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|08 10 11
|Two recent polls have show that the NDP may be trending higher in Saskatchewan this election. One is an Angus Reid poll that has the Conservatives at 40%, the NDPat 35% and the Liberals at 17% province-wide. Given how its a given that the Conservative will win the rural seats by large margin, thus skewing the poll numbers, the NDP stands to gain a few seats in the urban parts of the province. If thats the case than Palliser and SRB are the most likely to go NDP. Also the recent EKOS and NANOS tracking have the NDP up in Sask/Man in the low 30s if I recall. If those numbers are correct expect the NDP to pick a seat or two in Sask. this being one of the most likely seats given the past NDP strength, no incumbent, and NDP running a higher profile candidate.
|08 10 03
|It's a long shot, but the NDP could still take it if people vote strategically. They are running a fairly close second according to polls(http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/story.html?id=24522214-90cc-4928-a959-2dba3b24d47c) There is more of a move towards strategic voting to stop a Harper majority across the country including in Saskatchewan this election. Even with a strong Liberal candidate in Palliser, they are running a distant third, so some of their supporters might go NDP this time. There are many in Moose Jaw who don't like Boughen because of his support for an unpopular downtown location for a way-over-budget Multiplex project - known in Moose Jaw as ‘multi-mess.’ Finally, the Moose Jaw Times Herald has run several stories and letters to the editor about the undemocratic selection process the Conservatives ran in this riding. It won't be easy for the NDP but with all these forces in their favor, they could still win in Palliser.
|08 09 18
|Jim Flaherty was in town today meeting with his provincial counterparts, and took the time to do a fundraising breakfast with and for Tory candidate Boughen. My sources at the meeting report that it was well attended, Flaherty was in fine form, and that Boughen seems to be well-liked by the old Batters team. Apparently he also has big name support from the party, to get Flaherty out here during writ. I'm still agnostic on whether or not Boughen can hold the seat, but I think the Conservatives have a decent shot at it.
|08 09 13
|Giant Political Mouse
|Sadly the Liberal and the NDP candidates are both fairly well known and Regina has proven to be incapable of getting their act together and voting for one or the other to stop the Conservatives (except in Wascana). My guess is that the CPC will win with less than 40% of the vote.
|08 09 09
|Now that Dave Batters has decided to retire due to personal issues, this riding could become NDP again if the Liberal vote collapses.
|08 09 08
|Breaking -- The Tories have named Ray Boughen, another former Moose Jaw mayor, as their candidate in Palliser. It's still too close to call, but the Conservatives might be able to hang on to this one now, especially since I've heard from some Moose Javians (yes, that is correct) that Don Mitchell was not particularly beloved during his time in the local office.
|08 09 07
|Liberal Cal Johnston is a strong candidate in a riding that has little experience with strong Liberal candidates and still less sympathy with the federal Liberal party. With Conservative MP Dave Batters' replacement yet to be announced, that could matter -- I don't think the Liberals can win, but they can bleed enough votes from left and right to keep it interesting right up to the last minute. Don't forget that Batters won the first time with a margin of less than 200 votes. And don't forget that NDP candidate Don Mitchell has a lot of family and friends, as well as significant roots in the Moose Jaw part of the riding -- Moose Jaw gave it to Dave, especially the first time, but will they give it to Don? Too close to call.
|08 09 03
|Right as the election is expected to be called (I predict Saturday or Sunday!) the Conservative incumbent has announced he would not be seeking reelection for medical issues and a resulting prescription dependency.
Combined with a Liberal candidate recently stepping out for personal and professional reasons gives a strong edge to the NDP in Palliser.
|08 09 02
|The liberals have found someone to replace there previous candidate David Oledzki who left for various reasons. That being former Regina police chief Cal Johnston and dion even made the trip out to unveil him as a candidate. But this is not much of a liberal riding and lacks any recent liberal history as it was always ndp until 04 election when conservatives won it. There is some uncertainty as to if Dave Batters will run again but it he does he has the advantage here over his opponents. And the conservatives will most certainly point out just how bad the green shift carbon tax will be for Saskatchewan as has also been by the premier of Saskatchewan. Star candidate or not any liberal running in support of that plan is in for a tough election out west I suspect.
|08 08 12
|With the recent resignation of Gary Oledzki as the Liberal Candidate and the untimely illness of Dave Batters, the C.P.C. Candidate, the probability of a New Democrat victory for their candidate, Don Mitchell, has increased greatly. Mitchell's past political experience will be helpful as he makes contact with old political allies in the process of putting his election team together and will cut into Batters support in the Moose Jaw area. Based on these facts, unless the C.P.C. can come up with a star candidate of high profile and caliber, this seat should return to the N.D.P. in the next election. Time will tell.
|08 08 08
|Garry Oledzki resigned as the Liberal candidate, and the Conservative incumbent has stepped down for health reasons, so I would say this goes NDP this time.
|08 08 06
|With the possibility of Batters potentially not running in the next election sadly due to health reasons the NDP may start to have some faith that they can win some seats in Saskatchewan. Nominating Don Mitchell is hardly showing the NDP as yesterday's party but instead nominating a popular former mayor who may be able to take this seat away from the Conservatives. Mitchell has been out of the public life for sometime so the idea he is old in the publics eye is not going to fly. The idea that Batters or Wall represent fresh is laughable. The only reason either Batters or Wall were elected was because they disliked the governing party more and not because they wanted Batters or Wall.
|08 02 26
|To a point, as NDP seats in the twilight of Sask federal NDP seats go, Palliser was more of a quirky ‘Dick Proctor’ seat, so CPC's inherent vulnerability here might be overrated. Though Don Mitchell shows that the NDP's still trying--then again, his background is exactly the sort to fuel the ‘yesterday's party’ sentiment that's been dogging the Sask NDP like dry rot in recent years, i.e. it's not hard to see how, even as the incumbent, Dave Batters might come across as the ‘fresh’ Brad Wall to Mitchell's ‘stale’ Lorne Calvert. But as Palliser contains Rouleau (i.e. ‘Corner Gas’ central), don't ever count the quirky out around here...
|07 06 26
|I am not going to make a prediction as of now, but with the way things are looking for the Saskatchewan Conservative MPs over the broken equalization promises, their re-election chances have become weaker. If Premier Calvert and public opinion continue against the Tories, the urban Tory MPS could be turfed out by angry voters on election day.
|07 06 21
|Definitely another winnable seat for the NDP but the CPC certainly has an advantage going in here. However Mitchell can easily win and it certainly wouldnt be surprising. TCTC for now but id have to say the CPC better be close to 50% in Saskatchewan if they are going to hold this seat. The NDP will probably spend some resources to try and break back into Saskatchewan after being shut out last 2 elections. Maybe the third time is the charm?
|07 04 14
|Though far from a Conservative slam-dunk, Palliser will re-elect Dave Batters, I think. The last election saw a huge growth in his margin of victory, almost wholly derived from the collapse of the Liberal vote, a phenomenon which, in this riding, especially in its Regina polls, tends to mean blue Liberals going Tory and NOT left-leaning Liberals going NDP. It's arguable that, in Mitchell, the NDP has a stronger candidate than last time out, but as someone 30+ years older than the incumbent and who has made many political enemies as well as allies over the course of a hyper-partisan and hyper-left career in provincial and federal NDP affairs, he has significant liabilities. Unless the Liberals have someone--and I don't see it, AT ALL, knowing a number of those active in these federal LPC circles in the riding--who can reclaim their vote, to at least 2004 numbers, Batters holds this seat; all the more so, given that he is a fairly well-liked and strong representative for the constituency.
|07 04 10
|This is a very interesting riding, despite the fact Batters has won twice, if there is one riding where the shafting of Saskatchewan could hurt the conservatives this may be it. I think it will be fairly close between Batters and Don Mitchell, Mitchell is a former mayor and alderman of Moose Jaw, a city which Batters won at least over 70% of the polls in, with Mitchell who was a mayor of that city it is quite possible he can shift votes into his camp because of his position. So I say the NDP will take this by a small amount.