Below I’ve broken down these (really unsurprising) riding prognostications first by region, then by party and the candidate who will win, with the result being:
NDP – 9 | Sask Party – 44 | Wild Cards – 8
My reason for labelling a riding a Wild Card is explained alongside it. None of it is complicated.
Ultimately I think this is how it’s going to shake out:
NDP – 14 | Sask Party – 47
In 2011 the Sask Party won 85 per cent of the province’s (then 58) seats, and the NDP 15 per cent.
In 2016 the Sask Party will take 77 per cent and the NDP 23 per cent, or some very close variation thereof.
Based on the parties’ leadership and the way they ran their campaigns, the Sask Party under Brad Wall is undoubtedly the best choice at the ballot box.
That doesn’t mean, however, that this overall outcome is good for this province.
It’s been 100 years since we’ve seen eight consecutive years, or two terms, of this kind of disproportionately weighted government, and emaciated Opposition – aka Accountability.
Further, we’re also likely going to see both that disproportionately weighted government and emaciated Opposition enter distracting, likely divisive, leadership races over the next four years. That will be a first for this province, to the best of my knowledge.
You can’t fault the Sask Party for being the first choice, and for many, the only choice. That’s like blaming McDonald’s for the Big Mac.
The Saskatchewan NDP has got to get it’s shit together and provide voters with an alternative. Eventually everyone gets sick of eating McDonald’s, but gimmicks like the Angry Whopper are clearly not sending anyone across the street.
It’s either that, or tear down Burger King altogether to make room for something new.
Now I’m hungry.
With that in mind, here’s how I think the results are going to look after polls close on Monday night.
Elphinstone-Centre – Warren McCall
Lakeview – Carla Beck
Rosemont – Trent Wotherspoon
Gardiner Park – Gene Makowsky
Northeast – Kevin Doherty
Rochdale – Laura Ross
University – Tina Beaudry-Mellor
Wascana Plains – Christine Tell
Coronation Park – Ted Jaleta could very likely take this longtime NDP riding away from Sask Party incumbent Mark Docherty. Either way it’s a shame, because Docherty is an excellent MLA, and Jaleta would make an excellent MLA.
Douglas Park – CJ Katz is replacing one-term incumbent Russ Marchuk for the Sask Party. Another longtime NDP riding, I’m not convinced Katz can hang on to it. Nicole Sarauer has been campaigning hard for the NDP. Another two really great candidates.
Pasqua – This one is favored for the Sask Party’s Muhammed Fiaz, but frankly, the NDP’s Heather McIntyre is the stronger candidate. There is also a decent-sized chunk of the riding’s Sask Party base who are still not happy about losing Bill Hutchinson as the candidate, or how they lost him. I’m interested to see if those voters still turnout, and if so, what they decide is more important: partisanship or local strength.
Walsh Acres – It should have been a tight race, but the original NDP candidate in this riding was a casualty of that campaign’s Week 1 social media debacle, therefore the Sask Party’s Warren Steinley should slide through. But, you never know.
Centre – David Forbes
Nutana – Cathy Sproule
Westview – Cam Broten
Churchill-Wildwood – Lisa Lambert
Eastview – Corey Tocher
Meewasin – Roger Parent
Northwest – Gord Wyant
Silverspring-Sutherland – Paul Merriman
Southeast – Don Morgan
Stonebridge-Dakota – Bronwyn Eyre
Willowgrove – Ken Cheveldayoff
Fairview – This one will come down to a handful of votes between Sask Party incumbent Jennifer Campeau and the NDP’s Vicki Mowat. The candidate who does the best job of getting out her vote is going to win this riding.
Riversdale – NDP incumbent Danielle Chartier is favored to win, but Sask Party candidate Marv Friesen is well-known in this riding. Could be a surprise in-store for Chartier, who desperately wants to hang on.
University – Projections show Sask Party candidate Eric Olauson fourteen points ahead of NDP candidate Jennifer Bowes, but there are three fringe candidates in this riding. If Bowes ends up stealing a few points from the Green Party, and Olauson loses a few to the Liberal and Progressive Conservative candidates, it could end up being not quite the cake walk Olauson thinks it will. It’s beyond me how this riding nomination went uncontested for the Sask Party.
Carlton – Joe Hargrave
Northcote – The NDP have poured a ton of resources into candidate Nicole Rancourt, and she will likely earn a deserved-win over Sask Party incumbent Victoria Jurgens.
Wakamow – Karen Purdy
North – Warren Michelson
Athabasca – Buckley Belanger
Cumberland – Doyle Vermette
Lloydminster – Colleen Young
Meadow Lake – Jeremy Harrison
Saskatchewan Rivers – Nadine Wilson
Carrot River Valley – Fred Bradshaw
Cut Knife-Turtleford – Larry Doke
The Battlefords – Herb Cox
Rosthern-Shellbrook – Scott Moe
Batoche – Delbert Kirsch
Melfort – Kevin Phillips
Kindersley – Bill Boyd
Rosetown-Elrose – Jim Reiter
Biggar-Sask Valley – Randy Weekes
Martensville – Nancy Heppner
Humboldt – Donna Harpauer
Arm River-Watrous – Gregory Brkich
Kelvington-Wadena – Hugh Nerlien
Canora-Pelly – Terry Dennis
Yorkton – Greg Ottenbreit
Cypress Hills – Douglas Steele
Wood River – David Marit
Swift Current – Brad Wall
Lumsden-Morse – Lyle Stewart
Indian Head-Milestone – Don McMorris
Weyburn-Big Muddy – Dustin Duncan
Last Mountain-Touchwood – Glen Hart
Moosomin – Steven Bonk
Melville-Saltcoats – Warren Kaeding
Estevan – Lori Carr
Cannington – Dan D’Autremont