Greens lead in new poll of Fredericton NB

There’s something interesting going on for provincial Greens in Fredericton New Brunswick. As I write this the election is 15 months away, according to the sidebar on the right-hand side of the site, so there’s lots of time for it to change. But NB Green Party leader David Coon won a Fredericton riding in the last provincial election, and Greens did well in Fredericton in the last federal election, so something is happening there.

In the most recent Mainstreet Research public opinion poll of New Brunswick voting intention, for decided and leaning voters the NB Greens have 33% support in Fredericton, ahead of the Liberals and PCs which are tied at 30% apiece. The NDP has 7% support in Fredericton. Elections NB lists seven ridings that contain parts of Fredericton, a potentially similar situation to where the BC Greens found themselves in where they won three seats in Greater Victoria in the recent BC provincial election after riding high in Greater Victoria opinion polls throughout. Greater Victoria and the adjoining Cowichan Valley is where the BC Greens won all three of their seats, and coincidentally that area also encompasses 7 ridings.

The first-past-the-post electoral system (used federally, and for all provincial elections at this time) usually rewards the top vote-getting party with an exaggerated victory and punishes all others by under-representing them, but that’s not always the case. A party can focus on one region and actually do better than it ought to by concentrating its support, as the Bloc Quebecois did in federal elections in the 1990s (often getting more seats than their share of the popular vote suggested they ought to). While Green parties across Canada support proportional representation, until we get fairer voting systems in this country parties of all political stripes have little choice but to focus their efforts on key ridings and regions, and that appears to be what the NB Green Party is doing in Fredericton to great effect.

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