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Bevington tops, Edjericon a
distant second in un-scientific poll

Dez Loreen
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Jan 20/06) - Henry White is confident that his barber poll will accurately predict the outcome of the Jan. 23 federal election in the Western Arctic.

When White's barbershop ballot box was cut open this week, the New Democratic Party's Dennis Bevington had 87 of 155 ballots cast.

Conservative Richard Edjericon came second with 36 votes and Liberal incumbent Ethel Blondin-Andrew received 28 votes.

Alex Beaudin of the Green Party got four votes. Independent candidate Jan van der Veen was not included in the poll.

"You're going to see results just like this, come next Monday night," said White.

The barber poll has foretold the outcome of the last two federal elections, but White was in Hay River during those years.

Elections Canada's Yellowknife polls for the last election also showed a win for Bevington, but Blondin-Andrew still won the riding based on solid support in the outlying communities.

"My poll has been very accurate in the past, I guarantee a reflection in the real vote," White said.

Voters in the Western Arctic are demonstrating a keen interest in the election, according to Elections Canada.

In June 2004, voter turnout was a dismal 48 per cent, but advance polls for the Jan. 23 vote suggest a 25 per cent increase.

Elections Canada took in 1,207 ballots in advance polls, compared to 892 ballots in June 2004.

National polls indicate that 66 per cent of Canadians want a change in government, but experts say advance polls should not be interpreted as a sign that voters are shifting their preference.

Serge Fleyfel, a spokesman for Elections Canada, said the increase is due to an extensive advertising campaign to encourage voters participate in the election.