20 October 2008

The Big Blue Suck

BGGFWDanny Williams told Provincial Conservatives on the weekend something to the effect that the federal Liberals in the province were bouyed up by Provincial Conservatives.

He said something about Liberal's claiming there was a Red Tide - which no one has been talking about - being the result of some Blue bubble or other.

Nothing could be further from the truth, as he likes to say.

hsbbvFor your edification, amusement and general annoyance, here are the vote results for the ridings held before this last election by the same Liberals who won them again.

Note that the only significant variation - almost the only variation at all, in fact - was in the near complete collapse of the Conservative vote.

And that's all thanks to the Family Feud.

labradorBonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor?  Scott Simms increased his vote share as he has done in each election since 2004, but the Blue guys sank.

Ditto Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte where the family Feud just killed off Connies.  It didn't migrate appreciably to anyone else.

And then there's Labrador.  You needn't worry about the smaller parties. 

Just look at the Blue Line.

Almost too small to even notice.

In many parts of the province, the only noise in the election was a big sucking sound for the Blue team.

4 comments:

Jason Hickman said...

In many parts of the province, the only noise in the election was a big sucking sound for the Blue team.

... which makes Danny's argument: IF we assume that Danny's ABC campaign resulted in otherwise-Tory voters staying home, and if that in turn resulted in some seats going Grit that otherwise wouldn't have, then the Libs were "bouyed up" by what the provincial tories did and did not do during the campaign, including on election night.

Jason Hickman said...

As an aside, I'm reluctant to assume that you can draw a straight line between one cause in particular, and the results.

People change their vote - or don't vote at all - for various reasons, not all of which are in line with what people who are consistently tuned in to politics think.

Retirement of popular sitting MPs, the tone of the campaign generally, the strength of new NDP candidates in the two St John's ridings (especially Harris) - as well as other things that may not even occur to you or me - may explain why *individuals* changed their behaviour from last time.

(That said, I'm not obtuse enough to say/believe that ABC didn't have a big effect, probably the biggest effect, especially when it came to Tory voters sitting this one out, and/or crossing over. It just wasn't the only effect.)

Jason Hickman said...

er, cause.

(Ok, I'll stop talking now.)

Edward G. Hollett said...

Jason:

Throughout these posts on the results, I have tended to use conditional language since there is always that issue of individual voters and choices. Overall, though no one has detailed research.

Irespective of that, I believe the results show that the chief, main and in some cases only impact of the Family Feud was to suppress the Blue vote.

It did not push new votes into the Liberal camp, at least not in the four ridings west of Goobies. Nor did it push them into the NDP camp in any great number.

Given that it was developed, implemented and orchestrated entirely within the Provincial Conservative camp, I see a fairly obvious correlation.

East of Goobies we see a slightly different set of reactions: suppression in Avalon, suppression and huge migration in the East and suppression and small migration in the south.

There was nothing in this election to cause an influx of new voters, even in the East. The turnouts have been fairly consistent for several elections now, thus it seemed fairly logicial to conclude that, for the most part, we are workign with roughly the same voter pool throughout.

In Harris' case there were three main factors, in no particular order, that explain the high vote count (but not radically increased turnout):

1. Blue suppression accompanied by an apparent orchestrated campaign to drive Blue voters to Harris as the preferred Feud choice;
2. Harris as a well-known and respected candidate coupled with a good NDP campaign on the ground;
3. Implosion of the Liberal campaign in the riding.

This all goes back to your point:

"IF we assume that Danny's ABC campaign resulted in otherwise-Tory voters staying home, and if that in turn resulted in some seats going Grit that otherwise wouldn't have, then the Libs were "bouyed up" by what the provincial tories did and did not do during the campaign, including on election night."

The only seats in potential contention were on the Avalon and they were only placed in contention by the Feud. That action made it possible for two seats to go red and one orange.

No one that I know of spoke about a Liberal tide since the vote patterns and the mood on the ground seemed obviously against that idea.

By the same token it seems to me to be foolish to suggest (as the Premier apparently did) that the Liberals owed their wins to him.

That is true in two seats, but that is all. Andrews, for one, owes the seat to Danny. Had he run a different campaign, he might be able to downplay that aspect. He didn't and he can't.

Jack Harris by contrast would have been a strong candidate if not the winner in his own right any way. Next time out I expect that seat to be a blue versus orange fight A strong Liberal might further bleed votes away from the NDP. The intensity of the fight may well bring voters into play who simply sat out one or two or three previous campaigns.

In Avalon, a lot depends on what Andrews does in themeantime to keep building his support. Incumbency has its advantages and he'd better make use of them.

Ditto the South. I expect that race next time will be a straight Blue versus Red fight with someone like Tom Osborne for the Conservatives. As with the East, the intensity of the fight might increase voter turnout in the riding.



Four were and remain Liberal based on voter choice that is consistent across three separate elections. The only variable is the Feud and the only variable produced a fairly clear impact but only on one category: the Blue one.