15 October 2008

St. John's South-Mount Pearl: a quick look at the results

sjsmp - vote by partyThe Family Feud had a pretty clear impact on the vote result in St. John's South-Mount Pearl.

The difference between the Conservative vote in 2006 and the Conservative vote in 2008 is the increase in Liberal and New Democrat vote, a smattering of votes for the other candidates and a large group (almost 3,000) that apparently didn't vote.

These would be almost entirely Provincial Conservatives who were constrained in their choices by activities within their own normal political camp.

The New Democrats were primary beneficiary of the Feud with an increased vote of 5810.  Some 2927 didn't vote, apparently.  The Liberal vote share increased by 2635.

Overall turnout was slightly above that of 2004 - when there was another spat within the Conservative party - but the total count of eligible voters increased as well from 2004 to 2008.

Liberal and New Democratic vote share did not change appreciably from 2004 to 2006.  The increase in Conservative vote in 2006, compared to 2004, can be attributed to a suppression that resulted from internal problems between the Provincial and federal Conservatives.  In 2006, the Provincial Conservatives supported their federal brethren openly.



Peter said...

I don't get the constrained choice argument. Voting is still conducted in private. How would threats and such prevent die-hard Conservatives from going to the polls? They could parrot the ABC rhetoric all they want and then vote Tory anyway. ABC didn't mean "don't vote at all." All it could have done is suppress the ability to campaign, which it did.
Peter Jackson

wilson said...

Danny's bought and paid for ABC campaign aside,
I'm confused as to why Newfoundlanders, in an oil rich province,
voted in the anti-oil and pro-economy killing enviro policy MP's?

Can you please explain the thought process to me?

Danny William's name was not on the ballot, what did he win?

Edward G. Hollett said...


I don't get the notion of constrained vote choice which isn't mentioned here.

What exactly do you mean by that?

Edward G. Hollett said...


There's know allowing for your assumptions.

wilson said...

?? know, now, no???

Edward G. Hollett said...

No allowing.

Peter said...

"... and a large group (almost 3,000) that apparently didn't vote.
These would be almost entirely Provincial Conservatives who were constrained in their choices by activities within their own normal political camp."

Edward G. Hollett said...

Sorry, Peter. My bad.

In looking at St. John's South-Mount Pearl, it seemed to me fairly obvious that what had occupied the undecided camp in the NTV poll, for example, were closeted Blue voters.

That is, people who ordinarily vote Conservative identified in the poll as "undecided."

If you look at the three elections, the turnout and vote numbers are fairly consistent for the three major parties. As well, it's fairly well established that the provincial and federal political parties of the same stripe share cash, candidates and workers as well as voters. There is some vote swinging but it isn't a large chunk of the electorate.

When I did the addition and subtraction, division and multiplication there was obviously a group of not quite 3,000 who - odds are - were primarily Provincial Conservatives who opted not to vote.

Given the level of Family Feud campaigning in the riding (no less than four cabinet ministers working with Coady at one point) and given they had a couple of choices (at least) I concluded that these 2900 or 3000 must have been people who would normally have voted Blue, likely voted Blue federally at least once in the past, but who just couldn't do it this time.

They couldn't be coaxed or cajoled to vote for one of the other parties. They identify - most likely as Conservatives - and therefore are inclined to follow along with the party position.

The ABC was entirely a Provincial Conservative operation from the leader through to the guy paying the bills.

Their natural choice was cut off - hence the constraint - and so they opted to stay home rather than vote. In my experience some voter sentiment is quite strong. In parts of SJSMP, there are people who are staunchly Conservative to a degree that might amaze you.

Voting for that particular segment is likely very strong and it is entirely a binary choice: Blue or Nothing.

There wouldn't have to be any arm twisting or literal constraint. It's just that in the dynamic of the whole election campaign and with the ABC it seemed the most logical conclusion.

Now that I think of it, the variation for Hearn between 04 and 06 is about the same number. It might just be a coincidence but based on my own experience and the vote results, I conclude these people are Blues who would have voted Conservative without the intervention by the Family Feud.

Peter said...

Perhaps a little over-analyzed, but I get the gist of it. Thanks.

sa said...