If you are still wondering why Progressive Conservative members and prominent operatives, having spent the latter half of 2013 ridiculing the provincial Liberals' leadership process, are now rushing to adopt it — for the 2016 leadership race — wonder no longer.
This map expresses the turnout at the PC leadership delegate selection meetings (DSM) held over the summer as a percentage of the total vote in the Liberals' "virtual" leadership vote in each district. (Click to enlarge.)
The low turnout in Davis and Kent's back yards may be attributable, in part, to the fact that they were among the first districts to hold DSMs. The other metro-area district with particularly poor turnout, St. John's Centre, also held its DSM during the first week of meetings.
There is some evidence that either enthusiasm among PC supporters, or ability of the camps to get their supporters out to the bingo halls, or both, increased, if modestly, as the campaign went on. This is what happens when you sort the DSMs chronologically, and group them by week (starting on Mondays) of the campaign period. Where multiple PC district associations held their DSMs on the same day, the districts are sub-sorted alphabetically. Again, the PC leadership turnout is expressed as a percentage of the comparable figure for the 2013 Liberal leadership contest. (Click to enlarge.)
And here's the PC turnout expressed as a percentage of all eligible voters in the district (per the 2011 election return), which yields a clearer upward trend as the campaign progressed:
The lowest turnout in last year's Liberal leadership? Lewisporte. 4.0%.
H/T to @TelegramJames for compiling the PC DSM statistics:
My spreadsheet of PC leadership participation is complete. Average of 80.5 voters per district. https://t.co/e65XxyJ1oC #nlpoli
— James McLeod (@TelegramJames) August 15, 2014