Sunday, April 3, 2016

Saskatchewan Party likely to win a majority in Saskatchewan election

Regina - When the Saskatchewan Legislature was dissolved on March 8, the Saskatchewan Party polled 53.5 percent of the vote, while the opposition New Democratic Party(NDP) had 34.5 percent.

The election began with the Saskatchewan Party led by Premier Brad Wall having a commanding lead over the NDP. Often during a campaign, a lead this large will shrink. This time the opposite is happening. As of April the 1st the poll averages were: Saskatchewan Party 59.9 percent; NDP, 30.7 percent. The Green Party and Liberals both have 4.3 percent of the vote. The margin between the Saskatchewan Party and the NDP has increased from 19 points to over 29. Unless the April 1st averages were an April Fool prank , the outlook for the NDP tomorrow does not seem rosy.
The seat projections as of April 1st are not encouraging. The average number of seats the Saskatchewan Party is predicted to get is 49 with the NDP only getting 12. No other party will win a seat. If these projections are anywhere near correct, the Saskatchewan Party is headed for a third majority government. In Saskatoon and the rural parts of the province the gap between the Saskatchewan Party is little changed: "The NDP trails by about 19 points in Saskatoon and 40 points outside of the urban centres. In 2011, that gap was 20 and 43 points, respectively." The NDP is shrinking the gap in Regina with the NDP at 42 percent and the Saskatchewan Party at 49. This is a 7 point drop for the Saskatchewan Party. The NDP could pick up 2 or 3 seats but this will not change the situation much province-wide. Pollsters have been wrong in the past however as in Alberta but the situation is rather different here with the incumbents leading in the first place.
The Regina Leader Post has an article that describes some of the problems in the NDP campaign:.. it lost four candidates in the first week because it didn’t vet their social media accounts; it lost its own campaign manager, ensuring an image of a campaign in shambles; it missed opportunities like capitalizing on the two homeless men bused by the government to B.C., and; it presented a platform that gave the Saskatchewan Party reason to raise legitimate concerns about its cost.Leader of the NDP, Cam Broten does not seem to have gained much support whereas Brad Wall has been a popular premier. However, the NDP only won 9 seats in the last election so he may better that. Perhaps by next election the deteriorating economic conditions in Saskatchewan will give the NDP a better chance of winning.
Global News lists some of the main promises of the two parties. The Saskatchewan Party has six new platform promises that total only $105 million over 4 years. The costliest is $70 million on highway repairs. The Saskatchewan Party would also sell off 40 of the 75 government-owned liquor stores. The most expensive NDP promise is $106 million over 4 years for health-care workers. This would include 400 new workers for care homes. The NDP would hire 300 more educational assistants and an equal number of teachers. The NDP would sell off two government airplanes and convert a third to an air ambulance.

No comments: