Monday, October 07, 2013

Nova Scotia Election - If the polls are right the Liberals will win big

I made an adjustment on my normal forecast model for Nova Scotia (won't go into details but it is to take account of the large increase in Liberal support).

If the polls are accurate, which I think likely in Nova Scotia as they have all been traditional telephone polls (unlike the many online polls in B.C.), the Liberals will win a large victory in the October 8, 2013 election. It will be their first victory since 1998 when they eked out a bare plurality in the popular vote and a minority government supported by the PCs that was gone a year later.

I project the seat distribution based on an average of recent polls as:

Liberal - 35
NDP - 10
PC - 6.

The last incumbent government in Canada to be decisively ousted was in 2010 in Nova Scotia's neighbouring province of New Brunswick. The one-term Liberal government of Shawn Graham in New Brunswick was defeated by the Progressive Conservatives led by current Premier David Alward.  Interestingly the most recent Corporate Research Associates poll puts the New Brunswick Liberals way ahead of the PCs with 47%, with the NDP in second at 24%, trailed by the PCs at 23%.  It appears that a likely one-term NDP Atlantic government in Nova Scotia will potentially be followed by another one-term administration in New Brunswick. Alward is scheduled to face the voters in September 2014. By this time next year we could see two Liberal provincial governments in Atlantic Canada.

Atlantic provinces have struggled with public finances in recent years because of the global economic crisis, making either unpopular budget cuts or tax hikes. While several multi-term incumbent governments further west have been re-elected since 2011 (most recently the B.C. Liberals but also governments in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario), the pattern seems to be different in the big provinces in Atlantic Canada. The smaller provinces of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland have a long-term pattern of electing multi-term governments.