There are a number of by-elections that will come up if a General Election is avoided this fall. The date of these by-elections has to be anywhere between November 2 and November 23, of course there is a chance that Harper could decide not to hold all 4 on the same date, meaning that they could happen earlier, or later.
The ridings up are...
This riding was held by Réal Ménard from the Bloc for 16 years. He is resigning to run for Borough Mayor of Hochelaga. This would appear to be a significant step down for Ménard, who may be planning to remove himself from federal politics in order to make a move elsewhere, either hoping that his municipal party's candidate for Mayor (The interim PQ leader before Boisclair) loses so he can run next time. He might be taking this step back in order to free himself to run for the leadership of the Bloc Queebcois (a very puzzling move if this is his plan) or as a way to transfer to the Parti Quebecois (again, would not make much sense) Regardless of why, he is no longer the MP of this riding. This riding is one of the more left-wing on the island of Montreal. It is one of the 4 ridings that has been solid for the Bloc since 93. Ménard and the Bloc won the riding in 2008 with 49.7% of the vote. The Liberals were next with 20.7% and the NDP with 14.4%. 2006 saw the Bloc get 55.6% with the Liberals at 17.2%, and the Tories in third with 12.2%. 2004 and 2000 saw the Bloc get near or above 50%. 1997 was when the riding came closest to flipping, with the Bloc still taking near 50%, and over 7,000 more votes than the second placed Liberals. While I would not be surprised to see the NDP creep into second place on a weak bloc showing, I would be surprised if anyone except the Bloc Quebecois wins this riding.
Try saying that 5 times fast. this riding is as francophone as it's name. Paul Crête of the Bloc resigned in order to run provincially, he lost that battle. In 2008 he managed 46% of the vote compared to 31% for the Tories. What's surprising is that despite the Tories being down provincewide from 2006, they were up in this riding; in 2006 the bloc took 52% and the Tories took 25%. The 2004 election was a blow-out for the Bloc in this riding, easily tromping the second placed Liberal candidate with almost a 2-to-1 margin. Prior to this, the riding was split in two. In Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet, the Liberals managed narrow victories over the Bloc in 2000 and 1997 (winning the latter by less than 50 votes) Whats more interesting about the 1997 result is that the PC Candidate was only 1,200 votes behind. In fact in 1993, the Bloc only win this riding by 1,100 votes over the PC Candidate. That small of a margin in 1993 clearly speaks to the character of that portion of the riding. In the other half of the riding, Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Temiscouata—Les Basques, the Bloc won without problem in 2000, and managed to beat the Liberals in 1997. Again, we see a PC Candidate here making a very strong third placed showing. That same candidate was defeated, easily in 1993, but held the riding in the 80s. Going back even further, we find some Social Credit friendly territory here. Long story short, this riding does indeed have a true blue Conservative voting base. The problem, however, is Harper, he just is not well liked in Quebec right now. While I do expect the Tories to put up one heck of a fight, I cannot see them winning here, unless something unexpected happens, like Mario Dumont running.
This BC riding will be the one requiring a By-Election soonest. Dawn Black of the NDP quit to run provincially, and was elected as a BC NDP MLA. This is a swing riding in ways. In 2008, the NDP managed 41.8%, while the Tories took 38.8%. In 2006 the NDP managed 38.3% while the Tories had 32.5%. It was in 2004 that we saw the Tories with 32.9% and the NDP with 32.6%. It is, it seems, the drop in the Liberal vote that has allowed the Tories and the NDP to fight it out. Going back further, we get more results. I note, however, that especially in BC, these results should be treated with Caution. Many who were populist but moderate voted for the Reform-Alliance, and it was from BC where many Alliance moderates (such as current Liberal MP Keith Martin) came from. I will, however, note the results. In 2000, the Alliance won 44% of the vote, compared to the Liberals 31% and NDPs 15%. 1997 saw Reform win with 34% beating the NDP at 30%. Of note, the NDP Candidate in this election, Dawn Black. The Liberals took 29% here. The 1993 election was a close contest between Reform, the Liberals, and the NDP. 1988, however was a clear win for the NDP, again, with Dawn Black. This riding is clearly a toss up between the NDP and the Tories. Looking at current BC polls, and reading the tea leaves, I would give the Tories an edge here.
Bill Casey was the longtime MP for the area, who resigned to become a lobbyist. Casey had held the riding since 1988, with one interruption, the 1993 term. Casey, however, came within inches of winning the riding even in that election. Casey is an interesting story, first elected as a Progressive Conservative, Casey ended up in Harper's Conservative Party, before being thrown out of it for voting against the Budget. Casey won the 2008 election with a shocking 69% of the vote, beating the official NDP candidate at 12%, the Tory at 9% and the Liberal at 8%. The 2006 election is perhaps a better refernece point, it saw the Tories win with 52%, beating the Liberals at 24% and the NDP at 21%. In 2004, the Tories took 50%, to the Liberals 26%, and the NDP's 19%. 2000 saw Casey, as the PC Candidate, win 48%, compared to the Liberals 27%, the Alliances 13% and the NDPs 12%. In 1997 we saw the PCs at 44%, the Liberals at 26%, the NDP at 14%, and Reform at 14%. The "Long Story Short" is that this is a strong traditionally Tory riding. The only question, then, is how angry its voters are with the Conservative Party. The NDP is on the rise here, with the Liberals managing between 24% and 27% in the recent past. This is good news for the Tories, in that the anti-CPC vote will be split. The problem then comes from the possibility that there are enough angry voters to actually elect one of those candidates, and if that happens it is truly unknown weather that would be the Liberal or the New Democrat. With the recent provincial election, however, I'd say the NDP has the best shot at winning if the Tories lose. I also say, however, that the Tories will not lose.
Sorry, no extra data today!