Friday, April 29, 2011

Ridings to Watch - BC

After a look at Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta, we head West, to the always interesting world of BC politics.

I don't have a lot of on-the-ground intel, so check out Pundits Guide for a great qualitative look at the ridings. I'll provide a brief overview here, using data from my seat projections but, by all means, chime in with your own 2 cents in the comments section.

Liberal Party Outlook

We can likely write off Esquimalt-Juan De Fuca. The projection model gives the grits only a 5% chance to hold, and I suspect the "Keith Martin effect" is larger than the incumbency boost I give candidates. Beyond that, the grits have between a 60% and 88% chance of holding Newton North Delta, Vancouver Centre, Vancouver South, and Vancouver Quadra.

The most promising pickup for them is North Vancouver (18%), where Taleeb Noormohamed will try to unseat first term incumbent Andrew Saxon.

Conservative Party Outlook

In addition to the Liberal challenge in North Vancouver, the Tories could be in tough in Surrey North and Vancouver Island North, where my model gives the NDP even odds.

Layton flew into Kamloops today, a seat he certainly could take from the Tories if the orange wave hits the West Coast. The only other seat the Tories have less than 95% chance of holding in BC is Nanaimo-Alberni, where the NDP's Zeni Maartman is trying to knock off incumbent James Lunney.

Oh yeah, and Saanich, which we'll get to in a second.

As for pick-ups, their best chances for gains would be the aforementioned Liberal seats, and Burnaby-Douglas, where they lost to the NDP by just 800 votes last election.

NDP Outlook

Although the NDP are rising in the polls, it's still unclear how many seats they can actually nab in BC. Based on the projection model, their best odds are in Surrey North (62%), Vancouver Island North (45%), Esquimalt-Juan De Fuca (26%), Newton-North Delta (21%), Vancouver Centre (18%), Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo (17%), and Nanaimo-Alberni (7%).

The Greens

The Greens have released an internal poll showing Elizabeth May ahead in Saanich-Gulf Islands but, keep in mind, this is an internal poll. Possibly one of Elizabeth May's household.

All along, I've felt this seat was a 50/50 shot, and I haven't seen anything this campaign to make me to change my mind. Or, I guess I should say, "to make me make up my mind".

The stakes are certainly high for May, since it seems almost certain the Green vote will be going down nationally. If she can't win in Saanich, the Greens could very well fade into obscurity. No pressure.

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