Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Saskatchewan Election Results.

The results of the election were as follows:

51 - SKP
10 - NDP

You likely heard the NDP took 9 seats last time, and that is true, but also misleading. Due to boundary changes, the NDP was actually sitting on 10 seats. This election they took 10. The differences are in where those seats changed. Both Moose Jaw and Prince Albert are split into two ridings, one covering the north, and another the south, of their respective cities. The NDP has, effectively, changed their Moose Jaw seat (which was based on math) for a Prince Albert seat (filled by a real human) The NDP also exchange it's current leader's seat in Saskatoon for it's former leader's seat in Regina. Should the NDP exchange this seat for their next leader in the next election, that would be a "hat trick" of leader losses.

So, we all knew this was coming, that's a bit boring; so what is interesting? We could look at second place finishers:

As you may see, there is one riding with a giant blue X in it. This indicates that in this riding, if you combine all the "other" parties (not including the first two) that the total would put that combined vote in second. This is more to indicate that this does not occur in any other riding; in 59 of the 61 ridings, the two major parties took so many votes, that even all other parties combined could not finish second. Kindersley is the one riding where the NDP finished in third, as an Independent and former Sask Party MLA ran (and lost). Speaking of third:

This is perhaps the most interesting map. The PC Party actually maintains some of it's historic pattern, not exactly, but the north-south split is clear. The Liberals meanwhile win a majority of the ridings on this 3rd place map, indicating a positive step in rebuilding. The Greens are not left out; they win their leader's riding, as well as three others in more rural areas. I can not say for certain exactly why they won these areas, but I have noted a few things. First, Weyburn (in the extreme south) saw both the Liberal and PC Candidates doing worse than expected, leaning me to think there are local voting patterns and/or issues impacting the result. Second, Swift Current (the small one) is the home of Brad Wall. It's important to remember that the Saskatchewan Party was a merger of the majority of PC Party MLAs with the majority of Liberal Party MLAs. Wall, although a PC member at the time, has governed very much in a "Liberal" manner (or at least, how Liberal was understood, provincially in Saskatchewan, at the time or said merger.) It is extremely likely that he gains a personal vote from Liberals. Lastly in Rosetown, the Greens seem to actually have (a very small amount) of local strength, while the Liberals do not. There was no PC Candidate in this riding and it is my guess that had one run, they would have won (3rd place in) this riding.

I may be able to use some of this data to "unmerge" the Saskatchewan Party, and do an estimation as to what an election would have looked like, if the Saskatchewan Party did not exist, and if the PC Party and Liberals were both competitive.

So what does this all mean?

Independents: 1,680 votes, 0.39%. Nobody won, so nobody will remember any of them even ran. Last election they took 44 votes, at 0.01%.

Western Independence Party: 318 votes, 0.07%. They finished 4th and beat the Liberals in the one riding in which they ran (the northmost PC riding on the 3rd place map), but despite that, my mentioning them here on this small blog is the best thing to come out of the election for them. Last election they took 58 votes, at 0.01%.

Tories: 5,515 votes, 1.29% or 4.14% in ridings where they ran. This is not that bad, better than the Liberals on a per-riding basis. The PC Party seems to be on the slow path to rebuilding, the problem is long-term loyalty and stability. The Liberals could always pull on Federal members, but the PC Party has no similar pull with most CPC members being Saskatchewan Party supporters. If the party can manage a full slate, and take 5% of the vote or more, they could be on the path to being truly "back". Last election they took 1,315 votes, at 0.33%, but 3.5% in the ridings which they ran.

Greens: 7,896 votes, 1.85%. Not so great, but not so bad that any heads need to roll. While they are down from last election, that was facing a much less crowded field; where the Tories had only run 5 candidates, and the Liberals, 9, with only 3 others running, meaning that 42 ridings had only SKP, NDP, and Green candidates. Losing what they did in that context is fair. Last election they took 11,561 votes at 2.87%

Liberals: 15,399 votes, 3.61%. Good, not great. Had this been great, Lamoureaux would be guaranteed his job next election. There's certainly no reason to dump him, but he may not want to stick around as a seatless leader of a 3.6% party. What's important is that all the above parties combined only took 15,409 votes; and while that is 10 votes more than the Liberals, it does indicate the province now clearly has a "3rd party". The problem is they also clearly had a "3rd party" last time, and that party finished 4th this time. The future of the party will be determined by what it's members do over the next year. If they are still committed to the party, it will continue to grow, but if they say "screw this" because things did not go as well as they hoped, the party will not be any further ahead after this election than they were before it. Last election they took 2,237, at 0.56%.

NDP: 129,530 votes, 30.36%, 10 seats. Wow did things turn out badly. The election did not turn out this way because the Saskatchewan Party has done so well; it has turned out this way because of the NDP's awful campaign. Lets also look at other provinces. In PEI they failed to elect an MLA. In NB they failed to elect an MLA. Federally they lost Leslie, Stoffer, and Harris. And now here in Saskatchewan, Broten, the leader, has lost his seat. The NDP has forgotten tactics; compare this to the aforementioned PEI and NB where the Greens managed to elect MLAs. The NDP (not just the Saskatchewan NDP) has forgotten how to organize, and this problem will continue to haunt the party until such as time as they figure it out. Last election they took 128,673 votes, 31.97%, and 9 seats (10 redistributed)

Saskatchewan Party: 267,238 votes, 62.63%, 51 seats. It's interesting to compare raw votes over time, while this is a high share, you only have to go back to the 80's and 90's to find parties taking a higher vote, mostly due to the fact that in those elections, 100,000 more people voted. In addition, Saskatchewan is a funny word, say it a few times... Okay I admit, I am avoiding discussing the performance of the Saskatchewan Party because there's nothing new to say. People like Wall. Saskatchewan's economy has done well compared to other provinces. The Saskatchewan Party has taken moderate stances that appeals to the electorate. That's all. Last election they took 258,598 votes, 64.25%, and 49 seats (51 redistributed)

What we knew would happen, happened; NDP did poorly.

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