Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Federal Election in Rural BC

Skeena Bulkley Valley

Comfortably held by Nathan Cullen of the NDP. His total vote dropped, but his percentage of the vote increased putting him a hair under 50% and therefore one of the MPs in Canada with a real mandate from his riding. Nathan has been a decent MP for the region and puts effort into serving his area, though I know there are people on the right that would prefer not to approach him.

It is a shame Sharon Smith, mayor of Houston, did not win. She would have been a good addition to the Harper government.

The big loser in this area are the Liberals. The party was reduced to less than 200 votes and 5.6% of the vote. Effectively tied with the Greens and only 805 votes ahead of the Christian Heritage Party. In 2004 the Liberals thought they had a chance to win this riding and nominated Miles Richardson. In 2000 they came second in the old Skeena riding. The party has given up here.

Mary-Etta Goodacre ran for the Canada Action Party and polled a total of 108 votes. She is the wife of former NDP MLA Bill Goodacre.

Cariboo Prince George

Dick Harris is back for the Conservatives and he has moved the vote for the party nicely above 50%. The riding looks unassiable safe Conservative ground.

The NDP nominated a dubious candidate in Bev Collins. Bev Collins was formerly very active in the Canadian Action Party. CAP is a party I find distrubing because of their fortress mentality nationalism that seeks an "other" to blame. She did manage to keep the NDP at the same percent of the vote as in the past two elections.

This riding is also one where the Liberals really suffered. They managed to get enough votes to get their election expenses reimbursed, but barely. The Liberals have never come close to doing this badly in this riding, or the predecessor. In the darkest anti-Trudeau the party did not do this badly.

Prince George Peace River
Jay Hill easily won here for the Conservatives and even boosted the party percentage of the vote.

The NDP remained in a distant second spot with their vote holding.

The Greens managed to break 10% and will get reimbursed their election expenses.

The Liberals came fourth with 8.5%, about 1/2 of what the party has done in the past. The amount they likely spent in the riding is not much, so the amount they will not get back is not that important.

Kamloops - Thompson - Cariboo
This was an open seat as Betty Hinton of the Conservatives did not run again. Cathy McLeod did win it again for the Conservatives and with a higher percentage of the vote. She managed to get 46% of the vote. The riding has been considered one all three parties could win and has often been won with only 40% of the vote.

The NDP held much of this riding as Kamloops under Nelson Riis. Michael Crawford brought the NDP vote up to a healthy 35.9%, another rise of 5 percentage points over the last election. Michael also ran for the NDP here in 2006.

Ken Sommerfield also repeated for the Liberals, but saw a 60% drop in his percentage of the vote. He barely managed to stay above 10% and only marginally ahead of the Greens. His result makes this a two person race next time.

Okanagan Shuswap
Former Salmon Arm mayor Colin Mayes is back again as a Conservative MP. He pushed his vote back over 50%.

The NDP ran Alice Brown for the third time but the vote dropped to just under 20%. The NDP did win this riding in 1988.

The Greens placed third here with Huguette Allen and 17.3% of the vote. She was a bit short of 10 000 votes, but this is still one of the best Green results in the election.

The Liberals, like everywhere else in the interior, did very badly here. Not only did they come fourth, they did not break 10%

Kootenay Columbia
Jim Abbott put up a strong win again, this time just short of 60%. Jim is one of the last member of the '93 Reformers.

The NDP more or less held their own.

The Greens came third and just managed to break the magic 10% number.

The Liberals were once again badly behind with less than 10% of the vote.

BC Southern Interior
Alex Atamanenko had a commanding win which put to rest the question of the 2006 election where the Conservative candidate withdrew but still had his name on the ballot.

Robert Zandee for the Conservatives came second with 35.6% of the vote, not really very close.

This is another third place finish for the Greens, but just short of the 10% needed.

One more place where the Liberals did very badly, only 6.9% of the vote.

Okanagan Coquihalla
Stock Day cruised home to another win and boosted his vote to 58.2%

The other three parties all came in at 12.1% to 16.5% in the vote, though the Liberals came fourth here

Kelowna - Lake Country
Another strong Conservative win, with all three other parties finishing in the mid teens for support.

Vancouver Island North
Round three of John Duncan versus Catherine Bell. John Duncan is back as the Conservative MP for this riding with the strongest win of the three contests. His percentage rose by five points in the last two elections.

Catherine Bell hung onto the same vote she had last time, but this was not enough to win again.

The Greens came a distant third with 8% of the vote.

The Liberal did not even break 5% of the vote

Overall Analysis

Rural BC has two parties, the Conservatives and the NDP. Other than Vancouver Island North, the ridings were comfortably won by the incumbent party.

The Liberals have utterly abandoned this region, their vote is lower than ever and in many cases at the levels fringe parties achieve. They are effectively tied for third with the Greens in a region that has more people than Nova Scotia.

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