Saturday, April 23, 2016

Manitoba Post-Mortem: Liberals

Despite some early indications of a possible outright victory, the Manitoba Liberals finished in third, and returned to their traditional "3rd party" levels of support.

Importantly, the party failed in what was their most important strategic goal, to displace the NDP as the home of progressive voters in Manitoba.

Despite that, we can see from the map below, that they do have some key areas of support from which to grow:

This is what happens when you double the Liberal vote in every riding. You can see the "S" in Winnipeg, as well as a few other ridings in the area. In the north you can see the two ridings they've done well in, as well as Interlake. I'm uncertain why they did well here, it could either be an indication of support in the area, or, a strong candidate. Regardless, if we want to see what happens when the Liberals return in force, we need to bump their vote from 200% to 300%

This map is more explicit in where areas of growth exist. With some key differences, this map does mirror Federal support, as well as past Provincial support. As such, the party is in a good position from which to grow.

This brings us to the leader. Rana Bokhari. Bokhari seems to have control of the machinery of the Manitoba Liberal Party, and support of it's President, and presumably, Executive and Council. This is a radical change as the party's "establishment" was her primary opponent when she became leader. Since then she's managed to gain control over the party itself, and has done a good job at this, showing a level of competence that is hopeful.

However, Bokhari and her party machinery utterly failed in the election. This indicates a level of incompetence that needs to be dealt with. It remains to be seen how things will play out, but from a tactical point of view, it's important to get rid of Bokhari. For this reason, I feel the caucus will, if not soon, later, feel the need to dump her. The problem comes with her control over the party. It is very unhealthy for a small party to see it's caucus and executive fight; when this has happened before, it has always put the party out of contention for a decade or more.

As such, it remains to be see if she will be a Jim Bennett, who is forced out due to party conflicts, or Dalton McGuinty, who did awful in his first election, but later went on to become Premier.


  1. Re: Interlake, I believe it was a stronger candidate. Jamal Abas was one of the earliest nominated for the Liberals, his family are farmers and local to the area (I think his bio said they're third generation?) and iirc he's also a professor at a university. Overall a solid candidate that swept up some NDP vote that couldn't vote Pallister, though I doubt be could have actually won in a riding like that - still, example of a candidate that went right for the Liberals, unlike what happened with Berger, Moore, et al.

    1. I've looked deeper into interlake, and it does seem there is a real growing base of Liberal support in the area on all levels.

  2. Re: Bokhari, I think the situation you laid out is generally correct, unfortunately. I think the caucus will not take much direction from Bokhari while the party exec sticks by her. I'm hoping to glean a bit more from the situation when I'm there for the convention in May.

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