Monday, August 27, 2012

The Greens and the Victoria Federal Riding

If I were looking around the country for a riding that could be won by the Greens one of the ones on the top of my list would be Victoria.    Over the last six elections Victoria has been one of the best results for the Greens in each election.   The only other riding in the country that has had the same degree of consistent success isSaanich-Gulf Islands.  The next tier includes ridings such as Calgary Centre, British Columbia Southern Interior, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, Okanagan-Shuswap, Wildrose and Dufferin Caledon.

The table shows how the Victoria riding did in each of the last elections and how it placed among the Green ridings:
Year        Vic %  Grn Nat Avg
2011 -  6th 11.61% 3.91%
2008 - 31st 10.55% 6.78%
2006 - 13th  8.13% 4.48%
2004 -  2nd 11.69% 4.29%
2000 -  2nd  5.86% 0.81% (2.20% avg in the ridings where Greens ran) (leader Joan Russow running)
1997 -  2nd  5.37% 0.43% (1.61% avg in the ridings where Greens ran) (leader Joan Russow running)

The table shows that Victoria has consistently been more supportive of the Greens than almost anywhere else in the country.   The worst finish was still just on the cusp of one of the top 10% of all Green party results in the country.   Victoria has also either been the best or second best Green result on the Island.

 Some of the ridings where the Greens have often had some of their best results have been in places where the seat was a very safe Conservative one such as Wildrose, Calgary Centre or Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.   These are ridings where the NDP and Liberals not really trying at all and a distant second place is still not all close to winning.  

Victoria is a riding where other than in 2011 no one has been winning with a majority of the votes.  In 1997 and 2004 the riding was won by the Liberals with only 35% of the vote. Victoria has the potential to be a three or four way race which means the Greens do not need to grow as much as elsewhere to win.

I have thought for a long time that Victoria would be an easier riding for the Greens to win than Saanich-Gulf Islands.  Now with a win in the neighbouring riding, I think the odds of the Greens winning Victoria is higher.

Parties win seats when their support becomes concentrated.   Vancouver Island in general has been good to the Greens and that is not just because Elizabeth May won Saanich-Gulf Islands in 2011.   

In the last four elections all six island ridings have been among the top 33% of Green results in the country.  In 2004 they were in all in the top 10%.  In the last six elections there was only one time in one riding they did not run a candidate.

How each riding ranked among Green results in each election.
  • Saanich Gulf Islands - won by Elizabeth May
  • Victoria 6th 
  • Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca 13th  
  • Nanaimo-Cowichan 15th  
  • Nanaimo-Alberni 20th
  • Vancouver Island North 49th
  • Nanaimo Alberni 17th  
  • Victoria 31st
  • Saanich-Gulf Islands 33rd
  • Nanaimo Cowichan 47th
  • Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca 78th
  • Vancouver Island North 86th
  • Saanich-Gulf Islands 9th  
  • Victoria 13th 
  • Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca 55th
  • Nanaimo-Alberni 68th
  • Nanaimo-Cowichan 83rd
  • Vancouver Island North 97th
  • Saanich-Gulf Islands 1st 
  • Victoria 2nd  
  • Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca 6th  
  • Vancouver Island North 8th 
  • Nanaimo-Alberni 15th
  • Nanaimi-Cowichan 27th 
2000 - only 111 out of 301 ridings had Green candidates
  • Victoria 2nd 
  • Saanich-Gulf Islands 3rd 
  • Vancouver Island North 4th  
  • Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca 9th  
  • Nanaimo-Cowichan 31st
  • Nanaimo-Alberni No Green
1997 - only 79 out of 295 ridings had Green candidates
  • Victoria 2nd  
  • Vancouver Island North 5th 
  • Saanich-Gulf Islands 8th 
  • Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca 10th  
  • Nanaimo-Cowichan 18th  
  • Nanaimo-Alberni 37th
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