Election Prediction Project

Canada Federal Election - 2015

South Shore-St. Margarets

Prediction Changed
2015-10-15 23:30:47

Constituency Profile


Barry, Ryan

Biggar, Richard

Bruhm, Trevor

Clark, Richard

Godbold, Alex

Jordan, Bernadette

(2011 census)


2011 Result/résultats (redistributed)

Reference - Pundits’ Guide (2013 Rep)

Component Riding(s)
Circonscription(s) constituant

   South Shore-St. Margaret's
   (209/230 polls, 88.86% of voters in new riding)
   2011/2008/2004 Predictions
   Reference - Pundits’ Guide (2003 Rep Order)

Gerald Keddy

   Halifax West
   (21/230 polls, 11.14% of voters in new riding)
   2011/2008/2004 Predictions
   Reference - Pundits’ Guide (2003 Rep Order)

Hon. Geoff Regan


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15 10 18 Carleton Student
This riding is traditionally CPC/NDP. The large growth in the popularity of the Liberal brand and the decline of the NDP in Nova Scotia is good for a few people who are Bill Casey, Darren Fischer, Andy Fillmore, and Richard Clark. Clark will win this for the tories on a split.
15 10 15 Brian Murphy
This riding now seems TCTC! Alex Godbold's number of signs are still increasing, and Jordan's six campaign offices are often closed!
15 10 14 Spx
Time to make some final calls on the TCTC ridings. With the Liberal numbers hitting 50+% again I think this one will go Liberal on Monday.
15 10 12 SC
I hadn't thought overmuch of Liberal odds in this riding, but with the Liberals continuing to dominate in the Atlantic and the NDP's continued weak performance, not to mention the Tories polling at 1993 levels in the Atlantic (or lower), I'd call this one for the Liberals.
15 10 11 M
With the Liberals polling over 50% in Atlantic Canada, only a couple of NDP members that may survive. Tories are facing a complete shutout in Atlantic Canada. Liberal gain.
15 10 10 Jack Cox
Open Seat, Liberal Momentum is on the rise and the Atlantic is their best region, the NDP is not going to win this seat.
15 10 02 Marco Ricci
According to the latest polling, the Liberal lead has grown in the Maritimes over the course of the campaign, and the NDP numbers have dropped off. (In fact, today's Nanos shows the NDP falling behind CPC in the Atlantic region).
This riding may come down to the local strength of the candidates, but right now the higher Trudeau numbers nationally and the decreasing Mulcair numbers give the Liberals a better chance of winning here than they had going into the Summer.
Nanos - Atlantic
LPC - 53.7
CPC - 22.2
NDP - 19.4
15 10 02 R.O.
This has been Gerard Keddy's riding since 1997 when he was first elected , he decided to retire this election and now seats open. Although it had been conservative for a long time it was always a close riding and Keddy never won by large margins. It was also a frequent ndp target and long time ndp candidate Gordon Earle came close a few times and he also isn't running this year. So there is all new candidates in this open riding in a race that is hard to predict. The liberals are also a factor here although historically other than 93 election not been liberal recently. I'm not really sure how new liberal candidate Bernadette Jordan , ndp candidate Alex Godbold or new conservative Richard Clarke will do here . it still appears too close to call
15 10 01 Craig Hubley
NDP numbers are holding steadier in Atlantic Canada than elsewhere, and there has been no measurable Conservative surge in Nova Scotia, but those who watch Toronto (i.e. 'national' media) will be making the extremely bad assumption that a Liberal vote is more effective here and trying to 'vote for Trudeau' (which, in a system with 338 separate races, you aren't doing).
Richard Clark is not a convincing candidate though he is good on the radio and putting up a fair visible threat that will help drive those progressive voters back Liberal on the assumption that he's still viable. Bernadette Jordan is even better on the radio and picks her words quite carefully to appeal more to Conservative voters than NDP voters, while Alex Godbold is clearly trying to appeal to the Greens to get over the top. For instance, in a CBC interview today, Alex mentioned proportional representation as the most exciting thing the NDP has on offer, whereas Jordan and Clark focused on things that appeal a bit less to policy wonks.
These are reasonable strategies for each candidate to take, given Godbold needs fewer votes to win than Jordan, but I think voters looking for the next Gerald Keddy (to look moderate but in fact keep the status quo safe) will be more likely to look to Jordan, especially if they ever voted Con.
So this is a too close to call now I think, and will remain so unless there is a sudden NDP surge in the region, which I think now unlikely. It may well be decided by factors like Green vote swaps into Fredericton that will result in more NDP votes here, or by mis-steps by Mulcair offending May supporters, but I think it won't be Clark or Jordan alienating core LibCon voters, as they are both just a bit too slick for that mistake. A competitive campaign, and the NDP's best shot in Nova Scotia for a pickup.
But by no means a lock.
15 09 13 A.S.
Count me in with those reluctant to bank on a NDP win here (though the provincial Dexter forces *were* more resilient here than usual in 2013)--the big question is where the swooning detritus of Maritime Red Toryism is headed to, or how Mulcair's 'moderate' leadership and platform resonates with old Stanfieldians. And given regional trends, it isn't like the Liberals aren't completely out of the picture, regardless of what some say about Jordan vs Godbold--and given the murk, who's to say the Cons can't eke out yet another win up the middle, though at this point it'd *really* have to be up the middle. Confusing, indeed...
15 09 12 Spx
This is going to be a close one. Not sure the NDP can increase their vote share enough to keep the Liberals at bay. TCTC for now
15 09 01 Tony
After coming so close here so often before the NDP will win the seat this time.
15 08 17 Canadian Election Atlas
It is a little early to call this for the NDP, no? The NDP has been targeting this riding forever, and has not been able to win it. While the NDP might win the general election, it does not mean their support will go up in Nova Scotia, which just kicked out an unpopular NDP government.
I think the only way the NDP wins this seat at this point is if the Liberals and Conservatives are near equal in support, and they come up the middle.
15 08 16 S Davis
Just a correction. No candidate has been declared official as of today. They have not filed their papers yet. There is also a lack of NDP signage, which was not mentioned. I have not seen one political sign in the riding.
15 08 10 Craig Hubley
Greens have nominated Richard Biggar, a decorated veteran who 'was hired at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility. Every day, Richard witnesses the impact of the tough on crime approach, and understands the damage caused to the whole of society by punitive based legislation.'
This appears to be a very clever move to capture Conservative voters, by striking at the heart of their war-loving and convict-hating policies. It doesn't change my prediction, if anything it amplifies it, since the old PC votes fleeing Harper now have two targets, Liberal and Green, one of which is actually against pipelines and offshore oil drilling blowouts. Biggar could pull NDP votes too but I predict he'll three-way split right wingers (Conservative, Liberal, Green) who will vote for veterans and real world crime fighters. And as he is not from the area originally, he will have almost no impact on the NDP machine and its longer term supporters. His nomination is a direct attack on Conservative credibility nationwide and a sign that the Greens are being extremely rational and tactical in their nominations.
15 08 10 Craig Hubley
Calling this finally NDP for the following (locally observed) reasons:
1. Total lack of Liberal or Conservative signage - a substantial Con to Liberal shift as I suggested was possible would have had to start right on the election call and well known Con opinion leaders posting Liberal signs
2. Eastlink (definitely) and provincial Liberals (seemingly) have broken a long standing guarantee to serve '100% of civic addresses' in NS with an unlimited access fixed wireless Internet broadband service. Seaside in the north of the province delivered to all but 10 customers and is upgrading to a 5.0/1.0 service with no caps. Eastlink left 1000 addresses stranded, never met any performance goals, and now is trying to impose a 15GB data cap and 'extra' GB pricing that the Premier calls 'ridiculous' but also says he has no power to stop. Meanwhile NDP Sterling Belliveau instantly got out front of this issue to demand Eastlink perform and the govt ban 'caps'. This issue has made every rural professional in the region livid and it sure will encourage them to sit on their hands for Liberals in Oct. There's increasing awareness that shared infrastructure for telcos and power companies is the only way to network all of rural NS, and that translates into NDP support as they prefer public infrastructure.
3. Total lack of Green anything - no riding association, no candidate, and only a 'regional contact' appears on the greenparty.ca web site; in 2011 the Green quit the party to endorse the NDP, and it has not recovered it seems, not even to the point of putting together a more active endorsement.
4. Unlike the NDP generally Alex Godbold seems quite ready to make open alliances across party lines with voters who oppose Energy East and etc.. In a coastal riding due for devastation by sea level rise, there really is no way to negotiate pipelines: To build any of them is to be a denialist.
I wouldn't be surprised to see him refuse to support Energy East in the House. He also has hesitation about the NDP plan to abolish the Senate (which is almost certainly inoperative on constitutional grounds anyway).
5. Bernadette Jordan has not been visible enough to overcome a perceived NDP lead, NDP events held by Council of Canadians, etc., in this riding.
6. Trudeau is dropping in popularity in Atlantic Canada generally. When his name comes up, I observe a lot of head nodding that he isn't a serious option. A point on which NDP and Conservatives seem to happily agree, and which Liberals (if they exist) aren't contesting publicly or effectively. The local newspapers in the region include basically no pro-Trudeau voice.
15 07 24 Mad Caper
At this point in time I am prepared to change my prediction from TCTC to a New Democrat win based on the facts that Liberal fortunes in the region have taken a turn to the worse and do not seem to be rebounding any time soon and the fact that the Tories have by all appearances given up on winning this seat due to the unpopularity of their decision to discontinue home mail delivery in the Bridgewater area and their nomination of a relative unknown as their Candidate. Add to this the fact that the New Democrats have 2 elected M.L.A.'s in the Federal certainly does not hurt their chances for picking up a seat that has been just slightly out of their reach for a number of elections now. For now a N.D.P. gain.
15 06 11 RJC
This will go for either Liberal candidate Bernadette Jordan or NDP candidate Alex Godbold, depending on precisely how the parties end up performing in NS generally. The Tories are already disadvantaged in this riding without Keddy, and they erred in selecting 23-year-old tiny Tory insider Richard Clark to be their standardbearer here. The Tories would need to be headed for a big majority for Clark to pull through, I think.
15 05 30 Craig Hubley
With the departure of MacKay, and the nomination of an inexperienced Harper insider who previously worked on losing campaigns for Baillie and Alward in which he promoted fracking... this has become an anything-but-Conservative riding.
However, that means old PC votes will shift en masse to the Liberal Party of Canada, which shares enough Harper policies to be attractive to them, and to keep out the NDP and Greens who are definitely on a rising tide this election.
None of the four candidates running for the major parties have ever run before, which is rare. Alex Godbold is extremely eloquent in writing and extremely knowledgeable and persuasive about larger economic and ecological issues that affect the riding, notably penning an op-ed that clearly laid out the global monetary reasons to avoid further entagling in Tar Sands, and to invest in renewable energy and efficiency instead. Things we do very well on the South Shore actually. Bernadette Jordan is well liked and her church and social ties will help her farm those votes Keddy used to get which Richard Clark cannot hold.
However those same issues and values that favour the NDP help the Greens perhaps more, so it's a question of whether Godbold can attract some Green votes (via swaps perhaps) and focus the anti-C-51 and anti-Energy-East vote for himself. And whether Jordan can appeal to the old PC crowd that Peter MacKay's departure is a signal that Harper must go, or they will see NDP and Green domination of East Coast politics. In other words preach that the same unity the BC Liberals had to create, is now needed on this coast.
Given the weird situation with Harper dodging debate and it not being clear if May will get to debate Mulcair, and who will get to softball or hardball Trudeau, it's basically unpredictable how the national race affects this one, and therefore I think it will remain TCTC right up to election day.
15 05 21 Mr. Dave
The Conservatives have nominated 23-year old Richard Clark, who is from Shelburne County, in the very western end of the riding. He'd been working for the Conservative Party in Ottawa, and went back to S.S.S.M. to contest the nomination.
Meanwhile, the NDP have nominated Alex Godbold, a teacher from New Germany, Lunenburg County, right in the middle of the riding.
Liberal candidate Bernadette Jordan lives outside of Bridgewater, Lunenburg County.
Given the voting patterns during the past two provincial elections, where no provincial Conservative has been elected (except for the very western portion of Shelburne in the Argyle-Barrington riding), it looks like the Conservatives consider S.S.S.M. a lost cause this time.
With the NDP only a few thousand votes behind the Conservatives, the ABC movement should see this riding go orange in 2015.
15 05 05 Caper15
I'm not sure about this riding at all, but I can't see the Tories keeping it. Maybe had they ran a high profile candidate, but I see they nominated some 23 year old with no name recognition at all. Just amazes me that when they need every seat they can, they would throw this one away.
15 04 16 Madcaper
This is an other Halifax Area seat that is definitely up for grabs. The Postal issue in Bridgewater will hurt the Conservative support and if the Blue Liberals return to the fold and the New Democrats hold or improve their vote then they could come up the middle for a close win on e-night. But until we see who the Parties nominate I would have to call this TCTC. One to watch for sure.
15 03 26 westnovascotian
Definitely pegging this one as too close to call. With the Conservative incumbent not re-offering and their vote share way down in the province, it is prime for a potential Liberal or even NDP pick-up. However, I wouldn't count the Conservatives out yet though, they managed to hold this riding in 2011 and 2008 when everyone thought it would be an NDP pickup. Let's wait and see who the Conservatives and NDP nominate.
15 03 25 Jack Cox
The Liberals should win this riding, right now in the Atlantic the liberal share of the vote is so high It's going to mean seats without incumbents that have their own personal popularity are going to go under, this is an open seat and the NDP are not running Gordon Earle. Bernadette Jordan is on her way to the House of Commons.
15 03 22 Mr. Dave
S.S.S.M. will be a riding to watch next time.
With Gerald Keddy taking his large parliamentary pension into retirement, there is no incumbent factor to help the Conservatives this election.
This decision of the Conservative government through Canada Post to take away door-to-door mail delivery in the largest community, Bridgewater, will cost the Conservatives a lot of support.
Where that support goes will determine who wins.
Should a great deal of the 'blue Liberals' who abandoned the Liberals in 2011 in order to prevent an NDP win return, an NDP win is possible.
S.S.S.M. was the only federal seat where the NDP returned two provincial M.L.A.s in the 2013 provincial election, so the NDP has shown continued support here.
There are two people contesting the NDP nomination; Courtney Wentzell of Brooklyn, Queens Co., who is the Executive Assistant to Sterling Beliveau, one of the NDP M.L.A.s who was re-elected in 2013, and Alex Godbold, a bilingual teacher, marathon runner and environmental activist from New Germany, Lunenburg Co.
Stay tuned.
15 03 18 Craig Hubley
If not for redistribution this would be too close to call, as Trudeau is very popular in Atlantic Canada and the provincial Liberals have not yet offended anyone too deeply on the South Shore - unlike the NDP who almost immediately cancelled the ferry to Maine, which killed their own majority pretty much upon taking office. However, the NDP did eventually bring a different ferry back, and any Darrel Dexter bad blood from not listening to local NDP MLAs (who all performed well) is probably well worked out. Both NDP and Liberals here are about equally motivated. Without the incumbent Gerald Keddy to pretend that Harper's party is the old PC Party (Keddy voted for equal marriage and transgender rights, so it wasn't total fiction) it seems the Conservative role this time is to act as spoiler: A poor candidate perceived as pro-Harper will shift many Conservative votes to the Liberal. Kerry Morash is the highest profile person seeking the Con nomination but he has nothing really to recommend him other than not being one of the many Rodney MacDonald ministers to profoundly screw up. His environmental record - which counts for a lot on the South Shore - is fine but no one seriously believes he would change the pro-polluter Harper regime.
The Liberal nominee Bernadette Jordan is the weakest they have run in a while, with former MPs and popular Mayors being the previous candidates, but even they could not quell a general NDP tide in this riding for some years now. Freed to focus on the federal race, the NDP can only blow it with a bad nomination. But they may do that, so no opinion as yet.
Green organizing is nowhere in this riding so there will be no serious vote split. Most Greens here view themselves as GreeNDP types with the priority being to oust Harper.
Issues that will decide this riding, and which wont:
- Carbon tax encountered resistance in 2011 and Gerald Keddy was able to use a lot of fear tactics around that, with lower oil prices, not likely
- Fisheries are in better shape due to lower dollar - no thanks to Harper or Tar Sands - but changes in licensing were opposed by organized fishers
- Climate change - despite a rough winter, there are few or no denialists in this riding, almost everyone has seen the drastic change in averages and is well aware of the global risk of sea level rise - fracking was one of the hottest provincial issues in NS and NB and waste methane release was far more often cited than in other anti-fracking activist campaigns
- With many poor working people in their 40s and 50s in this riding, the theft of OAS from destitute 65- and 66- year olds to fill up yacht gas tanks for rich 67-year old retirees will cost Conservatives many votes
- With almost everyone having strongly opposed some official action in the past 40 years, from poorly placed planned national parks to toxic chippers placed next to schools, Bill C-51 is probably being received pretty poorly by those who actually know what it says. Which is not a lot of folks yet. This may be more of an issue for the coastal and activist population which is an important NDP-Liberal-Green swing that may shift NDP here due to Mulcair's strong stand and genuine chance to win in this constituency.
Most importantly, rural infrastructure has been the focus of the local newspaper for years now:
'We need to speak up and fight for the core infrastructure our communities need to ensure entrepreneurship can flourish outside our towns and cities. We need universal access to true high-speed Internet; a reliable, accessible and affordable energy supply that doesn't degrade our environment; transportation systems that work for all rural citizens; recreational facilities that serve to keep us active; schools that keep up with current technology and infrastructure standards; libraries and all they offer available to all residents; and timely access to the best medical care.' - Lynn Hennigar, publisher, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin, Wed. Feb. 25, 2015 (page A4)
This corner of the province has vast potential to attract immigration and investment especially in high-tech businesses that can work from anywhere. It has a major video game developers, composite carbon parts maker, even a revolutionary solar forge, just in Lunenburg, a town of under 3000 people. But it gets basically no support for high tech strategy, nor for building more traditional artisan businesses with apprentices. We have neither a fixed route transit system to bring 16-21 year olds to work, nor a dark fibre option to Halifax to let local ISPs serve coastal villages, nor even universal cell service or reliable power with a modern grid. These are all deal-killers for high tech investors, or indeed anyone who compares so much as across the Bay of Fundy with Maine - which has all these things except the power grid, and is working on that.
This riding goes to whichever candidate and party can restore it to par in infrastructure with New England, which is where it's real competitors are.
Basically, if you don't know what the 'Three Ring Binder' is, and how to elaborate the return on investment of a fixed route transit system, it is probably not as great riding to run in. Because you'll get asked both in the all-candidates' meetings, and the public will understand the answers.

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