Doing things differently.
That’s what the Liberal campaign was all about.
Now we have to see if Ball and the Liberals actually put that into action.
What the commentariat missed
The Liberal campaign platform wasn’t about the details of what the Liberals would do. It was about how the Liberals would do things.
Not surprisingly, that confused lots of folks used to cheering enthusiastically for a different approach to politics.
One provincial party
When only one party out of three runs a province-wide campaign, don’t expect voter turn-out to be a record.
The Conservatives and New Democrats abandoned their party campaigns two weeks into the official writ period in order to focus on desperately saving as many seats as they could.
That’s basically what the last three provincial elections have looked like in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The next two weeks
Over the next couple of weeks, the Liberals will have to make up a cabinet, hire staff, and do all the other things you do when you win an election.
There’ll be plenty of work to do.
Problem for the Liberals is that they won’t have any honeymoon, at least from the townie media. Questions about finances will start right away after the new finance minister is sworn in. They’ll get worse once he or she delivers a financial statement.
Things won’t get easier.
The next two years
Lorraine Michael is the de facto NDP leader, again.
She won’t be around two years from now.
The NDP will be politically impotent, as they usually are. The shape of the 2019 election will be determined in part on who replaces Lorraine as leader.
How long will Paul last?
The opposition Conservatives will likely unleash Steve Kent as their chief attack dog in the House of Assembly.
But how long will we have to wait until the Conservatives find a new leader to take them into the 2019 election?
Kent can only play second fiddle for so long before he goes after the job he wants within his own party on the way to get the job he craves.
The Conservatives won in 2011 with 32% of eligible vote.
The Liberals won a majority in 2015 with a little over 31% of the eligible vote.
The Conservatives won majorities in 2003 and 2007 with 42% of the eligible vote each time.
The Liberals’ base is on the west coast of the island. Starting in LaPoile, they racked up obscenely big victories. The Conservatives, by contrast, are strongest on the opposite corner of the .island.
While the Conservatives held onto seats in metro St. John’s and re-took Conception Bay South, the Liberals broke into the traditional Tory strongholds in St. John’s proper.
Were the polls wrong?
On the face of it, the answer might be yes.
On closer inspection, it’s hard to know since the polls never purported to forecast the election. None of them polled voters. They all polled those eligible to vote, including the 45% who just didn’t show up at the polls.