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Don Valley West
Don Valley-Ouest

Federal Election - 2006 - élection générale

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Canadian Action
Paul Barnes
John Carmichael
Soumen Deb
John Godfrey
Daphne So
David Thomas

Hon. John Godfrey

2004 Result/Résultats:
John Godfrey
David Turnbull
David Thomas
Serge Abbat

For historical result, please see
2004 Prediction page

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18 01 06 JFH
Based on what I've seen this campaign, Godfrey has it wrapped up. I'm sure he'll lose votes to the Conservatives, NDP and Green Party, but he has so many to lose it won't affect the result. Yesterday the Liberals canvassed my building (one of the big ones on Thorncliffe Park) and Godfrey's brochure prominently featured an endorsement from David Miller. Both my wife and I thought it was a great brochure, and we've already voted for other candidates.
16 01 06 DJWK
I think both the NDP and the Conservatives have picked up a few % points, but Godfrey looks good to top 50% again. I've been at all the debates, and while the Conservative supporters are loud and boisterous (especially a memorable night at St. Bonaventure Church), the Liberals are still there, but seemingly shy about voicing support.
With respect to the NDP campaign, you can't go determine our support from signs, because of the bulk of our support being housed in apartments in Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park and Wynford Heights. We still have managed to get between 60-80 signs up in the upper-middle class parts of the riding. Give a few years for some of the New Canadians in Flemo and Thorncliffe to gain voting rights, and another election or two for our candidate to gain more experience and name recognition, and you could have the NDP being very competitive here.
Prediction: Lib 51% Cons 29% NDP 13% Grn 7%
13 01 06 Rob R
While it's true that signs may signal a trend, it's also true that the trend would have to go a long, long, long way before the Conservatives capture this seat. Based on my experience in the riding, there seems to be a sense that -- whatever the faults of the party -- Godfrey is a solid MP and cabinet minister who has served the city and country well. People may not like the party right now, but they like the candidate. And that counts for something.
Also, before you place too much reliance on signs, remember that a lot of people in this riding live in apartments, condos, or townhouses, not least in the massive developments in Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park, but also at Yonge & Eg and elsewhere (Leslie/York Mills, Concorde Place, north along Yonge until Lawrence). By necessity, their signs (if they even have any) aren't as prominent as those in front of single-family dwellings.
07 01 06 David
It is true that signs don't vote, but they can signal a trend. John Carmichael was canvassing in south Leaside today. Last election we had one blue sign on our street. After the Conservative candidate's door to door blitz in the snow this morning we now have six signs on a short street in Leaside. Something is moving.
07 01 06 Mike
John Tory spoke earlier today at the campaign office, and is canvassing with Carmichael in Leaside. It is safe to classify most voters in Don Valley WEst as Blue Liberals or Red Tories. Leaside, Lawrence Park, and eventhe Denlow area have such shakey votes, that the polling numbers from each station vary greatly from year to year.
Carmichael's campaign have the most energy. They have been doing all these stunts along the streets, and have done a good job getting his name out through literature as well.
David Turnbull is also not running, which is quite a relief for the Tories. Turnbull was extremely disliked amongst the electorate and even Conservatives were voting for the Liberals just to ensure that he didn't get in.
With the Tories polling at 25% (and rising) in Toronto, they do have a chance to pick up a seat SOMEWHERE. I am saying either this one, St Paul's or Etobicoke Lakesore are your best bets. If it seems like the Cons' will make the government, surely one Liberal will have to fall in vote-rich Toronto, especially because the Tory vote is concentrated in these three ridings.
06 01 06 M. Lunn
Okay lets stop the silly idea of the Tories winning here when they got less than half of what the Liberals got last time around. They may be making modest gains in Ontario, but not enough to win ridings with margins this large. Besides John Godfrey is extremely popular, while last time around they had former Tory cabinet minister David Johnson and still lost badly so with a less known candidate, they will likely do worse or at least not much better.
04 01 06 CG
Signs definitely do not show anything, especially since much of the riding (Flemingdon/Thorncliffe) is majority apartments and signs cannot be put up.
17 12 05 SG
Sure there many be a lot of blue signs but does that really say anything at all. I as well as my other neighbours will have John Godfrey signs on our lawn once Christmas is over. Half of the signs that Carmichael has but are on municipal property. Which is a no no in Toronto. So, I wouldn't be surprised if some of those blue signs get taken down..
15 12 05 Derek
Signs mean nothing here. Last time, Turnbull had piles of signs (especially in the wealthy neighbourhoods and still lost by a 2-1 margin. Godfrey's victory last time was incredible. This is a strong Liberal hold.
14 12 05 MH
Lawn signs don't vote. Last year David Turnbull's signs were visible in large number early in the campaign, especially in the most prosperous parts of Leaside, in Lawrence Park, up Bayview from Dawlish to the 401, along York Mills west and east of Bayview, and along Leslie north of York Mills. There were few Liberal signs to be seen in these areas, and none for the NDP. No surprise there: wealthy voters know (or think they know) who their friends are. But the rich are fewer in number than the poor and moderately well off, and on election day Turnbull was easily washed away by all the voters living further east and south in the constituency. If John Carmichael gets more votes than Mr Turnbull, a former provincial cabinet minister, he will have reason to feel pleased. It will take something close to a miracle to allow him to beat John Godfrey.
14 12 05 Steve G
J. Kaywood: I drive through this riding every morning, along York Mills between Leslie and Yonge, and I have driven through this riding in virtually every federal and provincial election since 1997. Every time, the Tories seem to flood this particular riding with signs and every time they get pulverized by the Liberal candidate (the 1999 provincial election excepted, of course). By now I can actually recognize the same 3 or 4 houses along that strip of York Mills with the blue signs, the remaining signs being mostly on back fences that are essentially public property. A Conservative majority government would have to be looming in order for the Tories to be competitive here, and even then John Godfrey's effectiveness as an MP would probably allow him to hang on. Prediction: Liberal hold with 55-60% of the vote.
11 12 05 J. Kaywood
Those of you who do not drive down Don Valley West everyday are probably unaware that all of the neighbourhoods are flooded with blue signs. Whether or not this shows a good indication of who will win this riding, who knows? But I would hazard a guess that all the John Carmichael signs are there for a reason and the 5 odd Godfrey signs show that Liberal support is diminishing.
02 12 05 Rob R
With all due respect, William E. Demers's comments sound more like wishful thinking than serious analysis.
First, John Bosley did not hold the riding "until recently." Bosley last won an election here in 1988. That's over 17 years ago.
Second, the race was not particularly "tight" last time, the time before that, the time before that, or the time before that. Godfrey doubled Turnbull last time.
Third, I have lived in the riding for my entire life. The Conservative candidate may be a nice guy, but most of us have never heard of him. To say that he is "well-respected" is a bit of a stretch.
Don't get me wrong: at a national level, this election is unpredictable. But there would have to be a Tory landslide across the country before this seat falls.
02 12 05 Derek
Well well. Here we are again. Good call on the tory side for ditching Turnbull who outwore his welcome with the voters. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter though. Mr. Godfrey has been a great MP, and the constituents know it. Mr. Carmichael is likely a good guy, but his leader is unpopular throughout Canada outside of his "firewalled" Alberta.
02 12 05 M. Lunn
For those suggesting this will go Conservative since it has in the past, look at the numbers from last time around. It wasn't even close and it won't even be close this time. This area went for the former Progressive Conservatives and the Progressive Conservatives at the provincial level, not the Conservatives. To most Ontarioans, especially in Toronto, the Conservatives are seen as Reform Party in Conservative clothing and since the Reform Party was always unpopular in Toronto, they will never succeed in winning in Toronto regardless of what name they use. The Conservatives will only win here when they start acting like the Old PCs which won't happen as long as Harper is the leader.
29 11 05 William E. Demers
Though the Liberals would have people believe that Don Valley West is forever lost to their cause, they cannot deny that until recently the highly affluent region was held by Tories for many terms due to the strong leadership of John Bosley. While the race is tight and John Godfrey has held this riding since Chretien's days, the Conservative David Turnbull has been replaced by the well-respected John Carmichael. This riding is not as black & white as people are assuming.
28 11 05 MH
There is nothing to indicate that voters in this constituency will choose anyone other than John Godfrey on election day. Godfrey is a capable constituency man who has turned this into something like a personal fief. Barring totally unforeseen events, he should take 60-65 per cent or more of the vote.
05 11 05 A.S.
Once labelled the safest Tory seat in Toronto, but so affluent and cosmopolitan (despite the token Thorncliffe/Flemington presence) that it's now the embodiment of old-federal-PCs-going-Liberal; to the point where John Godfrey not only wiped the floor with ex-MPP David Turnbull, he did so with the 6th highest share in the 416, unexpectedly outdoing neighbouring Don Valley East and St. Paul's as well as--inconceivably--Ken Dryden in York Centre! Though it probably helps from the *other* end that the riding's NDP presence is such a Layton-proof single-digit nullity, and Godfrey himself compensates by doing excellent left-Liberal--after all, he was given the Mayor Miller seal of endorsement. In theory, DVW remains competitive for the Tories--but on a federal level, it's getting to look like token faint-hope competitiveness, at least under the current leadership. Provincially, it's another story--thus the seat's possible/probable earmarking by John Tory himself. But even John Tory is a "friend of John Godfrey" (or Paul Godfrey, or George, or Ringo, etc) kind of Tory...
05 07 05 L. Anderson
Liberal for sure. Paul Godfrey is a capable though not influential (yet) Minister of State for Communities and Infrastructure. His portfolio has become central to the Liberals' strategy with the New Deal for Cities, and an influential cabinet minister is not something this riding wants to lose.
Godfrey is also friendly with Toronto Mayor David Miller and may get his endorsement (especially as the NDP has no chance at all in this riding).
The thing to watch in this riding is the dynamic between the Conservatives and the Greens. The Greens consider it a strategic priority to keep the Conservative Party of Canada permanently locked out of the City of Toronto so that they can lure "Red Tories" (most of whom mistrust the CPC anyway) into their own party. They also consider it a disaster to let anyone from the Conservative Party of Canada claim to speak "for the 416" federally in a Harper minority government. Accordingly their priority is to ensure the suppression of the Conservative vote, even at the expense of their own.
A sure sign of this strategy in play is the nomination of Green warhorse and campaign strategist Dan King: in 2004 King trashed the Conservative at every turn and complimented Godfrey publicly, letting Godfrey look very statesmanlike. And peppered the riding, especially the richer districts, with campaign literature that emphasized the fiscally conservative aspects of Green policy, and even quoted NDP accusations of the Greens as being a "right wing" party. It's hard to tell the impact of all this but it can't hurt Godfrey if Conservatives begin to doubt the conservatism of their own party, look seriously at other options and advocate policies of full-cost accounting for energy or a "green tax shift" off of incomes on to consumption, and conclude that they like the Greens better than Harper.
Godfrey will soon have legs enough to win on his own without such help, if he acts as a champion of the 416 against the province of Ontario and gets serious about the transformation of municipal government ("e-government") and the constitutional status of cities within Canada. Godfrey has not, unlike Miller and King, declared himself as in favour of provincial status for Toronto, but doing so would not hurt at all. He might consider that, if he wants a lock on this riding, and a boost from Jane Jacobs' followers.
28 05 05 Craig
Like most GTA ridings, the Liberals have a lock on this one. This was widely considered to be a 'potential' Tory pickup last time (with a former MPP in David Turnbull), but Godfrey steamrolled over everyone else. It will happen again with a similar or slightly greater margin even with AdScam and an overall decrease in Liberal fortunes in Ontario, as the Conservatives are viewed as "scary" in the 416 area code and about as popular as George W. Bush (which, in other words, is not popular at all). The NDP aren't a real factor here either. Predicted results: LIB 62%, CPC 20%, NDP 12%, GRN 4%, others 2%.
20 05 05 Rob R
Two things:
1) This riding is generally uneasy with the substance and style of conservatism espoused by the current CPC. While generally affluent -- Lawrence Park, York Mills, Don Mills, and Leaside can hardly be described as hotbeds of revolution -- the riding prides itself on civility, gentility, and a live-and-let-live attitude. In the 1990s, the Progressive Conservatives consistently performed better, and the Reform/Alliance worse, than elsewhere, and the last election saw a wider-than-expected margin of victory for Godfrey. Unless and until the Conservatives jettison their baggage, they don't have a realistic chance here.
2) Godfrey is intelligent, articulate, and decent -- qualities not always found in a politician. As a cabinet minister with a portfolio relevant to Toronto, he has an even higher profile than last time. He's also held in wide regard in the areas of Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon. Even if the CPC had a moderate leader and a moderate candidate, Godfrey would likely win.
17 05 05 Steve G
What many Conservatives were predicting would be a tight race here turned into Liberal romp with 60%+ of the vote. No change here. The 416 is a dead zone for the Tories.
11 05 05 MF
Don Valley West, home to Canada's biggest concentration of nouveau riche, should stay Liberal. People in these ritzy suburbs don't call care for social conservatives, but at the same time they're not as hardcore opposition to neo-con agendas like in wealthy urban ridings like St. Paul. However I think this riding will go Conservative provincially in 2007 - and since it would be foolish for John Tory to run anywhere in the old city of Toronto, I think this is where he will run.
09 05 05 M. Lunn
This is probably one of the more winneable 416 ridings for the Conservatives since this riding has traditionally elected centre-right parties. However, John Godfrey's victory of almost 30% is too large to overcome and not to mention most people in Toronto are very uncomfortable with Stephen Harper's hardline conservative, even if they lean to the right, so despite being a left-leaning liberal in a wealthy riding, John Godfrey should easily be re-elected. If Belinda Stronach becomes leader after next election, then John Godfrey could be in trouble in the following election as Stronach's conservatism is more acceptable to urban Ontario.
08 05 05 Brandon
Don Valley West is a bellwether riding (used to be solid Tory) and will vote how Ontario does. The popular incumbent defeated David Turnbull, another popular politician here by 15,000 votes last time. Now the Liberal MP is a Cabinet Minister in the Cities portfolio. I would not be surprised if he is re-elected by an increased margin this time.

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