Update/Mise à jour:
12:58 AM 14/12/2005

Prediction Changed
La prévision a changé
11:57 PM 05/05/2005
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Scarborough Southwest

Federal Election - 2006 - élection générale

Constituency Profile
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Dan Harris
Valery Philip
Elizabeth Rowley
Trevor Sutton
Vincent Veerasuntharam
Tom Wappel

Tom Wappel

2004 Result/Résultats:
Tom Wappel
Heather Jewell
Dan Harris
Peter Van Dalen
Elizabeth Rowley

For historical result, please see
2004 Prediction page

Authorized by the Official Agent for Dan Harris
05 12 05 Birchmount + Kennedy
Scarborough South West is a good example of a Gaullist constituency. The MP there Tom Wappel is a notorious social conservative. He has stood against gay marriage, and is against abortion. On the other hand he brings money into the riding, and helps with immigration enquiries like a good urban constituency Liberal. How does he manage this? Scarborough South West is heavily Catholic. There is a monastary and a convent in that riding, and many Catholic schools. It is very easy for a Catholic voter to be liberal on economic issues and conservative on social issues. Right up to the Vatican you see a parallel between conservative social theology and liberation economic theology. The NDP has held Scarborough South West in the past, and so have the Conservatives. Yet the old Protestant population is getting older. At least in Scarborough South West the Protestant population is tending to get older and the Catholic population is getting younger. Demographically this means a Gaullist Liberal is going to do well. Unlike other ridings in Toronto, the Conservatives can beat the NDP in a federal election. This means the opposition to the Liberals is more or less evenly split, allowing them to come up the broad middle and win.
04 12 05 MH
Few things would please me more to see Tom Wappel go down to defeat. Alas, it almost certainly won't happen. The Conservative candidate this time is a sacrificial lamb (social conservatives seem to like Mr. Wappel just fine), and although Dan Harris, the NDP candidate, did a lot better in 2004 than in 2000, it seems highly unlikely that he has the horses to win in 2006. Only if the Tories sweep Toronto, and perhaps not even then, is Wappel likely to return to private life.
03 12 05 A.S.
The ultimate Liberal incumbent whom people vote for with a clothespin on their nose (CPC counterpart = Rob Anders?), Tom Wappel is so personally bleauggghhh on all counts that sooner or later, *somebody's* gotta get their stuff together to knock him outa there. Last time out, it looked like the Tories under glam Heather Jewell would do it...but in the end, the NDP drew almost even with them, well back of Wappel. And why not the NDP? Provincially, especially (Stephen Lewis!), they have an illustrious past here--and it's within Layton/Churley's East Toronto orbit, too. Curiously underestimated as it is, SSW is *begging* to be a next-tier Dipper-domino to be tipped, and the 20%+ last time out proves it. But there's the dilemma for Wappel-haters: under present circumstances, Tom Wappel's probably more likely to be defeated by the NDP than by the Tories. Could happen. (Indeed, a fantasy scenario could see the NDP pass the Tories in *every* Scarborough seat.) Except, it's a "dilemma" for a reason. But I just don't have the guts to predict this for Tom Wappel--even the supposed Reagan-Dem/so-con demos of SSW cannot explain his electoral persistence. All I can say, then, is: pass the clothespins...
20 11 05 Andrew S
I guess some of these points need to be restressed:
In 2004:
- Wappal's reputation was already damaged going into the election because of his refusal to help out a vetern who hadn't voted for him.
- Wappal didn't really bother to campaign
- Wappal's record as an MP was already well establish
- The conservatives heavily targeted this riding with a young, hip, Ontario friendly kind of candidate
- The people of Scarborough Southwest didn't care, and return Wappal to parliment, albeit with his worst showing since '88 (he only got ~50% of the votes!)
Scaroborough is Liberal bedrock. In an '84 Turner style meltdown, Scarborough probly doesn't come into play (*maybe* Pickering-Scarborough East does). If the Liberals win 2 seats in 2006, at least half will be in Scarborough.
18 11 05 M. Lunn
The NDP will not win this. The reason why the Liberals will keep this has nothing to do with Tom Wappel, but everything to do with the general view in Toronto outside the downtown area. Most people still remember the Bob Rae era and see the NDP policies as being fiscally irresponsible so asides from ridings like Trinity-Spadina, Parkdale-High Park, Toronto-Danforth, and Beaches-East York, the NDP is not in play elsewhere in Toronto. At the same time the Tories are see as too right wing especially on social issues. As for Tory voters going over to the NDP, Yah right. If any Tory voters switch their votes, it will be to the Liberals who are in between the two parties, not to the NDP who are on the opposite side of the spectrum. Besides local candidates make very little difference in urban ridings. Most people in Toronto (based on the current federal leaders) would vote Liberal even if a monkey was the Liberal candidate while God was the Conservative or NDP candidate.
17 11 05 Old Fart
Now I'm not the dillusional type.
But with the Conservatives nominating a weak candidate, many Conservative voters will go to the NDP.
Add that to all the informed voters who know about Tom Wappel Social Conservative views, look for this to be a surprise NDP pick-up.
22 06 05 Birchmount + Kennedy
The Conservatives have nominated Vincent Veerasuntharam to be their candidate in Scarborough South West, rejecting Heather Jewell's nomination bid.
The riding is very socially conservative, with a large contingent of working class, immigrant Roman Catholics. These people are entrenched in the Liberal Party, even if 'family values' Tom Wappel left his wife and 4 kids to live with his secretary in Ottawa.
It is clear the electors of Scarborough Southwest are imbibed with the fullness of Forgiveness for Tom Wappel.
01 06 05 TAN
To the poster below speaking about a section of the electorate "that could swing to the NDP as a result of his social conservative views that have been exposed."
Wappel has been known as the most so-con of Liberal so-cons from Day 1. The are no skeletons to, if you'll forgive the pun, be outed from his closet because they were all outed decades ago, and Scarborough voters have been fine with them year after year.
To draw a really obscure analogy, but perhaps a more accurate one that describing them as "Reagan Democrats", Scarborough Liberals are Canada's answer to Fianna Fáil. Bonus points to all the politics nuts who get the reference.
19 05 05 Laurence Putnam
To the below poster contending with Lunn:
Miles Lunn stereotypes every suburban riding in Canada: "{insert suburb} doesn't like social conservatism," etc. etc. ignoring regional and local cultures that lead to differing social/fiscal/populist dynamics. He contradicted himself anyway because as he says, Wappel is one of the most socially conservative members of the house. He is right however, that Wappel will likely win unless the ground really shifts, despite extremist views and awful behaviour (as one veteran famously discovered).
16 05 05 Craig
This riding has a few interesting dynamics. Tom Wappel should hold on to this seat, however the margin should decrease as there is a contingent (not a large one, but still sizable though) that could swing to the NDP as a result of his social conservative views that have been exposed, strengthened by the fact that across Victoria Park Avenue lies very strong NDP turf and it may spill over. The Conservatives have lost their ground here as a result and should not be a factor, especially considering AdScam has not resonated much in Toronto. Predicted results: LIB 41%, NDP 32%, CPC 22%, GRN 4%, others 1%.
16 05 05 punditman
Let's recap: Tom Wappel barely ran a campaign last election, he refused to help an old man because he didn't vote for him, and he is a staunch social conservative. And in spite of all this, he won by a fairly big margin. If that didn't lose the election for Tommy Boy, then nothing will. Liberal win here.
07 05 05 MF
I disagree with Miles Lunn's characterization of Scarborough. Scarborough is an overwhelmingly working class suburban area with a fairly socially conservative population. It is not a land of affluent SUV-driving soccer moms. Most of Scarborough's MPs are socially conservative Grits - kind of like the Canadian version of "Reagan Democrats". So I don't think the lack of success for the Tories in Scarborough is because Scarborough voters are fiscal conservatives who reject social conservatives - that may be true in middle class professional suburbs like Willowdale or central Etobicoke - but not in Scarborough. If anything they like social conservatives who pledge support for the welfare state. The Tories offer social conservatism + rejection of the welfare state. This is why they prefer the Grits.
Now if some Liberal social conservative MPs jump to the Tories, then things would be interesting. But assuming they won't, people like Tom Wappel will hang on. And even if he did become a Tory, the Libs would probably still win - though it would be close.
06 05 05 Andrew S
Last time around the PC party seemed to pour tons of money and effort into this riding. Heather Jewel had signs everywhere, an impressive website (with a custom song about Scarborough Southwest!) and was very visible. NDP also had a good campaign team and reasonable effort, with good signage and canvassing.
The incumbent ran a very minimal campaign (I drove through the riding every day, working in East York and living in east Scarborough) and only ever saw one sign out on a lawn of the Liberal Persuasion. Friends in the riding told me they got no literature and no canvassers.
With all of this, the Liberals won handily. I can't imagine what kind of circumstances it would take to dislodge the Liberals here, but it won't happen anytime soon.
01 05 05 Miles Lunn
Scarborough is a middle class type area that will sometimes elect moderate Conservative parties and maybe more hardline ones if they stick to solely fiscal issues i.e. Mike Harris, but won't elect a hardline fiscal AND social conservative party. Also Tom Wappel is probably more socially conservative than most of the Conservative MPs. He opposes abortion in all circumstances including incest and rape and is a staunch opponent of gay marriage. His strong social conservative views will no doubt help the NDP candidate where some of the real liberals will park their votes, but since most people vote for party rather than local candidate, he will likely be re-elected again.

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