Sunday, November 17, 2019

Wexit Party, which seats could it win? (and a lesson on quick research)

I wanted to examine which seats a Wexit party, that runs federally and provincially, as they plan to, could win. Much like the Bloc and Parti Quebecois, a party running on an issue like this will see very similar vote patterns federally and provincially. What will change is the vote patterns of the other parties, thus meaning, again like the Bloc and Parti Quebecois, that even on identical vote shares, the party could win different seats. Consider for example, a PQ at 40%, facing a PLQ at 40% and a CAQ at 20%. Now consider a BQ at 40%, facing a CPC at 40% and LPC at 20%. There will be PQ ridings lost by the BQ and BQ ridings lost by the PQ, simply because of the differences in the other parties.

With that in mind, I'd like to start by looking at Manitoba. Rather than simply tell you, I'll teach. Go here:

This is a website I find myself using a few times a week.

In the navigation bar at the top, select MB (between SK and ON)

Hover your mouse around the ridings, and you will see in the upper right, the results in the riding you are hovering over. You can use the mouse wheel to zoom in to Winnipeg and look around summore.

One thing you should notice is that none of the parties you can see popping up in the box to the upper right are useful to us. None of them share many if any platform planks with the Wexit party, which appears to be a neo-nationalist and separatist party.

Going to the 2016 election give us the Manitoba Party, a right-wing party. Note where the party has done well (south and west rural ridings). Now go to 1990 and look at some CoR results; they've done well in the south and central rural ridings. 1988 shows the CoR also doing well in the rural south and west. With this, we have a pattern. Lets look to confirm or deny it. Social Credit is the only other viable party we can compare. Looking at past elections, the pattern seems to hold; these parties do well in rural areas in the south central and south west parts of the province. Note how weak they seem to be (and note that one MP getting elected does not make a party strong; it simply indicates a possible locally popular candidate VS popular ideas)

Head back to the federal map. Use the scrollbar on the right if you need to, and click "FEDERAL" now going through the years, check Manitoba results. Check where the 1988 reform party did well. The 1984 election is also interested as CoR, or the Confederation of Regions, played into separatist sentiments.

Now, if we do the same with Saskatchewan we find that the pattern is that, excepting the remote north, areas 'away' from the big cities, on the borders, are more friendly towards such parties and ideas.

It's important to also note here the difference in strength between the strength of the party in each province. Manitoba, unlike Alberta or Saskatchewan, does not have a strong separatist undercurrent right now, nor has it had such even during the last big push at western separatism in the 1970's and 1980's.

As such, the 'map' of the seats the party could take in an election in which they do well is as follows:

Saskatchewan is a lot harder to model, with only the WCC performance in the 80's providing a reliable base to build from. Regardless, it is doable, and doing so, produces the following:

Combined, federally, we get the following:

Alberta provides us with many chances to model such an election. We see strength in the rural and southern areas, but also a pocket of strength in Calgary. Wildrose, 1988 Reform, and the WCC all conform to this basic pattern. The results we get are as follows:

For British Columbia, it is important to keep in mind that a lot of what is driving the current resentment is much less popular in BC than it is in Alberta or Saskatchewan. As such, support is limited.

Combined, we get 19 seats Federally, and enough Provincial seats to force some minorities, but not enough for Governments. Saskatchewan in particular will likely tend towards a bandwagon effect; whereby either the Wexit party does well. Even in the above estimation (reminder: this is the estimation if the wins in a good election for the Wexit party) they take 16 seats, compared to 35 for the Saskatchewan Party.

Of course, this does not take into account the impact a Wexit party would have on the vote for various other right-wing parties. The Alberta NDP made it into office partly on a split vote on the right. While an Alberta right-wing government can survive with a divided right, one in Saskatchewan likely can not. As such, the Wexit party there will likely either remain small (taking a handful of seats, if any) or will suppland the Saskatchewan Party as the main alternative to the NDP.

All of this, is, of course, based on a good election for the party. For comparison purposes, a good election, by the same metric, for the Green Party, would see them form three provincial governments, and take over 60 seats federally across Canada. As such, the Wexit party has a long way to go to get here.

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