Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Run Down of the Seven Local Ridings

There are seven seats in the local area and I believe that six of them are forgone conclusions. The Liberals did badly in 2005 because there was a strong back lash from civil servants, but that anger has largely muted.

Victoria Swan Lake
Rob Flemming won Victoria Hillside easily in 2005. The redrawn boundaries marginally go against him, but his win margin should still be high. He also should have a small incumbent benefit this time around.

Victoria Beacon Hill
Carole James won here very comfortably in 2005 and will have a slightly friendlier riding this time from the boundary changes.

Oak Bay Gordon Head
Ida Chong won by a narrow margin last time but the redrawn boundaries make this riding safer for her. For the NDP to win here would take a dramatic shift in provincial public opinion. If the economy is the issue, the Liberals will benefit.

Saanich North and the Islands
Murray Coell easily won for the Liberals last time and should not be under any threat of losing. The NDP will have to explain to the green Gulf Islanders why they do not believe that the carbon tax is a good idea - good luck with that.

Juan de Fuca
This is the where John Horgan will be running for the NDP. The numbers for 2005 indicate a safe NDP seat.

Esquimalt Royal Roads
Maurine Karajianis won this easily in 2005 as Esquimalt Metchosin. The numbers are there for her to win again. The only potential wildcard would be Jane Sterk, the Green Party leader, but I have seen little evidence of the Greens being ready to run a vigorous campaign in this election. It would a province wide NDP melt down for this to be anything other than an NDP win.

Saanich South
The only riding in this region that is up for grabs. Robin Adair is carrying the flag for the Liberals and Lana Popham for the NDP. Both of them has some reasonable name recognition. The new boundaries favour the Liberals. If all else from 2005 is the same, the Liberals will win. In this riding it will come down to several factors

  1. Will green New Democracts stay home or vote Green because of the NDP's odd decision to get rid of the carbon tax?
  2. Will the Liberals be able to get out the voters that stayed home in 3005?
  3. Will the NDP have the resources and campaign needed to get out the vote here?
  4. Will the fear of the economy drive undecided voters to the Liberals?

At the moment I give the edge to the Liberals in this race. Lana Popham is one of the strongest NDP candidates anywhere in the province and only second to John Horgan locally, but candidates in our current electoral system typically only make a major difference in the decision making of a small percent of the public.

On May 13th I expect us to have three Liberals and four New Democrats elected as MLAs in this region.
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