Political Predictions with Vaughan Palmer

Back in 2013, no one expected the Liberals to win the election. With a leader that wasn’t supported or liked by her own party and the NDP a reportedly nine points ahead, it was clear come election day who would be BC’s next majority.

But as award-winning journalist and political columnist Vaughn Palmer explained, “Christie Clark is a formidable campaigner. And from what we’ve learned from that election, no one is going to mess with her again.” And those nine points? Turns out they were incorrectly accounted for, which meant the NDP was really only 4 points ahead of the Liberal Party; information that came too little too late. As Vaughn pointed out, people didn’t show up to vote for the NDP because they believed they didn't have to. It was a sure thing.

As we now learned, Clark and the Liberal party did win that election, and with the next one just days away, Palmer shared the current issues that will decide who will reign for the next four years at our latest Breakfast Event.

Voter Turnout

“There’s a reason politicians campaign more for lower fees on hip replacements and less about rising student debt. It’s because people who are 60 years of age and older actually turn out to vote. Young people don’t.”

Four years ago, 45% of the province didn’t vote, and the majority of this demographic was under the age of 40. However, during the federal election just two years later, it was a much different outcome. Half a million more people in this age group did turn out and vote to place Trudeau as Prime Minister.

This show just how volatile a time we are in. People are calling for a change. So if just 100,000 Millennials turn up for this upcoming election, it could drastically change the seats across the province.

Trump and Trade Issues

The current trade issues between the US and Canada have recently become front-page news, as Trump has blasted Canada for recent regulations that could bankrupt Wisconsin’s dairy farmers, as well as continuous issues over softwood. This has created “a wrinkle into the election that Premier Clark can now cling to, which was apparent in the latest debate”. 

Liberal Ad Campaigning

Though the Liberal Party has much more financial support, Palmer noted that they’ve spent about the same amount of campaign dollars as the NDP. However, the parties opted for a much different strategy. Whereas the NDP came out strong with their ads at the beginning of the campaign, the Liberals are waiting for these last few days to push their messaging. How or if this will affect the voters will soon be revealed.

Vote Splitting

The NDP has never won an election without vote splitting. This is when the distribution of votes among parties reduces the chance of winning for any of the similar candidates, and increases the chance of winning for a dissimilar candidate. If the parties experience a similar outcome, a new leader could emerge.

Palmer’s Prediction

“The NDP has to pick-up 10 seats to be the majority, and that’s no easy task. Unless there’s a huge shift in opinion or a vote splitting with the Green Party, the odds are stacked against them. I think there will be a reduced majority for the Liberals, but otherwise they’ll voted in for another four years.”

Who do you think will win the next BC election? Tweet @naiopvancouver and let us know!

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