Prediction Changed
10:42 PM 20/09/2008

Election Prediction Project

St. Catharines
Federal Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

New Democratic
Addison, George N.
Dykstra, Rick
Fannon, Jim
Hammond, Sam
Lastewka, Walt

Rick Dykstra

2006 Result:
Rick Dykstra
Walt Lastewka **
Jeff Burch
Jim Fannon
Bill Bylsma
Elaine Couto

Previous Prediction/result
06 Prediction/04 Result
04 Prediction/00 Result

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08 10 09 E. L. Smerl
Never thought the CAW would so strongly endorse strategic voting to elect a government that wants to bring in a carbon tax, but they certainly have done that. CAW pulls more weight in this town despite (or maybe because of) the closings than almost anywhere else but Oshawa. Since Fannon, contrary to the opinions below, took the nomination, and his leader Elizabeth May has endorsed strategic voting, I expect he's spent his time hammering on the Conservatives and making things easier for the others. Liberal squeaker.
08 09 29 Paxe
Poor-ish. White. Working-Class. At least it tends that way. And it seems to be getting worse actually, with plant closures, etc. The St. Catharines riding used to have a feeling of being somewhat more affluent(relatively speaking) than the Welland riding, but I feel that gap is closing, and this area is getting worse off. Alot of the vast residential stretches of this riding seem to be declining. Of course there are some comfortable middle and upper-middle zones still here, and probably more than in the Welland riding. While there's a rust-belt feeling here too, St. Catharines is also a bit of a larger city unto itself and a bit more diversified than Welland which seemed almost purely industrial in tis heyday.
It probably tends toward leftwing feelings economically, and socially is a bit all over the map iwth liberal and conservative types in the area.
In what ways the feelings of the people in the riding get channeled in the course of an election campaign is what's up in the air.
08 09 24 Shotgun Willie
I see that there are a lot of Liberals who are not happy with this site calling St.Catharines for the Conservatives but I believe this is the correct prediction. There is no question the Liberals came into this campaign with an oportunity to win St.Catharines. The city is in real economic decline, MP Rick Dykstra has not done much to deliver anything for the riding and the NDP without Burch as their candidate were bound to come in with fewer votes in this election. Where the Liberals made the fatal error was nominating Walt Lastewka again. Lastewka, in his mid 70's is 30 years older than Dykstra and had all the baggage from 13 years as the Liberal MP for St.Catharines. Lastewka's once strong campaign team is now a shadow of itself and really can't compete with the organization Dykstra has built. I too have seen the pathetic Lastewka signs with the ‘Team Martin’ cut off of them. Clearly, Lastewka is unable to raise enough money for new signs and had to use the old ones. If the Liberals had turned the page and gone with a new, younger and more energetic candidate, I believe they would have made a real run a this riding but Lastewka's time has passed. That is why calling this riding for the Conservatives is correct.
NORM - I did check my fact - And offer you this - I am talking about pure numbers. More people voted for Walt in 06 than in the 04 election - Not % but actual votes. So I stand by my fact that your argument about people staying home is wrong.
As for your point on Rick winning because of the advanced polls - did you think it was an accident that so many Tories voted early? IF so - Think again!!
08 09 22 Andrew
Had a drive around the riding on my way to class today. Dykstra was certainly winning the sign war in the areas i was in and these were residential signs. This was mostly the affluent Glenridge area though so perhaps that isn't a surprise. I am surprised however that the liberal candidate has taken his 2006 signs and cut off the top portion that said ‘Team Martin’, which was the only red part of the sign. There is now no way to recognize these signs as being liberal other than a very small liberal logo at the bottom that you would have trouble seeing from a car. To me this is horribly unprofessional and an indication that the campaign is running without a dime of financial support.
08 09 21 Norm O'Brien
MARTOOOOO - Check your facts, the Liberals got 40% of the vote in '04 & 37% in '06. The only reason that Rick won was that he won the advance polls, The Liberals got more votes here on election day. The Liberals have a stronger election day team than the Conservatives. A stronger Liberal vote here coupled with a weakend NDP vote and the dismal record of the incumbent Conservative MP will lead to a Liberal win in St. Catharines.
08 09 20 John
Close race last time. The thing that will swing this riding away from the Conservatives is the economy. There are enough signs around that the economy is softening--huge deficits by GM and Ford, gyrations in the Stock Market over the past week, collapse of the housing bubble just across the border in the US.
While I don't think the Liberals will do well nationally, if they steal a riding anywhere, this might be it.
That said, I'll leave this on in the too close to call catetory.
08 09 18 Shotgun Willie
Dykstra riding in a Mercedes in a GM town parade isn't the big deal. What is a big deal is Dykstra has done nothing to expand his level of support beyond what he had last time. It's well known in St.Catharines that Dykstra is a hard line, right winger that has not moved to the middle, even in the way Stephen Harper has attempted. This is fine in rural ridings but in urban St.Catharines Dykstra has not added to his base.
Add to this the definite loss to the NDP with not having Jeff Burch running for them this time and Lastewka is in a stronger position to win this election. The crumbling economy is the one and only issue in a depressed area like this one and Dykstra is going to lose support on this issue. I see Lastewka winning by 750 votes in a close race.
08 09 15 E. L. Smerl
While it might look like a hold for Dykstra based on the national and swing riding polls, the also-rans are the key to this riding. The NDP vote will be weaker due to a less prominent candidate. The Green Party is running Jim Fannon again who actually called on his riding association to consider not running a candidate at all in this close riding - they rejected his proposal but he is now the candidate, so expect some not-so-subtle endorsement of The Green Shift that may swing some of his votes. He's a very convincing speaker and may well be able to explain Dion's plan better than Walt Lastewka could. A strong auto industry presence in this riding may also be more interested in a Liberal-NDP coalition government than in more neglect from Conservatives.
That said, incumbency is not a small thing and even riding in a Mercedes in a parade doesn't disqualify you completely from being re-elected in a very strange national race where anything can happen. Too close to call.
08 09 12 B, D.
The incumbent driving in the Labour Day parade in a Mercedes Benz does not speak well for a person wanting to be re-elected.
08 09 08 MARTOOOOO
Norm - Walt's vote went up in the last election (from 2004)- people didn't stay home???!! - Rick was better organized - when he won on the strength of his Org (especially his GET OUT THE VOTE TEAM!!) HE IS EVEN BETTER ORGANIZED NOW!!
08 09 06 Norm O'Brien
Lastewka is looking strong here. In July he hosted a BBQ with Dion and got over 600 people tome out. Which is double what Harper got the last time he was here. A lot of people stayed away from the polls last time because of anger at the Federal Liberals, I don't see that happening this time. Lastewka is going to win the rematch.
08 07 18 R.O.
Well Stephane Dion visited st catherines again and I?m going to say it did not go as according to plan and did not go as good as Stephen Harpers recent visit to Niagara region. It got off to a bad start when the local liberal riding association decided to put out a cartoon joking about harper and his wife getting assassinated. And the local conservative mp did not find it very funny and sure they apologized but you have to wonder what on earth they were thinking to ever publish such a cartoon in the first place. then later at dions town hall meeting he told the crowd he would be the first PM ever with a PHD only problem that was not true and Mackenzie King kind of beat him to that one. So after all this bad press dion would of likely been best to just stay home.
08 07 12 Bobby the Brain Heenan
Once again, it looks like Dykstra's inner circle gets over on Lastewka and Company. What should have been a front page story on Dion's Green Shift town hall Meeting the other night was cleverly turned into a story about a poor off colour joke made by Lastewka's Campaign Manager. That is raw politics at it's best. What is worse for the Liberals, is that Lastewka hung his Association out to dry on it, putting all the blame on them. Who is going to work for him this Fall?
Dykstra is doing a fine job, his Team is much better than Lastewka's team, Dion is far less popular than Paul Martin was last election and Stephen Harper is far less scary.
Dykstra wins by 1000 votes.
08 04 14 binriso
A riding always with a strong Reform/CA showing, among their top ridings in the province certainly looks good for the CPC and they did win last time. But this is a pretty damn poor riding apparently, saying as of 2004 the median income was only $23 000 in the city itself. Surprised that the NDP are so low here too. Too close, and its gonna stay that way it seems.
Correct me if im wrong St Catherines seems like it was one of those places that lost big-time on the NAFTA agreement which led to hundreds of thousands of good manufacturing jobs being lost across Ontario over the last twenty years. Luckily the call centers from benevolent corporations have come in to save the people from poverty (yeah right, those jobs are basically minimum wage and benevolent/generous corporation is an oxymoron in basically every case).
08 04 05 Curley Larry and Moe
We've done some research on this riding and all three of us agree that the key in St.Catharines in the NDP vote. Jeff Burch who was a high profile candidate for the NDP last time has moved on to city council there now and will not be on the ballot in the next election. This leaves the NDP in a weaker position and gives the Liberals a chance to move in and pick up some of the support Burch had. No question the economy will be the number one issue in St.Catharines and if Dykstra can't land a big announcement for his riding like the one in Peterborough with the Go Train, this riding will be in Liberal hands.
08 04 03 Peg Leg Pete
Right now it's hard to find a Conservative held seat in Ontario that's taking the economic beating that this one is. When it comes to Lastewka not being Jim Bradley, I would argue that if the Ontario economy doesn't turn around by 2011 Bradley will be in big trouble in his riding. Voters angry about the economy vote out government members. That's why I say Lastewka beat Dykstra by 1500 votes.
08 03 29 Nick
Anyone who thinks that Brock University is going to break for the NDP has either never set foot on the Brock campus, or is quite delusional. Polling stations located on campus in the past federal and provincial elections have been won overwhelmingly by the Liberals. And that is including the last provincial election where the NDP candidate was NDP stalwart Peter Kormos. There is virtually no NDP presence on the campus whereas the campus young Liberals are by far the most organized at Brock as they are the only club that has had ANY presence at Brock this year.
As for a prediction in the riding, unlike Welland, the NDP has NO chance here, and I see many soft dippers voting Liberals to defeat a Conservative MP.
08 03 29 Stevo
?It's the Brock voters who are most likely to vote strategically next time as they can see Lastewka is the only candidate who can take down Ricky D.?
Riiiiight. Because college and university students have a long and distinguished history of throwing a seat to one party or another. Dream on. Brock is a fairly small university anyway, and some of its students are commuters from other Niagara towns and thus live outside the riding. If this is what you are relying on to bring Walt Who? back to Parliament, I suggest you adopt a new strategy (your ?Liberals are ahead in Ontario? argument has already been proven irrelevant).
08 03 25 Steve V.
It seems like a lot of people here (or, perhaps, one person with many usernames... ?) think that Walt Lastewka can singlehandedly turn the American economy around. Right. We're still not seeing any fundamental changes in Ontario polling, so it's still Dykstra's. Lastewka's impact on the local race is marginal. He's not Jim Bradley, guys.
08 03 22 I'm Always Right
I'm not sure how RO comes to the conclusion that Rick Dykstra is ‘seen as doing a good job’ when the riding he represents is in such terrible economic shape. Niagara has been hit hard by the hot Canadian dollar. It's killing what's left of manufacturing jobs and American tourist are nowhere to be found these days. The other thing Liberal Lastewka has going for him is the slide the NDP are in right now as Jack Layton leads them off the cliff. The weaker the NDP look, the more strategic voting comes into play in a riding like this. With the NDP being eaten alive by the Greens and without Jeff Burch as a candidate this time, the NDP will be a non-factor.
08 03 22 Curley,Larry and Moe
Wonder why Jim Flaherty is taking every opportunity he can to tell people not to invest in Ontario and that the Ontario will so be a have not province? It's because of rust belt ridings like St. Catharines. Rick Dykstra will not be able to go door to door in the next campaign telling voters here that things are better after four years of the Conservatives in power. Times are tough in St. Catharines so nobody will buy that spin.
So instead, Dykstra has to tell people that the local economy is in the toilet because of Dalton McGuinty and the provincial Liberals. That's why Flaherty is laying the groundwork for this arguement by attacking McGuinty over and over. All three of us agree this is the only way for the Conservatives to go in these kind of ridings but it's a tough arguement to make. When the economy is in recession, voters tend to turn on the party in power. The federal Conservatives just happen to have to face the electorate first. That's why we think Dykstra won't hold on in St.Catharines. If this recession is still around in 2011, Ontario voters will likely send McGuinty packing but in the mean time the recession is going to cost the Conservatives ridings like St.Catharines.
08 03 18 R.O.
Well I agree this riding is close but I do not feel its a liberal pick up at this time. As the MP Rick Dytkstra seems to be a good mp. And this riding has not been totally liberal federally over the years like it has been provincially. It had a few pc mp's back in the days before Walt Lastawaka became mp in 93. it does seem to be a provincial liberal stronghold/ Jim Bradley riding. But federally this one has been anything but a stronghold.
I feel that if Rick Dytkstra is viewed as doing a good job he will get re-elected here. And I also do not buy into the idea that Walt Lastewka is winning over the brock university crowd find college crowd is more left wing these days and not necessary liberal. But I do suspect this riding is a close race but its far from a guaranteed liberal pick up as we do not even know when the election could come.
08 03 12 Ray Smither
This riding likes MP's & MPP's who work for the people of the riding. Which is why Jim Bradley keeps getting elected. Lastewka was always a good riding man, even if he wasn't a star in Ottawa. And he will get sent back to Ottawa in the next election.
08 03 09 Evan McGrath
This is a riding that is primed to go back to the Liberals. The Liberals have re-nominated the former MP from the riding. Who is still very well liked in the city. And considering that the Tories only won here because of a shift in national tides. This one should easily slide back to the Liberals.
08 02 29 Peg Leg Pete
While there are still parts of Ontario that continue to do well economically, St.Catharines has been feeling the sharp pain of recession for a couple years now. Manufacturers in this region are closing down as fast as they can. The problem for Dykstra is that the government seems to feel that tax cuts are all that's needed to turn ridings like St.Catharines around. After two years of tax cuts, the economy in St.Catharines is worse than it was in 2006 when Dykstra won by a very narrow spread. 2008 doesn't look like a good year for the Canadian economy which means it's going to be a very bad year for run down places like St.Catharines. For this reason, I think Dykstra is going to lose the re-match with Walt Lastewka. I predict Lastewka wins by 1500 votes this time.
08 02 25 Bailey Ward
After the next elections, St. Catharines will once again have a Liberal MP and MPP. Dykstra rode in on a massive wave of anti-Liberal sentiment that does not exist in this riding anymore. Lastewka still has a strong profile in the riding. And it is unlikely that Dykstra is going to have the same momentum he enjoyed in the last campaign as he now has a record to defend that is less that favorable.
08 02 23 I'm Always Right
I don't know where Stevo lives but he knows nothing about St.Catharines.
The NDP vote here is not simply as Stevo calls it, ‘blue collar’. First of all the few guys left working for GM all vote for the Conservatives. There is some working class NDP vote in St.Catharines but the majority is welfare folks and lefty Brock Univ. types. It's the Brock voters who are most likely to vote strategically next time as they can see Lastewka is the only candidate who can take down Ricky D. I will say again, with the Liberals holding a substantial lead in Ontario and the lack of any profile for Dykstra in the riding, St.Catharines will return to the Liberal fold this time. Lastewka makes the big comeback.
08 02 12 Stevo
As I already noted, St. Catherines is not Yonge & Bloor. NDP voters in St. Cath are blue-collar types and are not going to move over to the elitist Liberals in order to block the Conservatives. Errant samples notwithstanding, the bulk of polling data show little change nationally from the 2006 election. As a somewhat bellwether riding, this indicates little change in St. Catherines and the re-election of Mr. Dykstra.
08 02 09 Quick Draw
This week's poll has the Grits leading the CPC by a BIG 12 points in the only province that matters, Ontario. This is very good news for Lastewka. Even more bad news for Dykstra is the NDP down at historic lows in Ontario.
I'm Always Right is right on the money pointing out that NDP votes moving to Lastewka will help him put an end to the Dykstra era in St. Catharines.
I also have to ask, what has Rick done to help his city in the last two years??? Lastewka will win by 1000 votes.
08 02 06 A. Lewis
Lastewka made a major strategic mistake when he failed to even call Jim Fannon when the latter announced he was tabling a resolution to the GPC riding association to withdraw and run no candidate, supporting Lastewka to get rid of one Harper seat. Lastewka said nothing supportive and did not even bother to ask what Fannon was looking for in terms of support for a local or private members' initiative. This was shortly after the Dion-May deal when it was still possible to make more such deals, and when a few more unilateral good-faith ‘pulls’ could have really caused the NDP to freak out and discredit itself, and set the tone for a new kind of more like European coalition politics.
Lastewka's failure to respond certified him as a politics-as-usual type and pulled the rug out from under Fannon, who was forced to withdraw his resolution and recant due to abuse and absurd statements from GPCers who are not, contrary to what's said in this thread, his personal supporters.
08 02 05 I'm Always Right
Poor sensitive Daniel. Sorry if I've hurt your feelings. For all your complaints about me, it seems like you're coming around to my way of thinking about the soft NDP vote in St.Catharines sliding over to Lastewka next time and handing him the victory. Good to see you're on board. Steve needs to wake up to the fact that strategic voting by NDPers has happened in both federal and provincial elections in Ontario. It's more than logical to see the possibility of 500 of the 11,000 NDP votes from last time moving over to Lastewka when they see that he's the only candidate with a shot at taking downing Ricky D. I'll say again, Ricky has done nothing to help his riding in a time when the economy in Niagara has taken a beating from the high Canuck Buck and a lack of Americans crossing the boarder. The worse the economy gets, the more trouble Ricky will be in when the election comes around.
08 01 28 Daniel
Mr. Right, perhaps you should re-evaluate your understanding of the word 'shill,' because none of your rude, insulting 'predictions' have suggested to me that you're anything but. I'm actually changing my prediction to TCTC, as I sense that a softening NDP vote and a mildly-rehabilitating Liberal party could take this riding back in the right circumstances, but I'm still leaning toward a CPC win. And for the sake of clearing my good name on these forums, I have not once stepped foot in this riding, and have only been on Ontario soil three times in my life - furthermore, I couldn't pick Rick Dykstra out of a lineup if I tried. I do, however, know simple math and voting trends, and the fact that I extrapolated a CPC win from such information does not make me a 'shill'.
08 01 12 Stevo
IAR, several people here politely mentioned that your argument that since the Liberals are ahead in Ontario then Walt will win, is completely bogus because the Liberals were ahead in Ontario 40%-35% in 2006, and Walt still lost. With that argument debunked, you've latched onto strategic voting, as if NDPers in St. Catherines are as likely to engage in this as elsewhere. In fact, I would argue the opposite - those who vote NDP here are blue-collar types who remain wedded to the NDP through its historical labour ties and are not fearful of the Conservatives the way champagne socialist NDPeres in Toronto are. As seen in Oshawa and other ridings, they would be more likely to vote Conservative than for the elitist Liberals. And you can take that to the bank.
08 01 12 I'm Always Right
Conservative shill Steve V. just doesn't get it. NDP candidate Jeff Burch got over 11,000 votes last time. So saying there aren't enough NDP votes that could slide over to the Liberals and make a difference this time is simply WRONG, when Ricky Dykstra only won by less than 300 votes last time. Anyone who knows St. Catharines is aware of the fact that the economy there is in the toilet. While experts worry about Canada falling into a recession, Niagara has been crumbling for a couple years now. The only jobs Ricky D has provided in the region are federal appointments for Conservative hacks. Lastewka will argue that since he only lost by a couple hundred votes here last time that the only way to get rid of Dykstra is to vote Liberal. It is perfectly possible that 500 of the 11,000 NDP voters get into strategic voting and vote for the Grits this time. Steve V and the rest of the Ricky D gang need to come up with some better reasons why Dykstra has a chance here.
08 01 08 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
Geeze, there sure is a lot of testosterone being thrown around from both I'm (not) Always Right and the Tory shills/Ricky D's pals crew. But let's all take a deep breath and get some fresh, crisp, well-seasoned prespective. As for a potential Liberal win, there are many NDP votes up for grabs. Polls show that the NDP are down slightly from their '06 numbers and these are likely the ‘Liberals-lend-us-your-vote’ crowd who will return to their roots. In addition, the afore mentioned strategic voter could play a very vital role. A dismal local campaign by the NDP would help bolster such numbers. What also needs to be taken into account is that, even with Dion's lack-luster leadership, the Liberals have not sank to any new lows in the polls. This means that they will garnish (more or less) as many votes as they got in 06. Now let's take a look at a potential CPC win. The CPC is much less frigtening as it has in elections past. Harper has done okay on most issues (some big blunders, but for the most part people are content). These two factors will pull right-of-center Liberal votes towards the CPC. Dykstra now has the incumbent advantage, despite that he (like Lastewska) hasn't been much of a star MP. We would be inclined to go with the majority (and risk being labled a couple of Tory's been a while since we were called that) and say Dykstra has the current advantage. One of two things need to happen to change this: 1. NDP numbers tank or 2. Liberal numbers soar. Till then, the only sure-fire prediction we can make is that the EPP wise-guys will keep this riding listed as TCTC until the very bitter end of the campaign.
08 01 07 Leo Lehman
The NDP vote in 2006 was the highest it has been since the 1980's. Furthermore the NDP vote has spiked over the last two elections, common to what the national polls have shown. And those national polling numbers for the NDP are going back down again. The NDP message of ‘Liberals, lend us your votes’ won't work again. So there will be NDP losses to the Liberals. Rick Dykstra also has not done anything that will expand the vote totals from the previous election. In fact there are many people in the riding who are quite angry with his performance as an MP. The voters in St. Catharines like their political representatives to be strong riding advocates (see Jim Bradley). Not party advocates like Mr. Dykstra.
This is not going to be a landslide, but the Liberals will be able to take back this riding.
08 12 31 Steve V.
It's certainly possible for the CHP to pull off an upset win in St. Catharines too. It is not LIKELY, though. The two last Liberal campaigns were designed to treat the NDP like a grab bag of votes... barely worked in 2004, did not work in 2006. There are not enough loose NDP votes in St. Catharines to replace what will move from the Liberals to the Conservatives, let alone put him over the top ‘by a few hunded votes’.
07 12 22 I'm Always Right
Boy did I ever strike a nerve with Ricky D's pals in St. Catharines with my prediction he'd lose next time and set up a third go around with Walt.
Strategic Voting seems to be a phrase that gets the Conservatives awful upset. It is certainly possible for a percentage of the NDP vote to slide to Lastewka next time and put him over the top in a close race. I stick with my earlier prediction that the Liberals take this seat back. Can't wait to see with Team Ricky has to say next!
07 12 13 Daniel
I think that the Conservatives should probably be able to hold this riding. If there's any sign of a CPC victory at all, I can't see this riding going against the grain. It's ridings like St. Catharine's that the Conservatives have been tailoring themselves to be appealing to - that sort of 'light urban / suburban' demographic - and unless a Liberal government results from the next federal election, St. Catharine's will most likely return to the Conservative fold.
07 12 13 Colin B
I'm Always Right may need to come down off of their high horse for a bit. Yes, the Liberals are leading in Ontario again (only for the past two weeks, the electorate is still volatile and no one can claim supremacy right now, come on...) but that is subject to change at the drop of a hat. The fact is that the Liberals were leading in Ontario in '06 when Dykstra won, so any claim that because the Liberals are leading again (and it isn't by much) they will win is lacking in substance. This riding is not a slam dunk for anyone right now, but logic states that unless the Conservatives lose ground in the polls from '06, they will keep this one. Once again, stay tuned...
07 12 11 seasaw
Rick Dykstra will probably win again and this time by a bigger margin than 200 votes. At least federally, this riding is more right of centre than your typical Ontario riding. In three of four Lastewka victories, the combined PC/Reform vote was more than Lastewka's. Lastewka's right of centre Liberalism as well as his previous right of centre leaders ( Chretien and Martin ) also played a role in his previous victories. No such luck this time around, Dion is a left of centre uappealing leader and Walt cannot count on him to bring him many votes. CPC Hold.
07 12 10 Steve V.
I guess ‘I'm Always Right’ is going to have to be wrong for once. The CPC has not lost ground from the last election, so even putting the local campaigns aside that should get Dykstra back in. St. Catharines elected a Conservative MP with the Liberals leading in Ontario 40%-35%, so every point over 35% raises Dykstra's margin. If the province-wide NDP vote holds up (and it is), well, they're not going to lose anything to the Liberals either. Especially not to a Liberal like Lastewka.
So higher CPC % (even if it's less than the Liberals) + NDP vote holding = Dykstra win. I hope I made that understandable for you.
07 12 10 Stevo
The Liberals were leading Ontario in the 2006 election as well. So what?
If you think a no-name Grit with zero achievements over 13 years in the House of Commons is going to so easily swing back, you're dreaming. The Tories will win this one easily. The Liberals might have had a chance with a new, dynamic candidate.
07 12 08 I'm Always Right
Tory shill Steve V. never lets the facts get in the way of trying to convince people Rick D. is going to hang on. In his last post, Steve V. says the CPC are still running high in the polls in Ontario. Sorry Steve, the Liberals are still leading in this province. No change there. Better get another argument. As far as Rick being ‘out there’ as the MP, everyone knows there's only one federal politician in Niagara that matters and he represents the Falls. Rick is just another faceless back bencher in Ottawa. Nothing more. As far a Lastewka not being ‘out there’ goes, it's tough to make a lot of noise as a candidate when the election could be years away. Remember all the trouble Rick had when he was just a nominated candidate. I'm picking Lastewka to win this time for a reason that has nothing to do with him or Rick. There is a large segment of NDP voters who switch to the Liberals when they think it's the only way to stop the Consevatives. For Steve V. sake I'll explain it's called Strategic Voting. There will be more than enough NDPers who will move to the Liberals in this riding next time to make up the 400 votes Lastewka lost by last time. Since there isn't any chance of a majority government again next time, we can look forward to Rick vs Lasteka Part 3 after that.
This time Lastewka wins by 600 votes thanks to the soft NDP vote coming his way.
07 11 27 Steve V.
That's funny... I haven't heard anything from Lastewka for months. His website doesn't even seem to work anymore. Some profile, eh? Dykstra's still out there, though -- lots of activity on his part. Given that the CPC still maintains a fairly high approval rating in Ontario, Dykstra still shouldn't have any problems here.
07 11 20 Edgar White
Should go back to the Liberals easily. Lastewka still has a high & favorable profile in this riding. This time also the Conservatives will now have a record to defend. The riding went for the Conservatives because of anger at the Martin Liberals and for no other reason. Now, this should slide quite easily back to the Liberals.
07 05 07 A.S.
If you want to know how negligible Jim Fannon's decision on behalf of the Greens might be, consider this: '04's NDP candidate did a Buzz Hargrove and openly threw his strategic support to Walt Lastewka in '06--but not only did Lastewka lose, the NDP went up a percentage point anyway! Lastewka's long in the tooth and never was a star; he survived mostly because ReformAlliance decisively won the Tory-schism draw around here, and he lost in part because Dykstra was the most viably ‘mainstream’ right-winger offered since said schism. At the same time, if it's now about incumbent advantage, I can't see the squeaker becoming a wipeout a la Niagara West-Glanbrook; more likely a more moderate opening-up a la Niagara Falls--the seat's just too Ontariurban. Besides, ‘wipeout’ here might amount to Lastewka landing 3rd behind NDP, rather than Dykstra soaring high into the 50s...
07 04 26 R J Anderson
Lastewka and the Liberals missed the biggest chance anyone ever got handed: Jim Fannon proposed not running a Green candidate. While the Liberals did nothing and stood off, anti-deal forces in the GPC beat Fannon down into publicly recanting any approval of strategic voting.
This ruined a lot of Liberals' chances to deal across the country, not just in St. Catharines. Lastewka and his riding association president have proven that they're not offering any real alternative to Harper.
So this will go Conservative again, and it's the Greens' and Liberals' fault.
07 04 24 Informed Voter
Walt's team isn't that loyal. Lastewka's long serving constituency assistant Mike Haines is now working for NDP MPP Peter Kormos. Dykstra has the advantage of incumbency and has effectively shored up right-wing support in the city.
07 04 19 Steve V.
Walt's 'very loyal team' (of course, Rick has one too!) didn't deliver last time; I'm not convinced they're going to be of much help this time either.
Today in the St. Catharines Standard, Lastewka's campaign manager Renate Hodges published a vicious and highly personal attack on Dykstra's campaign manager, Trevor Harris. This was apparently in response to Harris' questioning of the discrepancies between Lastewka's position on the anti-terror laws and Hodges', which were published in an earlier letter to the editor.
This seems to be setting the tone for a very personal and very negative campaign to be waged against the Conservatives in St. Catharines. The Liberals aren't interesting in debating the issues facing our city - if the posts here or letters to the editor in the Standard are any indication, they seem more interested in firing blanks at Rick Dykstra and his campaign manager.
That's probably why Walt Lastewka won't win. There's just nothing there.
07 04 22 EP
I know nothing about St. Kits but the piece of info on firefighters is significant. The Firefighters Union is one of the handful of unions that buck the NDP trends and go out of their ways to back the Liberals in many riding.
07 04 18 Steve
Rick Dykstra brought down Finance Minister Jim Flaherty last week for an announcement and cheque for the Firefighters. These same firefighters hit the campaign trail hard in November and were instrumental in Mayor McMullin's landslide victory. (Dykstra and McMullin share the same Campaign Manager) For the last year Dykstra worked hard on this deal, a deal that Lastewka couldn't get done in 13 years. Many Firefighter's will now be motivated to work for Dykstra come Campaign time.
07 04 18 Elmo Harris
Walt will win this one. His riding president is a handicap but he will persevere because he has a very loyal team. Dykstra is prone to hyperbole and the mis-statement of the truth. He now has a record for Walt to work on.
07 04 15 Steve L.
i don't know what Walt Latewska was like during his parliamentary tenure, but Rick Dykstra has an insatiable appetite for door-knocking, and shortly after David Emerson crossed the floor, he unflinchingly said that he would vote for the anti-floor-crossing bill should the NDP table it again. in short, this guy's diligence and nerve is astounding. if we just look at the candidates, i'd imagine it's hard to top Dykstra on the candidate vote.
but on the national scene, he could be helped or hampered by the performance of the various party leaders. for now he looks set to increase his victory margin.
07 04 12 B. Miller
I don't know where GW's friend Steve is getting his information, but the Dion event held at Club Roma was very well received and Dion got a number of standing ovations throught his speech. It looks like the Tories are going to try the same type of campaign they did last time, which is to throw every smear and lie at Lastewka and the Liberals and see what sticks. The problem is that Rick Dykstra now has a record to run on, and that is a record of getting absolutley nothing done for St. Catharines.
07 04 11 Stevo
I'm at a loss to explain the decision of Liberals in St. Catherines to acclaim Walt Lastewka as the candidate once again. A no-name former MP who achieved little to nothing of note during his 13 years in federal politics? Rick Dykstra will have no problem defeating him this time and I don't even think it will be close - it will probably mirror Niagara-West Glanbrook, where a razor-thin Tory win in 2004 turned into a Tory landslide in 2006. Although the massive Conservative rallies witnessed here during the 2006 campaign did not translate into a big Conservative win, Lastewka's dud campaign may just do it. The Liberals may very well take this seat back in the following campaign if they revamp with a new, solid candidate.
07 04 09 Steve
Reports from Liberals in attendance at Club Roma in St. Catharines say that Dion's speech was a dud. More and more Dion is proving that the Liberals made a mistake at their Leadership Convention in Montreal. Last election this was close, that was with Prime Minister Paul Martin as the Liberal Leader against a ‘scary’ Stephen Harper. Well, breaking news, Dion is no Paul Martin or Jean Chretien and PM Harper is definitely not ‘scary’. A more popular Stephen Harper against a less popular Liberal Leader will make it easy for the very popular Rick Dykstra.
07 03 29 M. Lunn
This could really go either way. On the one had the Conservatives have the incumbent advantage and this is more a mid sized city, not a large one like Toronto. By the same token the NDP got 20% of the popular vote and if this swings over to the Liberals then could re-take this even if the Tories increase their share of the popular vote. The one common theme here is this riding usually votes for whichever party forms government, so whoever wins the next election will likely take this riding.
07 03 29 Mike St. Clair
This looks like it will be a close one, both the Conservatives & Liberals seem to be united & ready for an election, as no one wanted to challenge either Walt or Rick for their nominations. This time it looks like it will be Walt vs. Rick, rather than Walt vs. the Liberal Party as it was last time. Lastewka will probably take this riding back unless the Liberals tank in Ontario.
07 03 25 Steve V.
The Liberals had to suffer the humiliation this week of watching their riding president run to the Standard and tell the city that three potential female candidates turned them down and so they were stuck with Walt Lastewka. She didn't come across as very excited about Walt's prospects, probably for good reason too.
Rick Dykstra shouldn't have a problem with this one. St. Catharines loves both its incumbents and its government MPs, and this part of Ontario seems to like the Conservatives quite a bit right now. Walt Lastewka is not special enough to seriously swim against province-wide tides, nor against a prominent and successful rookie MP.
07 03 23 Martin
I disagree with the last submission. I think the Fact that the Liberals couldn't find anyone better than Walt is a sign they are in desparate need of rebuilding in this riding. I mean god bless him - he is a nice guy, but Walt was still a nobody after 12 years in government. The Dykstra vs Lastewka rematch will not be much of a rematch at all, I'mm afraid. The liberals need to find someone with a little more youthful energy to beat Dykstra.
07 03 21 Baxter Miller
This riding was only won by 244 votes in the last election, or, one vote per polling station in St. Catharines. Walt Lastweka will be running again for the Liberal Party. The last election was not a vote against Lastweka, but rather due to a lacklustre national campaign and an all time high in NDP support in St. Catharines. With NDP support dropping in Ontario and Lastewka's personal popularity in St. Catharines. Walt should be able to easily take St. Catharines back.
07 03 20 L. Nino
Jim Fannon has announced he's not running again. He was pretty much the whole GPC organization here, and the vote was close in 2006. The NDP vote was probably a high-water mark exploiting the Sponsorship Scandal, they're not likely to grow much here. If the Liberal incumbent in 2004-6, Walt Lastewka, runs again, he can likely retake this riding.

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