It's By Election Night In Canada!
Early twitter reports have the Tories winning back Bill Cassey's old riding in Cumberland Colchester. I won't post this until 10 because, well, Elections Canada seems to think BC by election voters (all 12 of them) will see this shocking win and change their votes accordingly. Since, you know, voters will want to deny the Tories that long sought after 145 seat benchmark.
Regardless, let's play! Ba dum du da dum dum, ba dum da da da dadum!
10:00 pm- Tories handily take a plurality in Cumberland Colchester:
Most exciting, the Christian Heritage Party are only 4 votes back of the Greens for 4th, with 10 polls left to report (UPDATE - Greens hold them off by 31 votes).
In Hochelaga, Daniel Paille is well on his way to becoming the next MP. Paille, you'll remember, was the former separatist who Harper hired to embarrass the Liberals for their Earnscliffe dealings, but who ended up embarrassing the present government, before announcing that he actually wasn't a former separatist but a Bloc candidate. Yeah, so he's up 51% to 21% with 30 polls in.
Meanwhile in Montmagny-L'Islet-Yada-Yada, we're got a dog fight between the Tories and Bloc.
10:11 pm - Looking at things a bit closer, Cumberland Colchester is about what you'd expect. In 2006, Casey got 52%, the Liberals got 24%, and the NDP got 21%. So the Tories drop a bit because they lose the popular incumbent in a gong show, while the NDP ride the Dexter wave to a few extra percentage points.
10:34 pm - The Tories are now ahead by 450 votes in Montmagny. Given they lost by 15% last time, this would be a big catch for them but, as the post below points out, the Tories did very well in the last run of Quebec by elections and it didn't translate to general election success. We might be able to chalk some of this up to the Tories' having a much better ground game than the Bloc in Quebec.
10:44 pm - OK, let's look at voter turn out. Since 2004, the average by election turn out is 36.7%. Cumberland Colchester should be at 36% once the last poll comes in. Montmagny is on pace for 34%. Hochelaga, however, is only on pace for 20%. Now, the late polls are usually the bigger ones, so they may go a bit higher once all is said and done, but it's questionable if they'll match the post-2004 record low of 24.4% set in Willowdale last year. If anyone out there is really adventurous and wants to find out the lowest by election turnout from the last 10 or 20 years, by all means, start digging and let me know.
11:00 pm - The NDP are sitting pretty in BC, so the story tomorrow will likely be the Tory gains in Quebec (if they can hang on in Montmagny - now up by 620 votes). And that's fair enough, given all of Harper's problems in the province. If nothing else, Paille has put another riding in play for them next election.
But before the Blogging Tories get too excited, in Quebec by elections before the last election, the Tory vote changed -4.3%, -2.1%, +12.5%, and +22.5%, for an average gain of 7 points. And we all know what happened in Quebec come election day.
So far, the Tories are up 0.9% in Hochelaga and 11.6% in Montmagny, for an average gain of just over 6 points.
Labels: by elections