Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Saskatchewan Redistribution Commission's Report

As noted before, Saskatchewan's Redistribution Commission has come out with its report, and has actually significantly altered the map, though not too badly and not in any obviously gerrymandered way.

In my last post on Saskatchewan, I noted that the new urban-focused ridings in Saskatoon and Regina will give the New Democrats a leg up, specifically in Regina-Lewvan and Saskatoon-University, but also to a lesser degree in Saskatoon West, Saskatoon-Grasswood, and Denesthé-Missinippi-Churchill River.

Overall, not too much has changed in the two core cities. But lets look at Regina first.

The changes in Regina have been very small, including no changes for the Wascana riding except that its now called Regina-Wascana. Regina-Lewvan, which under the original proposal would've been 45.9% NDP to 43.1% Conservative, gains a few Conservative polls in the north near Walsh Acres, while losing a couple of heavily NDP polls south near the CN Rail line. These changes were small, so I did my own calculations, and the riding is now 45.4% NDP to 43.7% Conservative. Still a close race with a NDP lead, just a little more Conservative than before. Regina-Qu'Appelle, Speaker Scheer's riding, gains and losses a few polls here and there, but nothing that will put a big dent in Scheer's +15% lead.

Now on to Saskatoon.

Saskatoon is definitely seeing a lot of change, though the partisan make-up of the city overall doesn't change. It will still likely be one New Democratic lead to two Conservative leads, all very or relatively close; except where before Saskatoon-University was the riding with the NDP lead, now it will be Saskatoon West.

Saskatoon-University's origionally proposed odd shape, stretching across the South Saskatchewan to take in Saskatoon's core neighborhoods and Meadow Green, was a bit odd, but it definitely made the riding NDP-friendly, though by no means a lock; under the original proposal, the riding was 44.5% NDP to 43.9% Conservative. Under the Report's boundaries, however, Saskatoon-University loses those communities, instead taking on the community of Lawson Heights farther north. Those polls are fairly Conservative, and I expect the riding to flip even though there are still strong NDP polls in the south of the riding, near the University and Nutana. It'll still be a close riding, but it won't be the NDP leading. Also, the riding isn't elongated and now more compact and nice looking.

Saskatoon West, however, should flip to the Dippers. Taking on all those polls from Saskatoon-University and losing the Conservative polls of Lawson Heights should make the relatively close riding under the original proposal - 48.3% Conservative to 43.2% NDP - turn orange. I can't guarantee it, since I haven't done the transposition - but those are a lot of NDP polls to take on for a riding as close as it was. Saskatoon-Grasswood, meanwhile, doesn't change at all as far as I can tell.

What about the rest of the province?

 There have been some major changes to the rural boundaries of Saskatchewan, especially in the north-west portion of the prairies. Gone is Kindersley-Rosetown-Humboldt. The Kindersley portion of the riding has been swallowed up by Cypress Hills-Grasslands and Battlefords-Lloydminster (formerly Lloydminster-Battlefords-Rosthern), while Humboldt and Rosetown have become part of the new Humboldt-Warman-Martensville-Rosetown riding (HWMR for short). Rosthern also became part of HWMR, leaving Battlefords-Lloydminister almost unchanged from the 2003 order boundaries.

Other changes include a few additions to Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan, making it slightly larger and probably slightly more Conservatives. Yorkton-Melville also took a small slice of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River in the southwest, though nothing major. However, given the closeness of DMCR overall, I looked into it - and sadly for the NDP, the portion taken out looks to actually be in NDP polls, not Conservative polls. Still a very close riding.

Souris-Moose Mountain also extends its borders, now stretching out to the town of Coronach in the west. Cypress Hills-Grasslands loses this portion of its riding due likely to it taking part of the Kindersley region into it.

Overall, the changes are many but the situation remains the same - Conservatives dominating the rural areas of the province, and a very close fight in the cities. Meanwhile, Ralph Goodale is safe as he ever is in Wascana. 11 Con, 2 NDP, 1 Lib - that's my guess.

Next time, maybe later today or tomorrow, I'll be taking a look at British Columbia.


  1. Are you planning to do a transposition for Saskatoon West? My gut says 0 NDP seats in Saskatoon.

    1. If you want to do one, feel free - but Regina-Lewvan I did do a transposition for, and its barely NDP, so there's at least one.

      Its really surprising how close these ridings are, given the concentration of NDP votes in these cities. The combination of the suburbs mixed with the urban cores, though, makes it pretty darn close.