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The mini-election of 2013

Four days away from four by-elections


 

The by-election in Brandon-Souris now includes a written appeal from the Prime Minister, in which Mr. Harper stresses the importance of Monday’s vote.

On November 25th you have an important decision to make. Don’t let anyone tell you this by-election doesn’t matter—there is a lot on the line.

In Toronto-Centre, meanwhile, there are leaked emails, celebrity endorsements, a debate about economic policy and an op-ed by NDP MP Megan Leslie. And, of course, some concern about tone, a concern that extends to the other races as well.

Here is The Agenda’s debate with the four candidates in Toronto-Centre.

The public polling in the four ridings to be decided next week has been, as Eric Grenier notes, relatively stable. Presuming Provencher will remain Conservative, the focus is two-fold: first as to how the Liberals and New Democrats are faring against each other in the urban domains of Montreal (Bourassa) and Toronto (Toronto-Centre), second as to whether or not the Liberals can pull together enough votes to pull off an upset in Brandon-Souris.

The Liberal share of the vote in Brandon-Souris has steadily declined since 2004, falling to just 5.4% in 2011. Conservative Merv Tweed, conversely, took 64% of the vote two years. But an upset, or the potential for such, would seem to be aided and abetted by four factors: the relative increase in the popularity of the Liberal party, the relative decline in national popularity for the Conservatives amid a prominent scandal, a controversial nomination for the Conservatives in the riding and the fact that the Liberal candidate is the son of a former Progressive Conservative MP who represented the riding from 1953 to 1982.

Or maybe the Liberals won’t have the sort of organization on the ground necessary to pull this off.


 

The mini-election of 2013

  1. I haven’t really been following the by-elections, but wow, Brandon-Souris is certainly an interesting one. The riding has only not gone Conservative ONCE since 1953, that being in 1993 when the PCs and Reform split the conservative vote and a Liberal ran up the middle. Furthermore, the Liberals have only placed higher than third in the riding three times in the last 10 elections.

    Frankly, however it goes, I find it interesting that the riding is even being discussed. Presumably, a riding in which the last election resulted in the Tory getting 63.73% of the vote, and the Liberal getting 5.36% ought to be an easy hold for the Tories. And if there was a challenge, one would have expected it to be from the party that got over 25% of the vote last time (the NDP).

    One shouldn’t ever read too much in to a by-election, of course, but it seems to me that even if the Liberals lose in Brandon-Souris they’re likely to increase their vote by more than 6X over the last election, and come in second for the first time since 2004. It seems to me that even that could be easily spun as a “victory”.

    • Please don’t get your hopes up. The only reason Ritalin-Boy is polling as high as he is is because he has his daddy’s last name, and his daddy was the local MP many moons ago. But once voters realize that Dinsdale’s just another pinko-commie, those votes will all rush over to the CPC.

      If I were you I’d be much more concerned with the Toronto-Center riding. If the Liberals lose that seat, then it shows that there’s not a safe seat in the country left for them. And it’ll also raise a lot of questions about Trudeau’s leadership abilities.

      • “The only reason Ritalin-Boy is polling as high as he is is because he
        has his daddy’s last name, and his daddy was the local MP many moons
        ago.”

        Well, you could be right about the voters of Brandon-Souris being stupid. After all, they’ve been electing Conservatives for years.

        Speaking of stupidity, have you yet found even a shred of evidence that unicorns don’t exist?

      • once voters realize that Dinsdale’s just another pinko-commie, those votes will all rush over to the CPC

        As I said, I haven’t really been following the by-election races, but it looks to me as though the polls have been pretty consistent there in Brandon-Souris over the last month, and don’t the voters only have three days left to discover that the Liberals are running a communist?

        As for Toronto-Centre, I don’t really care particularly who wins ANY of these elections, but is there any particular reason to believe that the Liberals should be all that worried about it? They’re up 15 points in the latest poll in that riding, and the closest poll in the last month had them up by 11. Bob Rae won Toronto Centre by 11 points last election. So, sure, that makes it a supposedly “safe” riding for them, but it’s not like it’s not Brandon-Souris safe. The Tories won Brandon-Sourdis by margins of 38.5%, 39.93%, and 34.19% in the last three elections, and the Tory candidate wound up ahead of the Liberal candidate by 58.37% of the vote last time out.

        Anything can happen with the Liberals only up by 8% in the Brandon-Sourdis polls, but given the history of the riding, even losing by 15 points would be the Liberals’ best result in 2 decades.

        The only poll that matters is on election day of course, but it seems to me that in both of these two ridings the recent polls are quite good for the Liberals, and somewhat bad for the Tories. We’ll see how things go on Monday, but given that the Liberals are polling 4% higher than their last election result in Toronto-Centre right now, and the Tories are polling 27% lower than their last election result in Brandon-Souris, I find it difficult to wrap my head around the notion that the Liberals are the ones who should be concerned.

        • Wake up and smell the bong, dude. They want to legalize pot, just like Stalin.

      • Hey, if inheriting daddy’s seat worked for Elmer’s boy, Peter, why not for the Dinsdale dynasty?

      • Don Cherry – is that you?

    • I’ve just been watching QP and, as a result, I have some insight into the Cons’ pending upset loss to the Liberals in Brandon-Souris. Paul Calandra will tell you (just ask him) it’s because, while involved in Quebec provincial politics 17 years ago, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair was offered a bribe. It’s obvious.

      That was easy.

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