Election Prediction Project

British Columbia Provincial Election - 2011


Prediction Changed
2013-05-15 00:22:33

Constituency Profile


Anderson, Scott

Foster, Eric Bailey

Helps, Rebecca

Olsen, Mark Steven

Zepik, Korry

Eric Foster


  • Previous Prediction - 2009 Provincial Election
  • Pundits’ Guide - 2008 Prepresentation Order

    2009 Result:

    Eric Bailey Foster
    Mark Steven Olsen
    Huguette Marie Allen
    Dean Skoreyko
    RJ Busch


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    13 05 12 Advance Voting Analyst
    Langley, Parksville-Qualicum, Penticton and Vernon are an interesting quartet to watch in this election. Each riding is built around an urban area that is itself just about riding-sized. They have all been faithfully Liberal ridings for the past two decades. Nonetheless, they have all been touted as possible NDP pickups in this election, thanks mainly to the 'rise' of the BC Conservatives and their ability to bleed votes from the Liberals.
    In reality, these four ridings may demonstrate why, even in the absence of a non-FPTP voting system, it is ultimately green, blue and grey supporters who will decide which way the riding will swing.
    In the two Okanagan ridings, where Greens took 16-17% of the vote in 2009, many of these previously Green votes are in play this time around. In Vernon-Monashee, Huguette Allen has been replaced by a parachute candidate, whilst in Penticton, there is no Green running at all. In non-Huguette years, Vernon-Monashee tends to be only about three-quarters as Green as the rest of the province, so using her performance from 2009 as a baseline for 2013 is misleading.
    There is a tendency in BC (as elsewhere), to assume the lion's share of Green votes with nowhere to go would end up with the NDP. In the Okanagan, this is probably less true -- there has to be a chunk of the vote sliding between the Liberals and Greens.
    Vernon-Monashee also has the peculiar trait of consistently voting for parties other than the Liberals or NDP in large numbers. In 2009, 31% chose neither red nor orange, compared to 12% provincially. In 2005, it was 23-12; in 2001, 29-11; and in 1996, 31-19. In 2013, it appears that the combined non-Liberal/NDP vote will be close to 17% provincially.
    The Greens are running at about 9 or 10% provincially. Let's assume they hang on to enough of Huguette's votes to match the provincial vote in Vernon-Monashee: 10%.
    As has been pointed out on this board, the non-Liberal conservative option is often about three times as popular here as province-wide. In 2009 this was true up and down the Okanagan, and this riding was actually a little less blue than its cousins to the south. At least some of this difference must have gone to the Greens.
    Given this riding's history of supporting an outside option, it is therefore likely that the 'Huguette surplus' -- if close to the 17 - 10 = 7% at which I estimate it -- will be shared by red, orange and blue alike:
    Liberals: 37% last time + 2% = 39%
    NDP: 31% last time + 3% = 34%
    Conservatives: 8% last time + 2% = 10%
    Greens: 17% last time - 7% = 10%
    The sum here is only 93%, as most of the balance of the 2009 vote was won by a man named Gordon Campbell, who is not reoffering this time, perhaps because he no longer shares a name with a contender for premier. This puts close to 1400 votes back into play. Surely 'Gordon Campbell' siphoned votes from the Liberals at a greater rate than from the other parties, so one postulates that the Liberals' lead grows once Campbell's votes are redistributed.
    Eric Foster is certainly not a disastrous incumbent and with the two parties polling more or less even Interior-wide, the Liberals are obviously ahead in the Okanagan. So after sliding all these votes this way and that between all the various parties, it seems we may end up more or less where we started: Foster may be closer to 40% this time around but his margin of victory over the NDP will still be around 5-6%.
    13 05 07
    Traditionally right of centre, this riding was closer than usual in 2009. However, that was likely mainly due to a very popular Green candidate (who isn't running this time) and the fact that the BC Liberal candidate, Eric Foster, was a first-time nominee then. Now Foster has the incumbent advantage and has done a good job getting investment into schools, hospital. Green have no signs up and candidate is absent from the riding. NDP support does not seem to have increased beyond their traditional areas of support in Vernon, and Adrian Dix is not popular here. I'm calling this one a BC Liberal hold.
    13 05 07 Laurence Putnam
    I may very well regret this call and I'm second guessing it even as I type. After all, this seat was one of the seven Socreds (Lyall Hanson) who survived the 1991 wipeout.
    With credentials like that, it's almost unimaginable calling this for the NDP - but here's the case for it:
    1. The minority right-wing/centre-right party on the ballot always does well here, generally outpolling the provincewide numbers by a multiple of 3 to 4. Unity BC got 3% provincewide, but 13% of the vote here in 2001. The Conservatives got 10% in 2005 and 8% in 2009. This time, you'd have to figure the Conservatives could get 15% here anyway, maybe a little better. That will really hurt the Liberals.
    2. Green vote peaked here last time, some of that is going back to the NDP.
    Vote splitting on the right and vote consolidating on the left is bad news in an election that's already going against the BC Liberals - even if polling is improving in these dying days of the campaign.
    History isn't on the side of this call, and I hope that I'm wrong. But...I have a funny feeling the NDP might squeak in here with something around 37-38%
    13 05 05
    The Conservatives are not doing well at all. They had the chance - two chances - to make a breakthrough and they failed. Now that the right wing anti-NDP vote sees that, they are finding there is no point supporting Cummins. Further, Dix' anti energy project policies are not helping the Conservatives oddly enough. Those who thought it safe to try out something new are now so scared of Dix that they are supporting the liberals - who they were getting tired of.
    13 05 05 Sam Zaharia
    With a parachute candidate taking Huguette Allen's place, expect at least half of her votes to shift to Olsen, the only other green option. That gives Olson about 1000 votes over Foster. Anderson may split away a few more votes than Skoreyko in the last round (both equally smarmy) but no way he pulls quadruple the votes. Whatever he gleans will only help Olson.
    13 04 27 NO PARTISAN BS
    I am very surprised that this is till in the TCTC column. Like other Interior ridings, The Liberals needed to gather all the anti-NDP vote here but the Conservatives are growing rather than collapsing.
    13 04 25 Travis
    I got a funny feeling this race is going to be tight. I think this riding could be for the BC Conservatives what Cardston-Taber-Warner was to the Wildrose Alliance.
    One way or another incumbent Eric Foster will be defeated. It could go New Democrat but I could also see a surge in Conservative support here.
    13 03 30 bza
    With the race being fairly close last time and with the NDP running the same candidate as in 2009 I think this riding could be a pick up for the NDP. With them polling in the lead in the interior this would be one of the more likely ridings to swing.
    13 03 08 NO PARTISAN BS
    These interior ridings will be much closer than usual due to the growth of the BC Conservatives. If the Conservatives gain over 15%, they will tip this seat to the NDP, and that looks likely at this point.

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