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.)
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.