Monday, October 13, 2008

Election Oracle 2008: Ontario

In Ontario, the NDP has seen its numbers soar, with noted strength in Toronto, industrial regions, and northern Ontario. In suburban and exurban areas, the Liberals have seen losses to the Greens in particular, which has endangered many Liberal incumbents hoping to fend off Tory challenges. Had the bad economic news of the last couple of weeks not happened, the Tories would likely have cleaned up in many parts of the province. Instead, the Liberals saw a bit of a bump in their numbers and go into tomorrow’s election having likely reduced the number of losses they’ll see.

GTA/905 belt

In the GTA/905 region, into which I’m including Hamilton, Welland and Niagara Falls, there are 54 seats. The Liberals won 37 of these in 2006, leaving just 11 for the Conservatives and 6 for the NDP.

For this election, I’m predicting that the NDP’s Marilyn Churley will pick up Beaches-East York, knocking off Liberal MP Maria Minna. Peggy Nash will also fend off Liberal leadership contender Gerard Kennedy’s attempt to retake Parkdale-High Park, while Liberals hopes of making a return to Hamilton will also fail. In Welland, the NDP’s Malcolm Allen is likely to defeat sitting Liberal MP John Maloney, while in Oshawa, CAW activist Mike Shields will likely defeat Tory MP Colin Carrie by a very small margin. The NDP also threaten incumbents in Davenport and York South-Weston, but I predict the Liberals will hold on to those.

The Liberals also face losses to the Conservatives in this region. In Mississauga, Liberals Paul Szabo and Omar Alghabra are likely to face defeat, while floor crosser currently-Tory Wahid Khan will survive a strong Liberal challenge. Finally, Belinda Stronach’s old seat of Newmarket Aurora will return to the Tory fold under Lois Brown, while another Brown – Oakville Liberal MP Bonnie Brown – will see her seat move to the Tory side of the House.

2006 result: Con 11, Lib 37, NDP 6
2008 prediction: Con 15, Lib 30, NDP 9

Southwestern Ontario

Southwestern Ontario has 22 seats, in which 12 went Conservative, 7 went Liberal, and 3 went NDP in 2006. The Liberals have dropped somewhat throughout the region, while the NDP is strong in and around the Windsor region. Even a small decline in numbers for the Liberals will send three of their seats (Brant, Huron-Bruce and London West) into the Tory fold, which is what I expect to occur.

In this region, many eyes will be on Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and Guelph for the strong Green challenges in those ridings (and a fantastic candidate for the NDP, Tom King, in Guelph), but I predict a Tory win in the former and a Liberal win in the latter. Some also speak of NDP strength in Essex, which neighbours Windsor; I predict the Tory will hold there.

2006 result: Con 12, Lib 7, NDP 3
2008 prediction: Con 15, Lib 4, NDP 3

Eastern Ontario

There are 20 seats in eastern Ontario, which includes the capital region, and it strongly voted Conservative in 2006. Only parts of Ottawa and Kingston managed to elect non-Tory MPs.

In this election, I predict no seat changes for the region. Liberal David McGuinty is perhaps most at risk of losing his seat, but I predict a Liberal hold. A lot of noise has been made about Ottawa Liberals Penny Collenette and David Pratt taking on NDP MP Paul Dewar and Tory MP John Baird, respectively, but both MPs will easily coast to re-election.

2006 result: Con 16, Lib 3, NDP 1
2008 prediction: Con 16, Lib 3, NDP 1

Northern Ontario

In northern Ontario, the NDP has been surging and Liberal incumbents are running scared. The NDP’s strong campaign, including its release of a northern Ontario platform and the relatively high profile of a number of its candidates, has help the party build on existing strengths in the region. Expect the party to pick up both Thunder Bay seats, plus Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing and Nickel Belt from the Liberals. I also predict a narrow win for the NDP in Kenora’s three-way race, but a loss against Sudbury Liberal Diane Marleau.

2006 result: Con 1, Lib 7, NDP 2
2008 prediction: Con 1, Lib 2, NDP 7

Provincial total

2006 result: Con 40, Lib 54, NDP 12
2008 prediction: Con 47, Lib 39, NDP 20


Anonymous said...

Strategic voting should have an entirely different meaning in elections now with the new financing laws. Where each party gets annual funding from the federal government based on the number of votes cast in the last election, every vote counts.

By accumulating votes, even in ridings where there is no hope of winning, Green Party and NDP supporters can ensure the future institutional capacity of their party to launch future elections and maintain a national standing and presence.

By accumulating only 1000 votes in every riding, the party would receive funding of more than $300,000 per year. This is substantial and could mean future success.

Strategic voting for the NDP and Greens means looking to the long term ... not just this election.

JC Kelan

Prairie Topiary said...

Thanks for the comment. I agree 100%.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Mina is going down in T.O. but Kennedy will beat Nash and should he become leader he might be the guy to unite with Layton and the NDP.

As an NDP'er in Toronto I have always had a soft spot for Kennedy.