Election Insights

A Hat-Trick of Provincial Elections

British Colombians, New Brunswickers and Saskatchewanians each vote within days of each other this October. Here’s a quick take on what things look like six months out:

April 22, 2024

Matt DeCourcey is a seasoned public policy leader and trusted advisor to decision makers at the local, national, and international level. He is the former Member of Parliament for Fredericton, and now serves as Head of Corporate Affairs for InterKnowlogy.

A Hat-Trick of Provincial Elections

Canadian political trick-or-treaters will receive an early Halloween bucket (or pillowcase) of sweets this October.

Three provinces are scheduled to go to the polls in the final weeks of the month, and political watchers are already out in full force with prognostications and predictions based on public opinion polling and on-the-ground knowledge.

Here at InterKnowlogy, our iK Insights Elections Platform can help engage audiences and inform voters on the state of their democracy, providing both high-level and in-depth takes on what is happening throughout the Canadian electoral landscape.

British Colombians, New Brunswickers and Saskatchewanians each vote within days of each other this October. Here’s a quick take on what things look like six months out:

British Colombia Provincial Election – October 19th

The NDP’s David Eby, who assumed the reigns as Premier in November 2022, maintains what some pollsters argue is a “substantial, sustained lead” over the surging BC Conservatives and the flagging BC United. This is true despite growing dissatisfaction with a government seeking its third term in power.

Kevin Falcon and BC United’s demise has been to John Rustad and the BC Conservatives’ boon as the Conservatives have effectively replaced the former BC Liberals in public opinion as the main alternative to the BC NDP.

Will the rising support for Pierre Poilievre and the federal Conservatives continue to boost prospects for Rustad and co., and deliver them their first seat in an election since 1978? Or will conflation with the unaffiliated federal party only serve to split the centre-right vote and give the NDP an easy path to another majority?

Pay attention to the Lower Mainland & Fraser Valley region, purported to be the most competitive in the province. In fact, some polls show a three-way spread of no more than six points in this region. Whereas Metro Vancouver continues to be the NDP’s strength with half of residents saying they would vote for the party.

And don’t forget the Greens who currently hold two seats. They will be targeting a handful of ridings in hopes of playing a “balancing of power” role should the final tally be razor thin.

New Brunswick Provincial Election – October 21st

Premier Blaine Higgs leads a Progressive Conservative (PC) Party that has seen at least 10 of 27 incumbents announce their plans not to reoffer this fall.

Amidst turmoil embroiling the governing party over Higg’s leadership style, his imposition of policies that address trans-gender youth, and general dissatisfaction about the state of healthcare in the province, most polls place the PC’s six point back of the Susan Holt-led NB Liberals.

Given the regional dynamics and New Brunswick’s French-English divide, that lead may not be enough for the Liberals to topple the PCs. Most experts agree that due to the Liberals spending on votes in the Francophone North, they need be to 8-10 points clear of the PCs to have a chance at forming government.

Pay attention to how things break in the battleground seats in Moncton and Fredericton. There are one or two seats in Saint John that may be wildcards. The third place Green Party, who currently hold three seats, continue to cause mathematical problems for the Liberals in their attempt to secure the 25 seats needed to form a majority government.

Saskatchewan Provincial Election – October 28th

Scott Moe’s Saskatchewan Party—currently the longest-serving governing party in the country—have seen some recent polls that suggest a mounting charge to their incumbency from the provincial NDPs.

Carla Beck and the Saskatchewan NDP may be seeing their numbers on the rise, but experts argue it is likely not enough to overturn the Saskatchewan Party’s almost 17-year hold on power. While polls suggest that the NDP would do well in, and possibly sweep, seats in Saskatoon and Regina, it is still likely not enough for them to topple the government.

Despite public opinion in the province that suggests a sizable majority of residents think that Moe’s government have done a poor job handling rising cost of living issues and state of health care, their relatively stable support outside the two main urban centres means they are likely to win another majority government, though with a reduced number of seats.

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