Pundits’ Guide – Ontario (London North Centre)
2011 Provincial Election Prediction
2011 Federal Election Prediction
2008 Federal Election Prediction
2007 Provincial Election Prediction
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| ||14 06 10
|While prognosticator15 may have a point about what made the federal Iggy Grits such an offputting disaster in 2011, he's being waaaaay too heavy-handed in invoking the UWO-tenured-elite-propaganda thing relative to their success in LWC--look: first of all, London's far too economically diverse for UWO to dominate the political narrative anywhere, even in its own riding; and secondly, Liberalism has a long and illustrious history around these parts (y'know, David Peterson and everything), and it's as a magnanimous big-tent Ontario-heartland party, not as an ivory-tower-tethered rump. And the reason for Deb Matthews being the sole Liberal incumbent running for miles and miles and miles around has more to do with retirement/natural-attrition happenstance than anything--had Chris Bentley run again, London West would have been just as safe if not safer. Matthews being all by herself (and a big cabinet player) boosts the superconcentrated local party machine, of course--and it helps that the opposition's so bluntly split (and oh, Nancy Branscombe is far from "moderate", given that she was a major Ontario organizer for Reform/Alliance back in the day--then again, some wise guys might claim that makes her practically *Horwath* moderate.)|
| ||14 06 09
|My daughter drove through Stoneybrook and Northridge subdivisions 2 days ago counting the number of front yard signs. The tally was 44 Liberal, 22 NDP and 19 Conservative. For what that is worth, that's the 'tale of the tape' in those two northern parts of the riding.|
| ||14 06 07
|London North Centre voters burned themselves in the last federal election by electing the non-entity and completely useless Susan Truppe (C) over the universally well-regarded Glen Pearson (L). They aren't going to make that mistake again.|
Matthews is well-regarded across the riding and has cross-over appeal to the PCs (her father was a former National President of the Progressive Conservative Party) as well as familial connections to former premier David Peterson.
Branscombe and Bryant each have their pockets of support in their respective city wards, but as part of the dysfunctional London City Council, they also have many detractors.
Matthews will probably beat the others by about 20 percentage points each with about 48% and Branscombe and Bryant will probably split the vote and garner about 22-25% each.
London North Centre voters also burned themselves in the last federal election by electing the useless non-entity Conservative candidate, Susan Truppe, over the well-respected Glen Pearson. They aren't going to make the same mistake of voting out a well-respected member for some unknown.
| ||14 06 02
|I want to give a more detailed overview than in other postings. What happens in this heavily University-dominated and mostly prosperous riding is that during election time, the state-funded establishment of Western University circles the wagons to defend the inefficient redistribution of funding from wealth-creating private sector to those who truly benefit from discretionary (non-mandatory) Liberal largessee. While campus has all kinds of political supporters, including many PCs in more marketable programs not likely to be affected by any research cuts, the opinion-making is dominated by Social Science and allied interests who want to expand the programs, higher more faculty and staff with tremendous benefits and high-upper class incomes, and fund more graduate students who give work to the often unneeded lifetime faculty. Even more than advancing left ideological bias, these interests want to protect tenured privileges shielded by the unions, and fund more high-paid as opposed to lower-paid teachers for the same work plus get as much of generous research-funding as possible without discrimination between useful applied science research and the research promoting progressivist and redistributive ideologies that justify program funding. It is this establishment state-funded constituency dominates the debates and opinions (because it is their job) and supports those who are likeliest to listen to them at all levels of governments. Importantly, THIS VOTE HAPPENS TO BE LIBERAL rather than NDP or Green, and in a large university LNC constituency that happens to be a classic example of public sector interests dominating the private sector interests, a constituency where some of the PC-promised attrition cuts may result in possible caps on program expansion (at least, in the propagandistic and non-market linked programs, provided the PCs actually get to implement any of the needed cuts), the Liberals, who also have a well-oiled organization, have enough resources to define the debate and unite the non-PC voters, or the vast majority of them, behind a Sociology Ph.D. Debbie Matthews who is likeliest to lobby for the interests, even when in opposition if this happens. This is the only big factor that really matters, and the University, like a gargantuan octopus, has expanded its tentacles substantially in terms of expanding funding-dependent population since the 1995 and 1999 victories of PC politician Dianne Cunningham.|
The other factors do not really matter a lot. Whether Matthews is a good health (or any other) minister, whether elder voters buy the scare of nursing cuts as part of the total supposed cuts (that the PCs deny), and whether Branscombe and Bryant run effective campaigns to bring the voters to the polls (as they arguably do) may have had some impact elsewhere, not as much in LNC. Even with the Orange and other heath-care scandals, the Liberals rule here, and rather few will vote based on gas-plant and other recent Liberal waste either, but rather on the grounds of potential freezes (more likely than cuts) to the privileges and waste in University education that are often hidden from public debate. Mismanagement matters in voting intentions in a few places, but not in a riding that has become so heavily dependent on the University. A prosperous section of the private sector and the small business sector where PCs get many supporters are weaker. Bryant is a respected city councillor on the left, with some support in downtown (as one posting noted below), but with the University establishment dominance and leftist-indoctrinated students mostly away for the summer, her chance is small, and certainly not because of the voters 'punishing' the NDP for forcing early election (as one Western voting-researching Professor suggested in the media, creating either a desirable deception or a self-deception of a factor NOT really at play, to unite the Liberal vote).
Perhaps the only other factor of some importance (also works for Matthews) may be the weakness of a PC candidate who, in my opinion had a better if still not high shot of being elected last time, and is more controversial now due to her vehement and often highly confrontational opposition to the development agenda by the London City Council (the so called 'Fontana eight' under a Liberal mayor, but supported by councillors from across political spectrum). Fontana agenda is supported by PC core supporters and by many Liberals, as opposed to progressivist 'green' and the like agenda of higher taxes and less development, but Branscombe is more in line with leftist Judy Bryant here. Lots of PCs dislike her for this (an opinion that she is more left than the NDP is not uncommon) and will probably vote for her only to send her to a different level of government to do a better job, but this is not a big vote-motivator. Electing a pro-Fontana Eight candidate may have given PCs a better shot in competing for a Liberal vote, most likely.
With all that, election is a game of probabilities, so a few things may still happen, including a really huge surprise on the scale of 2011 federal result. Bad weather may disproportionately affect Liberal voters, Freedom Party takes away more Liberals than expected, unexpectedly high numbers switch to the NDP, a very high proportion of anti-Liberal marginal 'angry' PC voters shows up at the polls, etc., benefiting in most cases Bryant more than Branscombe, I suspect, but in this riding all this is unlikely. The predominant vote here is for progressivist establishment, rather than for waste reduction or for leftist ideologues, and this vote goes Liberal.
| ||14 05 28
|Though Branscombe may be a popular councillor, she's no Deb Matthews. If the Liberals were only to win one seat west of Toronto, this one will be it, the NDP has a good candidate, against any other candidate, I would've given this one to the NDP, but not against Matthews. My Prediction here Lib 39%, NDP 32%, PC 25 %, Green 4%, Others 1%.|
| ||14 05 18
|Mathews will hold this one. This may be one of the last bastions of liberal support in the Southwest so they will make sure to pour enough resources into it. The PCs would take this seat if they were polling around 42% but don't appear to be anywhere near that. The opposition to Mathews in the riding seems to relatively evenly split between PCs and NDP. Strong Liberal.|
| ||14 05 16
|The NDP's recruitment of Judy Bryant isn't quite an Adam Vaughan-style game changer, but it does mean that this race will be more closely run than it has been at any point in its history. Numbers Pundit is absolutely correct about the the importance of riding's geography vis-a-vis the vote splits. The PCs will hope that Nancy Branscombe's local profile as a city councillor in the northwest will give her enough momentum to profit from the NDP and Liberals cannibalizing each other's vote everywhere else. Conversely, the NDP will be hoping that Branscombe can eat away at Deb Matthews' support in the well-heeled northern neighbourhoods as they hold on to their EOA support while building off of Bryant's popularity in the downtown core, which Matthews carried quite handily last time and where Bryant's city council seat is located. Despite strong challengers on either side, it'll take one hell of a Liberal collapse in the southwest for Deb Matthews to lose, although the consistent 3rd place positioning of the Liberals in the 519 means that anything's possible.|
| ||14 05 13
|Without a doubt, Deb Matthews takes this one. Regardless of political stripe, she is a parliamentarian who cares about people, and the people of LNC care about her. She will maintain this seat for the Liberals. |
| ||14 05 04
|Deb Matthews is fairly popular even if some hate her elsewhere, so this may very well be the only Liberal riding left in the 519 area code. The Tories barely won federally and that was only after the Liberals fell to third so if a similar thing happens provincially then maybe the NDP or PCs could win, but as long as the Liberals are ahead of the NDP provincewide, they are safe here.|
| ||14 05 04
|We sat on the edge of an election this time last year and I suggested Deb Matthews would win her seat and I stand by that prediction one year later for all the same reasons. Matthews IS the Liberal party outside of Toronto. If they could only win only one seat outside of their hotbed this would be the one they would focus on to the bitter end. |
This one don't move without a massive shift to a large PC majority, No NDP shot in a general election though their candidate is a seasoned city councillor so is the PC candidate, I think the NDP will whittle some support away but not enough to win nor enough to allow the PCs a win.
| ||14 05 03
|Look for every major Liberal resource to be poured into this riding. With John Miloy deciding his re-election chances were too precarious this time round (barely re-elected in 2011 despite Tories' general collapse province-wide), Matthews remains the only Grit west of Guelph. As Deputy Premier and Health Minister she is too tied to Wynne for the Liberal machine to let her go down without a fight. Notwithstanding the ORNGE scandal, Matthews is very popular in the riding and viewed very much as an effective local MPP. Nancy Branscombe gave the Tories their best result in the riding since the 1999 re-election of Dianne Cunningham (which was largely due to a heavy left-wing vote split between incumbent Marion Boyd and the Grits). The NDP have given their nod to retiring downtown London councillor Judy Bryant. Remains to be seen if a large enough pool of progressive voters (and there are many in this riding due to the presence of UWO) will choose to go anti-Matthews due to McGuinty/scandals or hold their noses and vote for Matthews despite earlier transgressions. Three factors influence an outcome favourable to the PCs: a massive swing to the Tories (unlikely), a significant Matthews/Bryant vote split (most likely but still a stretch this early), or if enough of the north-end Masonville-Fanshawe Park Rd corridor polls move blue to neutralize the orange EOA polls and Red Old North/downtown enclaves. Look for Kathleen Wynne's most frequent appearances in SW Ontario to be in this riding. |
| ||13 05 02
|It irritates me to say it but The province's Unhealthy Health minister will hold her seat, not because she has done anything admirable but because there is a certain brand of Liberal in North London that just can't help themselves. They actually believe only Liberals have Canadian values and they are rarely willing to just give it to anyone else.|
Federally This is the heart of London Liberal fortunes, it's also the seat of Joan Smith and Glenn Pearson. It's the last seat to change hands in any change of government. You can even run a slimy dirty backstabber like Joe Fontana here and if he's got a red L tatooed on his ass it's a good bet he's the winning candidate.
This is a newer riding but it's roots are well established and only Cabinet ministers Marion Boyd and Dianne Cunningham pulled this from the ashbin in landslide majority votes for the NDP and PCs respectively. Worth noting these two fought each other for the seat when it first came to be, it was not that either beat a Liberal for the prize, it's the one time there wasn't a high profile Liberal given every chance to win.
Federally I can't explain the Susan Truppe win but every once in a while even the old farts in London North can be moved. Not this time though.
Matthews' is a Liberals liberal in a liberal riding. If she can't hold this seat it's because the Liberals take a real butt-kicking, I'm talking Ignatieff style and I just don't see that coming.
| ||13 04 16
|Branscombe has less that 0 chance of winning this riding. She is more |
disliked by her own than she is the Liberals. Matthews wins in a laugher.
| ||13 03 15
|As a previous poster mentioned, this is a seat that all 3 parties have won in the past. However, unless the Tories inch close to 40% and there's a fairly deep split in the anti-Tory vote (which is what led to Susan Truppe winning federally in 2011), they will have an extremely tough time winning this seat. As for the NDP, they do have some residual bench strength in this riding; their candidate last time was fairly underwhelming, however. But if they can recruit a better candidate (former nominees Stephen Maynard and Joe Swan would be strong contenders) then all bets are off. At the outset Deb Matthews has to be considered the one to beat, although her association with the whole eHealth-Ornge situation should make things interesting.|
| ||13 02 17
|This race is as wide open as the top of the barrel. Anyone can win this riding which was once considered a safe Liberal seat. Health Minister and Deputy Premier, Deb Matthews, is always a threat. She has to deal with the Ornge scandal, and the power plant issue effecting the neighbouring riding. The Tories, with an adequate campaign and a good candidate have a good chance. NDP always has a chance here. Someone once said this riding has a history of kicking out cabinet ministers and even Premiers, that should not be ignored. It may come down to which campaign has the best ground support to get their vote out.|