Since I covered the final candidate counts for Alberta's election race, I thought I'd quickly go over PEI's since they'll be voting a day earlier, and like in Alberta, something interesting is going on.
Liberal Party: 27 out of 27
Progressive Conservative: 27 out of 27
New Democratic: 27 out of 27
Green Party: 24 out of 27
All four parties have full slates or nearly full slates, with a total of 106 candidates running for 27 seats across the Island - that's compared to 103 spread among five parties in 2011, and 89 among four parties in 2007. Its also the first time since 1999 that the NDP have produced a full slate of candidates in an election on PEI.
That is where the interesting part of this all comes in. While the Greens had 22 candidates last time, they still didn't hit 5% of the vote; don't expect much change on that end, though there has been some whispers about leader Bevan-Baker's push in his riding of Kellys Cross-Cumberland. The NDP, meanwhile, ran only 14 candidates in 2011, less than half, and managed to score just above 3% of the vote; they probably could have easily gotten between 5-7% had they run a full slate, as they are now.
That shouldn't be too surprising, as I'm sure the Island NDP's newsworthy ascension in the polls (despite its eventual fall back down) made a lot of people happy to sign up, maybe get a new job under some sort of plucky circumstance. It will play well into the hands of the party, and while we don't really know the situation there right now because of a lack of any polling, a full slate for the NDP will likely net them at least 8% of the vote, and probably 10-15% on whatever trends we could pick out. That would be their bet result ever, though with the Island's hyper-local politics, I wouldn't actually venture to say it guarantees them a seat - remember New Brunswick.
That would certainly make things interesting for the larger parties, the Liberals and PCs. While Premier MacLauchlan seems more or less secure from the outset, would a surging NDP actually cost his party their position as government? Or would the NDP take more from the PCs as a protest/opposition vote? I really don't know how ideological Islanders are, so I can't say whether a second centre-left (or third with the Greens) option would even really affect the Liberals significantly - they operate on a whole other level there.
I really wish they could produce at least one poll out of there. Just one.
Anyway, tomorrow I'll be doing a larger update on Alberta's second week of campaigning... should be interesting.
Don't forget as well, Global TV will be holding the leader's debate on Thursday, April 23rd, starting at 6:30pm Mountain Time (8:30pm Eastern). I'm literally taking time off work to watch it, that's how committed I am to watching whatever it is going on in Alberta this crazy campaign.