"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Extinction level events

Earlier today, CRA came out with its quarterly report from its August fieldwork.

(If you are a Newfoundland and Labrador Progressive Conservative, this is a good time to close your eyes, stick your thumbs in your ears, and hum loudly.)

Here's what the notional seat forecast looks like, based on today's CRA numbers, if they were the popular-vote numbers in a provincial general election. (Click to enlarge.)

Dark red indicate Liberal holds, paler reds are projected Liberal pickups, and oranges are notional NDP holds. The only small splotch of blue is Humber East, which is, presumably, about to be vacated by Interim Interim Premier Marshall after the PCs pick their new leader in mid-September.

The only other faint hope for the Tory cause, on those popular-support numbers, are the dozen "toss-up" seats on which two projection models can't quite come to agree on the notional winner. The PCs are notionally in contention in ten of those districts. However, on the simplest forecast model, the "uniform swing", the Tories would lose all ten.

(Private to NL PC caucus staff: do you still think the games your guys played with House of Assembly opposition caucus funding was a brilliant idea?)

The NDP would notionally retain three of its 2011 seats, and be in contention in two or three others. However, one of those three holds would be St. John's North, where the formerly-NDP incumbent, Dale Kirby, is now a member of the Liberal caucus. While the NDP is well off the highs it witnessed during its polling surge in 2012-2013, at 15% it is still actually at historically high levels in an NL provincial vote-intent question. Between 1998 and 2011, the Orange team had only ever cracked the 15% mark in a CRA (or any other) poll once, in May 2004, in the wake of widespread unrest in the public sector.

The usual seat-forecasting caveats apply: the notional model does not take into account changes in affiliation since the last election, namely:
  • In St. John's South, former PC Tom Osborne, after an interlude in self-imposed exile as an Independent member, is now a Liberal.
  • In Mount Pearl South, former PC Paul Lane has also donned a red uniform.
  • In St. John's North,  former NDP MHA Dale Kirby will re-offer, this time as the newly-nominated Liberal candidate in the 2015 (14? 16?) general election.
  • In The Straits and White Bay North, former NDP MHA Chris Mitchelmore is now the Liberal MHA and nominee in that district.
  • In Virginia Waters, Liberal Cathy Bennett now holds the seat following the by-election to succeed former Premier Dunderdale.
  • In Carbonear–Harbour Grace, Liberal Sam Slade carried in last fall's by-election what was in 2011 the second-Toriest district in the province.
  • In Cartwright–L'anse au Clair, a purely academic change saw Liberal Lisa Dempster succeed Liberal Yvonne Jones.
  • In St. George's–Stephenville East, Joan Shea's departure resulted in last week's by-election pickup by Liberal Scott Reid.
As with all poll projections, the overall seat-count result tends to be more accurate than the district-by-district count when the models are tested post-election. The errors in individual district forecasts tend to cancel one another out in the overall composition of the notionally-projected legislature.

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At 12:49 PM, September 04, 2014 , Blogger Brian T. O. Davis said...

I suspect conservative supporters were too busy out working and creating jobs to be sitting around answering phone surveys. Lol. Oops...too provocative a comment!? ;)

At 1:40 PM, September 04, 2014 , Blogger WJM said...

Make-work is work, I spose.

Fun facts: For the first five years of the PC government under Glorious Leader, the private-sector workforce shrank by about 13,000. Self-employment is below where it was ten years ago. The major job-creation record of the Tories, up until 2012, was in the public sector, and probably still is, thanks to notionally "private sector" jobs that wouldn't exist but for Nalcor.

But hey, people are entitled to believe whatever they want to believe...

At 3:56 PM, September 04, 2014 , Blogger Brian T. O. Davis said...

I should have perhaps been a bit clearer in my statement. It's tough to be conservative (small c for ideology) in the province when the Conservative (big C for the party) platform doesn't really align well with the former. Still with only the other two options on the table true conservatives have little choice now really. But I guess that's it when you live in a province where so many either have been groomed to be over dependant on the government or subscribe to the "new" old socialism they erroneously equate with the traditional social structures of their ancestors. :(. Sad face for emphasis.


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