Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Canada held four by-elections yesterday and the results can be seen here. The clear winners in the four were the Conservatives and the NDP, the Liberals came out a bit worse than before, and the Bloc had the worst showing of the night.
First the results:
|NDP-New Democratic Party||Fin Donnelly||12,129||49.6|
|Green Party||Rebecca Helps||1,046||4.3|
|Liberal||Ken Beck Lee||2,514||10.3|
This riding was originally NDP, and it was thought that the Conservatives might take it but no such luck for them.
|NDP-New Democratic Party||Mark Austin||6,267||25.7|
|Green Party||Jason Blanch||807||3.3|
|Christian Heritage Party||Jim Hnatiuk||776||3.2|
This riding was last held by a Conservative MP named Bill Casey who later became an independent after breaking with the Conservative caucus and it was thought that there might be some backlash against the Conservatives for their worsened relationship with a politician so popular in the area, but they won here quite handily. Not even close to as much as Casey's winning margins (last time he got almost 70% as an independent) mind you. Note who got in second place here: the NDP, not the Liberals.
|Green Party||Christine Lebel||571||3.3|
|Bloc Québécois||Daniel Paillé||8,972||51.2|
|NDP-New Democratic Party||Jean-Claude Rocheleau||3,421||19.5|
Hochelaga was no contest and everyone knew it would be an easy win for the Bloc, so the interesting number here is who took second place: once again it was the NDP, not the Liberals.
|Bloc Québécois||Nancy Gagnon||10,737||37.7|
|NDP-New Democratic Party||François Lapointe||1,363||4.8|
|Green Party||Charles A. Marois||472||1.7|
This last riding was an upset victory for the Conservatives as it was a riding that had been held by the Bloc, and winning a riding like this is extremely important for them in marketing themselves as the only federalist option in Quebec. For a while the Conservatives had been down in the polls in Quebec due to funding for arts and Stephen Harper's calling the Bloc separatists last year when the Liberals attempted to form a coalition with the other parties, but that seems to be becoming a thing of the past.
So, to sum up the results for the parties, they are as follows:
Conservatives: 1st, 1st, 2nd, 4th
NDP: 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 4th
Liberals: 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd
Bloc: 1st, 2nd
You can see that the Liberals have nothing to cheer about. One consolation for them is that these were all ridings where they weren't expected to win, but still with these results the NDP will be able to make the case that they are the true opposition party and deserve all the votes that don't go toward the Conservatives next time around. The NDP's problem has always been that of being a distant fourth or fifth place, meaning that they have been unable to draw support from strategic voters that simply want their side of the political spectrum to win.
It may also help to bleed support from the Greens as well, since they once again weren't able to come close to winning a seat and voters tired of supporting a losing ticket may turn to the NDP instead.