1999 Ontario Provincial Election
Riding-by-Riding Prediction

Current Prediction:
Riding Profile:

Liberal Party:
George Maroosis
Progressive Conservative Party:
Hon. Mike Harris MPP
Party Leader
New Democratic Party:
Wendy Young
Green Party:
Jaimie Board
Natural Law Party:
Michaele Morris

Incumbent (old riding composition):
Nipissing (80%):
Hon. Mike Harris
Parry Sound (37%):
Hon. Ernie Eves

Member of Parliament:
Bob Wood

Surrounding Ridings:
Parry Sound-Muskoka

Population: 76 544
Avg Household Income 42 473
Language (Home)
English 67 290
French 5 840
Submitted Information
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02/15/99 J.S. Email: jsiegel@netcom.ca
Sort of obvious
03/02/99 John Ashton Email: ashton@ebtech.net
Obvious? Maybe not. I've been talking to some people in the area. While Harris certainly has an unfathomable amount of money to drop in his riding, there are still rumblings of discontent over the same issues that one hears elsewhere (health care, education, etc.). If the New Democrats or Liberals were able to grab a "star" candidate for this seat, they might be able to make it close. I still think the sheer spending power of the Tories will carry the day however.
03/15/99 A.S. Email: adma@interlog.com
Well, with the always problematic Franco-Catholic Liberal strongholds of Sturgeon Falls and Verner finally removed (though others--Mattawa, and East Ferris's "Dionne country"--are added in their stead), it's safer than ever. Strangely enough, if it wasn't for Harris, Nipissing mightn't be such a sure-fire PC riding (as its mostly Liberal federal record proves). The potential's real--if not for an upset, then at least for tarnishing Iron Mike's ironclad majority. Now, if one of the Dionne sisters ran against him...
04/01/99 Email: 3arb@qlink.queensu.ca
Not so fast. Robert Fisher has just reported that internal polling shows Mike Harris may be in trouble on home turf.
04/16/99 Leith R.A. Coghlin Email:
Mike Harris is North Bay's golden boy. His family has been established in North Bay for 40 years. Robert Fisher may have reports of discontent among very FEW members of the North Bay constituency, but like all media, the claim is horribly exaggerated!
04/19/99 J C Email: 8jc3@qlink.queensu.ca
Regardless of the hopeless attempts of anti-harris inidividuals to paint this as a possible swing riding, it's his. He's the leader with the most popular appeal and his credibilty, honesty and tax fighting will definitely ensure his re-election. Outside his appeal, it would be incredibly nieve to assume that the NDP or Liberals would waste a good candidate on this riding.
04/20/99 Email: 3arb@qlink.queensu.ca
I agree it's almost unheard of for the winning party's leader to lose his seat in an Ontario election. Last time was George Drew in High Park back in 1945(?) or so. However, it's not at all uncommon for a Premier to lose his seat when his party loses the election (remember David Peterson?) Now all I know is that Fisher was reporting a few weeks ago an internal poll that showed Harris in trouble. If that report was accurate than it is likely Harris' fortunes will reflect that of his party. If the Tories roll to victory it's unlikely he'll lose, however if it's a close race or the bottom falls out voters may well be looking somewhere else. In any case, in a close province wide election Harris may find himself having to make more trips to Nippising than he'd been expecting and that can only hurt him everywhere else. Something to watch.
04/21/99 R.C. Email:
I love it when people quote 'internal' polling which (golly!) shows that something completely ludicrous and counter intuitive is going on. Actually, I believe there is 'internal' polling that shows the Premier is in trouble in his own riding, fortunately it is 'internal' to the author's imagination. On to Nipissing, Fact: Harris won the riding in the disastrous election of 87 when he was less known and the party was being trounced across the province. Fact: When the PC party was again trounced in 90 and then sitting mayor of North Bay Stan Lawlor ran against him he again won handily. As a side note the people were so put off by Lawlor's challenge of Mike that he was tossed in the next municipal election by councilman and hardware store owner Jack Burrows. This time enter former councilman George Maroosis. Medium or extra crispy?
05/14/99 A.H.S. Email:
I think this riding will provide more of a challenge for the PC's than is indicated by your email to date. The only reliable poll occurs on election day.
05/15/99 Derek Email: rhino88@interlog.com
I had heard rumours weeks ago that Harris could be in trouble in his own riding But I dismissed it at the tiem. Now i read in The National Post (usually ridiculously biased in favour of the Tories) that a riding poll of 400 people in Nipissing showed Harris ahead of his Liberal opponent by only 3%!! 48% to 45% (NDP support almsot non-existent). If this is an example fo what is going on across Ontario, it would suggest a massive swing from PC to Lib.!
05/15/99 N.J. from Timmins Email: northerner@hotmail.com
MCTV news showed a poll that was quite interesting for the Nipissing riding. It puts PC-Harris at 41%, Liberal-Maroosis at 36% and I can't remember what the other candidates had. (sorry) I spent most of this year in North Bay and many people are changing their support from PC to Liberal. I feel 95% sure that Harris will win his riding but we will see on June 3 the real poll. North Bay is the only city in Northern Ontario that was not greatly affected by cuts . Many jobs were transfered from other Northern cities to North Bay (I wonder why!?!) The only cut Harris made in his riding is the slated closure of the Psychiatric hospital which may already be hurting his support. North Bay is a major center for government services so there will be many voting Liberal. My guess is that Harris gets much of his support from small business people? I wish some more people from the Nipissing riding would put their opinions here!
05/15/99 A.L. Email: 3arb@qlink.queensu.ca
The latest Angus Reid poll shows the Liberals way, way ahead in the North. This coudl well have implications for both Harris and Ernie Eves.
05/16/99 Leith R.A. Coghlin Email: lcoghlin@home.com
Liberals, Liberals, Liberals, can they ever use credible evidence? Harris incurred the same type of polling in 1981 when he was unknown, and then went on to an upset victory. The Liberals are always ahead of the Tories in the north, but Parry Sound has elected Eves for 18 years, even during the Tory collapse of 1987. Harris is no different. Coupled with being party leader and premier of the province, Harris will return unscathed to Queen's Park as Nipissing's MPP, and for that matter Premier!
05/21/99 A.H.S. Email:
The voters will make the final decision. The problem the Tories are facing is that the electorate is thinking. In the last election they voted to support the home town boy, shooting for the opportunity to be Premier. We like to stick with our own. Now we're voting for the Harris Tories. We haven't seen much of Mike lately. He doesn't take meetings locally. He refuses to meet his constituents in Town Hall meetings. He doesn't answer questions of residents. At least that's the way it appears to some people. And you know, appearance is reality. He only talks to people who pay to attend his fund raisers, thats the appearance. People locally think perhaps this isn't the guy they thought they were voting for. Maybe he's a touch arrogant.A touch prideful. In the last election, the local voters were voting for good old Mike and the turnout was a tad low. Now we are being asked to vote for the Harris government and Mike has generated a lot of interest locally in politics. Many think a vote for Mike means supporting cuts to Hospitals, Education, the Environment, etc. He has divided our community into special interest groups and will only talk to the group with the money, and that ain't most of us. $200 dinners, and $50 movies are bit more than most of us can afford. So, I don't know, but it sure feels like he is may be in a horse race. But he needn't worry he still has the $800 000+ pension buy out, he gave himself (so with interest do you think he's amillionaire yet?) to fall back on and a Golf Course he can be a Pro at. So,anyway you look at it Mikes future looks bright. Even if he loses he wins.
05/23/99 CBC News Email:
Harris not as popular at home/TD>
05/28/99 Just Another Voter. Email:
What is wrong with these people in North Bay: do they hate everyone else in Ontario? Is this the vision of Ontario through their front windows? I've been working Mike's riding for the Liberals off and on throughout the election and it clearly sounds like a mixed bag here. Some love some hate! In the end, perhaps conscience will catch up with North Bay.
05/28/99 P. Kasman Email:
This may not be as easy as Harris thinks it will be. Rumers have spread throughout the province of the chance of a Harris defeat and donations are pouring in from Harris fighters everywere!
05/31/99 Chuck McPhail Email: w5p@hotmail.com
The arrogance of some die-hards-really! No one is invincible, even party leaders and premiers. Just look to past elections for that reality check. Of course, Harris has the deck stacked in his favour, but it ain't over till the fat lady sings(no insult intended for heavy-set women).
The point is this. This is one real strange election. Over all, a very hard one to call, with respect to province-wide results. It's been up and down, and all over the map. This is evident with the opinions of individual voters who are for and against Harris. This is so amongst the media and other organizations. The problem is that there is a hard-core group of voters who are staunch Harris supporters, and a hard-core group of voters who are staunchly anti-Harris. This doesn't leave much room for other voters, because, basically, you either love hom or hate him. This is where the difficulty comes in.
To have a hope in hell of beating Harris in his own riding and across the province, opposition votes must go to the candidate with the greatest chance of defeating the Harris candidate. I believe the onus is on those prone to support the NDP, but Liberals must consider this as well in certain ridings.
However, Mike will NOT coast to victory so easily this time in his home riding. I believe the liberals have an outside chance to beat him. If the liberals poll unexpectantly well across the province, look for Mike to be in danger of losing his seat.
05/31/99 Email:
If Harris doesn't pay close attention here, we are looking at a major upset. I think Mr. Mike should get off the the bus, stop feeding the kids booze and pay some attention to his own backyard. Things are very close here and the Liberal polls can only bouy up the challenge to bring home the hide of a major Tory. Sort of fitting with the cancellation of the spring bear hunt. Common Sense tells us that this riding is capable of a humiliating upset.
06/02/99 CRC Email:
I just toured North Bay and surrounding area last weekend during a trip up north-- the support for Harris is obvious, notwithstanding the desperate pleas from the above Liberals. I found it remarkable how many lawnsigns were up in *many* different areas of the riding. I hail from Lyn McLeod's riding and I never saw as many signs when she was leader! (or now for that matter) With the latest poll results averaging 44% support for the Conservatives, this is not going to be a Peterson situation. The events leading to the respective elections aren't even similar!

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Last Updated 2nd June 1999

© 1999 Milton Chan, University of Waterloo
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