Much to the Yukon political junkies delight two polls have been released in the last few days in the territory. They allegedly interpret the intentions of voters for the territorial election that ends on Nov. 7.
DataPath Systems, a local Yukon company, released the results of their survey based on results from Oct. 15 to 23. They were not commissioned by anyone nor any party, they did it on their own. Their survey had the following figures: the Liberal Party and Yukon Party at 34 per cent, the Yukon New Democrats at 29 per cent and the Green Party at three percent.
The other survey done by the Gandalf Group and commissioned by the Yukon Liberal Party. It had the Yukon Liberal Party at 46 per cent, the Yukon Party at 30 per cent and the Yukon NDP at 24 per cent. No figures were given for the Yukon Green Party. It was done on Oct. 25 and 26.
Now I know the two polls are not nearly comparable with each other, and each poll in and of itself is probably somewhat suspect due to how they were conducted and the questions asked, but since they are the only game in town let us have a quick and dirty analysis.
Could what happened in the last Federal election be happening in the Yukon? Are voters flocking to the centre from the right and left?
At the start of the campaign the Yukon Liberals did an excellent job of slowly rolling out their candidates. Once their candidate roster was filled, they promoted it heavily.
It is filled, in my opinion, with what one could loosely term dream candidates. Diverse, well qualified, representative of Yukon society - you would think they would steamroll any opposition.
However, they only have one incumbent candidate, their leader Sandy Silver. Incumbents always have an advantage when standing for re-election just through name recognition and knowing the local issues. And the Liberals only have one of them.
Unfortunately, one of their other candidates has been caught up in some allegedly questionable tactics regarding alleged proxy voting issues which has been referred by Elections Yukon to the RCMP for further investigation.
As if that was not enough excitment, in another electoral riding it has been alleged that someone is offering rides on behalf of an unidentified political party (and it must be emphasized that we do not know with which party they are affiliated with) to intoxicated voters so they can get to polling stations. An Elections Yukon inquiry into this is ongoing.
Despite the polls showing decent support from the voters for the Yukon Liberals, will the proxy voting issue hurt the brand image? As well, the Liberals are experiencing the downside of being centrist. They are getting hammered by the left and the right on policy issues.
The right-wing Yukon Party knows they can only grow their vote by poaching Liberal supporters, as it is unlikely any Dippers will support them. The same holds true for the New Democrats, as few Yukon Party types will swing their votes so far left.
When times are good, the Liberals have the advantage of being able to get votes from the right, centre and left. But when times are bad, they will lose them left and right.
Is this a good time, or a bad time, for the Liberals in this Yukon election? We will know soon enough on Nov. 7.
Now it must be pointed out that this entire blog is based on two rather dodgy polls. One suspects one could examine the entrails of an animal and get more accurate results.
To that end a local Whitehorse restaurant is having a contest. Buy a meal and you then get a chance to correctly predict the winning candidates in each of the Yukon’s nineteen ridings. The winner gets to have dinner with the newly elected Premier!
It is going to be mighty awkward if I win and get to have dinner with whomever ends up being the next Yukon premier. Mighty awkward, especially if they have read all my blogs about this election.
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