1999 Ontario Provincial Election
Riding-by-Riding Prediction
Niagara Centre

Current Prediction:
Riding Profile:

Liberal Party:
Maurice Charbonneau
Progressive Conservative Party:
Frank Sheehan MPP
New Democratic Party:
Peter Kormos MPP
Natural Law Party:
Margaret Larrass
Lank Makuloluwa

Incumbent (old riding composition):
Lincoln (29%):
Frank Sheehan
St. Catharines-Brock (27%):
Tom Froese
Welland-Thorold (96%):
Peter Kormos

Member of Parliament:
Hon. Gib Parent

Population: 99 869
Avg Household Income 47 061
Language (Home)
English 89 050
French 3 765
Submitted Information
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02/20/99 Andy Lehrer Email: 3arb@qlink.queensu.ca
Peter Kormos is the NDP candidate here. A very popular incumbunt he should have no trouble keeping his seat. Indeed, even the NDP's worst case scenario for the province still has Kormos keeping his seat.
03/07/99 Email:
This will be a huge shock to entire province, but Kormos will lose out this time around. People have finally recognized the fact that Kormos is all talk and no action. Frank Sheehan is an excellent campaigner and a well respected politician both at Queen's Park and in his own riding. He will run circles around Kormos during the debates. It will be a close race, but give a slight edge to Sheehan.
03/08/99 Email:
Peter Kormos will undoubtedly win Niagara Centre. Frank Sheehan, who could only get 50 supporters out to his nomination meeting, has a terrible track record. The slted closure of Hotel Dieu hospital, enormous tuition hikes at Brock University and Niagara College, and verbal attacks directed towards teachers and injured workers have certainly not made Frank Sheehan many friends. Also, redistribution heavily favours the NDP. Virtually all of Kormos' Welland-Thorold riding is included in the new riding of Niagara Centre along with new prime NDP territories like Western Hill and Merritton. Sheehan has ticked off way too many local residents to win re-election. The anti-Harris vote will go entirely to the charismatic Kormos.
03/13/99 Email:
Frank Shaheen is kidding himself if he thinks he's going to be an MPP long enough to get a pension. No surprise come up the middle for the Tories here. Kormos has this one in the bag.
03/16/99 Email:
The more Sheean talks the more he puts his foot in his mouth. He has been an embarrassment to the PC party. PC leaders just hope he goes away and he does not do anymore damage. If left unattended he can be a loose cannon. Kormos has been an MPP for ten years. He has good riding support. He should win easily, (45-50%). The fact he is an NDPer makes little difference. People vote for him not for his party.
03/25/99 A.S. Email: adma@interlog.com
When things looked especially dire for the NDP in '95, I whimsically joked that Peter Kormos might well become the next party leader for "Charest" reasons--who else would've been left? (And I was surprised that he only won with 43%, behind several other NDPers--but then, NDP figures in Niagara as a whole were particularly severely depressed.) The fact that he's now running against a PC incumbent is a novelty--and nothing more. Even if the Tories come in slightly on top within the present boundaries, and even if it's hard to think of Pelham or the upscale neighbourhoods of south St. Catharines falling under the Kormos spell (and incidentally, he loses his best polls of all in Thorold South, across the Welland Canal). It's useless to suggest that Kormos shouldn't take anything for granted--he never will; he's too wily and realistic to do so. In the end, look at Sheehan as an opportunity for Kormos to demonstrate how a proud, strong, honest hard left (looney? extremist? what's it to ya) can chew up and spit out the remains of boilerplate backbench Common Sense. Ah, if Bob Rae hadn't ticked off Toronto Sun readers by demoting "Sunshine Boy" Kormos, we wouldn't have so many blue-collar ReformaTories today...
04/08/99 NOW Email:
Cooking up a Tory defeat By Enzo di Matteo
Tory Frank Sheehan may be one of the few backbenchers Harris has thought to throw a bone to -- he's the government red-tape fighter.
But riding redistribution hasn't done this fogey, part of caucus's social conservative rump, any favours. Sheehan's Lincoln riding only comprises 27 per cent of the new Niagara Centre configuration, while taking in almost all of Welland Thorold, a riding that's been held by his main challenger, NDPer Peter Kormos, since 88 and by Kormos's predecessor, Mel Swart, since the mid-70s.
Grit Maurice Charbonneau, a separate school principal, should gobble up enough of Sheehan's attention and voter support to allow Kormos to have a field day in wine country.
04/18/99 L.O. Email: petercashin@yahoo.com
NDP are very strong here. But the government, from what I've seen isn't really disliked enough here to be booted out.
04/19/99 DC Email:
As Kormos is retaining 96% of his old riding while bringing in only 29% of Sheehan's, the Tories would hardly be "booted out" if they lost. The fact is Kormos is a tremendous constituency politician.
04/20/99 Email:
There are a few reasons why I believe Mr. Frank Sheehan will win this riding. First, Frank Sheehan has a well organized, strong and wealthy campaign team. Second, he has done more work in one term than Mr. Kormos has in two, yet Mr. Sheehan doesn't run to the press everytime he does something good unlike some other politician!! Finally, Mr. Sheehan will win this riding because the Liberal candidate is a charasmatic, teacher. The teachers union, as always have to stick with one of their own. This "strategic voting" will only take votes away from Peter Kormos. The win will be slim, but Frank Sheehan will win this riding, much to the relief of all of Ontario!!!!!
04/22/99 Email:
I think all the above comments are ignoring Liberal candidate Mo Charbonneau. That is perfect. While Kormos and Sheehan grandstand and take shots at each other, Charbonneau is building a strong team and knocking on doors in the riding. Charbonneau lives in the Western Hill part of St. Catharines and will do very well their at the expense of both Sheehan and Kormos. The city of Thorold will also be very strong for Charbonneau. Charbonneau also speaks french and this will help him to win polls in Welland that the Liberals ususally give to Kormos. Kormos has lost some of his best polls when Thorold South became part of the Niagara Falls riding and the people of Fonthill will not vote NDP. Sheehan will not get much support from Thorold and Welland and many Tories in the south part of St. Catharines have in the past voted Liberal if they think it is the best way to stop the NDP. This was the case in 1990 when south St. Catharines voted Liberals to try to stop the NDP waive. This will be a close race. Charbonneau will come up the middle and stun both the Tories and the NDP
04/24/99 JAC Email: jchamber@iaw.on.ca
PC to win for a couple of reasons. The NDP strong hold areas of Port Robinson and South Torold who have strongly supported Kormos are no longer part of riding. In its place the area arounf Fonthill Pelham ( traditionally Tory area has been added as has South St. Catharines also Tory strength. Charboneau very popular among teachers (also strong NDP backers in past ) But the kicker is the large French vote in Welland who have always supported Kormos. Will the French vote now go to Charbonneau ? If so here comes Sheehan right up the middle.
04/25/99 Email:
This riding will remain with Peter Kormos although by a smaller margin than usual. To suggest as others have done that teachers will stick with one of their own--Maurice Charbonneau--is a factual error. Teachers have already endorsed Kormos. And Sheehan is not respected at all. Everytime he does speak to the newspaper we hear comments like "my sphincter is tightening." And to suggest that Charbonneau will win the French area of Welland simply because he speaks French suggests this person has never set foot in Welland. Kormos has been polishing his French for awhile which can only benefit the respect he and his office have for the work done for residents of Welland's French area. And besides, the French area of Welland does not vote in bloc. Yes, Charbonneau will take the Glenridge area of St. Catharines and maybe parts of Fonthill. But let's not forget, Welland still represents a good chunk of the riding and Wellanders will always back one of their own--and neither Sheehan or Charbonneau are one of their own.
04/25/99 Email:
I couldn't help but have a few chuckles when I read the comment about the fine work Kormos and his office staff have done for Welland. Kormos' constituency office opens at 10:00am closes down for an hour at noon and locks it's doors for the day at 4:00, except of course on Friday's when they leave for the weekend at 2:00. When the office is open it is almost impossible to get through because conveniently the phone line is always busy. Welland and the surrounding areas are sick and tired of this. They want a constituency MPP who is there and available for them, not someone who is only trying to advance his career.
04/27/99 Email:
There is no way that Kormos will lose this one. His campaign has already canvassed 3/4 of the riding and the election hasn't even been called yet. The Tories finished third in the old Welland-Thorold riding and Frank Sheehan is not very well known. Love him or hate him, everybody knows Peter Kormos. An added bonus for Koroms is that "strategic voting" works in the NDP's favour in Niagara Centre. Therefore, soft Liberals who can't stomach someone as right-wing as Frank Sheehan will hold their noses and vote for Kormos. The NDP candidate's personal popularity throughout the entire region will ensure victory for Kormos.
04/28/99 B. Durocheer Email:
The voters of this riding have grown tired of the antics displayed by Peter Kormos. Kormos has not been able to bring anything to the riding because he is an outcast at Queen's Park. St. Catharines got the ministry of transportation. Niagara Falls got the casino and Welland continues to get nothing. As long as Kormos represent this riding, it will get nothing, no matter which party is in power. The voters now want a MPP who works within the system to help this riding. Sheehan on the other hand does care about the people of Niagara Centre. He is there to serve the Common Sense Revolution and nothing else. I remember the days when Sheehan was the head of the Taxpayers coalition and they would scream about government waste. No this group is silent as the Tories spend over 100 million dollars on partisan adds. It is clear that Sheehan's Taxpayers Coalition is front for the Tories and this damages his credibility and that issue that was key to his election last time. This leaves the new face in the race Maurice Charbonneau to come in and bring a different perspective to the election. Charbonneau will actuallly work for the people of Niagara Center rather than chase the spotlight like Kormos or blindly service the Common Sense Revolution like Sheehan. Charbonneau must be doing well right now as both the Tories and the NDP are now taking shots at him all the time. Charboneau will shock the province on election day.
04/29/99 Brett Rogers Email:
It is a real mistake to think that just because some of the teachers unions have endorsed Kormos means that the teachers will actually work for him. All the teachers i know in Welland and Thorold are strongly supporting Charbonneau because he really understands the education issues in a way Kormos can't. Another issue that has never come up about Maurice Charbonneau is the province wide profile he has earn as the lead person in raising funds for the French-Mahaffey legal fund. Charbonneau does not use this in his speeches but the people of St. Catharines know what a great job he has done in raising money for the two families so they can continue to work to make sure their rights are protected. The people of St. Catharines will show up and vote for type of man Maurice Charbonneau is. We are fed up with loudmouth politicians like Kormos and Sheehan who only care about getting in the newspaper or on television. Charbonneau is going to win.
04/29/99 Martin Lapointe Email:
In response to the above letter that says that Peter Kormos has been polishing up his French. Well Peter was elected for the first time in 1988 and he promised to polish up his French and eleven years later he still can't do anything but read a few lines written down for him in a speech. I personally don't care if Peter speeks French but he has been promising for years and has not delivered. That says more to me about Peter's character than it does about his ability. I've met Mr. Charbonneau and we spoke in English. He impressed me with his knowledge and commitment to the community. The French in Welland will vote for Charbonneau because he is the best man.
05/06/99 St. Catherines Standard Email:
Bradley only MPP with safe riding by Doug Herod
Niagara Centre: If this was the old Welland-Thorold riding, I think Peter Kormos would win by a comfortable margin thanks to a large and loyal base of supporters. Despite an abysmal provincewide performance by his party in 1995, Kormos steamrolled to personal victory. The Tory candidate ran third. He has, through strong constituency work and a nose for publicity, successfully followed the pattern established by his mentor Mel Swart, who bucked provincial trends for more than a decade in the riding. However, this isn't just Welland-Thorold anymore. The redrawn boundaries now include south St. Catharines and Pelham. Kormos has much less of a presence in these areas and it stands to reason the anti-government vote will be split there. In fact, if it follows what appears to be the provincial trend, that vote will go primarily to Liberal candidate Maurice Charbonneau. Can Kormos win enough votes in Welland-Thorold to withstand a leaking of support in the riding's new areas? Don't count the champion out until he's defeated. If Kormos can't hang on, the winner will come from the party that forms the new government. I don't think either Tory MPP Frank Sheehan or Charbonneau are strong enough in this riding to buck the provincial trend.
05/07/99 André Renaud Email:
A combination of anti-Tory pragmatism and strong grassroot support will return Peter Kormos to Queen's Park. Also, the Francophone vote will favour neither Monsieur Charbonneau nor Monsieur Kormos.
05/10/99 RM Email:
If the NDP wins only one riding this election this will be the one. Campaign workers are pouring into Niagara Center from the surrouding region to work on Kormos' campaign and he's got the anti-Tory vote solidly behind him.
05/17/99 Email:
Conunt on Peter Kormos to take this riding, Sheehan is the most ignorant and despised of all the Tories and no one will miss him. Money won't buy him this election. Any body with any political savvy in this riding knows that a vote for the Liberal is a vote for Harris. Peter has worked too hard to lose this one.
05/24/99 Email:
If election signs on private property are any indication, Peter Kormos has this one again. There are few Sheehan signs on private property but they certainly litter public property.
05/24/99 A.L. Email: 3arb@qlink.queensu.ca
Given the recent upturn in NDP support, the fact that Kormos is an incumbunt and the fact that every survey I've seen indicates he'll be re-elected I think it's time to put this riding in the NDP column.
05/25/99 A. Email:
Peter Kormos absolutely *controls* this riding. Two weeks before the last election, a local poll put him at something like 14%. He ended up winning easily. Barring a major disaster, he'll do so once again.
05/31/99 michael Ensley Email: mensley@rocketmail.com
In the post debate time, combined with Frank being sent out of Lincoln to go against Kormos and the liberal meltdown of their support coupled with the anti-Harris forces endorsing Kormos the NDP will win coming up the middle.

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Last Updated 31st May 1999

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