Tuesday, March 07, 2006

How low can you go?

Or perhaps another way to look at it is, where is the Conservative ceiling? I mean, I would have thought there would be more than 20 per cent hardcore Liberal support in this province and the odds of the Conservatives ever cracking 70 per cent in popular support would be remote.

And yet, you look at Corporate Research Associates latest poll and there it is. The Conservatives have 69 per cent support. Danny Williams has 71 per cent support. And this was before the thing on Larry King, which is mostly getting positive comments from people back home. And before a budget that even Liberal leader Jim Bennett says will be good news.

I also enjoy the line about this being a "good base to build from." He's also said, which he has to, that the Liberals will win the next provincial election, in 18 months time.

Yes, 18 per cent. Which I guess is better than zero, which is where the Liberals seem to be heading at the rate they're going over the past nine months. When was the last time the Liberals in Newfoundland were at 18 per cent?

Even Ed, bless his soul, realizes that things are looking desperate for the provincial Liberals. He also said that, "Heck, the numbers aren't even there that would lead me to believe the Liberals will win the same number of seats they currently have."

I think we might have to start asking the New Brunswick question. Everyone remember when Frank McKenna ran the table and won every seat in that Legislature? Can Williams do the same thing in 2007?

I don't think so, but boy is he going to do some damage to the opposition. First, With Jack Harris stepping down in Signal Hill, it means the Conservatives are likely to sweep St. John's. I suspect some Liberals might just take their pension and run, rather than face another four years in opposition getting hammered and looking weak. So kiss some of those seats good-bye.

A few hardcore Liberals, who are popular constituency men, and Labrador - which normally goes Liberal - might be the only hold outs. If in the next 18 months Williams lands successful deals for Hebron and the Lower Churchill - which is possible - and continues to mend bridges with the unions, you could see an opposition of five or few seats. I'll call my prediction now, which is insane with an election that far out, but here it goes: Conservatives - 43, Liberals - 4, NDP - 1.

By the way, if that happens I'll be horrified. I think Williams has done a mostly solid job as premier. Certainly better than Grimes, Tulk and Tobin. But you need a good opposition to keep you honest. One that small is a joke. I'd be seriously worried if it happens. It's pretty close for Williams to do carte blanche, which is never a good thing.

But unless Williams stumbles mightily, or Bennett is a bigger political genius than I'm detecting so far, it's looking awfully likely.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's really too bad. Yes Danny is doing a good job but you need an opposition if Government is going to work.

I think your predictions are not far off. The Liberals are in a sad state and I don't think anyone was more surprised than Bennett when he became leader. Unfortunately he's shown little understanding of the issues and truly is a non entity. He will not get a seat in the house next election and then one of the four Liberals sitting in the house will draw the short straw and take it on.

Danny however is the PC party. There is no successor being groomed yet and frankly nobody there that I can see taking it. Danny will groom a successor that will run in the next election (maybe Dean McDonald?) and then become the new golden boy/girl. That will lead them to a third victory.

By then of course we'll all be ready to get rid of the Tories and back goes the Liberals under the leadership of someone who hasn't surfaced yet and likely won't for 6 or 7 years. They'll get a term or two out of it and then the Tories will get back in. and so on, and so on, and so on...