2:21 AM 19/01/2006

Prediction Changed
12:59 AM 04/05/2005
Election Prediction Project

Cariboo-Prince George
Federal Election - 2006

Constituency Profile

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Green Party/Parti Vert
Alex Bracewell
Carol Lee Chapman
Canadian Action
Bev Collins
Dick Harris
Christian Heritage
Christopher S. M. Kempling
First Peoples National
Don Roberts
Alfred Julian Trudeau
Simon Yu

Richard Harris

2004 Result:
Dick Harris
Rick Smith
Gurbux Saini
Douglas Gook
Mike Orr
Bev Collins
Jeff Paetkau
Carol Lee Chapman

For historical result, please see
2004 Prediction page

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17 01 06 RWilson
I just wanted to respond to the comment by A Local Observer on religious support for the Conservatives. While Harris comes from a business background, much of his support base is from the Prince George Christian community, and if you look at his campaign mailings, they frequently feature Christian imagery. The CPC candidate after he chooses to retire may be in the same vein as he is, but it would be a mistake to claim distance between him and religious communities in the area.
I think for this riding that the NDP nominating a candidate from Quesnel is certainly a mistake just in terms of support base and population distribution. There's been almost no campaign presence in the riding by the NDP, and indeed the first NDP signs appeared only a few days ago. There's something to be said for not wasting money in ridings you won't win, but at this point I've seen three signs, no mailings, and no campaign presence. The NDP had a good showing in this riding in the last election, and the fact that they're not trying to capitalize on that is strange.
03 01 06 Glen
The consituency has been reorganized but through its recent history portions of the constuency have been represented by various political parties (Reform/Alliance/CRAP/Conservative 1993-2005; NDP 1988-1993; Progressive Conservative 1979-1988). In 1968, a Liberal Len Marchand even represented some of the southern portion of the current riding. Provincially, Independent, NDP, Liberal, and Social Credit have all had representatives in portions of this riding. That's why I tend not to characterize it as large "C" Conservative. I think the voters are predominantly small "c" conservatives with an anti-Ottawa, populist tendency. I don't believe there is a strong sense of party loyalty and the voting history does not suggest deeply entrenched Conservative support. I agree that conservative religious organizations play some role but we're looking at about 25% of the consituency's population that are consistent adherents to a church, mosque, or temple (ie. regular attendees and financial supporters). Even among the 25% there are significant numbers who are not involved in deeply conservative churches, mosques, or temples.
Judging by the polls, Harris is running around 42% and clearly benefits by the fairly even split between the Liberals and NDP. I think most of the comments tend to agree that Harris is likely to be returned - for better or worse.
28 12 05 A Local Observer
I would disagree with the "small c" conservatism comment for this riding. The man who almost knocked Harris off in the last election was a Williams Lake churchgoer, who mobilizes his local church for votes. There is also a schism in the local Sikh community, between the more liberal and more religious and conservative elements.
I would say there is a very prominent religious and socially conservative element in the riding that has not been seen in a long time, but has started to rear its head recently, especially with the gay marriage debate mobilizing the base, just as was seen in the 2004 US election.
The former MP for the Conservative/Reform in Cariboo-Chilcotin was a former preacher-turned-politician. Dick will win, but I would not at all be surprised to see the next candidate after Mr. Harris be religiously motivated a-la Stockwell Day.
22 12 05 Glen
During the brief tenure of Stockwell Day's leadership, Dick Harris was elevated from his low profile. However, under Harper, Harris is rarely heard. Last election he was engaged in a nasty and controversial nomination battle and there was sharp criticism from within his own party regarding his effectiveness as MP. His attendance in the house was poor and his response to constituency issues was slow. The NDP made inroads with a somewhat unknown but credible candidate. Since that shake up Harris's attendance in the house has improved but his effectiveness as MP is still widely questioned. The constituency tends to be socially and economically small "c" conservative. However, it has some history of voting NDP and the provincial constituencies that make up the southern portion of the riding went NDP in the last election. However, the Liberals and the NDP have put forward weak candidates and even though there seems to be some erosion of Conservative party support throughout much of BC,and even though Harris has been very ineffective as MP, this constituency is unlikely to change. Look for Dick Harris to be returned as MP.
12 12 05 A Local Observer
In favour of the Liberal vote going up was that they ran a fairly weak candidate from Williams Lake last time around. Fifty per cent of the population of the riding is now in PG, and Harris can pick up votes simply by being from that town. Against the Liberals is their Ottawa-centric platforms - handgun bans and gay marriage debates are doing Northern candidates no favours. The Liberals just announced Simon Yu, a professor from PG, is their candidate. Not sure if there will be a racism effect on the vote, or whether he has the community contacts to make headway against Dick. The Liberal party problem in this riding is the lack of long-term planning - they are simply not organized (as you can see in their late candidate appointment process).
The NDP candidate is a millworker and union rep from Quesnel. In favour of the NDP is that the prov. and fed. NDP share resources, and their base is likely still mobilized from the recent provincial election. Whether the base is burned out from all the recent elections, or if Buzz Hargrove's announcements carry any weight, remains to be seen. The NDP also carries a bit of a "union" party stigma, which is reinforced by having a union rep as a candidate.
This is still a clearly Conservative riding, especially as the Libs and NDP continue to split the vote. There is hope if a particularly strong candidate from PG ran, as for the first time in a long time, the Conservative/Reform vote fell below 50% in the last election. The question is whether DH will wear out his welcome and get tossed out of office before he clears the way for a new candidate. But if that happens, if at all, it is at least two elections away.
11 06 05 A. Vancouverite
Despite M.Lunn's stock protestation, it would be incorrect to pretend that the voters will go from the BC NDP to the federal Liberals in this riding. When transferring federal results from provincial ones it's more likely to say a lot of federal Conservative voters voted for the BC NDP in this area and don't like or trust the Liberal brand. It's likely that most of the federal Liberal votes will come from the BC Liberals, even though they stand no chance at winning this seat. The thing is that this is probably a riding where the NDP can make gains from normally conservatively inclined voters who would never consider voting Liberal because they're too Ottawa centric. While I'm not going to go out on a limb and predict an NDP win, with the NDP chances improving from the budget manoeuvre, with the Conservatives seen as being separatist allied losers the possibility for an upset seems to be increasing -- at the very least the margin between the two parties will be much less than it was last election.
01 06 05 M. Lunn
Even though the NDP won both the Cariboo ridings, they were by narrow margins while the liberals won Prince George by a large margin. Add to the fact many federal liberals vote NDP provincially means they likely won't get nearly as many votes as they did provincially. The NDP on average gets 10-15% less federally so don't assume a strong provincial NDP showing means an NDP win.
28 05 05 A. Vancouverite
This is one of the few Interior BC seats that a non-Conservative (read NDP candidate) has a chance at pulling an upset in. The NDP, pending recounts, seems to have won the Cariboo seats in the provincial election -- so similarly strong candidates for the NDP could put in a strong effort. That being said, they were solidly beaten in Prince George and PG hasn't quite forgiven the provincial NDP yet so it's unlikely they'll have forgiven the federal NDP yet either...I'd say the NDP will need to wait another couple of years until they can recover to a position to win in the city itself. It's still possible that an NDP upset could happen, but it's extremely unlikely. I suspect the gap between first and second place will be closer this time, but this is a small-c conservative seat, so a non-Tory win would be quite the upset. I think the NDP will rise at the expense of the Liberals and Conservatives, but Harris should hold the riding by at least 4000-5000 votes.
08 05 05 Nick Boragina
Even a combined NDP-Liberal vote last time is not enough to beat the tory. The gap here was pretty big, and the vote for Harris, near a majoirty. 1988, the time this riding went NDP, was the free trade election. This election looks like a normal election, or perhaps a gomery election, but neither of them point to anything but a CPC win.
03 05 05 hatman
The Conservative incumbent, Dick Harris won this riding by over 8,000 votes. Tbis gap may close a bit, but not enough to propel the NDP to victory. If it wasn't close for the NDP in 2004, I dont see why the will have a chance in 2005. This riding only went NDP in 1988, and they do not have the numbers they had in '88.
02 05 05 Miles Lunn
Despite the controversy with Dick Harris over something unethical or illegal, this is solid conservative territory. Unless all liberal votes went NDP this time around, it would be very difficult to win this riding. With the NDP gaining it maybe a bit closer, but Dick Harris will still win.

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