Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Prince Edward Island 2011 election - results

Unofficial final results map

The results are in from Prince Edward Island, and the Liberals, under Premier Robert Ghiz have won another majority government. The party won 22 of the island's 27 seats, down two from the 2007 election. The Tories won five seats, up two. The Liberals received 51% of the vote, the Tories 40%, the Greens won 4%, the NDP 3% and the new Island party 1%. The popular vote nearly mirrored the 2007 election, with the Liberals down 2%, the Tories down 1%, while the Greens and NDP were both up 1%.

Popular vote
Robert Ghiz
Progressive Conservative
Olive Crane
Sharon Labchuk
James Rodd
Island Party
Billy Cann

The Tories performed better than the most recent poll had them had, getting 4% more, while the Liberals were down 2% from that poll. This allowed the party to win many two more seats than I had projected.

Where I went wrong
I was wrong in a total of four seats (85% success rate). Not bad for my first projection, especially considering my limited knowledge of local races. And it was that limited knowledge that hurt me in the end. Here are the four seats I picked the wrong winner in:

Belfast-Murray River
It seems odd that the Tories would lose a seat I predicted despite doing better than my expectations overall, but they did it here. Incumbent Charlie McGeoghegan was able to hold on to his seat in a close rematch of the 2007 by-election against Darlene Compton. Only 8 votes separated the two candidates. I wasn't too far off though, as I did predict a close race. In total I was only an average of 2% off the marks of the four parties.

Just 210 votes separated the Liberals and Tories here in 2007, but with Liberal incumbent Allan Campbell running again, I thought he would be able to hold on. He wasn't as Tory candidate Colin LaVie won by 30 votes in a race that went back and forth all night. I didn't predict that close of a race (I had Campbell winning by 7%), but I wasn't that far off, being an average of 4% off for each party.

The biggest surprise for me on election night was in this riding, deep in the heart of Queens County. My general assumption was that the Liberals would improve in Queens, but it actually did not. The race in 2007 was close, when Liberal Cynthia Dunsford won by just 81 votes. However, the 2011 election was not even close. Tory candidate James Aylward won by nearly 800 votes over Dunsford. I predicted a 7 point Liberal victory, but what happened was a 22% Tory victory. I was off an average of 7% here. While I nailed the small NDP and Green votes, I was off by much more for the Liberals and Tories.

Tignish-Palmer Road
The Tories were able to win on seat in Prince County, however it was not in Alberton-Roseville like I expected. Instead, it was in the more Liberal leaning district of Tignish-Palmer Road. The Liberals won here by 300 votes in 2007, but it was perhaps the strength of Local Conservative MP Gail Shea that made this riding blue this time around. Shea represented Tignish as an MLA before losing in 2007 and going on to become a Conservative MP. Her strength probably won this riding for the Tories, and their candidate Hal Perry. It was very close though, Perry won by just 33 votes. I was off by an average of 3% for each party here. 

Swing maps
Liberal swing (2007-2011)
Progressive Conservative swing (2007-2011)
As you can see from these two maps, it's a very bad idea to assume uniform swings in Prince Edward Island, where the local candidate matters quite a lot. Especially in this election, where there was little difference in the overall share of the vote from last time, local candidates made more of an impact as to how each riding swung. From looking at these maps, there's not many noticeable patterns. There are red and green ridings for both the Tories and the Liberals in all the regions.

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