Previous Prediction - 2009 Provincial Election
Pundits’ Guide - 2008 Prepresentation Order
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| ||13 05 13
|If the BC Conservatives win any seat on election night expect it to be this riding.|
| ||13 05 12
||Advance Voting Analyst|
|Advance voting patterns in the eight northern ridings again reminded us that this riding does indeed face east. Growth in advance polling here mirrored the four Prince George/Peace ridings rather than the relative steadiness or decline in the three northwestern ridings. Even if the Conservative candidate is as much of a threat as posters here would suggest, it is hard to imagine him either siphoning off enough votes for this riding to go to the NDP or to win outright himself. His performance might be on par with Arthur Hadland in Peace River North four years ago -- enough to position him as a serious contender for the next election. Nechako Lakes is the riding that will tip the seat balance in the north to the Liberals, even though it appears the NDP will win the popular vote in the north. |
| ||13 05 11
|Battle will be decided by right of centre voters in Vanderhoof and Houston. Expect a tight three way contest but NDP unlikely to win and Rustad does not deserve re-election. Process of elimination means Dan Brooks will be new MLA. Strong conservative following in Vanderhoof and Houston, coupled with a strong, well-liked candidate in Dan Brooks will likely see Conservatives win their one and only seat in Nechako Lakes. |
| ||13 05 08
|It's not often that Nechako Lakes (previously known as Omineca) is a riding to watch on Election Night, but it will be on May 14. Both the BC Liberal incumbent (Rustad) and the NDP challenger (Skidmore-Hewlett) are weak candidates who have run weak campaigns, while the BC Conservative newcomer (Brooks) has turned in powerful performances at the all candidates debates. Hard to see anyone getting more than 40% of the vote, but Brooks likely will prevail -- and soon afterward likely will succeed Cummins as party leader.|
| ||13 05 07
|Left this one late because I'm not extremely confident about this - but I think the deciding factor here will be the advantage of incumbency (such as it is in an election going against the government). While not quite as right-leaning as it's neighbouring Peace River ridings to the East...nor is it as left wing as the others surrounding it. It's quite literally caught in the middle. Given improving Liberal polling and the collapsing of Conservative support, I'm banking on Rustad's ability to get his vote out - he does have a 20-point margin to work from. I think he'll make it.|
| ||13 04 29
||A Concerned Citizen|
|Recent provincial polls suggest support for the Conservatives is slipping, but some 'Non-Partisans' maintain it's secretly growing. The polls also suggest at most 15% support for the Conservatives in the Interior and Northern ridings, but some 'Non-Partisans' believe it's actually 34% in Nechako Lakes.|
Perhaps there are a few midnight tokers in the Nechako Lakes riding who are dreaming of an NDP victory? But you heard it from the Non-Partisan himself: 34% for the Conservatives (LOL), so please, please, please, all you Conservatives, don't worry about splitting the non-NDP vote.
| ||13 04 27
||NO PARTISAN BS|
|The Liberals needed to gather all the anti-NDP vote here but the Conservatives are growing rather than collapsing. In my opinion, that growth in Conservative vote will actually drive the Liberals into third place. 36NDP-34CON-25LIB-5Others is my projection in this race. |
| ||13 04 26
||A Concerned Citizen|
|In previous elections the voting patterns in the Nechako Lakes riding suggest a strong belief among the majority of constituents in entrepreneurship, individual initiative, and the conservative values of a mostly rural society. As a result, pollsters have identified Nechako Lakes as one of only a few ridings the Liberals could conceivably retain in the upcoming election. But these same pollsters are predicting that the Conservatives, with Dan Brooks as their candidate, are poised to act as spoilers in the May 14th vote.|
Currently the polls indicate about 15% popular support for the BC Conservative Party in the Interior and Northern ridings. Obviously this level of support is insufficient to elect an MLA, but it?s more than enough to split the anti-NDP vote. Now consider the implications of vote-splitting in the Nechako Lakes riding: In 2009 John Rustad won Nechako Lakes for the Liberal Party with about 56% of the popular vote, while the NDP received about 35% of votes cast. And the Green Party received about 6% of the vote. But there was no Conservative candidate in the riding to split the anti-NDP sentiment.
However, in the upcoming May 14th provincial election, the outcome in the Nechako Lakes riding could easily be reversed, as a result of Dan Brooks running for the Conservative Party. Provincial polls show the NDP has increased its share of popular support since the last election. Obviously this trend is likely to benefit the NDP candidate in any constituency, even in a generally conservative riding such as Nechako Lakes. It?s also clear that the estimated 15% of constituents who plan to vote Conservative in the upcoming election voted Liberal previously. Therefore, projected Conservative support in the Nechako Lakes riding could conceivably split the anti-NDP vote, thus enabling Ms. Skidmore-Hewlitt to win the election. So here?s a question worth asking: Do non-NDP voters in the Nechako Lakes riding care whether a viable opposition Party exists in the provincial Legislature, after the May 14th election is over?
On his website Dan Brooks tries to reassure Nechako Lakes constituents not to worry about splitting the anti-NDP vote:
The Liberals blame the Conservatives for splitting the vote?I maintain, it?s their own fault!?Make no mistake, the vote splitting argument is asking us to abandon our principles?.Voting for the party that does the least amount of damage is not a good reason to vote. You want a good reason to vote?.
However, politics is about more than just principle, it?s also about pragmatism. Read between the lines, and you can see Mr. Brook?s true sentiments:
With the stroke of a pen by the BC Liberals, everything I have worked for in the past 15 years is now unsustainable, my business cannot survive, and within 3 years I will be forced to close down. The BC Liberals have destroyed my business?and I intend to hold them to account?
I am indignant at the injustice of the thing. And I realize now, that no excuse the Liberals offer can compensate me for my loss, no excuse is sufficient to pacify me?I am determined to defeat the Liberals.
As a Conservative, Mr. Brooks should know that free enterprise is a risky venture even at the best of times. Needless to say, the above statements do not reflect the spirit of good governance.
| ||13 04 20
|With exception of 1972, region has never elected a New Democrat ... and current NDP candidate's Prince George residency will not help her. That leaves contest between incumbent John Rustad (a BC Liberal also from Prince George, but who acquired a Cluculz Lake address to narrowly squeeze into riding) and Vanderhoof favourite-son Dan Brooks, representing the BC Conservatives. Brooks is surprisingly articulate (a BA in classics from Waterloo) and will be a formidable debater against the stumbling Rustad. Carbon tax likely a big issue that will put riding in BC Conservative column.|
| ||13 04 13
|Definitely would leave this in the too close to call category for a couple more weeks.|
The NDP is doing strong and likely to win a majority government, but this might be one the Liberals could hang on to.
Will likely be one of the closer races on election night.
| ||13 03 08
||NO PARTISAN BS|
|This is too close to call,it could go either way. Prime turf for an NDP pickup but not in the bag by any measure. The strength of the other parties may signal who wins this race.|