Liberal byelection win enhanced by PC challenges: political scientist

Frank Gale fgale@thewesternstar.com
Published on August 28, 2014

Paul Foley believes the Liberal byelection win in the District of St. George’s-Stephenville East on Tuesday was enhanced by the high-profile, provincewide challenges the PCs have faced in recent years and in recent months.

The political scientist and assistant professor at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University in Corner Brook wouldn’t do an interview but said in an email that, while he doesn’t know a whole lot about local politics in St. George’s-Stephenville East area, this byelection win by the Liberals, a fourth straight, gives the party “a lot to brag about.”

Whether this is a sign of a larger frustration with the PC party that will flow over into the next election, Foley said it may or may not be. The Liberal win is a sign of how the PCs have lost the dominant position it had under Premier Danny Williams, but said it’s still too early to tell whether the recent Liberal party wins will create enough momentum for that party to impact an election a year from now, and translate into the 25 seats needed for a majority in the province.

The Carbonear-Harbour Grace byelection and the Virginia Waters byelections were very tight races and a lot can change in a year, he added.

Foley said with 13 seats now, the Liberal party has very strong momentum at this time, but it still has a long way to go to get to 25.