Jun. 21, 2019

Greens could shake up the October federal election

Canada could be in for a major shakeup in the October general election. I rely on the Calculated Politics (calculatedpolitics.com) poll, an aggregation of dozens of other polls, giving a much greater sampling. 

Four months from a general election, the current snapshot of the electorate is extremely interesting. In May, Calculated Politics had the Green party projected to win two seats, which happened with Paul Manly’s election. Now the Greens are forecast to elect six members of Parliament, five from British Columbia. Projections pick Manly and party leader Elizabeth May to win re-election, joined by MPs from Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, Saanich-Gulf Island and Victoria.

The Greens have just under 12 per cent of national support, closing in on the NDP’s 14 per cent. But based on national distribution of the vote, the NDP would elect 26 MPs. A lot could change in the next four months.

The race at the top is also eye-opening here in the West as the Conservatives have 35 per cent support nationally and the Liberals nearly 31 per cent. That would translate into 155 Tory seats and 134 for the Liberals, a minority government since there are 338 seats in the next election, needing 170 for a majority.

In British Columbia, the Conservatives have 32 per cent support with the Liberals at 26.3. The Greens are not far behind at nearly 20 per cent while the NDP is at 16.7. Seat projections have the Conservatives at 22, the Liberals at 10 and the Greens and NDP each at five seats in this province.

The Prairies are still Conservatives country, at 48.7 per cent for 22 seats. The Liberals have 22 per cent, projecting to five seats. The NDP has 17 per cent while the Greens have 8.4 per cent. 

Calculated Politics was accurate in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection, correctly predicting the Manly Green Party victory. The vote percentage was almost dead on at 37.3 per cent. Conservative John Hirst came in second with about 25 per cent and the NDP’s Bob Chamberlin finished third with 23 per cent.

The projections, up to June 20, confirm Green support in this electoral district remains steady at 38 per cent with the Conservatives and NDP still neck at neck. The Conservatives have 23 per cent support, and the NDP one point behind, well within the margin of error.  Of note, the top three finishers have already chosen their candidates for the October election, going with the same candidates. The Liberals who have not named a candidate, drop from 13 per cent in May to 11 in the latest poll.

The only thing we can be sure of is that all of these numbers will most likely change over the next four months.

Merv Unger is a retired journalist, living in Nanaimo, B.C.