Tuesday, March 20, 2012

More By-Election Talk: Port Moody-Coquitlam

Awhile ago (well, the end of January) I did an overview of the BC provincial riding of Chilliwack-Hope, where BC Liberal incumbent since '96 Barry Penner had stepped down, triggering a by-election.

Now, that race wouldn't have been important, given that the NDP have never even come close to winning the riding or its predecessors, except for this whole vote-splitting worry between the BC Liberals and the BC Conservatives, that could possibly through the by-election to the NDP.

And as I explained in that post, it seemed to me there was a greater chance of the BC Cons winning the riding, given its history, than the NDP. I still feel the same way, though my current rolling average has the riding at 38% Lib, 35% NDP, and 20% Con, due to changing my projection to allow for more BC Con votes out of the Lower Mainland (otherwise they'd just pile up in the Interior, you see?).

But the same cannot be said for Port Moody-Coquitlam, where some of my own family is from. Held since 2005 by BC Liberal Iain Black who resigned last year, the riding is a lot closer than Chilliwack-Hope was. In 2009, Black earned 52.8% of the vote to his NDP rival's 39.8%.

What makes this race more personal for the Liberals is that it is Premier Christy Clark's old riding. Clark represented Port Moody-Westwood, the predecessor riding,  from 1996 to 2005.

The Liberals should be very weary here, as it is definitely a prime pick-up opportunity for the NDP. Below are the numbers I currently have for the riding from my rolling average, and then from the most recent Forum poll:

Rolling Average:
BC NDP - 39-44%
BC Libs - 35-40%
BC Cons - 12-17%
Greens - 5-10%

Forum Poll:
BC NDP - 40-45%
BC Cons - 27-32%
BC Libs - 17-22%
Greens - 7-12%

One result is obviously better than the other. The rolling average, which has the Liberals at 31% and the Cons at nearly 17%, is a big difference from the Forum poll, which is 24% and 22% respectively.

The likelihood is that the Liberals will lose this riding, though don't take the two projections above at face value (it is, after all, a by-election and anything can happen). But given the dissatisfaction of voters with the Clark government, the rising popularity of Dix, regardless of whether or not the BC Cons where there, this riding would likely be in play, and likely lean NDP. The one saving grace is possibly the fact that Clark used to represent the riding, though according to the Forum poll, only 66% of BC Liberals actually approve of her. Maybe not the best sign ever.

The candidates for the three main parties are already nominated and campaigning. Dennis Marsden for the Liberals; Joe Trasolini for the NDP; and Christine Clark for the Conservatives (uh...).

It's the same in Chilliwack, where Laurie Throness is running for the BC Liberals; Gwen O'Mahoney for the NDP; and John Martin for the Conservatives.

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