Sunday, May 12, 2013

BC Projection Update: NDP Majority

In what is likely to be the last BC Projections update before the election in British Columbia, we are projecting, based on the polling data available, that the BC NDP will form a majority government.

The polls may have tightened and any kind of election day surprise may turn the tables, but currently we see the predominant pattern maintained : that of Adrian Dix becoming premier.

Unfortunately this is derived from an online poll, as well. Online polls may be logistically simpler to produce but the consensus has been that they are inherently less reliable.

It is telling that despite Liberal gains in the polls, none so far have actually shown the Liberals in the lead. In a truly competitive race, we'd expect to see some Liberal Red promontories into the upper half of the line graph chart. These have not been forthcoming.

Changing Hands

The BC Liberals are not projected to gain any new seats, nor are the BC Conservatives, nor the Green Party for that matter. 

The BC NDP is projected to gain Boundary-Similkameen, Burnaby-Lougheed, Burnaby North, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Comox Valley, Kamloops-North Thompson, Maple Ridge-Mission, Oak Bay-Gordon Head, Port Moody-Coquitlam, Saanich North and the Islands, Surrey-Tynehead, Vancouver-Fairview, Vancouver-Fraserview, and Vernon-Monashee.

In this latest projection, Christy Clark is projected to keep her seat in Vancouver-Point Grey. However, as usual, it's unclear how long a deposed premier would be willing to stick around. Would Christy Clark feel like becoming leader of the opposition for a spell should the projection play out? That is to say, we might find a by-election in the offing.

Still Close

With fourteen seats between the contenders for power in the projection, the race doesn't appear to be terribly close. However there are a number of seats where the tide could still turn.

First of all, that includes all of them, because we never know how voters are going to act. But we can usually make a reasonable guess based on sampling.

Close seats include Chiliwack, where the NDP could still break through. In Comox Valley, Don McRae could still come out ahead, and Kamloops-North Thompson is close as well. North Vancouver-Lonsdale seems to be safe, but the NDP is in within striking distance. In Oak Bay-Gordon Head, Ida Chong is only a few points away from avoiding a job hunt. Penticton is neck and neck. The Liberals could still save it in Port Moody-Coquitlam, while the NDP can make a race of things in Prince George-Valemount. In Shuswap, the parties could still swap places - the Liberals haven't won this yet. Change is visable in Surrey-Panorama, where the projection puts the Liberals and NDP hovering around 40% each. Surrey-Tynehead could also be a tight race as Dave S. Hayer tries to keep his seat. Vancouver Fairview is coude-à-coude. Christy Clark may be safe for now in Vancouver-Point Grey, but she'll have to knock on a lot of doors to keep her seat. The locals might object to being reminded that she doesn't actually live there. Finally, in Vernon-Monashee, there will be a lot of canvassing going on, right up to the deadline. 

Update: As we were writing this, we became aware of another online poll by Angus-Reid, with the NDP at 45%, the BC Liberals at 36%, the BC Greens on 9%, and the BC Conservatives 6%, with others being at 4%. We ran these numbers into our projection machine, and it's clear that these kinds of numbers could see the Premier losing her seat, as well as a massive rout of her party, down to 30 seats to the BC NDP's 54. Stay tuned.

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