The 2015 federal election is now under way. Before it gets too interminable, here’s a brief look at the contest in my constituency, Pontiac (which has new boundaries this time around).
The incumbent Member of Parliament is Mathieu Ravignat of the NDP; he’s running for re-election. The Liberals candidate is Will Amos, a Chelsea lawyer who works as a regional director of a national environmental law charity. The Conservatives are running Benjamin Woodman, a political staffer who grew up in Shawville. Colin Griffiths is the Green Party candidate. The Bloc Québécois website does not yet list their candidate for this constituency.
In 2011, Ravignat defeated then-Conservative foreign affairs minister Lawrence Cannon by more than eight thousand votes, but this time around the most recent ThreeHundredEight.com projection only gives him a 50 percent chance of winning, forecasting a close race between him and Woodman, with Amos bringing up the rear. Comparing the projection with the 2011 results gives some idea of why:
Conservative support is relatively stable, but the Liberals have rebounded, nearly doubling their support, and that’s all coming from the NDP.
Now some would argue that this is proof that the centre-left and progressive left need to vote strategically to keep the Conservative candidate from winning, but I have this funny idea: Neither the Liberals nor the NDP should assume that they’re entitled to the other party’s votes. Nor, for that matter, should they assume that Conservative voters can’t be persuaded to switch sides — or vice versa. Candidates should earn their votes.
At any rate, much will change in the coming weeks. I’ll check in again.