say "leans" only because in my gut I have doubts Robichaud could lose despite what the numbers say.


Leans Liberal.  The Liberals seem to have finally got their organizational act together here after years of forfeiting the seat to the PCs.  Claude Landry is not nearly the popular figure that Elvy Robichaud was.

Miramichi Bay-Neguac

Leans Liberal.  This seat has gone Liberal in all elections except for big PC sweeps which we are not likely to see this time.  I will say leans only because the Liberal candidate is an anglophone which may not play well in the francophone parts of the riding and because Brian Gallant only attracted 250 people to his closing rally here when Shawn Graham brought out 600 in 2006.


Safe Liberal.  Bill Fraser is the far more popular local MLA than Robert Trevors and Miramichi has only once re-elected a PC MLA (Tanker Malley).

Southwest Miramichi-Bay du Vin

Leans PC.  This is a riding where the PC "say yes" message is likely to resonate particularly strongly.

Kent North

Safe Liberal.  This riding is a merger of the most Liberal parts of two of the most Liberal ridings in the province.

Kent South

Leans Liberal.  This riding is quite different than the old Kent South and is far more favourable to the Liberals.  This combined with the shale gas issue does not bode well for Claude Williams.

Shediac Bay-Dieppe

Safe Liberal.  On paper, one of the best seats in the province for the Liberals.  Add in that the Liberal leader is running here and it's all over.


Safe Liberal. This is the only remaining riding on the map that has only ever voted for one party in its entire history.


Leans Liberal.  Mike Olscamp is locally popular and strong NDP and Green campaigns may prevent the Liberals from overcoming that, but my gut still says this seat will probably to go Liberal.


Safe Liberal.  Won handily by Liberals in 2010's wipe out.

Moncton East

Leans Liberal.  If the PCs can turn things around, this is a seat that can go their way, but if the 9 point CRA lead holds or expands, this should be a Liberal win.

Moncton Centre

Safe Liberal.  This incumbent-versus-incumbent fight should not be too interesting, it is mostly fought on Collins' home turf and on Liberal friendly turf.  Rumour had is that Blais wanted to run in the safer riding of Moncton Southwest but was rejected.

Moncton South

Leans Liberal.  This riding should go Liberal, the question is does the "Turkey Lady"'s personal brand trump her party brand?

Moncton Southwest

Safe Liberal.  Sherry Wilson has rebranded herself from a Riverview town councillor, to a Petitcodiac resident to an opportunist who will run in whatever riding will take her.

Moncton Northwest

Leans Liberal.  If John Betts had re-offered, this would be in the PC column.  I think with popular local councillor Brian Hicks, the Liberals have a good shot.


Leans Liberal.  Some of the more Tory-friendly polls were shed to Albert making this riding more and more competitive for the Liberals.  Word on the ground is that Tammy Rampersaud has out-campaigned Bruce Fitch.


Safe PC.  Very difficult for the PCs to lose here without a vote split and there is no split.


Leans Liberal.  I have lost count of the number of times Brian Gallant has visited this riding with local candidate Barak Stevens who appears to be a good fit for the riding and has worked hard.  "Incumbent" PC Ross Wetmore has represented a small fraction of the riding and I am told has not campaigned aggressively in the new parts of the riding.

Sussex-Fundy-St. Martins

Leans Liberal.  The PC campaign has been here several times and "say yes" should resonate, but the ceiling for that vote seems to be around 40-45%.  With no strong NDP or Green campaigns here and former MLA LeRoy Armstrong eating into the PC vote under the PANB banner, the Liberals may have an opportunity here.


Leans Liberal.  This riding could probably go any of three ways, but with Bev Harrison stealing a lot of the PC vote, I think the Liberals sneak up the middle.


Leans PC.  This riding has always gone with the provincewide winner, but my gut says Blaine Higgs' personal brand will break that record.


Leans Liberal.  Ted Flemming's bravado is perhaps a bit too much and the Liberals have been campaigning very, very hard.

Saint John East

Leans Liberal.  This riding has traditionally only gone PC when there has been a huge wave and they've been aided by the NDP splitting the vote.  The NDP has a strong candidate here, but the PCs do not benefit from the large wave.


Leans Liberal.  Trevor Holder won by about 100 votes in both 2003 and 2006 against a weaker Liberal candidate on friendlier ground.  This new riding takes in a lot of Liberal friendly polls from the old Saint John East riding and features a strong Liberal candidate.  Without a big PC wave across the province or in Saint John, the Liberals should win here.

Saint John Harbour

Leans NDP.  The NDP nearly won this riding in 2010 despite having a campaign focused wholly in Tracadie-Sheila.  Dominic Cardy has regularly visited the Port City and this riding in particular and the NDP has campaigned hard.

Saint John Lancaster

Leans Liberal.  No PC MLA has been re-elected here since 1982.

Kings Centre

Safe PC.  This is one of the strongest PC seats on the map.

Fundy-The Isles-Saint John West

Leans Liberal.  Normally I would put this as safe Liberal, but Dr. Parrott makes it interesting.


Leans Liberal.  This riding has just slipped through the Liberals' hands in close elections like 2003 and 2006.  They nominated their candidate early and have campaigned hard.


Leans PC.  This is far less friendly terrain for Jody Carr than his previous ridings, but he is a hard worker and will be hard to beat.

Fredericton-Grand Lake

Leans Liberal.  This riding is excellent on paper for the Liberals.  Their only barrier is if Kris Austin splits the anti-government vote and delivers the riding to the PCs, or manages to eke out a win himself.

Fredericton North

Leans Liberal.  This riding could not be better for the Liberals if it were gerrymandered. Strong NDP and Green campaigns could muck it up for them though.


Leans Liberal.  Randy McKeen was designed to be the Liberal candidate for a riding like this and should be able to ride a strong cluster of anti-fracking vote to a win.

Fredericton South

Leans Green.  This riding is going to see some fascinating splits.  The ceiling for PC support in a left-leaning riding like this one should be about 30%, but that could be enough to win.  The Liberals have a lesser known candidate, but he has worked hard and benefits from the wind of a likely Liberal victory at his back.  The NDP's Kelly Lamrock is well known and has been working hard.  David Coon is widely respected and people seem to think they'd like him in the legislature even if they don't like his politics, a bit of an Elizabeth Weir factor.  Moreover, his campaign appears to be the best organized of the four.  Don't be surprised if we're well into next week doing recounts for this nail-biter.

Fredericton West-Hanwell

Leans NDP.  This is no shoe-in for Dominic Cardy, but I believe he has earned a seat in the legislature with his aggressive campaign and voters have a way of recognizing that.

New Maryland-Sunbury

Leans PC.  This is on paper one of the four strongest PC seats in the province.  The Liberals have been running HARD here and there may be some Carr fatigure with the third brother now on the ballot.  However, the riding's PC leanings and a strong-ish NDP campaign will probably allow Jeff Carr to replace his younger brother.


Leans PC.  On paper, this is the strongest PC riding in English New Brunswick.


Leans Liberal.  David Alward has never represented half of this new riding and does not live in it.  The Liberals have their strongest candidate in years.  This may be the surprise of the night.


Leans Liberal.  The Andy Harvey affair has helped not hurt his campaign as he has been able to parlay it into him being the victim of the same backroom interests who dislodged popular local PC MLA Wes McLean in favour of Dale Graham's hand picked successor.


Safe Liberal.  This riding should only go PC in big years like 1999 and 2010.  This isn't one of those years.

Edmundston-Madawaska Centre

Safe PC.  This riding will not change hands at least until Mado Dube retires, if ever.


Leans Liberal.  Yvon Bonenfant is no Jeannot Volpe.

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