I believe it was a huge error of Elizabeth May to choose Saanich Gulf Islands as the riding to run in as the numbers are not there for her to win it.
In her two previous runs for office as Green Party leader she has not managed to get past 1/3 of the vote. In the November 27th 2006 London North Central by-election she achieved 25.84% of the vote. In the 2008 election she ran in Central Nova and managed 32.24%, she benefited from the lack of a Liberal candidate in Central Nova.
In Saanich Gulf Islands she is running against Gary Lunn, a five time winner in the riding. He has ranged from 34.57% to 43.43% of the cote in the riding. He has achieved 43% of the vote three times out of the five elections. It is not realistic to think his vote will drop below 38% and the safe bet is to look at him getting 43% of the vote.
In the last election the Liberals did everything they could to try and win the riding with Briony Penn. They managed to get the NDP candidate to resign, though his name was still on the ballot. The pressured the Greens not to run. With all this the Liberals could not get to 40% of the vote.
So what is the theoretical amount of votes Elizabeth May could get? Let us assume that the NDP and Liberals finish as they have with their lowest percentage when running an active candidate - that is 18% for the Liberals in 1988 and 8% for the NDP in 2000. This means 26% of the vote is not available to Elizabeth May.
This leaves 74% of the vote for Gary Lunn and Elizabeth May. At 43% of the vote for Gary Lunn, Elizabeth May is at 31%. For Elizabeth May to win, she needs to 37.5% of the vote, meaning Gary Lunn has to fall to 36.5% of the vote. I am not all convinced that Gary Lunn will lose that much of his vote in this election. It also means Elizabeth May, a parachute candidate, has to better than she has ever done before and this time she has a Liberal candidate as well that feels like she is within range of winning.
Realistically the Liberals will do better than 18% and the NDP better than 8%. If takes only a small increase on either parties part to make it mathematically impossible for Elizabeth May to win.
The NDP and the Liberals are going to everything can to make sure Elizabeth May does not win, it is not in their interest to have her win a seat. I expect Renee Hetherington of the Liberals to spend the maximum in the campaign.
I expect Gary Lunn to win by more than 10 percentage points and for Elizabeth May and the Liberals to finish roughly even.