Like any good 21st century journalist I watched the historic confidence vote last Friday from the edge of my seat through a live Twitter feed, coupled with a live Internet video feed.
The confidence motion, which also found the Tories in contempt for withholding information, has now lead to an election, so Canadians across the country can now grudgingly walk to their local voting station.
As an exercise for my own background knowledge I dug up Elections Canada’s results for the past three elections to get a sense of how this riding has voted in the past.
It’s fair to say from what I’ve seen that it’s primarily been an NDP vs. Conservatives battleground in the Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding, at least since 2004. When Nathan Cullen took his post in 2004 as MP he got in with 13,706 votes, effectively squeaking by the Conservatives, which had 12,434.
What I found interesting is that NDP voter turnout has risen significantly, with 17,219 NDP votes in 2008. The Conservatives definitely had just about as much support in 2004 as in 2008, but did not see any notable growth in the voter turnout. (Their percentage of the turnout did rise slightly in 2008.)
The party that does have its work cut out for themselves is the Liberals, which have had their candidates getting lower results in each election since 2004. While their candidate in 2004 had 7,965 votes, in 2008 the candidate only took 1,916 votes.
As the numbers go, the Christian Heritage Party and the Greens didn’t come close to getting the seat during past elections. For the CHP, they’ve seen basically the same result each time, hovering in the three per cent range for votes. The Greens swung from a low of 2.8 per cent to a high of 4.7 in the 2004-2008 period.
The Canadian Action Party showed up for the 2008 election but took only 112 votes, or .3 per cent.
I’m not here to get into what this all means for the current election, but it does point to the fact that 2,192 votes were lost from 2004 to 2008.
That’s a big number. So whatever happens, hopefully more people will exercise their right to vote this time around.