Election Prediction Project

East Kootenay
British Columbia 2005

Update/Mise à jour:
10:13 PM 15/05/2005

Prediction Changed
La prévision a changé
6:39 PM 15/05/2005

Constituency Profile

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BC Liberal
Bill Bennett
Green Party
Luke Gurbin
Erda Walsh

BC Liberals:
1996 Re-distribution:
Dev. from Quota:-18.93%
Area (km2):10282
Pop Density:3.72

2001 Result:
(2001 Prediction)


1996 Result (redistributed):


Surrounding Ridings:
Columbia River-Revelstoke

14 05 05 M. Lunn
Certainly the Kootenays is generally a strong place for the NDP and I expect the NDP to win the other three Kootenay ridings. However, East Kootenay is the most conservative of the four Kootenay ridings. I even know one NDP member who said he didn't think the NDP had much chance at winning this. Erda Walsh is a former Glen Clark member which will likely be a liability. Besides Cranbrook is the main population centre and it will go heavily liberal, so even if the NDP does well in the rest of the riding, they will have a tough time taking it. Even Will McMartin from Tyee has posted this is a solid liberal riding as opposed to a likely liberal.
14 05 05 Steve M
Definitely a closer race than last time around. I think that it has been questionable who would win but it looks like Bill Bennett will squeak through this time. The NDP have been successful in drawing back some union folk but mainstream families here are not voting for Erda Walsh this election.
12 05 05 GP
The race between the incumbent Bill Bennett and former MLA Erda Walsh is close. The primary issue in the Elk Valley region of the riding is health care, with the closure of the Sparwood hospital. However, in Cranbrook, the major population centre of the riding, health care facilities have been expanded and improved. The Elk Valley support for Bennett is likely to be less than 50%, given the regions strong union affiliations and health care issues, however, the Cranbrook vote should be sufficient for Bennett to win by a narrow margin. Bennett has been an effective MLA, and does not appear closely tied to Campbell.
11 05 05 FH
The Liberal party and Bill Bennet will win this riding as organized labour is very DISORGANIZED.
10 05 05 Jill MacGuire
I have to agree with the guy below. Erda Walsh is a real nice lady but not the one to lead the EK again. Voters will likely vote for Bennett again because they want to be on the same side of government. Next election, the NDP have a real chance and if the EK chooses a new candidate, we'll see them win next term. This election will be close but I truly doubt that the EK voters will elect Walsh again.
SUB-Date 09 05 05
07 05 05 RC
Close race, but dissatisfaction with Libs is underestimated here. Labour, seniors will vote in record numbers. With no real green or DRBC threat, Walsh will complete NDP sweep of the Kootenays.
07 05 05 Roger S
Labour "forces" in this area are stronger this time around but I certainly wouldn't call them vibrant. This election will be closer than the last but many of my union co-workers do not want Erda elected again. This election goes to the Liberals but next time - it's NDP (when we have a stronger candidate).
25 04 05 BCM
East Kootenay MLAs have historically failed to maximize their utility as members of a sitting government. Ann Edwards and Erda Walsh both failed to wield power effectively. Bill Bennett's tenure is no different. High resource prices have driven demand for the region's key commodities, but that's the work of markets not government. Bennett now faces a strong, vibrant organized labour force for whom the Liberal Government is public enemy #1. Where politically directed change has taken place (health care & hospitals), Kootenay Seniors feel it has been to their detriment. Unfortunately, these are the two largest voting blocks…and their provincial voting record has been largely left-leaning. Like it or not, advantage to New Democrats.
25 04 05 FR
Like the NDP had any choice on their candidate selections it was Erda Walsh or Pat Shuttleworth (a nurse with an unknown agenda)
20 04 05 KL
I have to admit, the Liberals still seem strong in this area. As a left-leaning voter, I'm a bit upset that the NDP chose Erda again. She's not a strong candidate. I'm sure many younger voters (like myself) might try Green if they put up a candidate. Unfortunately, Libs will still win.
06 04 05 EW
While the NDP have gained some ground since the last election, they wouldn't be crazy enough to vote for the same person who they rejected only a short while ago. One can only wonder why the NDP would choose Erda Walsh to represent them again. Liberals will win.
02 04 05 RB
I believe this riding will go to the Liberals. Cranbrook and area makes up 30,000 of the ridings 38,000 residents. Cranbrook is right-leaning, and the surrounding rural area is even more so. Cranbrook also did well in terms of an expanded hospital and an announcement that the college will be expanding as well. I don't think the service cuts will resonate with voters, who I don't think have forgiven Erda Walsh (or the NDP in general). Fernie, however, may go NDP. Sparwood and Elkford are currently experiencing a mining boom, but its rank-and-file union membership may not be thankful enough to vote Liberal.
At this point, East Kootenay doesn't have a Green, Unity or DRBC candidate, so it may come down to Bill or Erda, in which I think Bill will take it easily. However, expect this campaign to be a little less about Gordon Campbell and the Liberals, and a little more about Bill Bennett.
21 03 05 JC
Chalk this one up for the Libs, The reason they lost in 1996 was because of Vote Splitting to the Reform Party that won't happen this time and even though this might be a close race Bennett is at an advantage because the Green Party will steal votes from the NDP.
26 02 05 M. Lunn
This should be an interesting one to watch. Generally a very conservative riding considering the Conservatives got 52% in the last federal election and were stronger in this portion of the riding as opposed to Columbia River-Revelstoke portion. However, with the closure of the hospital in Kimberley and this area being hard hit by the cuts, I would give the NDP an edge, especially as it becomes clear the Liberals are going to be re-elected so many who voted Conservative federally will vote NDP as a protest vote. The only thing that might hurt the NDP is the fact Erda Walsh is running again who was a member of the Glen Clark government and so this may remind people of Glen Clark who is even more hated than Gordon Campbell.
27 02 05 P. Kelly
This southern interior swing seat will go NDP. Its part of an area hard hit by Liberal gov't cuts, school closures and service withdrawls. The voters will make the liberals pay the price and will elected Erda Walsh and MLA.
28 02 05 Nick Boragina
This is more of a bellweather riding, and will vote with who carries the province - that will be the BC Liberals, who have improved the lives of most British Columbians.
28 02 05 BLJ
The NDP won this seat by a narrow margin in 1996, with a large Reform vote. The largest city, Cranbrook, leans to the right, while Sparwood and Elkford lean to the left although they are experiencing a boomimg coal industry. Fernie has been changing over the past 5 years and Albertans have become an increasing influence as this area has become their playground. As of now I would give a slight edge to the Liberals.
03 03 05 JC
Toughest Riding To Call Probably In 1996 the seat was close and it's going to be close again, this one is going to come down to the wire. But I think it is in the liberals favor because the green party could steal enough of the left wing vote.
04 03 05 TAN
The only close race in the Kootenays. The loathing for Bill Bennett is palpable in the Elk Valley--he has been on the wrong side of public opinion since virtually day one on issues such as health care and coal bed methane, and he'll be lucky to reach deposit-claiming levels there. That said, Cranbrook will ultimately determine the outcome in the race, which has long been a more right-leaning spot than anywhere else in the Kootenays. Walsh is hardly a dream candidate for the NDP, and Bennett could well squeak through on account of the Cranbrook vote. I'll still call it NDP for the time being, but this one will probably be worth watching on election night.

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