What if Deb Higgins had held her seat in Moose Jaw?

I don’t think I’ve seen redistributed 2011 results for post-boundary change Saskatchewan, til now.

There’s a few of these ‘election atlas’ blogs around – bloggers who essentially process extraordinary amounts of data in order to aggregate historical election results over interactive maps. Most of them include redistributed results, after the inevitable event riding boundaries change.

I like Canadian Election Atlas the best because it’s user-friendly.

Here are the redistributed 2011 Saskatchewan election results, from the Canadian Election Atlas blog:

As Earl points out in his post, the only actual change from 2011 would be in Moose Jaw Wakamow, which would have remained with the incumbent, former NDP MLA Deb Higgins. I can’t help but indulge the notion of where the NDP would be today, with Higgins still on board as a MLA, or even as leader of the party. How would the tone of this election have differed if Brad Wall was contending against a woman?

But I digress.

Earl does a far, far more concise job of explaining the actual geographic impact of the boundary changes than I ever could, so you should read his analysis, which I linked to above.

If you want the condensed version, here’s what you need to know:

  • One new riding (University) has been added in Regina. If it had existed in 2011, the Sask Party would have won it, like Tina Beaudry-Mellor is going to win it on April 4th.
  • Two new ridings were added in Saskatoon (University and Churchill-Wildwood), and if they had existed in 2011 the Sask Party would have won both of them as well, While University was down in the projections last week, it looks like the Sask Party will take them on April 4th.
  • The solace, sort of, for the NDP, may be what I said above regarding Moose Jaw Wakamow, which they would have held in 2011 and will likely regain in 2016.
  • The biggest boost from boundary changes goes to Paul Merriman, who gains a whopping 10 points – his 58 per cent in 2011 converts to 68 per cent. He’d have won again this year regardless

So there you go. Boundary changes = borrrrring.

Well, except for the Deb Higgins bit. The question of ‘what if’ should be top of mind for the Saskatchewan NDP today, especially given there’s a good chance they’re going back to into a leadership campaign very soon.

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