1999 Ontario Provincial Election
Riding-by-Riding Prediction
Kenora-Rainy River

Current Prediction:
Riding Profile:

Liberal Party:
Frank Mielash MPP
Progressive Conservative Party:
Lynn Beyak
New Democratic Party:
Howard Hampton MPP
Party Leader
IND Richard Bruyere

Incumbent (old riding composition):
Kenora (100%):
Frank Miclash
Rainy River (67%):
Howard Hampton
Lake Nipigon (16%):
Gilles Pouliot

Member of Parliament:
Robert Nault

Surrounding Ridings:
Thunder Bay-Atikokan
Thunder Bay-Superior North
Timmins-James Bay

Population: 76 320
Avg Household Income 43 798
Language (Home)
English 64 430
Ojibway 4 840
Submitted Information
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02/22/99 Email:
This is going to be a close one, but the edge should go to Howard Hampton. His profile as a party leader and his extensive work in the old Kenora riding should help him win this.
02/22/99 Burke Christian Email: external@msu.mcmaster.ca
This riding will go with Howard Hampton of the NDP. Leaders are generally re-elected due to their high media profile. I believe this will be same. I am however confident that Frank MicLash of the Liberals will give him a run for his money. But ultimately I think the NDP will retain this seat.
03/05/99 I.MacFarlane Email: imacfarlane@accel.net
The liberal will take it narrowly. Hampton will have to spend too much time worrying and making sure that there are any other NDP members in the Legislature. The fact that Miclash has his own plane to travel the huge riding will help him greatly.
03/15/99 A. Email:
Like every other leader, Hampton will be re-elected easily here. His high profile, which will include daily news coverage during the campaign, will easily triumph over Miclash's do-nothing style.
03/17/99 Email:
The NDP is going to spend a lot money and use a lot of resources to keep this riding. It would be embarrassing to lose the leaders riding. Still it should be a close race.
Too Close
03/20/99 A.S. Email: adma@interlog.com
I am *almost* ready to hand this one over to Hampton...but not yet. Even though perhaps I should. But leadership is no guarantee of reelection chances--consider Larry Grossman in 1987, or David Peterson in 1990. And like it or not, Hampton knows it's an uphill struggle. His existing situation is grievous. The 1995 figure within these boundaries gives the NDP only 1/4 of the vote and 3rd place. Hampton himself was reelected in Rainy River by that election's smallest numerical majority (205 votes)--and even that advantage disappears with the removal of the Atikokan polls. I agree that leadership should give him a bit of added momentum (as it often does for the NDP; think of Alexa McD in Halifax). And it helps, too, that Liberal Frank Miclash lacks profile; indeed, Miclash would have lost in 1990 if (shades of the last Manitoba election!) an independent candidate hadn't sponged up the aboriginal votes that might well have gone NDP. Meanwhile, the PCs are a wild card to watch. Consider that Hampton nearly lost in 1995 to Lynn Beyak in what could have been the first PC gain beyond North Bay. Furthermore, Reform made noticeable gains here in 1997, especially in the rural townships that had earlier thrown in their lot with candidates like Beyak (a federal Reformer). That could work in Hampton's favour, if it leads to a Lib-PC rightward split. But he still has to work awfully hard to convince us that he's definitely plucked himself out of the technically "endangered" category. Maybe a few more body-checking battles with his southern neighbour Jesse Ventura might help...
04/10/99 CNG Email:
I *am* ready to give this one to Hampton. He's been spending an inordinate amount of pre-election time in the riding, and his nightly news coverage from the leader's tour will more than make up for Miclash's being in the area more. Also, don't be surprised if a lot of area Liberals move to the Tories in protest against federal gun control legislation.
04/18/99 L.O. Email: petercashin@yahoo.com
This riding has a long history of returning Liberals. it's currently liberal on a federal level. Hampton is a string NDP candidate though and shouldn't be counted out. Still, it will take something for this riding to go NDP...
05/06/99 Kenora Daily News Email:
Four Declared Candidates for Election by Greg di Cresce
The two incumbents and two declared candidates who are going to fight for this mammoth riding are Kenora MPP Frank Miclash, Rainy River MPP Howard Hampton, PC candidate Lynn Beyak and Independent candidate Richard Bruyere.
The NDP leader narrowly won his seat in Rainy River by 205 votes over PC nominee Lynn Beyak.
She said she expects "a real horse race" in the new riding.
"Howie is an incredible campaigner, whereas Frank just rests on his laurels."
Beyak said she has no problem with the size of the riding.
People don't need more politicians, she said, just better representation.
"And the current incumbents spend far too much time in Toronto," she added.
She admitted she was disappointed with her party's decision to ban the spring bear hunt, but doesn't understand why Miclash or Hampton never really came to the hunt's defence.
Independent candidate Richard Bruyere, a member of Couchiching Nation, has been a member of both the Liberal Party and the NDP, and has chosen to run because he is disillusioned with the party system.
"I'm tired of partisan politics," he said.
Also Bruyere said he is not associated with the Northern Ontario Coalition.
05/14/99 Carter J. Email:
I give Miclash the edge in Kenora-Rainy River. Hampton barely won the last election (under 500 votes) and represents the less populous "Rainy River" portion of the riding with only one major population centre -- Fort Frances. Miclash represents the more populous "northern" part of the riding and is a native of its largest population centre, Kenora, which has historically been more Liberal than NDP. The other major centres, Dryden and Red Lake, are even more historically Liberal than the other towns. I would say the only toss up, is Sioux Lookout - though I would give Miclash the edge there too but just barely.
Furthermore, Lynn Beyak, the Tory candidate, is from Fort Frances (like Hampton) and will likely focus her campaigning in that part of the riding where she has established herself as the perennial right wing candidate. She will definitely siphon votes from Hampton in his home town, enough to let Miclash come up the middle.
The aboriginal vote cannot be assigned to the NDP because of the presence of an independent candidate who is a member of the Couchiching First Nation who will likely cause a split in the aboriginal vote among him, the NDP and the Liberals.
Miclash's biggest obstacle is the presence of professional political organizers which the NDP has sent to Kenora-Rainy River to compensate for Hampton's absence during the campaign since he is forced to travel around the province. These organizers will be crucial in getting the core NDP vote out on E-day.
I give the riding to Miclash with a 5 to 7 point margin.
05/17/99 CBC Email:
Hampton in a fight in his own riding
05/29/99 Brad Nicpon Email: nicpon@execulink.com
My intuition tells me that Hampton should be able to win this seat, especially considering his notable performance over the past week since the debate; however, most of this riding isn't actually his (or in 1995 it wasn't). He could get burned by the liberals, but we'll just have to see on June 3.
05/29/99 lrs Email:
probably have conflicting polls to June 3 but if NDP gaining in polls- voters may decide to support Howie - he has run a good campaign- if Liberals falter- why not vote for a leader
05/29/99 lrs Email:
probably have conflicting polls to June 3 but if NDP gaining in polls- voters may decide to support Howie - he has run a good campaign- if Liberals falter- why not vote for a leader
05/31/99 Kenora Daily Miner and News Email:
Strategic voting expected election day by Greg Di Cresce
Redistribution has amalgamated all of the former Kenora riding, 67 per cent of the former Rainy River riding and 16 per cent of the old Lake Nipigon riding into one. The result is 76,000 voters spread over an area the size of France.
It has also made the race to be the representative of the North a close and fierce one, fueled by the fact that it involves the leader of the Ontario NDP, Howard Hampton, who won the seat by only 200 votes in 1995 against Tory Lynn Beyak. The riding is also home to popular Liberal Frank Miclash who has been an MPP for 12 years.
Making the race even harder to guage is how First Nation voters will be influenced by independent candidate Richard Bruyere, a former Ojibway chief who could act as a spoiler by taking away Cree and Ojibway votes.
All of this makes the dynamics of the reace unstable and difficult to predict.
The most recent poll showed Mr. Miclash ahead of Mr. Hampton by 10 points, at 48 per cent to Mr. Hampton's 38. Ms. Beyak has 12 per cent, Mr. Bruyere two per cent. Fourteen per cent were undecided. The poll conducted by Oracle Research interviewed 350 people in the riding and is accurate within six percentage points 19 times out of 20.
05/31/99 Carterj Email:
Given the above article from Ottawa Citizen and the poll conducted by Oracle Research of Sudbury, I give the edge to Miclash by 5%-7%. This riding is not your typical Ontario riding given its remoteness from the Toronto media centres. The Winnipeg Free Press is as relevant as the Thunder Bay Chronicle-Herald in Kenora-Rainy River and coverage of the election is not even remotely similar to the coverage in the south making Hampton's post-debate success largely irrelevant to most voters.
An issue which resonates in Kenora-Rainy River is whether they should vote for an MPP which is the leader of a party which may or may not have official party status in the Legislature or an MPP which will be a strong advocate for their region.
Miclash has been an effective and visible MPP at least for the northern part of the riding and he has been widely acknowledged for his ability to speak on their behalf. He has been credited with forcing the Tory government to improve the highway between Kenora and Dryden (the two largest centres in the northern part of the riding) by forcing the Minister of Transport to drive the road after a Reader's Digest article described the stretch of highway as the most dangerous in Canada.
Beyak and Bruyere will be factors primarily in the Fort Frances area where they are from, which will serve siphon off votes from Hampton who is also a local Fort Frances boy. Finally, the fact that Hampton has decided to spend the final crucial two days of the campaign in the riding signals that NDP internal polls also show Hampton in serious trouble. If not, why would a party leader spend time in his own riding if his re-election is safe when he could be shoring up support in other parts of the province? It is clear from this turn of events that Hampton sees himself behind and needs to hustle to get himself re-elected. Throughout the campaign, Hampton has used paid professional political organizers to assist him in his re-election bid.
For all these reasons, I give the edge to Miclash.
05/31/99 The Ottawa Citizen Email:
Hampton under pressure to 'take care' of voters by Louise Surette
According to University of York professor Robert Macdermid the hardest part of strategic voting is getting enough information about individual ridings.
The Oracle Research poll conducted by telephone on May 19 and 20 was probably the most accurate poll the riding has had, said Macdermid, whose expertise lies in voting behaviour and polling.
The Sudbury-based polling group found Liberal incumbent Frank Miclash with 48 per cent voter preference, Hampton 38 per cent, PC candidate Lynn Beyak 12 per cent, and Independent candidate Richard Bruyere with two per cent.
The sample size was 350 residents from the Kenora-Rainy River riding that has about 55,000 eligible voters.
The margin of error is plus or minus 5.3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
The poll was commissioned by MCTV, a local news agency in Sudbury.
"The problem with that poll," said Macdermid, "is that the recent wave of NDP popularity hasn't been accounted for in those numbers."
Without accurate and current polls, he said, a strategic voter has to look at the history of the riding, and may have to overcome a strong sense of party loyalty.
Some other indicators he suggested that may help a strategic voter were:
The number of signs and extent of canvassing. This can tell a voter whether the Liberal or NDP campaign is more active and better organized.
Lists of endorsed candidates issued by organizations such as union, environmental or citizens' groups.
"If voters think through the process, they may conclude that the chances are slim that their vote for their second choice will be the pivotal vote that defeats the Tory candidate," the York political scientist said.
"They may conclude that if the odds are so small, why betray their long-term loyalties."
06/02/99 Michael Ensley Email: mensley@orcketmail.com
I believe this will be very close with the liberals winning by fewer than 300 votes. IF Hampton pulls it off it would be due to the porfessional organizers and his spending the last two days in the riding. However, it appears that both of these were due to the lack of time to spend in the riding.
06/02/99 Michael Ensley Email: mensley@rocketmail.com
This riding will go to the NDP. Hampton can make up for the liberals plane by having come into everyone's house on TV. Plus the NDP leader is spending June 2 and 3 saving his riding in the midst of the coming Tory landslide. BTW the Tory just splits the anti-NDP vote with help from Harris himself visiting the riding.
06/02/99 jc Email:
Frank is a great constituency MPP. He deserves to be re-elected and that's the voters of Kenora - Rainy River will do tomorrow
06/02/99 J.C.C. Email:
In the 1995 provincial the Liberal Party had the highest total of votes in the former two ridings.

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Last Updated 2nd June 1999

© 1999 Milton Chan, University of Waterloo
This site is maintained by Milton Chan