Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ignatieff fails the better-than-Dion test.

First off, congratulations are due to Fin Donnelly, the newest New Democrat MP who won handily the New Westminster-Coquitlam seat vacated by legendary New Democrat MP Dawn Black.

But the story on E+1 is that Michael Ignatieff failed his first electoral test. To be fair, the nugget of truth in Liberals’ spin is that no one expected them to win any of the four seats. That’s correct. But no one expected Ignatieff to do worse than Stephane Dion either. Yet that’s precisely what happened. Ignatieff failed the “better than Dion” test.

In British Columbia, where the Liberals convened only six months ago to anoint Ignatieff leader, Liberals lost 9 percent of the popular support Dion had managed to collect – despite Ignatieff and no fewer than seven high-profile Liberal MPs campaigning there.

In Riviere du Loup, Ignatieff lost 14 percent of the popular vote Dion had eked out of voters there in 2008.

And in the Hochelaga riding in Montreal, where Liberals traditionally compete with the Bloc for seats, the Liberals lost 31 percent of their vote share, coming third behind the New Democrats.

Ignatieff has done the unthinkable. In these by-elections, he managed to do worse than the worst leader in the worst election in Liberal Party history.

Taken together, (with thanks to Pundits Guide) the election results look like this:

Con = 35.7%
NDP = 24.4%
Bloc = 20.8%
Lib = 14.8%

As the hacks and flacks say, the only poll that matters is on election day.

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