Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Nova Scotia Election - Postmortem

The Nova Scotia election produced vote gains but seat losses for the Conservatives, both seat and vote gains for the NDP, and losses in both for the Liberals.

It has been coming on gradually, but thirty years ago the NDP was not a factor in Atlantic politics. However, when the NS Conservatives head into the next election seeking a fourth term in office, the logical alternative, if there is a "throw the rascals out mood", will be the NDP.

Also not noticed much, but the NDP's strongest provincial showing (excluding the territories) was in Nova Scotia in the 2004 and 2006 federal elections. And the NDP now dominates the fastest growing part of Atlantic Canada's largest province - Metro Halifax.

It has taken the federal Liberals 20 years to notice that they were no longer a factor in francophone Quebec. They should take note now of this new threat to Liberal strength in a region long essential to federal Liberal victories - think of the near miss of Chr├ętien in the 1997 election caused by the unpopularity of his EI "reforms" down east.

Politics is perpetually fluid and trends can reverse, but the NDP seems to be setting down deep roots in Atlantic Canada.

No comments: