Since I will be out of the country for the upcoming by-elections, I thought I would comment now on them and what I think they might mean. I will comment on the results once I return home and are over the jet lag so a few days after.
South Surrey-White Rock: This had up until 2015 normally been a Conservative stronghold but with the strong Liberal breakthrough in the Lower Mainland, the Tories only narrowly won it and considering Dianne Watts was a popular former mayor of Surrey, I suspect the Liberals would have picked it up had she not been the candidate. This will be a real test on whether the Liberals still remain strong in the Lower Mainland suburbs or have the Conservatives picked up lost ground. NDP is not likely to be a factor here. Prediction: Too close to call between Liberals/Conservatives
Battlefords-Lloydminster: While the NDP used to do well here, for the last 20 years this has been a very safe Conservative riding and I expect the conservatives to easily hold this. The more interesting part will be which party comes in second; Liberals or NDP. This could be a sign of what party progressives should vote strategically for in the urban Saskatchewan ridings where things are more competitive unlike the rural which are solidly Conservative. Prediction: Easy Conservative win
Scarborough-Agincourt: For the past 30 years this has been a fairly safe Liberal riding, but in 2015 it bucked the provincial and national trends. The Tories got 34% in 2011 while saw their share of the popular vote increase to 38% in 2015. This riding has a large Chinese community who in the past tended to vote heavily Liberal but the Conservatives have in the last decade made strong inroads amongst and do tend to lean to the right. A strong Liberal win here means they are still strong in the GTA suburbs which is key to winning another majority in 2019 while either a Tory pickup or a strong second place showing would show they are once again tied or ahead in the 905 belt which they absolutely must win if they want to win in 2019. NDP have won other ridings in Scarborough, but never done particularly well in this one so not a factor. Prediction: Likely Liberal but a Tory upset is possible.
Bonavista-Trinity-Burin: This is a very safe Liberal riding and in fact was their best showing in 2015 with 80% of the vote. As such they should easily hold this one. The more interesting part will be the vote shifts. If the Liberals stay above 70%, that means they are still strong in Atlantic Canada, fall to the 60s means some of their weaker ridings could be vulnerable while fall below 60% and it could mean they are vulnerable in multiple ridings. For the Tories, they only got 12% in 2015 so if they get under 20% it means they still got their work cut out for them in Atlantic Canada. If they get in the 20s, that should be enough to win back their traditional strongholds in Atlantic Canada, but not challenge the Liberals overall while if they exceed 30% then that means they could win back some of the swing ridings too. NDP once again is not a factor here. Prediction: Easy Liberal win
Liberals: A good night for the Liberals is hold by decent margins both ridings they have while Pick up South Surrey-White Rock. A bad night is lose Scarborough-Agincourt and fail to pick up South Surrey-White Rock.
Conservatives: A good night is hold South Surrey-White Rock and either pick up Scarborough-Agincourt or come within 5 points of winning it. Bad night is lose South Surrey-White Rock and lose Scarborough-Agincourt by a wide margin.
NDP: They are not strong in any of these four ridings so probably won’t say a lot about their prospects.