Saturday, October 17, 2015

How do Green candidates win?


    Turns out that when Green candidates do well their right-wing counterparts don't!  How is this? Let's take a look at the data from past elections in B.C. that had strong Green candidates.

    In the 2008 federal election, the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding was won by a Conservative incumbent with 43% of the vote. The Liberal’s had 39% and the Green Party had 10% (Note: the NDP candidate dropped out of the race but still received votes).

    In 2011: Elizabeth May won with 46% of the vote, Conservatives 35%, NDP 12%, Liberals 6%.




    Provincially, in 2009, the Oak Bay- Gordon Head riding was won by a right wing Liberal incumbent with 46% of the vote, followed by the NDP with 44% and Greens at 8.9%. In 2013: Andrew Weaver and the Green vote won with 40% of the vote, followed by Liberal Cabinet Minister Ida Chong and the NDP each receiving nearly 30% each.



    The federal riding of Victoria in 2011 saw NDP incumbent Denise Savoie with 50%, Conservatives were second with 23% and the Greens at 11%.


    In the fall 2012 by-election when Savoie stepped down, the NDP loudly claimed that a vote for Green Party candidate law professor Donald Galloway would elect a Conservative – after all the Conservatives had come in second only a year before.

    In that by-election: NDP’s finished with 37% of the vote, Greens’ Galloway placed a close second at 34% and the Conservatives were a distant third at 14%.





    One last example: In 2011, the Green Party won only 9% of the vote against an incumbent Cabinet minister in Prince Edward Island. This year, Green Party leader Peter Bevan Baker defeated that same Cabinet minister in a bi-election with 54% of the vote.


    Conclusions:




  1. 2011 results are not useful predictors for this 2015 federal election.
  2. The percentage of support for the right-wing party dropped in every single one of these examples, at precisely the same time the voter turnout increased (by the younger voter and those who otherwise wouldn’t have voted).
  3. The truth is that when Greens do well the Conservatives don't! 
  4. In every one of the above examples, the strong Green race corresponded with a very high voter turn-out. This is no coincidence! It is the younger voter, plus the otherwise-won't-vote folk, who make the difference.
  5. In 2011, Saanich-Gulf Islands had a 75% voter turn-out. When Andrew Weaver won his seat, Oak-Bay-Gordon Head had the highest voter turn-out in BC at 69%. New Brunswick Green Candidate David Coon won in a riding with 70% voter turn-out and Peter Bevan Baker’s riding had an astonishing 90% voter turn-out.


  6. Would you like a proactive plan that is positive, pragmatic and committed to a robust democracy, a healthy economy and a meaningful climate action plan?

    Then, vote! And take some friends along with you.

    With thanks from Frances Litman, Green candidate for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke

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