First off, I want to look at the estimated raw votes, changes between this and last electionPCP +47,130
These numbers are not final, they are all subject to change and will certainly change. Regardless, it does clearly show that the "gain" the PC Party made was far smaller than people may think. In fact, of all the new votes, under half (not over half) went to the PC Party. The strength of the party came from their already existing voter base. The big difference is that the PC Party has won Winnipeg in terms of seats, as opposed to last election when they took only a handful. The share of vote was as follows:
53.4% - PCP
25.6% - NDP
14.2% - LIB
5.2% - GRN
1.1% - MBP
0.5% - IND
0.1% - CPM
This is the largest win since 1915. Both then and now the government will command 40 seats, with the difference being that now there are 17 opposition seats as opposed to 2 back in 1915.
The PC Party's base of support, mentioned earlier, has been around for quite some time. 35% is the lowest level of support since 1953 when they took 21%. The Tories, hence, have a very strong base of support and can not be under-estimated. Even facing a loss next time, they will still be able to hold together a good chunk of support.
Facing them is an Official Opposition that is by no means small. It may have been 1962 when we last had a smaller one, but between 1915 and 1962 most oppositions were smaller. Their over 25% means they beat their 1988. This could have been much worse for the NDP.
The Liberals meanwhile have returned to more recently-traditional levels of support. The roughly 14% they took this election, however in 1999, 2003, and 2007, the party took between 12%-14% in each election. As such, this election is less of a success for the Liberals and more of a returning to their former presence as the clear 3rd party option.
The Greens have done very well, especially for a party with only 30 candidates. If they had a full slate, they could have taken 9.9%. Of course, this presumes the same average, when, in reality, ridings 'missing' candidates often indicate weakness in the party in the area; so perhaps 8%, or 7% is more realistic.
I've already addressed the Manitoba Party in an earlier post. With dedication, the party could become a permanent fixture, taking a quarter to a third of the vote in some ridings.
I will be looking at more specifics when I address the individual parties in future posts. I've done one on the Manitoba Party, and will be doing one on the Green Party, the Liberals, and on my own projection.
As such, the general story here is less that Manitoba has changed in any radical way, and more that about 1 out of every 10 Manitobans (mostly those living in Winnipeg) has decided to try out a different brand of government.