Friday, September 21, 2012

The NDP Nomination Race - 1300 party members will likely chose our next MP

We have three strong candidates in the race to be the NDP nominee in the Victoria Federal by-election and there is still one more strong candidate out there considering running who will make a decision over the weekend.   It will be an interesting race and will almost all happen outside of the view of the public.

The date of the nomination meeting is October 14th, which as far as I understand the rules, means you have to have been a member by mid July to be eligible to vote.   This is relevant because it means no one can do any mass sign up of members in the lead up to the nomination.  It is about convincing the existing members to support you.

So how many members are there?   The membership of the BC NDP was 38,735 in February of this year, I assume it has not dropped much since then.  If that membership is divided roughly equally across the province there should be about  1,000 members locally.  If we pro-rate that based on ridings federally and provincially that are held by the NDP having higher memberships, Victoria should have between 1250 and 1400 members, I am going call it 1300 for simplicity   

These 1300 members will be the ones to choose the NDP candidate for the by-election.   If we assume that turn out will be between 50% and 60%, it will take around 350 to 375 votes to win the nomination.   So which of the candidates can get those votes?

Murray Rankin has the backing of many people but most importantly Michael Eso of the Victoria Labour Council, MLA Rob Fleming and Moe Sihota.   All three of them have strong connections to the members of the Victoria federal riding membership.  Each one them should be able to bring votes to the table.  Yes his other endorsements are impressive, but this race is about getting members to vote and it is the personal connections built up over years that matter.

Elizabeth Cull has John Horgan and Marianne Alto who both have reasons to know a good chunk of the membership in the riding.  Elizabeth Cull also has a stronger personal knowledge of campaigning on the ground.  I am not convinced the three of them have as much local member knowledge as Team Rankin does.

Charley Beresford has an impressive endorsement in the form of Michael Byers but she does not seem to have anyone with the on ground knowledge of the membership in Victoria that she needs to win.   She needs someone like Erik Kaye to come board with her to have any chance at all.

At this point I would put the advantage in the race with Murray Rankin because I think Eso, Fleming and Sihota to bring at least 250 votes to him.

Keeping in mind that is very hard to be certain of much when it comes to an internal party nomination, here is my current estimate of the vote:

  • Murray Rankin  380
  • Elizabeth Cull 300 
  • Charley Beresford 60 
  • Total vote 740

Yes, I think that Murray Rankin will win on the first ballot.

If the fourth candidate does enter I see the vote as:

  • Murray Rankin  350
  • Elizabeth Cull 280
  • Candidate X 100
  • Charley Beresford 50
  • Total vote 780

If Candidate X runs, I think it will go to second ballot but Murray Rankin will still win because he will be close to winning on the first ballot.

As I can glean more information I will post here and update what I think will happen in the nomination.
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