16 February 2011

Humber West post mortem

Granter won. 

Watton lost.

Myers came a distant third.

Tories held the seat and they still do.

That’s the simple result and for the truly simple, that’s all they will see:  no change.

Take a deeper look, though, and  you have a really interesting set of results. The figures used in this post are from Elections Newfoundland and Labrador’s website.

Over the three Danny elections, he polled an average of 3728 votes.  In the 2001 by-election, Williams polled 3606.  In 2003, Williams polled 3823 and in 2007, he actually polled fewer votes:  3755.

Vaughn Granter polled 2109 votes.  That’s 56% of Danny’s average over three elections.  He took 63% of the turnout but consider that Granter left home almost one Tory vote for every Tory vote he got.

Of course, it wasn’t Granter who left them home although the results suggest this was not any great endorsement of the local high school principal.  This by-election was really about Tom Marshall, Danny’s West Coast organizer.  Marshall campaigned hard for Granter, right down to an attack on ACAP debate organizers and their integrity.  And then there was the curious decision to leave the Premier home and bring out Danny Williams for some last minute campaigning. 

But still, for all that the Tories only managed to get 56% of Danny’s vote to the polls.
Meanwhile, Liberal Mark Watton garnered 1097 votes in his first time out.  That’s actually larger than the three-election average of 1088. The Liberals turned out 79% of the average for 2001 and 2003, their best results during the Danny Williams period.

Turnout was also down, coming in at  slightly less than 40%.  Turnout in the two general elections and the 2001 were – chronologically – 53%, 61% and 60%.

So sure, on the surface things look the same now as they did last December as far as seat count goes.

Just below the surface, though, lots of things seem to be changing.

- srbp -