Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Manitoba's new electoral boundaries

As some fellow bloggers (Curtis, PolicyFrog and The Hack) have already pointed out, the new provincial election boundaries have been finalized. While most of the outgoing constituencies will be replaced with fairly similar new counterparts, there are a few big changes. Most notable is the loss of one seat in southwestern Manitoba and the gain of another in southeastern Manitoba.

As PolicyFrog also noted, there are some interesting name changes and I like what I see. For example, most of Inkster, a constituency named after a street, becomes Tyndall Park, a constituency named after a community. Rupertsland becomes Kewatinook (Cree for "from the north"), in a nod to the constituency's large aboriginal population.

A few nomination battles could well result. For the Conservatives, five sitting MLAs will have to fight it out over the four seats that remain in southwestern Manitoba. In south Winnipeg, the NDP-held seats of Fort Garry and Lord Roberts unite to become Fort Garry-Riverview (a much better name than the ugly Pembina-Jubilee moniker that appeared in the draft proposed maps). NDP-held St. Norbert loses Fort Richmond but gains some Tory territory from Fort Whyte.

I'll have more thoughts soon. In the meantime, those wanting to take a look for themselves should consult the
boundaries commission site and report.


Anonymous said...

Fort Gary becomes Fort Richmond while Lord Roberts is now Fort Gary-Riverview.

Prairie Topiary said...

I haven't studied the maps as carefully as I'd like, but a comparison of the 1998 boundaries with the new ones suggests the bulk of the new Fort Richmond was previously in St. Norbert. Some of this is the U of M campus and retail land along Pembina, so it's possible that the bulk of the new Fort Richmond's actual population is from old Fort Garry.

The new Fort Garry-Riverview does contain a considerable portion of the old Fort Garry (in addition to the Riverview portion of old Lord Roberts), including Wildwood Park and the "planets" (the area just west of Pembina and immediately south of the Jubilee overpass).

Anonymous said...

Lord Roberts has effectively disappeared, with the Riverview area going to Fort Garry-Riverview, the Grant Park area going to River Heights, and the Crescentwood area between Corydon and Grant going to Fort Rouge.

McGifford loses out in this game of musical chairs - her options are to either a) retire, b) challenge Howard in Fort Rouge (which includes a good chunk of the old Osborne riding McGifford originally won in 1995) or c) face off with Irvin-Ross over Fort Garry-Riverview, which includes the Riverview area currently represented by McGifford and the more NDP-friendly areas of Irvin-Ross' current Fort Garry seat.

I can't see Irvin-Ross being too interested in moving south to Fort Richmond, which has been primarily carved out of St. Norbert and includes only the very southeast corner of the existing Fort Garry. St. Norbert loses the area around the U of M and gains the Tory-friendly southern part of Fort Whyte. I haven't looked at any sort of poll-by-poll breakdown, but it seems to me that Marilyn Brick might have a better shot in Fort Richmond than in the new St. Norbert. This redistribution could result in an open seat in St. Norbert and quite possibly a net Tory gain in the city.

Prairie Topiary said...

Good comments. It's also possible, though probably unlikely, that Jennifer Howard moves north to run in Logan (which contains part of her current Fort Rouge constituency - see the Don Street blog for some great analysis of the new Logan), leaving the new Fort Rouge for McGifford.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:02 here. Donald Street does raise an interesting point - Logan doesn't really have an incumbent. I simply assumed Marcelino would run there and Lamoureux would run in Tyndall Park, but Tyndall Park is more of a successor to Wellington than to Inkster. It is conceivable that Marcelino could run in Tyndall Park regardless of what Lamoureux does, Howard could move to Logan, thus leaving Fort Rouge for McGifford. Whether this plays out may depend on what Lamoureux does - if he decides to run in Tyndall Park, Marcelino might be more inclined to take her chances in Logan, which should still be a pretty safe bet for the NDP even though it only contains about 25% of her existing riding. Although Logan probably includes more voters from the existing Fort Rouge than Wellington, I can't see Howard being too anxious to move.