10:57 PM 21/01/2006

Prediction Changed
1:40 AM 22/01/2006
Election Prediction Project

Skeena-Bulkley Valley
Federal Election - 2006

Constituency Profile

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Green Party/Parti Vert
Phil Brienesse
Nathan Cullen
Mike Scott
Gordon Stamp-Vincent
Christian Heritage
Rod Taylor

Nathan Cullen

2004 Result:
Nathan Cullen
Andy Burton
Miles Richardson
Rod Taylor
Roger Colin Benham
Frank Martin

For historical result, please see
2004 Prediction page

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19 01 06 PCon
At an all candidates debate, Conservative candidate Mike Scott mused that abortion is a "popular form of birth control", out-manouvering to the right of Christian Heritage Party candidate Rod Taylor and quite conceivably earning his vote. Then he went on to use the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as the tool for opposing Treaty Rights - saying we are all equal. . .while using the other side of his mouth to infer that the very same charter should in NO WAY protect the rights of gays and lesbians to marry. Seriously, I'm not making this up. Wait a minute, that's not an NDP slogan!
15 01 06 scaramouche
I submit that Nathan Cullen will be re-elected to represent Skeena-Bulkley Valley constituents in the Monday 23rd January 2006 Federal Election. He was well-received in each of the All Candidates Meetings, held so far, in Kitimat, Houston, Terrace, Burns Lake and Smithers. I expect that he will also be well-received in the last All Candidates Meeting to be held in Prince Rupert on Thursday 19th January 2006. Nathan Cullen's campaign involves going door-to-door throughout the riding, discussing the issues with constituents of all persuasions, listening to what they have to say. Contrast this with the meeting Stephen Harper and Mike Scott held in Prince Rupert talking to a list of invited guests with security guards turning away anyone not on the list of invited guests. I know of no other candidate in Skeena-Bulkley Valley who has spent as much time in his campaign going door-to-door as Nathan Cullen. Nathan actually showed up for 98% of the votes in the last session of the House of Commons. Contrast this with his Conservative opponent who only showed up for 30% [as reported by the House of Commons Hansard records] of the votes in the Second Session of the 36th Parliament when he was the Member of Parliament for the old riding of Skeena. Nathan Cullen has done and will continue to do his best to represent the constituents of Skeena-Bulkley Valley.
14 01 06 G. McC.
The Liberals are no where in this riding so the First Nations vote will go to Nathan just to stop Scott. Scott was one of the most vocal people against the Niska Treaty. After Mike Scott's display at the Houston all candidates forum and his performance at the Smithers one I can't see him holding on to the vote that Burton got last time in this area of the riding. In 2004 the Smithers to Houston area voted Conservative but this time it will go NDP. Nathan's biggest challenge will be to get the First Nations vote out. If he does it will be an easy win for the NDP.
14 01 06 JayH
A two-way between Cullen (NDP) and Scott (Cons). Temujin's right that Scott can mobilize the hardcore Cons vote in a way the lethargic Burton couldn't -- but I predict Cullen will still boost his margin. He's a rising star in Ottawa. More important, the length of this campaign has kept him on the doorstep longer, where he's strongest. That's helped him make his case that the region needs an aggressive conciliator to bring different forces to a table -- industry, environmental, governments, Aboriginal. Voters will reinvest in him for at least another term before reassessing. If the national Liberal campaign keeps imploding, that will seal the deal, as even more Liberals bleed to Cullen to block the Tory.
08 01 06 Temujin of West Coast Chaos
It will be a two-horse race between the Conservative candidate (Mike Scott) and incumbant NDP MP Nathan Cullen. Cullen beat out Conservative Andy Burton in last years election, but Burton ran a non-existent campaign and did not endear himself to the voters. Scott, on the other hand, has a large following in is a lot more available to the public. One of his campaign managers is Barry Carter, business owner in the Bulkley Valley who is undefeated as a campaign advisor/manager.
29 12 05 Steve G
This riding will certainly be as close in this election as in the last. Yes, Conservative numbers are slipping in BC, but doesn't this happen in every election, only to have the Tory numbers rebound on election day? In mixed urban/rural ridings such as this one the Tories are still very much in play. Memo to M. Lunn: Flanigan did not propose the "destruction of native culture" - I don't know why you insist on making things up, and I suspect you have not even read his book and are spouting second-hand critiques of it from Liberal sympathizers. What he asserts is that the longheld Liberal policies of ghettoization of native communities far away from modern, urban Canada has been counterproductive. Given the episodes we have seen in Kashechewan and Labrador, it's hard not to agree with him.
28 12 05 birch
Nathan Cullen was "rookie of the year" in his first election as MP (as chosen by his peers in the House of Commons), a sign of their respect for his conduct and political potential.
Although his chief opponent, Mike Scott, may poll well among die-hard political conservatives, his political record is spotty at best, particularly his record of attendance to house business. Further, his opposition to the Nisga'a Treaty will likely haunt him; certainly First Nations voters who would like some kind of fair treatment at the hands of their Federal representative will be more likely to vote Cullen.
The Liberal candidate is a virtual unknown outside of Prince Rupert. The most common question one hears in discussions of the upcoming race is, "Who's running for the Liberals again?!" The other parties have little chance except to steal the odd vote from the NDP (Greens?) or from the Conservatives (Christian Heritage Party).
Cullen will win a clear victory.
25 12 05 love, sydney
This riding has switched hands on a few occasions, and I"m calling it a close race where the Tories will pick up something they didn't have -- one of the few ridings they'll steal this time around. It's true the Grits will not have the Miles Richardson factor -- he may have been able to win if he ran again -- and many of those will go to the NDPer. But the independent, rural voter is likely to be also more inclined to like some of the Tory old-line policies, like tougher crime, banning the gun registry, cash for kids/beer and popcorn stuff.
23 12 05 watcher
Nathan Cullen is, at best, a mixed bag of fruits. His biggest (and possibly only) advantage is his opposition against off-shore oil and gas drilling and his role as environment critic for the NDP. In BC, people opposed to offshore oil and gas are mostly focused in coastal communities. This riding has a lot of coastal communities, and as such, Cullen will do very well in those areas.
On the other hand, Nathan Cullen also voted for the gun registry, and that is not popular in rural areas, such as this riding. Even most of the First Nations oppose the gun registry (but Mike Scott probably won't do well with the First Nations either because he opposed the Nisga'a treaty... the most likely net result I can see is a general decline in First Nations voter turnout...)
The most polarizing issue in this riding is probably the economy. Unemployment rate in this riding is a staggering 15% and it alone is probably the reason why people wanted to try something else after nearly a decade of Reform/Alliance MPs and no change. As of now I've not heard any significant economic improvements under Cullen's watch. But hey, that still don't give anyone any reason to warm up to the Conservatives. If it's any other no-name Conservative candidate coming in here, then I wouldn't say that it's enough to unseat Cullen. But Mike Scott carries the Reform populist brand, and while the economy didn't improve overall, Scott got some stuff done.
Cullen will have plenty of support, but at the moment, I'm giving the edge to Scott - on the wire.
22 12 05 M. Lunn
This is certainly a divided riding between the Coast being left-leaning while the inland areas being right-leaning. That being said, I think Nathan Cullen will be re-elected, even though some may be mad over his decision to vote on a gun registry bill (he had no choice since the government would have fallen if he didn't). Unlike urban ridings that vote mainly along party lines, incumbents can carry a lot of weight. For example Dennis MacKay won by 9 points in Bulkley Valley-Stikine, which was suppose to be a swing riding, while in the left leaning town of Prince Rupert Bill Belsey got 44% compared to Gary Coons 46%. On the contrary in 1996, this was the NDP's best riding in large part due to Dan Miller's popularity. Nathan Cullen is very popular while Mike Scott is a recycled Reform Party candidate whose record was anything but outstanding. In addition the Liberals won many polls in the Queen Charlotte Islands and other areas with large First Nations populations since the Liberals ran a chief, Miles Richardson, so if the Liberal vote switches, it will likely be to the NDP, not the Conservatives, as the party's past hostility to First Nation's rights, especially Mike Scott who viciously opposed the Nisga'a Treaty and Stephen Harper's campaign manager Tom Flanagan's book First Nations, second Thoughts, which advocated assimilation of First Nations and destruction of their culture.
19 12 05 Scaramouche
Skeena-Bulkley Valley will re-elect Nathan Cullen. Since his election on June 28, 2004, he has been an excellent representative for his constituents. Nathan Cullen has been receiving very positive responses to his door-knocking in the Queen Charlotte Islands, Prince Rupert, Port Edwards, Terrace, Thornhill, Kitimat, Smithers and Burns Lake. In addition, there is tremendous support for Nathan Cullen in the First Nations populations throughout the Skeena-Bulkley Valley Constituency. At present, the NDP is very strong in this riding and the NDP will take even more votes away from the Liberals and Conservatives than in June 28, 2004. Constituents are by and large moderate in their views as evidenced by their electing NDP MLA's in Skeena and North Coast during the May 17, 2005 BC Provincial election and the strong showing of the NDP candidate in Bulkley Valley-Stikine Provincial Constituency in the same election. On June 2nd 1997, Mike Scott was elected to represent the Skeena Riding; on October 27, 2000, Andy Burton was elected to represent the new riding of Skeena- Bulkley Valley; on June 28, 2004, Nathan Cullen was elected to represent Skeena-Bulkley Valley. Nathan Cullen is seeking "Re-election" to represent Skeena-Bulkley Valley. Mike Scott, his Conservative challenger, is seeking "Re-election" to represent Skeena-Bulkley Valley which he never did represent. In my mind, this is somewhat disingenuous. I submit that the constituents of Skeena-Bulkley Valley will soundly "Re-ject" rather than "Re-elect" Mike Scott, the Conservative Candidate, in favour of Nathan Cullen, the NDP Candidate.
12 12 05 JC
I'd like to opine about how Mike Scott feels about Gun Control.
"The major danger of 'democratic' government is unstable, predatory mob rule. And the task of those who promote good government is to find ways of keeping it from getting too big. Naturally, an armed citizenry is an important part of this. Equally naturally, those who seek unlimited power for government fear a citizenry able to resist encroachments on their liberty." (Mike Scott [2005 Conservative Candidate in Skeena], Hill Times, April 27, 1995)
That being said, so long as Cullen convinces liberals in this riding that they should vote for him to stop the Conservative from getting elected this one is in the bag.
02 12 05 watcher
A Conservative win is possible. It will have to depend on a few things, but it is nevertheless possible.
Take a look at the map of this riding. It's all coastline, and all river. This means that fishing is a major industry here, and by extension, there are a lot of fishermen here. The Conservative candidate, Mike Scott, was the Reform MP for this riding (borders slightly different back then) from 1993 to 1997 and served as the Critic for Fisheries and Oceans, and had a distinguished record of standing up and fighting for BC fishermen's rights when Preston Manning was still Reform leader. If the fishermen of this riding are willing to give credit to his work 10 years ago and trust him again to represent them in Parliament, Mike Scott can retake this riding. simply by being the choice of the fishermen. But it's uncertain how this will play out, given that Mike Scott had been away from politics for 8 years. If he still had the energy he had twelve or so years ago as the Critic for Fisheries and Oceans, I believe he will take this riding. But I don't know that for sure.
Also, one should note that Christian Heritage Party votes are likely to decrease this time around, because CHP voters who weren't expecting an NDP surprise here may vote strategically (i.e. vote Conservative) just to throw Nathan Cullen out. I wouldn't be particularly proud to garner this type of votes, but it just might be necessary...
01 12 05 Prism
Solid Cullen victory because:
Without a Miles Richardson running a good chunk of Liberal vote (especially on the coast and aboriginal communities) will go to Cullen.
Mike Scott has a checkered past and is known as the "flake out" MP from Skeena who fell apart at the end of his second term in office.
Cullen will garner a slightly higher level of support in the eastern end of the riding now that he is more widely known and has a presence in the community.
Cullen is considered one of the hardest working candidates the area has had in a long time. If someone wants to beat him they better buy comfortable and durable shoes and fill up their gas tank!
27 11 05 JFB
Le député sortant devrait conserver assez facilement son siège. La montée du NPD et la baisse des Conservateurs dans les sondages en C.-B. devraient profiter au NPD dans un certain nombre de comtés. Nathan Cullen sera réélu avec une plus grande majorité.
17 11 05 scaramouche
I predict that Nathan Cullen will be successful in his campaign to be re-elected to represent the people in Skeena-Bulkley Valley. Since his election in June 2004, he has travelled the length and breadth of the riding several times and has held meetings in each of the communities that he represents. He has offices in each of the main population centres and his campaign team has been established and ready to hit the campaign trail whenever the election is called.
07 11 05 M. Lunn
Actually the Conservatives won most of the inland polls last time around including Smithers and Terrace, yet still lost the riding, so using the provincial comparisons isn't the most accurate considering the provincial ridings are considerably smaller. The Conservatives came in third in the coastal areas, while the liberals did surprisingly well. Much of that probably had to do with the fact the liberals had an First Nations chief, Miles Richardson who likely captured much of the First Nations vote. If the liberal vote switches, I would say it is more likely to swing over to the NDP rather than the Conservatives since many in the First Nations community are well aware of Tom Flanagan, Stephen Harper's close advisor and his policy of wanting to completely assimilate the First Nations community. The only possibility for a conservative win, is if they pick up the Christian Heritage Party votes who got close to 4% and had all those votes gone to the Conservatives, they would have narrowly won. While the inland areas maybe Conservative, the coastal areas are amongst some of the most left leaning parts of the province. The Reform/Alliance strength in this area was no different than many other traditional NDP strongholds where many NDP voters voted Reform/Alliance for their populist appeal. With the NDP re-bounding in BC, the Conservatives likely won't regain those votes. I still not willing to predict this until the writ is dropped, although I think the NDP will likely hold it.
31 10 05 Dylan F
Despite an NDP provincial win it was a slim 300 votes in Terrace and a big loss in Smithers despite Nathan Cullen coming from Smithers and his right hand man directing the campaign, if the Conservatives can show Cullen to be only concerned with the enviroment as his press and hansards have shown they can pull this one, Mike Scott is a better campaigner than Andy Scott and now they know this will be a fight
07 06 05 Mike D
I wasn't surprised at all to see the NDP win this seat last time. The Conservatives were very lucky to hold this seat as long as they did. This is a populist riding that does not respond well to the more rigid right-wing economic policies of Harper. There is a social conservative bent here but it is easily defeated by the rejection of the heavily pro-American, pro-corporate Harper-brand Conservatives. Don't forget this is the area where there was a major fishing dispute with the US.
01 06 05 hatman
This riding was an NDP surprise in 2004, but it will be no surprise here again in 2006. In the BC election, the north part of this riding was really close, and the coastal bits really heavily favoured the NDP. I don't believe and Dippers will lose their seats in 2006 (especially in BC) save Ed Broadbent's in Ottawa Centre. The NDP will pull away from the tories as the Liberals will fade away into obscurity in this riding.
09 05 05 RDST
Nathan Cullen will be re-elected regardless when they call the election. He is highly visable and the opposition may come from the same two who ran against him last time. Andy Burton (Con) and Miles Richardson (Lib) had no real pull during the last election.
The Liberals came a distant third here last time, even with the pressure to vote Liberal to defeat Stephen Harper. People here know the best way to put Harper back in his box is to vote for Cullen. The provincial election has primed the pump for local election team members and community support.
09 05 05 M. Lunn
I would say the NDP definitely has the advantage here for a couple of reasons. This is a traditional NDP riding and prior to 1993, the last time a right wing party won here was in 1926, so the Reform/Alliance win was probably more of a protest vote than genuine support. This also has a large First Nation's community who usually go NDP, but some may have gone liberal since they had a First Nation cheif, Miles Richardson as their candidate. Much of the liberal vote will probably swing to the NDP this time around. However, if you add the Conservative + CHP vote, they would have won this riding. The Inland areas tend to be quite conservative while coastal areas are quite left leaning. A Conservative win is still possible, but I would say unlikely since they are polling below 2004 levels in British Columbia, although right wing parties have a history of polling lower than what they actually get on election day.
07 05 05 DW
Rural riding will swing back to the CPC. Former MP Andy Burton is said to be running again, Cullen has been invisible, same-sex marriage will help the CPC here.
04 05 05 BLJ
The NDP polled well in this seat during the 1990's, which has stronger centre-left tendencies along the coast. With an incumbent this will remain an NDP hold.
04 05 05 M. Lunn
Traditionally this has been an NDP stronghold, but with the addition of more inland areas, which tend to be more conservative, this will probably be a close race again. If the Christian Heritage Party's votes were all added to the Conservatives, then Andy Burton would have held his riding last time around. However, it may be more difficult this time around since this riding has a large First Nations community and last time around the liberals choose a former chief, Miles Richardson. Since many First Nations probably voted liberal, I suspect this time around many of those will go to the NDP who are generally supportive of First Nation's issues as opposed to the Conservatives who have a history of neglecting First Nation's issues and even outright intolerance in the early days of the Reform Party.

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