I can’t read the tea leaves

I count it among my biggest liabilities that I have zero ability to predict election outcomes. This is almost ridiculous. I look at the issues. I reason things through. And still look totally stupid.

Consider the latest election poll today in the TJ.

It has the Tories and the Libs in a dead heat – within 1% inside a 3% margin of error.

So here’s how bad I am at this stuff.

I figured (and actually heard from several sources) that the Tories were up between 9% and 15% in their internal polls just a couple of weeks ago.

That, I figured was why they decided to go to the polls.

But apparently public opinion is not so slanted in their favour.

But that’s not the worst of it.

Consider Saint John.

I predicted ‘rootin’ for Hootin’ would win easily because of the bevy of announcements including the Lepreau refurbishment.

And she was trounced badly – lost every precinct.

So, today – just, what – less than a year from that by-election? I just assumed that Lord would get trounced in Saint John. In my mind, he would be beaten there worse than anywhere else in the province.

So, the TJ poll finds Lord with something like a 10 point spread in Saint John – by far his largest margin of support in all the sub regions of the province. In Moncton, he is neck-and-neck with Graham – despite the fact that last time he won 8 of 9 ridings in the Greater Moncton area.

So, what does this mean?

Whatever I predict will happen, put good money on the opposite.

Therefore, I predict that……..

Weird, huh? Please explain to me the error in my logic.

Here were my predictions on this election:

Lord would win big in Greater Moncton. My logic here was that things are well in Moncton and he has made big public spending announcements at the hospital, ‘medical’ school, etc.

Lord would win big in Fredericton. He has expanded the size of government probably more than any other Premier (all government including health care). He has given large wage increases after McKenna squeezed to get out of the deficit. Fredericton itself is doing quite well.

Lord would get creamed in the north with the exception of places where hospitals were ‘saved’, and old time Tory ridings.

Lord would win some if not all of the upper Saint John River Valley (except Woodstock) because of the heroic saving of the Nackawic mill and because – at least until the last 12-18 months – the economy up there has been relatively solid.

So, all told, in my ‘rational’ mind, Lord would win mostly Moncton, Freddy and the Upper SJR and that coupled with a few other old time Tory ridings would allow him to maybe squeak back in.

I also felt, somewhat less rationally, that there may be a sub-text of unsettledness that is not tracked by the polls and that New Brunswickers are just about ready to demand their government do something about their province’s feeble economy and rising levels of out-migration.

But that I fully admit is more wishful thinking.

Please tell me what’s wrong with my logic here?