Picture Stu Murray at home last night watching the election coverage. When the dust settled, McFadyen's seat yield was less than Murray's in 2003.
He had to be laughing his ass off.
The man who faced the long knives of his party for winning only 20 seats in 2003, who ran an under-funded campaign with few Tory backroom war horses putting their shoulder to the wheel for the cause.
As Murray is reported telling people these days about that time, all the PC power brokers who shooed him into the job to replace Filmon were nowhere in sight come election time.
No cash. No horses to drive the cart.
The pundits predicted oblivion and Probe predicted NDP "landslide". But Stu held on to 20 seats. No oblivion.
Then by Fall 2005, it was over. The "committee" put enough pressure on Stu that he had to quit.
Once again the PCs lived up to their well-earned reputation of eating their own.
A year ago the Tory elite put their hopes in Huey. A new, fresh, younger, energetic face to the party of dour pessimism.
A year later. Millions of dollars spent in a campaign. Lots of hype. What have they got to show for it?
Chuckle on, Mr. Murray. Chuckle on.
(UPDATE: We just read our pal Tom Blowback's column, essentially the same thought as above. "Great" minds must think alike.)
Whaaaat? Free Press declares Patrick O'Connor (who he?) in Lac du Bonnet.
(To be fair, it must be quite the scramble to put together the election edition of a newspaper, with late results and tight timelines. But we suspect this was a legacy of the mocked up page done in advance that editors forgot and left on. Good for another little E +1 chuckle, though.)
Catherine Mitchell. Is she just channeling a grumpy old man to fit in at the FreeP editorial board or is she really that sour and cranky?
Her column today, entitled "For the PCs, tomorrow is a new day", her thesis is essentially the same as the Conservatives' radio ads over the last few days: The NDP has stolen the campaign by lying; we've been cheated.
Check this out: "But this is an extraordinary third majority of the NDP and it will not last either."
Geez. Thanks, Catherine (or can we call you Cathy?). You've really cleared up that democracy, people-have-a-choice thing that was confusing us about the next election.
Compare the popular vote today to Probe's published results last week.
Probe poll: NDP - 44%, PC - 37%, Lib - 16%
Election 2007: NDP - 48%, PC - 38%, Lib - 12%
So, not as far out at the 2003 "landslide" prediction, but they show some interesting things.
If the Probe poll was an accurate snapshot, then Liberals were tanking in the dying days of the campaign.
Why would that be? Most according to Probe felt the NDP was on a winning trajectory anyway. So fear of a Tory win was not squeezing Liberal considerers in the run up to election day to strategically support the NDP in a raw anti-Tory push.
In fact, if the last days of the campaign were any indication, the PCs were desperate to shore up their base support with Hugh's accusations of Doer "lying", etc. and their angry, nay, desperate radio ads over the long weekend accusing Gary Doer of every malfeasance in the book and urging voters to simply "vote against the NDP".
So if anyone showed signs of sliding in terms of their campaign activity, it was the PCs.
Now, anyone who read to the bottom of the story would see that the Probe poll was only just outside the claimed margin of error of 3.5% of the actual result.
So, one has to conclude either the Liberals were never up to 16% and Probe's methodology for whatever reason propped them up beyond their strength. Or, four per cent of Liberal support ran to the NDP in the last week of the campaign for no apparent reason.
And lastly, a big congratulations, Mr. Doer.