About half of non-Conservative supporters claim to be ready to vote strategically in order to beat the Conservatives. This is a guide for those voters. But mainly, this is entertainment for political junkies. So don't feel too dirty reading this if you're a Conservative! (In fact, if you're an anti-NDP Conservative, you can also use this guide to figure out when you might want to vote Liberal.)
A couple of disclaimers:
- If you want to vote strategically, it may be a good idea to wait until Election Day. If you have to vote early, do it, but understand that today's advice may be irrelevant or even counterproductive come October 19. I will be posting an updated guide on the eve of Election Day.
- Follow the advice below at your own risk and peril. I make no guarantee that this advice is correct. In fact, there will almost certainly be a few ridings where it is wrong. (Though, hopefully, it will be right in most cases.) So don't complain to me if things don't work out!
There are actually three strategic considerations for anti-Harper voters, and they sometimes conflict.
1. Vote to defeat the Conservative candidate at the riding level.
2. Vote for the party most likely to beat the Conservative seat count.
3. Vote for the party most likely to beat the Conservative popular vote.
People sometimes dismiss the popular vote as meaningless in our system. However, this time, it may be important post-election: if the Tories win the seat count, it'd be much easier for Justin Trudeau to claim legitimacy to govern if he wins the popular vote. This means that the Governor General may be more likely to give Trudeau a chance to form government (instead of calling a new election) after the rejection of a Conservative Throne Speech if the Liberals win the popular vote. If the only relevant strategic consideration for you is #3 (e.g. you live in a non-competitive riding and care about the popular vote), you do not need a guide: vote Liberal.
The more important considerations, however, are likely to be #1 and #2. That's what the rest of this post is about. There are 143 ridings where you may want to vote strategically to defeat a Conservative. They are distributed as follows:
BC (23/42): 13 vote NDP, 7 vote Liberal, 3 too close
AB (7/34): 5 vote Liberal, 1 vote NDP, 1 too close
SK (6/14): 6 vote NDP
MB (5/14): 4 vote Liberal, 1 vote NDP
ON (62/121): 53 vote Liberal, 4 vote NDP, 5 too close
QC (29/78): 8 vote NDP, 3 vote Liberal, 1 vote Bloc, 17 too close
NB (4/10): 4 vote Liberal
NS (3/11): 3 vote Liberal
PE (1/4): 1 vote Liberal
Territories (3/3): 2 vote Liberal, 1 vote NDP
Total outside Ontario: 30 vote NDP, 29 vote Liberal, 1 vote Bloc, 21 too close
Grand total: 82 vote Liberal, 34 vote NDP, 1 vote Bloc, 26 too close
As you can see, the advice is heavily skewed towards the Liberals, but that's entirely due to Ontario. Outside Ontario, the Liberal and NDP overall popular support levels are similar, so as one would expect, the strategic voting advice splits roughly evenly. The other interesting observation is that Québec is a total mess.
There are also 35 ridings where you may want to vote Liberal for consideration #2 (or, if you're a Conservative, to block the NDP or the Bloc). In the other 160 ridings, strategic voting is not recommended.
1. Vote to defeat the Conservative candidate at the riding level
In the 143 ridings listed below, the difference between the Conservative vote share and the top non-Conservative one is less than 15%.
- "Vote X" means that party X is 15% or more above all other non-Conservative options.
- "Wait if you can, otherwise vote X" means that party X is 5-15% above the next highest non-Conservative option. (Counted as "Vote X" in summary above)
- "Too close" means that the top two non-Conservative options are within 5% of each other. These options are listed in parentheses.
Vote Liberal (64)
BC (5): North Vancouver, Richmond Centre, South Surrey--White Rock, Vancouver South, West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast--Sea to Sky Country
AB (5): Calgary Centre, Calgary Confederation, Calgary Skyview, Edmonton Mill Woods, Fort McMurray--Cold Lake
MB (4): Charleswood--St. James--Assiniboia--Headingley, Saint Boniface--Saint Vital, Winnipeg South, Winnipeg South Centre
ON (41): Ajax, Aurora--Oak Ridges--Richmond Hill, Brampton South, Burlington, Cambridge, Don Valley East, Don Valley North, Don Valley West, Eglinton--Lawrence, Etobicoke Centre, Etobicoke--Lakeshore, Glengarry--Prescott--Russell, Haldimand--Norfolk, Kanata--Carleton, Kenora, King--Vaughan, Kitchener--Conestoga, London West, Markham--Stouffville, Markham--Unionville, Milton, Mississauga Centre, Mississauga East--Cooksville, Mississauga--Erin Mills, Mississauga--Lakeshore, Mississauga--Streetsville, Nepean, Newmarket--Aurora, Northumberland--Peterborough South, Oakville, Oakville North--Burlington, Orléans, Ottawa West--Nepean, Peterborough--Kawartha, Pickering--Uxbridge, Richmond Hill, Scarborough--Guildwood, Toronto--St. Paul's, Vaughan--Woodbridge, Willowdale, York Centre
QC (3): Lac-Saint-Louis, Mount Royal, Pierrefonds--Dollard
NB (2): Fredericton, Miramichi--Grand Lake
NS (2): Central Nova, Cumberland--Colchester
PE (1): Egmont
Wait if you can, otherwise vote Liberal (18)
BC (2): Delta, Steveston--Richmond East
ON (12): Bay of Quinte, Brampton Centre, Brampton East, Brampton North, Hamilton West--Ancaster--Dundas, London North Centre, Kitchener Centre, Kitchener South--Hespeler, Scarborough Centre, Scarborough--Rouge Park, St. Catharines, Waterloo
NB (2): New Brunswick Southwest, Saint John--Rothesay
NS (1): South Shore--St. Margarets
Vote NDP (9)
BC (5): Cowichan--Malahat--Langford, Kootenay--Columbia, Nanaimo--Ladysmith, Port Moody--Coquitlam, South Okanagan--West Kootenay
AB (1): Edmonton Griesbach
SK (1): Desnethé--Missinippi--Churchill River
MB (1): Elmwood--Transcona
QC (1): Beauport--Limoilou
Wait if you can, otherwise vote NDP (25)
BC (8): Cariboo--Prince George, Coquitlam--Port Coquitlam, Courtenay--Alberni, Esquimalt--Saanich--Sooke, Kamloops--Thompson--Cariboo, Mission--Matsqui--Fraser Canyon, North Island--Powell River, Pitt Meadows--Maple Ridge
SK (5): Regina--Lewvan, Regina--Qu'Appelle, Saskatoon--Grasswood, Saskatoon--University, Saskatoon West
ON (4): Algoma--Manitoulin--Kapuskasing, Hamilton East--Stoney Creek, Niagara Centre, Oshawa
QC (7): Abitibi--Baie James--Nunavik--Eeyou, Argenteuil--La Petite Nation, Beloeil--Chambly, Charlesbourg--Haute-Saint-Charles, Portneuf--Jacques-Cartier, Québec, Vaudreuil--Soulanges
Attendez si vous le pouvez; sinon, votez Bloc (1)
Too close (26)
BC (3): Burnaby North--Seymour (NDP/LIB), Fleetwood--Port Kells (NDP/LIB), Vancouver Granville (LIB/NDP)
AB (1): Edmonton Centre (LIB/NDP)
ON (5): Brantford--Brant (LIB/NDP), Essex (NDP/LIB), Sault Ste. Marie (LIB/NDP), Scarborough North (LIB/NDP), Scarborough Southwest (LIB/NDP)
QC (17): Alfred-Pellan (LIB/NDP), Avignon--La Mitis--Matane--Matapédia (BQ/LIB), Beauport--Côte-de-Beaupré--Île d'Orléans--Charlevoix (BQ/NDP), Berthier--Maskinongé (NDP/BQ), Brome--Missisquoi (LIB/NDP), Chicoutimi--Le Fjord (NDP/BQ), Gaspésie--Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine (BQ/LIB), Jonquière (NDP/BQ), Laurentides--Labelle (NDP/BQ), Laval--Les Îles (NDP/LIB), Louis-Hébert (NDP/LIB), Pontiac (NDP/LIB), Rimouski-Neigette--Témiscouata--Les Basques (NDP/BQ), Saint-Maurice--Champlain (NDP/BQ), Salaberry--Suroît (NDP/BQ), Sherbrooke (NDP/BQ), Vimy (NDP/LIB)
2. Vote for the party most likely to beat the Conservative seat count
This party is currently the Liberal party. The 35 races below are ones where: i) the Tories are not competitive, and ii) the difference between the Liberal vote share and the top non-Liberal one is less than 15%. In all cases, you would help defeat the NDP; in Québec, you would also help defeat the Bloc in the starred (*) ridings.
BC (2): Surrey Centre, Victoria
MB (1): Churchill--Keewatinook Aski
ON (11): Beaches--East York, Ottawa Centre, Parkdale--High Park, Spadina--Fort York, Sudbury, Thunder Bay--Rainy River, Thunder Bay--Superior North, Timmins--James Bay, Toronto Centre, University--Rosedale, York South--Weston
QC (18): Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Châteauguay--Lacolle*, Compton--Stanstead*, Dorval--Lachine--LaSalle, Hochelaga*, Hull--Aylmer, La Pointe-de-l'Île*, LaSalle--Émard--Verdun*, La Prairie, Laurier--Sainte-Marie*, Longueuil--Charles-LeMoyne*, Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, Montarville*, Outremont, Papineau, Pierre-Boucher--Les Patriotes--Verchères*, Rivière-des-Mille-Îles*, Ville-Marie--Le Sud-Ouest--Île-des-Soeurs
NS (2): Halifax, Sackville--Preston--Chezzetcook
NL (1): St. John's South--Mount Pearl
All right, that's all the fun for now. Are you ready for Super Friday? FIVE national polls are due: Léger, Mainstreet and Nanos in the morning, Innovative at some point, and EKOS in the afternoon. (In fact, the Léger national and Québec numbers are already out: like most polls in the past few days, it's good news for the Liberals.)