He’s led his government since 1996 and in good economic times would have expected to be easily re-elected at this year’s election. No I’m not talking about John Howard, but Pat Binns, the Conservative Premier of the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island.
Prince Edward Island (or P.E.I.) is the smallest of Canada’s ten provinces, and is best known as the home of Anne of Green Gables and also being the home of Canadian potato farming. Canadian political tragics would add the Charlettown Agreement to that list, but no one else remembers that.
So Binns called an election at a time of his own choosing, in a period of good economics, and holding a majority of 23 to 4 over the opposition Liberals. And the result from overnight? A complete reverse, the Liberals winning 23 seats, the Conservatives 4.
And the big factor? According to defeated Premier Binns, “I think the change factor was really a big one. People had really decided it was time for a change.”