We all live in our Facebook bubbles and watch or listen to the news that reinforces our point of view, so it is a shocker most elections when those other guys win. No one I know voted for them! How can it be?
Back a few months ago I was pondering the upcoming BC election and, being a bit of a spreadsheet queen, decided to run the numbers from past elections back to 2001. (Farther back the data is presented differently, so too time consuming for an amateur like me.)
I was looking for ridings that might possibly go Green.
Any riding that had voted more than 20% Green made the list. Then any riding where the variation in BC Liberal or BC NDP was greater then 20% was added. My thinking was that ridings that are solidly Liberal or NDP through multiple elections are unlikely to change, but those with large swing votes are uncommitted and could be up for grabs.
The most interesting fact for me was the number of solid ridings, ones where one of the parties has had over 50% of the vote in every election since 2001*:
For the Liberals: 32
For the NDP: 7.
This is a lopsided fight from the start.
There are 13 ridings that have large swing votes—my uncommitteds—that appear in play, and another 30 or so that are mushy but with no Green presence.
None of this discounts the unpredictability of the electorate, nor the seething anger towards Christy Clark and what that might do. But it is a dose of reality for those hoping for change.
*This is out of a total of 87 ridings. Some have been redrawn over the years, but you get the idea.