17 June 2012

How tenuous a grip indeed #nlpoli

To some people the provincial Conservatives are in fine political shape.  They are so firmly entrenched in power that they can afford to piss people off, to polarise the electorate.

There is always time to recover.

Yeah well, when you humble e-scribbler started predicting that Danny Williams would not run for a third term, plenty of people thought that was crazy too, and said so.  18 months before the event it seemed impossible.  Even a few weeks and days in advance, the Old Man looked like he planned to stay until he died in office.

Funny how things change.

labradore offers us a look ahead to the next general election in October 2015, just for shits and giggles as they say.

The focus of his post is the number of votes you would have to turn in order to unseat some of the supposedly rock solid Connies.  labradore looks at the margins of victory in the last election.

On the low end of the scale, you have Clyde Jackman – unlikely to run again anyway – who won by a mere 21 votes last time.  There’s still a court case challenging that result by the way.

In Sin Jawns West, Dan Crummell could find himself with nothing left to do but go on the beer in a few years time.  He only won his seat by 138 votes in 2011. Steve Kent, in Mount Pearl North (not South, as labradore has it) won by 351 votes.

A few others on the low end of the scale are also Tories who will likely quit before the next election.  That would include Joan Burke in St. George’s Stephenville East.

You have to work your way to the end, though to understand the crux of labradore’s point.  it is very simple and it is merely a matter of numbers:

To reduce the Progressive Conservatives to a minority government, would mean flipping 8,549 … votes [across the province].

To relegate them to the opposition benches outright, would mean flipping 20,174 votes.

Those may sound like big numbers. But they represent, respectively, 2.2% and 5.3% of the total number of eligible provincial electors.

The Tories only won the last election with 32% of eligible voters. 

And since then their polling trend has been downward.

Their grip on power might just be extremely tenuous.