1999 Ontario Provincial Election
Riding-by-Riding Prediction

Current Prediction:
Riding Profile:

Liberal Party:
Wayne Hyland
Progressive Conservative Party:
Brenda Elliott MPP
New Democratic Party:
Bruce Abel
Green Party:
Bradley Shaw
Family Coalition Party:
John Gots
Anna Di Carlo

Incumbent (old riding composition):
Guelph (100%):
Brenda Elliott
Wellington (21%):
Ted Arnott

Member of Parliament:
Brenda Chamberlain

Surrounding Ridings:

Population: 102 610
Avg Household Income 51 776
Language (Home)
English 93 790
Submitted Information
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02/19/99 William Zebedee Email: skyra@albedo.net
Know as a Bell Weather Riding, Guelph-Wellington has been in the hands of the Liberals, Tories and NDP. Strategic voting is being discussed (mostly from the Liberals) but there are great historical statistics which show that a vote for the Liberals will mean a vote for the Tories. The current MPP (Brenda Elliott) has lost many friends she had prior to becoming MPP. As an environmentalist, people thought she would be a voice for the green in the Harris blue. At the moment no one, in the Guelph-Wellington Tories, is willing to contest her nomination. The Liberals haven't nominated a candidate yet. There are currently two in the running: Wayne Hyland (the supposed front runner), a financial planner at the Royal Blank; and Maggie Laidlaw, a former member of the NDP, National Party (ran for the NP in 1993 Federal) and PC, although well liked, her reasoning for running for the Liberals are the source of great debate. Back in June of 1998, the NDP nominated Bruce Abel, a retired Guidance Counsellor at Centennial High. Bruce has been canvassing since October, covering close to 16,000 homes already. General feeling is that it's between the Liberals and the NDP. My money is on Bruce Abel. I must let everyone know that I am the Campaign Co-ordinator for Bruce Abel's campaign. But what I've said above has been said by many.
03/09/99 A. Email:
Bruce Abel has an excellent shot at winning this seat, which swings back and forth between the three major parties. Elliot is one of the more vulnerable cabinet ministers, and the NDP really hit the ground running with their organization here.
04/04/99 William Zebedee Email:
As of March 29 we now know the three main candidates in the riding of Guelph-Wellington.
Incumbent Brenda Elliott will carry the PC flag. As mentioned previously, she isn't expected to gain much support in the riding, as she has been seen by many (not only Liberal and NDP, but Tory too) as being a bad representative for the riding. There was once someone who gave her the nickname (when she was Minister of Environment & Energy) of "swampgas"; she is seldom seen, but you know she's there. She was acclaimed on March 25th.
Wayne Hyland won a close nomination meeting, held on March 29, and will carry the Liberal colours into the campaign. He is a relative unknown in the riding, at least among the average voter. He is known in the business community because he is a financial planner with the Royal Blank. Many people are expressing displeasure at the thought of voting for a "right-leaning banker".
Bruce Abel, nominated on June 18, 1998 for the NDP, is a well-known, well liked and respected former Guidence Counsellor at Centennial Hogh School; he has had the pleasure of having provided guidance to Ms. Elliott's and Mr. Hyland's children. Abel has knocked on nearly 25,000 doors in the riding and is expected to be close to 35,000 by the end of April.
With Ms. Elliott's disapproval rating; Mr. Hyland's unknown factor; Abel is expected to win in a closely contested fight.
04/07/99 A.S. Email: adma@interlog.com
An NDP gain in Guelph-Wellington is within the realm of plausibility, especially if Bruce Abel's as strong and active a candidate as he seems. However, the long-term stats don't suggest Guelph's being typical New Democratic turf, except in the Rae landslide--and before that, it was classic Nixon-Peterson mid-Ontario Liberal domain. Brenda Elliott, like Marilyn Mushinski, is definitely vulnerable as one of the ill-starred "weak females" of the first Harris cabinet, though her chances are improved by the addition of rural polls from the strongly PC Wellington riding. The Liberals should do well among ethnic constituents and be the "logical" alternative in the spreading middle-class burbs to the south and west--they definitely won't be out of the picture. The NDP are best placed in the inner city--in their 1995 defeat, they "won" much of Guelph's downtown area anyway--and they even have hopes in the artsy country-life fringe around Rockwood and Eden Mills. It may be added to the NDP's favour that Guelph has more of a venerably pinkish "university town" aura than its Waterloo Region near-neighbours; that might bode well for "David Macdonald" ToryDPers disappointed by Elliott's betrayal of her greenish roots. So, almost in spite of itself, Guelph's shaping up to be a possible 3-wayer...
04/19/99 Lanny A. Cardow Email: 8lac3@qlink.queensu.ca
Mrs. Elliot is highly respected in the burgeoning business community of Guelph, as well as popular among student voters, despite what the left-leaning NDP supporters of the U of G. But they will all be back to their hometowns come election time. As Guelph's population ages, and as business soars, fiscal conservatism and the Mike Harris revolution is making sense in Guelph. Hyland is the candidate most Tories saw as "easiest to beat" of the Liberal crop, and despite exaggerated claims of Mr. Abel's appeal, former students might be his only secure demographic. Brenda Elliot has delivered on hospital reform that previous Guelph MPPs have failed to deliever. Says one Guelph business owner "this riding won't even be close". Guelph will certainly remain Tory for another four years.
04/22/99 William Zebedee Email:
Not sure how much debate you'll allow on this page, but I think that Lanny should:
1) come out canvassing with Bruce or go to a meeting with him and see how many supporters come up to say they'll be supporting him, supporters I might add, who are not former students. His "secure demographics" are those who have being nickeled and dimed in order to pay for a phoney tax break none but the top 6% have seen.
2) Let the truth out there Lanny. Yes other MPPs delayed the hospitals, including former Tories, but it was actually Derek Fletcher (NDP MPP, remember?) who got final approval, the Harris Tories delayed as long as they could before they had to go ahead with it before legal action (assumption there, sorry).
04/25/99 Lanny A. Cardow Email: 8lac3@qlink.queensu.ca
In response to Mr. Zebedee's comments, I do concede that the NDP will be an impressive force to be reckoned with in this riding. More so than the Liberals. And judging by the previous posts, it is obvious that others feel the same way. But I stand by my opinion that taxpayers will have the final say in this and other ridings, and they have been treated to four fiscally responsible years.
05/04/99 Sue Baker Email: 8lac3@qlink.queensu.ca
Wayne Hyland compared to Brenda Elliott is easily the strongest candiate in this race. Wayne is dynamic and energetic while Brenda is quiet and does not give the impression that she is ready to fight an election. Hyland is also lucky that the NDP party candidate Bruce Abel is not a factor in the 1999 campaign. This makes it a two way race betwwen the Liberals and the Tories. Hyland should win this one going away.
05/10/99 RM Email: armessing@hotmail.com
The NDP may have strong roots here but they're out of the running this election. The race is between the Liberals and the Tories and if enough NDP support swings behind Boyle, Guelph will go Liberal.
05/18/99 Alan Pickersgill Email: alan@sentex.net
I'm not sure what armessing@hotmail.com is talking about when h/she says "if enough NDP support swings behind Boyle, Guelph will go Liberal." Who is Boyle? The Guelph election is clearly between Bruce Abel (NDP) and Wayne Hyland (LIB). Looking at lawn signs around town, there are very few for Elliott (PC), and many more for Abel than for Hyland. The NDP candidate is endorsed by the Ontario Federation of Labour, and is on their list of 32 candidates to vote for. Support from the teachers' unions is also a factor. Hampton's strong performance in tonight's leaders debate is further reason for anti-Harris votes in Guelph to go to the NDP.
05/25/99 K.M. Email:
High school students at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School are holding a mock provincial election on June 2 for the whole school and results will be sent here on that day. Grade 10 student candidates will be presenting a mock debate on Mon. May 31 11:40 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. in the music room followed by a question and answer period with Boyle, Gibson and Martiniuk fielding the students' questions. Obviously our students' views will be influenced by their peers' performance at next Monday's debate. Typically high school students repeat their parents' ideas, have a tendancy for left wing sympathies whilee chanting right wing mantras until they realize that their educational future is at risk. We'll let you know the youth vote.
05/27/99 S.U. Email:
Guelph must go liberal. With all the actively protesting and voting students within the riding, due to the horendous decrease in funds to University Education by Harris. A vote for Wayne Hyland will take us a step in the right direction towards a province free from the Tory Tyrany. There is no way this riding will vote NDP, especially after such a long time leaning PC / Liberal.
05/28/99 H.T. Email: tasc@albedo.net
Guelph-Wellington has traditionally been a 3-way riding, with each party holding a steady 25%. This time the NDP is poised to take the riding on many fronts: support from teachers, health care workers, university students and staff, and even the coveted correctional workers are turning towards the party that has shown a sincere interest in their concerns. Bruce Abel has taught for over 25 years in the riding, and many former students and parents are crossing party lines because of his personal integrity. The anti-Harris vote is strong, and the right-wing Liberal candidate is a poor alternative. Many streets in Guelph and surrounding area are orange with lawn signs. It is still a 3-way race, but with the NDP ready to take the lead.
05/29/99 Brad Nicpon Email: nicpon@execulink.com
This riding does not "have" to go Liberal, and don't think that protesters mean anything when it comes down to the real voting. Partisan comments like "Tory Tyrany" make some people sound like walking Liberal Campaign signs, and don't mean anything to the average voter. At the least Guelph-Wellington is a contest between Libs and PCs, but judging by the fact that redistribution takes a good piece of Wellington (a PC stronghold), and that a showing NDP candidate may be attracting some of the core "anti-Harris" crowd (especially recently) away from the Liberals, Elliott should be re-elected.
05/30/99 A.S. Email: adma@interlog.com
I was through Guelph, and judging by signage I still wouldn't count out the NDP by any means--Abel's really made this into more of a dynamic ground-up battle than Guelph's electoral history might indicate.
05/31/99 P. P. Email: adma@interlog.com
It will be a close race - NDP and Liberals NOT PC. The main issue in the riding seems to be the closing of the Guelph correctional centre. Both the Liberals and the NDP have clear stands on the issue. The people in Guelph Wellington will most likely choose the person who will best represent them and not because of their party affliation or because of the provincial leaders. It is my feeling that they will choose Bruce Abel of the NDP.
05/31/99 lrs Email: skoog@golden.net
If NDP vote as strong as persons state- then Liberals in big trouble- I assume NDP vote will be lower than persons expect-if Tories hold this seat witha weak candidate- then Pc Majority certain- will depend on strategic voting to ensure Liberal victory
06/01/99 P.P. Email:
The concern in this riding is the quality of the local candidates. As well, local issues will decide who will win here. Now if you count the lawn signs and talk to the people at: the Farmers' Market, downtown Guelph and the shopping centres the majority will support the NDP.
Conservatives think that strategic voting will get them in - NO. Liberals hope that with strategic voting they will win - No. Clearly the person who will win, regardless of the fool-hardy scheme of strategic voting, is the person with the most votes. Clearly that will be Bruce Abel of the NDP.
06/01/99 OEP Email:
I am still quite optimistic about this riding that it will go Liberal with Hyland. However, I am more and more concern that Elliott will sneak through because NDP is catching up. They will still come in a distance third on election day , but may cause the riding to go PC. They can be kingmaker for PC, just as they will in ridings like Etobicoke-Lakeshore and Scarborough Centre.

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Last Updated 2nd June 1999

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