Saturday, January 21, 2006

Halifax as a Bellweather (of a sort)

Just sent an email to Cosh in response to his bleg for opinions of the bellweather ridings, and figured I might as well post the gist of the contents:

Here's a case for Halifax as a bellweather, the riding where I'll be voting NDP on Monday. Although Dartmouth-Cole Harbour will likely be closer and more open for change if a switch is gonna come.

Alexa's support has dropped since she stepped down as leader, and her margin of victory was the smallest of ANY Maritime riding last time around, if you can believe it. I am almost sure she will win this time, it is the numbers that will be interesting. In 2004, a popular local city council member stood for the Liberals and made a nice run. She also picked up a lot of support due to an ineffectual and ratherAlliance-ish candidate. This time, Martin MacKinnon is viewed by many as another Martin Yes-man. The flyer received in the mailbox this morning was a simple generic Liberal one that didn't mention his name. The Conservative candidate is a young, personable lawyer I met at one of the NewYear's levees, poised to do quite well. I would even consider voting for him if not for his (personal) rather dogmatic views on the social issues.

Alexa's done a lot for the left in Nova Scotia and I don't mind supporting her as my MP. So why watch Halifax? The drop in support for the Liberal candidate compared to 2004 will be revealing as a reflection of support for Martin. It should prove an early sign of how reasonable, progressive voters in larger cities prone to scepticism will vote. Will they drift away from the NDP to the Liberal alternative? Will provincially Progressive Conservatives vote CPC?

[The results of 2004 are here. In short, Alexa 41.5%, Liberal 39.1%, Conservative 14.7%.]

If the Conservative guy climbs into the 22% + range, I'd venture the Martinis in for a long night.

Dartmouth is the opposite, a very popular personable candidate in Mike Savage will likely win re-election against perennial campaign loser Mancini for the NDP. People will be pointing to this as an earlier indication of the NDP's failure to retake Liberal seats, but they will be wrong. Savage's win will be to his credit alone. As Wendy Lill's successive victories were tributes to her performance. There aren't a lot of ridings in the country where I would even consider voting Liberal this time 'round, but Dartmouth-Cole Harbour is one of them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

very scary:

very funny:

6:18 PM  
Blogger Barrelman said...

Two things:

The NDP candidate on the dark side was actually booed off stage the other day.

Second, all of Alexa's people are organizing on the dark side - they're taking Halifax for granted.

11:24 PM  

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