Last week in our electoral mapping feature we looked at what the difference between the popular vote and actual votes-per-riding… which revealed how hard it would be, despite rising popular support, for the NDP to overcome the Liberal party as the official opposition. On Friday we then looked at the Liberal party’s relative strength from Labrador City to Conception Bay – numbers which don’t translate to popular votes but are quite close in some areas to translating to real seats in the House of Assembly.
Today we look at the PC Party on a riding-by-riding basis. As you can see with the map below, PC support is so high across the board that we are forced to look not at areas of strength, but at potential areas of weakness. According to various polls taken in the time period between January to last week, the departure of Danny Williams as leader of the PC party has not had the drastic change on the political landscape as some had predicted. The popularity of the party has slipped marginally though, and this may have an effect on ridings where the vote was already quite close the last time around.
But even assuming that may have some effect, how many ridings would that really influence? In the 2007 election there were 4 seats the PCs won with a 20-30% lead; 1 seat they won with a 15-20% lead; 2 seats they won with a 10-15% lead; 2 seats they won with a 5-10% lead; and 2 seats which they won with under a 5% margin of victory. According to the math, and all things beings equal, the PCs are realistically vulnerable in just 4 seats. But even with that said, they did lose one seat by just a 4% margin and have their hearts set on John Noseworthy winning the Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi seat from NDP leader Lorraine Michael.
For the sake of argument, even if all 11 of the seats which the PCs won by less than 30% of the vote were in play, and assuming they again lost the 4 seats that they did last time around, Kathy Dunderdale would still emerge as Premier with a healthy majority of 33 seats.
And what about the NDP with all of that momentum? The NDP surge is not particularly troubling to either the PCs or the Liberals, as that surge is taking place primarily on the Northeast Avalon, where – as you can see on the map below – the PCs are quite dominant (and the Liberals have no chance of victory anyways).
What does this map say about the PCs in the upcoming election? Barring a monumental collapse in support, the party will be just fine heading into their 3rd consecutive majority government.