Sunday, April 10, 2016

Saskatchewan Party wins third majority term by a wide margin

he Saskatchewan provincial election was another triumph for the Saskatchewan Party led by premier Brad Wall. The party won a third majority in a row.

The Saskatchewan Party won a whopping 51 of the 61 seats in the Saskatchewan legislature. Cam Broten, the leader of the opposition New Democratic Party, lost in his own constituency. The race in a Saskatoon constituency was close with the Saskatchewan Party candidate winning by only 232 votes. David Buckingham won with 49.2 percent of the vote while Broten had 46.3 percent.
The Saskatchewan Party captured just under 63 per cent of the vote and prevailed in 51 of the province's 61 constituencies. The NDP managed just half of that at over 30 per cent of the vote. It won 10 seats, just one more than the last election. However, there were only 59 seats then.
The results were not much different from the 2011 election that was disastrous for the NDP. The Saskatchewan Party won 64 percent of the vote while the NDP had 32 percent. Of the 61 seats only three seats changed parties. The NDP picked up Prince Albert Northcote, and Regina Douglas Park but lost the Sasaktoon seat of Saskatoon Westview, the NDP leader Cam Broten's constituency. Polls had all along indicated that the Saskatchewan Party would win and they were correct. The Saskatchewan Party win seemed inevitable.
The Saskatchewan Party did drop somewhat as the urban rural divide intensified marginally. The vote for the party dropped three points in Saskatoon and over 6 points in Regina. The party still won 56 percent of the vote in Saskatoon, and 49 percent in Regina, the capital. The NDP was not up that much, only one point in Saskatoon and two in Regina. The Liberal party was up 4 percent in Saskatoon and 5 percent in Regina, robbing the NDP of badly needed votes. The increased Liberal vote probably resulted in Broten losing his Saskatoon seat. The rural vote of the Saskatchewan Party increased from 71 to 72 percent with the NDP getting only 20 percent of the rural vote.
This election gave the NDP the lowest share of the popular vote they have ever had. This is the third election in a row that their share of the vote has declined, the first time this has happened since the party was formed. The results for the NDP is surprising given that Saskatchewan is now beginning to suffer from a decline in oil prices. Brad Wall will not need to worry about anyone challenging his leadership! However, Cam Broten is likely to see a challenge to his leadership unless he resigns soon.

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