Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Canada: The Provincial Scene, part 1

Nova Scotia New Democratic Party leader Darrel...Image via Wikipedia
Some notes on how things are looking at the polls province by province. I'll do a quick rundown of provincial polls across the country, from east to west, but I'll do it in two parts (I know, I know, I've said that before...). So to start with, I'm looking at the Atlantic provinces and Québec. Tune in, er, tomorrow-ish for the other six party-based sub-national entities.

Newfoundland and Labrador: One of five provinces going to the polls in 2011, Newfoundland still seems to be in the throes of Williams-mania. The premier managed to get his PC Party an amazing 69.6% of the vote in 2007, and three years in, CRA has his party's support at 75%. Liberals at 16% and NDP at 8% must be wondering at present if it's even worth campaigning.

Prince Edward Island: Going to the polls the same month as the other Island province, the traditionally bipartisan PEI seems happy with its incumbent Liberal premier Robert Ghiz, with CRA showing 61% of islanders planning to vote Liberal, up from the 53% who did in 2007. The main opposition, the PCs, have taken a hammering - from 41% in the last election to 27% today. The NDP at 8% must be pleased with that, since last time out they couldn't even manage 2% support, and came fourth behind the Greens, unchanged in three years at 3%.

Nova Scotia: NDP premier Darrell Dexter, the first NDP premier east of Ontario, might be pleased that there's still a maximum of four years till the next election: the two percent lead CRA shows him having over the Liberals, 37% to 35%, is no cause for celebration for a man who got 45.3% of the vote not one year ago and saw that number rise as kigh as 60% after the election. The PCs at 24% are keeping Nova Scotia genuinely tripartisan.

New Brunswick: It's worth noting that incumbent Liberal premier Shawn Graham actually got fewer votes in 2006 than the PC candidate: this can, of course, happen in First Past the Post democracies. Anyway, New Brunswick's is the nearest election, just a few months from now. Graham got a decent boost immediately after the election, when within two months the Liberals were polling an amazing 65% to the PCs' 27%. But it's been downhill ever since, with the decline gaining momentum. CRA shows them 5% behind the PCs, 37% to 42%, with the NDP trailing at 16% and the Greens polling at 5% despite being barely two years old.

Québec: The Parti Libéral took the December 2008 election by 7%, but pretty much every poll since then has shown them trailing the Parti Québécois. Léger Marketing at the moment has an 11-point difference, with premier Jean Charest's Libérals at 30% to the PQ's 41%. Les Verts at 5% and Québec Solidaire at 8% are both more than twice what they got in 2008, but the ADQ continue their freefall, with their current 13% support signalling a return to a basic bipartisanism in the province.
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