McCulloch, Leah Catherine
|Deviation from average:||3.20%|
|Geographical Area:||1584 sq km|
|2013 Election Result ||
Previous Prediction - 2013 Provincial Election
Previous Prediction - 2009 Provincial Election
|Just to reinforce the current prediction, the BCLs lead by 15 and it's a close race for second. Margin of error for a poll this size is about 6. This one is over: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/poll-b-c-liberals-lead-in-comox-dead-heat-in-saanich-north-1.18540492|
||Mark the Lark|
|With some soft BC Liberal supporters going Green, some hard-right voters going Conservative, and the NDP team going all out, I see this going NDP. |
Having both a Green candidate and a Conservative candidate means voters on both the left and the right have an alternative but the provincial mood is strong enough to give this to the NDP. I don't see this riding catching the Green wave like the southern portion.
|The NDP have a strong base here that show up to vote and the BC Conservatives are running a surprisingly viable and well-coordinated local campaign. The Greens have a respectable local candidate that will maintain their presence and integrity but they are clearly not investing money here and probably won't attract anything more than their hardcore base voters. It is clear from the sheer number of signs out there that the Liberal candidate is out-spending everyone combined (or they ordered a lot more signs than they know what to do with). The NDP candidate has more name-recognition in the community, but neither (Leonard nor Benninger) are star candidates that will appeal much beyond their core audiences. Based on what I've seen so far, at the half way point in the campaign, I think the NDP have the edge here with the BC Conservatives making a third place showing.|
|Usually this one is a tough, down-to-the-wire call, especially as it is now an open seat. However, with the new boundaries the Liberals increase their edge, and the Green surge on the Island only makes things tougher for the NDP. Likeliest scenario is that once again, this and Parksville are the two Liberal bastions surrounded in a sea of orange (with a touch of green).|
|I am also very surprised that this Riding is still in the TCTC column. The new boundaries take this Riding from 'Lean Liberal' to 'Liberal'. Jim Benninger is a well respected candidate with great name recognition in the community.|
| ||17 03 15
|I'm surprised this district is still TCTC. |
Every year, hundreds of Albertans retire to this riding (including my parents in-common-law since the last election) - although most are anti-?Liberal?, they seem to accept that the BCLs are pretty much the PCs they're used to voting for. This influx has made this district that went NDP by a solid margin in 1996 stronger for the BCLs every election cycle.
Had a quick look at the boundary changes as well and crunched some numbers quickly. The big changes are the removal of Cumberland, Hornby and Denman Island. In Cumberland, the NDP beat the BCLs 733 to 435. On Denman Island, the NDP beat the BCL 467 to 83; and on Hornby, it was 389 to 60 - the Greens actually did better than the BCLs on both islands. The remaining polls removed (Royston, Fanny/Buckley/Union/Mud Bay) went BCL by a narrow margin of 579 to 544. Overall, the NDP had a near 2-to-1 advantage and 976 vote margin in the parts removed from the riding! (I may have missed a poll or 2, but the overall effect is clear) So the NDP now have to close a ~2,700 vote gap in the new district instead of a ~1,700 vote gap. Despite there being no incumbent, that is a huge margin to overcome. And following Cantelon's retirement in Parksville-Qualicum in 2013, there was no swing at all.
Polls, which were actually very accurate on VI toward the end of the last election, currently have the NDP down and the BCL holding their ground. The NDP have the North Island to worry about now, which was actually closer than this new district after redistribution (the margin there was only 2,000), even though it had a Conservative candidate splitting the BCL vote but no Green splitting the NDP vote.
I strongly disagree with Brian J about this being a must-win seat for the NDP. Their problems aren't on VI or in Vancouver, but in the Vancouver Suburbs and Interior. If they want to have any chance of winning, they need to hold their ground on VI instead of trying to eradicate the BCLs by wasting resources on what have clearly become strongholds here and in Parksville-Qualicum.
| ||17 03 12
||North Islander |
|Benninger brings over 31 years of military experience to the BC Liberal team, enrolling in the Canadian Armed Forces under the Regular Officer Training Plan at the age of 18. In 1988, he was awarded his Air Navigator Wings, spending the next 28 years with the CP140 Aurora Long Range Patrol Fleet at CFB Greenwood and CFB Comox. Trained as a Tactical Navigator, he also served as a Maritime Patrol Crew Commander, Flight Commander, 19 Wing Operations Officer, and finally as the Commanding Officer of 19 Wing/CFB Comox.|
The BC Liberal team in Courtenay Comox is one of the best if not the best on Vancouver Island. The team has been hard at work since before Christmas working to ensure that this Riding remains red. The redrawn boundaries are extremely promising and early support at the door and on the phones is overwhelming! Since nominating their candidate, the NDP have been silent. Absolutely no presence at all. This will be a decisive win for the BC Liberals.
| ||17 03 06
|VI has an NDP tilt, but this riding is concentrated BC Liberal. Boundary changes make it even more so. The BC Liberals held this riding in 2009 by 4% with no incumbent. I can't see them losing this unless they are defeated in a landslide.|
| ||17 01 13
|The new riding of Courtenay-Comox has seen some boundary changes from its previous incarnation as the ?Comox Valley? riding:|
Formerly strong NDP areas of Hornby & Denman Islands as well as Cumberland, all south of Courtenay, have been removed and placed into the neighbouring riding of Mid Island-Pacific Rim.
With boundary changes the transposed results for 2013 are:
BC Liberal: 47..8%
BC NDP 35.3%
BC Green: 11.11%
BC Conservative: 5.9%
Compared to 2113, the BC Liberal margin over the BC NDP has increased considerably to 12.5% from ~5%. Moreover, the BCCP, which is now leaderless, consumed with in-fighting, and basically insolvent will likely not run a candidate here in 2017, which should provide an additional cushion for the BC Liberals.
OTOH, the BC Greens have historically received a relatively strong vote in the Comox Valley and I suspect that they will increase their popular vote share here, under Andrew Weaver, in 2017.
While ?open seat? after the incumbent BC Liberal has stepped down, the BC Liberals have nominated Jim Benninger who was previously the base commander/commanding officer of 19 Air Wing/CFB Comox.
Some anecdotal evidence on the perception of Benninger in the riding is from an NDP supporter, within the riding, on social media describing Benninger as ?well known and well-liked?.
This riding, as well as those adjacent ridings to both the north and south, is also witnessing the ?Alberta retiree? phenomena whereby an increasing proportion of the riding populace are Albertan retirees. In fact, WestJet now has 2-3 daily flights from Comox/Calgary as well as to/from Edmonton.
As a result Coomox Airport is now the 2nd busiest on Vancouver Island (after Victoria) and has seen 90% passenger growth since 2004. Certainly an interesting changing demographic phenomenon.
| ||17 01 09
|Must-win seat for the BCNDP.|