Friday, December 29, 2006

Many elections coming in 2007

TC has had a hiatus in posting due to an old computer giving way to a new HP machine.

Happy New Year one and all.

2007 is going to be a big year for elections.

We are likely to have a federal election, and provincial contests in several provinces, including Ontario and Newfoundland for certain as they both have fixed dates in October. As well, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec & P.E.I. may go to the polls, but the governments in all those provinces are in political difficulty to one degree or another so delays are possible.

One interesting potential is that there could be minority governments in both Ontario and Quebec after the votes have been counted. Quebec has long had monolithic politics dominated by the Quebec Liberals and various nationalist competitors, but it is becoming more fragmented both federally and provincially. The big development of the past few years is the emergence of the leftist Quebec Solidaire, not as a serious contender for power or even seats, but as a drain on PQ votes. Despite recent strengthening on the part of the Quebec Liberals, this election is still leaning to the PQ.

In Ontario, there have been many polls in the past two years showing a close race between Liberals and the PCs, with the NDP making gains. More recently the polls have been suggesting a second albeit reduced Liberal majority.

TC thinks it highly likely that the Saskatchewan NDP, in power since 1991, will finally lose office. See this time series of Saskatchewan party preference polls conducted by Environics. (You have to scroll way down to find it.)

In Manitoba the election looks to be both close and interesting. The NDP have never won a third term in Manitoba but Premier Gary Doer is an astute and highly experienced politician, and gives the NDP their best chance ever of yet another victory. The most recent Probe Research Poll does give the Conservatives a narrow three point lead, but the pollsters theselves argued after the release of the poll that because the Tory gains were concentrated in rural areas, the poll could actually mean an NDP win. TC shares that assessment; however, the real message of the poll is simply that it could go either way.

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