Saturday, December 02, 2006

1st ballot results

I can't sleep. First impressions:

Ignatieff could be in trouble. His numbers are exactly as they were counting only committed delegates. He had been touted as having the most ex-officio support, which should have taken him over 30%, but instead he's stalled at 29.3%. He has, however, maintained his 9% lead over Rae - Rae went up only 0.2%. But he needs momentum, and he doesn't have it. We'll see what happens on the 2nd ballot, but at the moment this is not good for him.

For Rae, this ballot's biggest worry is likely that Dion has moved up, and is in striking difference of second place. In terms of appealing to Dion's delegates, who he's counting on, Rae's biggest problem, it seems, is that he didn't speak much French in his speech, probably a result of the fact that he spoke without notes and just forgot to speak in a language in which he's not comfortable. Will this mean that if Dion is eliminated, his French delegates go to Ignatieff instead? Maybe not, but it can't help Rae.

Dion has done well - he's squeaked ahead of Kennedy, by two votes. This is too close to really mean anything in terms of Kennedy's ability to get back ahead, it's more a matter of momentum. Of course, Kennedy's speech seems to have been better received than Dion's; when people vote again in the morning, this trend could easily have been reversed. (This will also be a factor for Rae: while he didn't speak enough French, he probably gave a better speech overall than Dion; this could attract delegates looking for a biligual alternative to Ignatieff.)

What is most notable about these numbers, I think, is just how close Kennedy and Dion are to Rae - 2.5% and 2.6%, less than Martha Hall Findlay's. (Nice work to Martha, who did well with ex-officios and was only 26 votes away from Volpe.) The second ballot is important before we can draw any real conclusions, except, I think for my first observation, that Ignatieff is in some trouble.


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