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Posts Tagged ‘Party Scorecard’

There’s Horseshoes, And Then There’s By-elections

November 27th, 2012 | 21 Comments

[Welcome, National Newswatch readers!]

None of the three by-election ridings changed hands at the end of the day, but in the short-term at least, a lot more changed under the surface than expected.

 

Nov 2012 By-Election Results

By-Election Metrics – 2012 By (Nov)

Metric Victoria, BC Calgary
Centre
, AB
Durham, ON
Winner RANKIN,
Murray (M)
CROCKATT,
Joan (F)
O'TOOLE,
Erin (M)
Contest NDP-Grn Cons-Lib Cons-NDP
Polls 256/256 263/263 236/236
%TO 43.9% 29.4% 35.8%
Raw Margin 1,151 1,167 8,334
Votes/Poll 4.5 4.4 35.3
% Margin 3.0% 4.2% 24.5%
% Marg 1-3 22.8% 11.3% 33.4%
% Marg 1-4 24.2% 33.0% 46.7%

 

Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt kept party bastion Calgary Centre, AB in the fold by a margin of 1,167 votes or 4.2% of the vote, obtaining a 36.9% vote-share by the time all the polls had been counted, over her nearest competitor Liberal Harvey Locke (at 32.7%).

Meanwhile, expected front-runner Murray Rankin turned in a squeaker for the NDP in their expected stronghold of Victoria, BC, besting the dark-horse Green Party candidate Donald Galloway by 1,151 votes or 3.0% of the vote, and garnering 37.2% of the vote to Galloway's 34.3%.

Victoria bested Calgary in by-election turnout, however, with a final tally of 43.9% (based on the counts from the preliminary voters list) versus just 29.4% in Calgary Centre – the riding everyone had been watching more closely, and which seemed based on early reports to have had higher volumes at the polls. This puts the Victoria by-election turnout higher than any other by-election since Roberval–Lac St-Jean, QC in 2007 (46.8%), and just barely ahead of the by-election to replace Jack Layton last March in Toronto–Danforth, ON (43.2%).

Meanwhile in the third by-election riding of Durham, ON last night, Conservative candidate Erin O'Toole collected over 50% of the vote, with the Liberals maintaining their 17%-ish vote share, and the NDP's Larry O'Connor gaining about 5% in vote-share mainly at the Conservatives' and Greens' expense to solidify second place.

Durham also landed somewhere between Calgary Centre and Victoria in the turnout sweepstakes, finishing at 35.8%.

 

Nov 2012 By-Election Ridings Result History

Party Scorecard – 2012 By (Nov)

2012 By Lib NDP Grn BQ Cons Rest
Vote
Pct
19.9%
(+3.5%)
24.4%
(-5.6%)
21.7%
(+12.7%)
 
 
32.9%
(-11.4%)
1.1%
(+0.7%)
Seats 0
(-)
1
(-)
0
(-)
 
 
2
(-)
 0
(-)
2nds 1
(-)
1
(-)
1
(+1)
 
 
0
(-1)
0
(-)
Rebate
Eligib.
3
(-)
2
(-1)
2
(+1)
 
 
3
(-)
0
(–)
Raw
Vote
20,013
(-7,453)
24,529
(-25,741)
21,844
(+6,806)
 
 
33,115
(-41,298)
1,075
(+426)

 

It was a night of conundrums though, because the two largest parties in Parliament lost the greatest number of votes and vote-shares, yet kept their seats; while on the other hand the Liberals – and especially the Greens – gained votes and vote-share but left empty-handed for all their efforts.

Close, as they say, only counts in horseshoes. It sure doesn't count in a first-past-the-post Westminster-style parliamentary system.

Although so-closely losing the chance at a second seat in Parliament will be felt keenly by the Green Party, they can at least take satisfaction in a very strong performance indeed in both Victoria and Calgary Centre. For once, the party (which has had a reputation for over-hyping its expected performance in the past), actually met the hype with performance.

The Liberals, however – who had built up so many hopes for an outright win in Calgary Centre – are now left unable to claim credit for their candidate's unusually strong performance, and will start to cast around for who or what was responsible for the shortfall. Did Ottawa South, ON Liberal MP David McGuinty's ill-fated remarks about the role of Albertans – and the found interview with leadership candidate and Papineau, QC MP Justin Trudeau on the same subject – inadvertantly seal the ballot question as one favouring the Conservatives? Did the unexpectedly strong performance of Green Party candidate Chris Turner, or the quixotic methodology used by 1CalgaryCentre.com to endorse him, "split the progressive vote"? No doubt, some in the party will look to McGuinty and Trudeau, who will in turn look backwards to Elizabeth May. It's going to be a very chilly corner of the House of Commons when everyone gets back to Ottawa, that's for sure.

But, if you look more closely at the right-hand side of the second graph above, and examine the parties' historic vote-shares in the three by-election ridings, you are immediately struck by what became in many ways the most unexpected story of the evening. And this has big implications for all those trying to "unite the progressive vote" like LeadNow.ca, 1CalgaryCentre.com, and authors like Paul Adams of PowerTrap.ca …

… The Green Party cut into the Conservative vote in Western Canada. Substantially.

Party Vote-Shares, November 2012 By-elections, and change from 2011 GE

  Lib NDP Grn Cons Rest
Durham, ON 17.3%
(-0.9%)
26.3%
(+5.2%)
4.1%
(-1.3)
50.7%
(-3.8%)
1.7%
(+0.6%)
Calgary Centre, AB 32.7%
(+15.2%)
3.8%
(-11.1%)
25.6%
(+15.7%)
36.9%
(-20.8%)
0.4%
(+0.4%)
Victoria, BC 13.1%
(-0.9%)
37.2%
(-13.6%)
34.4%
(+22.7%)
14.4%
(-9.2%)
1.0%
(+1.0%)

Mathematically, even if you assume that the entire 11 point NDP drop in Calgary Centre switched to Chris Turner, the Greens gained at least 4.6 percentage points from the Conservatives over the May 2011 general election.

Same goes for Victoria, where the Greens gained 9.2 points in vote-share from the Conservatives versus 13.6 from the NDP.

What this suggests to me is that strategies aimed at causing parties to withdraw from certain ridings may have quite different outcomes than their proponents predict. And the one riding that was the most beset with endless clumsy tactical manipulation and cross-party griping about who was splitting whose vote, also wound up (perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not) being the riding with the lowest voter turnout.

Meanwhile, the Greens have clearly delivered a scare to the three other political parties in english Canada in this round of by-elections, and have finally understood the importance of a beach-head versus rising tide strategy to a small party, especially during by-elections. But their continued existence is also in greater jeopardy from the cuts to the public subsidy, as they are not raising nearly enough just yet to replace it and be able to run a substantial enough national campaign to keep beach-head seats in the fold. Also, they have yet to be able to sustain an eye-popping performance from one campaign into the next, as the history of London North Centre, ON, Central Nova, NS, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, ON, and Guelph, ON amongst others amply demonstrates.

So, if we can read the tea-leaves and try to discern some overall mandates and messages from Monday's by-election results, they might be these:

  • to the two largest national parties, you're on a short-leash for now
  • to the Liberals, read the hypothetical national polls about a Trudeau-led majority with wariness, because when the rubber hit the road on Monday, only one of the 3 ridings showed any growth in the party's vote at all
  • to the co-operation / strategic voting gimmickerists, double-check your assumptions before you launch any more counter-productive initiatives

In the coming days, Elections Canada will release the validated results for the three ridings, and within 90 days the "official voting results (OVR)", including poll-by-poll results and an accurate take on turnouts. Although two of the ridings were close, neither met the narrow test for an automatic recount, and both Messrs. Locke and Galloway have already conceded to their opponents, so that should be that.

By-Election Scorecard and Metrics

November 9th, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Conservatives defied nearly all the pundits Monday night, picking up a seat on the south shore of eastern Québec, and regaining their former seat in Nova Scotia more handily than some had expected. The Liberals were shut out of both first- and second-place finishes, but appear at least to have exceeded the 10% vote share threshold required to obtain candidate expense rebates in all four ridings (up from 3 in 2008).

Conservatives also topped the popular vote across the four ridings (with 35.7%), pushing the Bloc (who held that position last time) down to third place (at 20.8% for a drop of 3.3 percentage points) behind the NDP, who jumped a spot to second place with 24.4%. The Liberals kept 4th place in the popular vote, even though they placed 3rd in each riding. The Green Party pulled up the rear with 3.1% overall, down 0.6 percentage points, with no candidate earning a rebate. Their best performance was in New Westminster – Coquitlam, BC (4.3% of the vote), although they did edge out the Christian Heritage Party leader in Cumberland – Colchester – Musquodoboit Valley, NS.

It was a disappointing night for the Bloc Québécois, losing their seat in Montmagny – L’Islet – Kamouraska – Rivière-du-Loup, QC to the Conservatives, and with a drop in popular vote of 3.3 percentage points. New Democrats did not achieve the wildest dreams of their most optimistic supporters, but passed the Liberals in Hochelaga, QC, attained a record vote share in Cumberland – Colchester – Musquodoboit Valley, NS, and obtained nearly half the vote in New Westminster – Coquitlam, BC. In fact, the BC race proved not to be close at all.

I should add that many observers were bemoaning the low turnout tonight, but in many cases it wound up higher than ridings in the March, 2008 by-elections.

For those readers who only usually access the Pundits’ Guide via an RSS reader, you’ll want to visit the site’s main page today, to see the Party Election Scorecard, the By-Election Metrics Summary Table, various charts, and all the detailed data for each riding. All the relevant riding and local region charts have been updated as well.

By-Elections Scorecard Baseline

November 9th, 2009 | 0 Comments

With the polls set to close soon, let’s take a look at the baseline that each party is starting from, as a way of reminding readers what the Party By-Election Scorecard is going to tell us.

First, a couple of views of the overall electoral history across those 4 ridings, starting with the Bar + Stacked Area Chart:

Riding History

… and continuing with the Line + Bar Chart:

Riding History

Then the baseline party scorecard:

Party Scorecard – 2009 By Baseline

2009 By Lib NDP Grn BQ Cons Rest
Prev VotePct 14.1% 19.3% 3.6% 24.1% 22.6% 16.3%
Prev Seats 1 2 1
Prev 2nds 1 1 2
Prev RebateEligib. 3 3 2 2 1
Prev RawVote 25,236 34,689 6,498 43,214 40,633 29,191

It’s interesting to note that the Bloc was so strong in its two seats that it won the popular vote across all four, polling some 24.1%. The Conservatives followed with 22.6%, with the NDP third at 19.3%, and the “Rest” (mostly Bill Casey in CCMV) coming in fourth. The Liberals were already running fifth overall in popular vote (at 14.1%) in these four seats. However, they did earn the minimum of 10% needed to receive a candidate rebate in 3 of the 4 seats, as did the NDP, while the Conservatives and Bloc only achieved that threshold in 2 of them. The Bloc obviously held both Quebec seats, while the Conservatives achieved two second-place finishes. The NDP had one seat and one second-place finish, with Independent M.P. Bill Casey making up the other seat. The Liberals had their one second-place standing in the fourth seat.

Turning to the charts, one trend that pops out is the decline in Liberal vote over the four previous elections. In the Transposition of the 2000 election results onto the current boundaries, the Liberals did not win a seat, but they did place second in all four seats, earning some 30% of the vote. Over the next three elections, they lost one second-place finish per election, and overall saw their vote share drop by half.

The Liberal vote was being pushed down by a combination of the rising NDP vote, a slight increase in the Green vote, a one-time increase in the Bloc vote in 2004, followed by an increase in the Conservative vote in 2006, and a huge increase in the Independent/Other vote in 2008. The NDP went from no second place finishes in 2000, to one in 2004, a seat in 2006 and one seat plus one second-place finish in 2008.

The Bloc has held its two seats since 2000 (we only show 2000 and forward here, as that’s all that is available for the current boundaries, but obviously they had held them since 1993). The Liberals held the CCMV predecessor seat for one term from 1993-1997, and the NDP held the NWC predecessor from 1988 to 1993. Apart from that, the Conservatives, Canadian Alliance and/or PCs had won the other two until 2006, when the NDP’s Dawn Black won in the BC seat, followed by 2008 which saw former PC and Conservative M.P. Bill Casey win re-election as an Independent.

As soon as the polls close in BC, I’ll post whatever I have by way of results in chart and table format at the top of the home page of the Pundits’ Guide website.

By-election Results for Posterity

March 27th, 2008 | 0 Comments

As previously mentioned, the by-election results analysis is now being retired from the top of the blog’s main page into this post. Time to move on, now … to general election nominations coverage, and more analysis of some new metrics I’ve been adding to the site. Meantime, here is the data that could be found at the punditsguide.ca home page during the week and a half following the by-elections.

Vancouver Quadra DMCR, SK Willowdale, ON Toronto Centre, ON
Winner MURRAY, Joyce (F) CLARKE, Robert G. (M) HALL FINDLAY, Martha (F) RAE, Bob (M)
Contest Lib-Cons Cons-Lib Lib-Cons Lib-NDP
Polls 237/237 182/182 270/270 275/275
%TO 34.0% 25.0% 24.4% 27.9%
Raw Margin 151 1696 6666 10875
Votes/Poll 0.6 9.3 24.7 39.5
% Margin 0.5% 16.2% 29.3% 45.6%
% Marg 1-3 21.6% 30.3% 53.6% 46.1%
% Marg 1-4 22.6% 44.8% 54.6% 47.1%

2008 By-elections Chart

Party Scorecard – 2008 By-election(s)
2008 By-election(s) Lib NDP Grn BQ Cons Rest
Vote Pct 48.3%
(-2.5%)
12.1%
(-4.9%)
10.1%
(+5.7%)
29.1%
(+1.7%)
0.4%
(+0.0%)
Seats 3
(-1)
1
(+1)
2nds 1
(+1)
1
(–)
2
(-1)
Rebate
Eligib.
4
(–)
3
(-1)
2
(+2)
4
(–)
Raw Vote 41136
(-59,207)
10297
(-23,202)
8645
(-211)
24780
(-29,205)
371
(-450)

March 17 By-Elections Wrap-up

March 18th, 2008 | 2 Comments

Tonight there is at least more women, one more aboriginal person, and one more former Premier in Parliament … and almost certainly one more recount.

In case you went to bed early on the east coast, Vancouver Quadra proved the surprise shocker of the evening, when with the last 2 polls reporting, the Liberals’ margin suddenly dropped dramatically to only 151 votes over the Conservatives … just 0.5% of the vote, or 0.6 votes per poll. Wow.

The other see-saw of the evening was the three-way battle for 2nd place in Toronto Centre between the NDP, Greens and Conservatives, but fortunately or unfortunately they don’t give recounts for that.

Looking at the Party Scorecard, the Liberals lost one seat to the Conservatives in Desnethé – Missinippi – Churchill River, the Greens increased their vote enough in two ridings to become eligible for a rebate of candidate election expenses, and the NDP and Liberals lost votes percentage-wise to the Greens and Conservatives.

In their skirmishes for who placed ahead of whom, the Greens and NDP will no doubt take consolation in their standings in Willowdale and Toronto Centre respectively.

But pundits will probably be looking more closely at the Vancouver Quadra results, since the Greens grew their vote substantially enough there (by 8.5 percentage points or so, 7 of them from the Liberals), with the Conservatives taking another 6.5 percentage points out of Liberal support on the other side, to nearly cost them the seat. Of note, this riding had the highest turn-out of the four tonight (that nice B.C. weather perhaps?), although none were as high as the turnouts in the three seats contested in Québec last fall.

Recounts rarely change final results to the tune of 150 votes, so Liberal Joyce Murray is probably safe in her victory in Quadra. But no candidate in that situation can truly breathe easy until the official count and recount are put to bed and the writ is returned to the Speaker.

Introducing the By-election Party Scorecard

March 16th, 2008 | 2 Comments

This afternoon, I’m introducing a scorecard to keep track of the parties’ performance on by-election night Monday.

Of course, winning a seat is the primary objective of a political party in any first-past-the-post system. However, pundits would get very bored if that were the only criteria for ranking things.

Therefore, I’ve compiled a summary table that shows at a glance where gains and losses are made on four other metrics as well: 2nd place finishes, percent of the vote, raw vote, and the number of seats in which a candidate achieved a sufficient vote percentage to become eligible for a rebate of election expenses (one metric, believe me, that the parties look at *very* closely … especially the ones for whom fund-raising and campaign finance is a major preoccupation).

The Party Scorecard table will appear at the top of the home page here (i.e., the blog’s main address) throughout the by-elections result period, and will stay as “live” as I can keep it that night. Then I’ll retire it to a blog-post for historical reference.

For an example of what you’ll find there, here’s what the Party Scorecard looked like for the past two sets of by-elections.

Party Scorecard – 2007 By-election(s)
2007 By-election(s) Lib NDP Grn BQ Cons Rest
Vote Pct 14.2%
(-3.0%)
17.1%
(+8.0%)
2.6%
(-1.7%)
28.1%
(-16.2%)
37.0%
(+12.2%)
1.0%
(+0.7%)
Seats (-1) 1
(+1)
1
(-1)
1
(+1)
2nds 1
(+1)
1
(–)
1
(-1)
Rebate
Eligib.
1
(–)
1
(–)
3
(–)
2
(-1)
Raw Vote 12104
(-10,076)
14587
(+2,729)
2197
(-3,374)
23891
(-33,311)
31480
(-474)
882
(+458)

A few things jump out of the 2007 By-election score-card: (i) the Conservatives although increasing their percentage of the vote, actually lost raw votes across the three ridings (Outremont, Roberval – Lac-Saint-Jean, and Saint-Hyacinthe – Bagot, all in Québec), and in fact dropped below the rebate threshold in Outremont, (ii) the NDP was the only party to increase both its raw vote and vote percentage, and (iii) the strong showing of the Green Party from the previous set of by-elections in 2006 (held in London North Centre, ON and Repentigny, QC) was not repeated in the 2007 group.

Party Scorecard – 2006 By-elections
2006 By-elections Lib NDP Grn BQ Cons Rest
Vote Pct 22.0%
(-3.0%)
10.9%
(-5.1%)
14.2%
(+9.9%)
29.8%
(-0.3%)
21.9%
(-2.3%)
1.2%
(+0.8%)
Seats 1
(–)
1
(–)
2nds 1
(+1)
1
(-1)
Rebate
Eligib.
1
(–)
1
(–)
1
(+1)
1
(–)
2
(–)
Raw Vote 15225
(-13,731)
7552
(-11,056)
9845
(+4,803)
20635
(-14,323)
15149
(-12,943)
836
(+393)

This last point is important to underscore, because by-elections are so highly volatile … they are ridings without incumbents, where parties are able to focus as much or as little attention on them as they like, and where the set of ridings in play is small and random and not usually representative of the political terrain as a whole.

[UPDATE: Blogger sucks at tables. I hope they fix that soon. :-(]