|This riding is just itching to go Liberal. The incumbent Bob Wood is not well liked in the community. Furthermore, the Liberal candidate Daryl Skidmore has the solid backing of the teaching community. Look for Skidmore to win on the backs of a traditionally strong Liberal London West campaign team.|
|Wood's an embarassment and Skidmore a strong candidate. Unless NDp polls way stronger than anticipated, Libs in a walk.|
|Traditionally, this is the constituency the PCs would find most friendly, including many of the most affluent areas of all three of London's former provincial ridings--if Dianne Cunningham were running here, it'd be a cinch. But instead, the standard-bearer is first-term Tory right-winger Bob Wood, who's more vulnerable to opposition attacks. Although even here the Liberals were only a titch above the NDP in '95, if the strategically logical endorsements (teachers et al) are headed in Skidmore's direction, well, a "2 yellows and a red" post-Tory London isn't such a bad prospect...|
|Darrell Skidmore won't have a good enough feel on the riding to get it through, although I think redistribution might have aided a little. If sue Barnes can get involved, He'll have a shot, but the PC's with Wood probably won't have a lot of trouble holding this one.|
|Tories should take this one by a hair. just because Bob Wood is a one-timer doesn't mean he won't benefit from having a big chunck of Diane Cunninham's old riding. Had there been no distrubution, I'd have said the Liberals would have it in the bag, but the redistribution might have actually helped the PC's take this one (we'll see.)|
|Bob Wood is an embarassment to his party and his riding. In a 1997 debate with a parent on Bill 160, Mr. Wood came without having read Bill 160, asked if his constituency officer could be on-stage with him in case he needed information and was generally unprepared. In a recently taped debate on teacher testing, Mr. Wood again responded defensively to another parent who challenged his statement last year that "there are many awful parents out there". Other MPPs distance themselves from Mr. Wood and have been known to interupt and correct him when together. Daryl Skidmore has quite a positive reputation and an energetic team. He has been active for months prior to the election.|
|I think Liberal Darrel Skidmore has this one in the bag. Skidmore is former Director of Education for the London Public School board and has been endorsed by the Ontario Teachers Federation as well as OPSEU. He's extremely competent and personable, an ideal candidate really. Bob Wood has rubbed alot of people the wrong way and comes across as arrogant and aloof. He's not terribly knowledgeable and has difficulty dealing with constituents on a face-to face basis, nor does he handle criticism well. Given this is a traditional Tory-type riding, Skidmore's margin probably won't be spectacular but I think he's likely to win.|
|Reading the comments posted thus far for London West, I notice a lot of mention of Liberal Candidate Darrel Skidmore having the support of the teacher's unions. In a riding of over 100,000 people, need I remind everyone that there are not 100,000 teachers living in London West. London has traditionally been a PC stronghold, and signs point that it should stay that way. First, London West is a fairly high-income sector of town, unlike East London. If support for teacher's unions is going to be strong anywhere, it's probably not here. Second, redistribution leaves some of Cunningham's support for Bob Wood.|
|Sorry Brad, if there is any Tory Turkey going down on Election night it's Bob Wood. The man has the personality of a fire hydrant and the warmth of a porcupine. Need I remind you as well that Sue Barnes won this riding with a 14,000 vote plurality over Mazzilli in 1997 who was supposed to be a strong Tory Candidate? Wood's toast, and I say good riddance. The Tories can do better than him.|
|This will riding will go to Skidmore. He is well known because he was the head of the board of education, and he is the most likely to beat the Tories. Ontario has had major swings in government in the past because we like to vote people out, rather than just maintaining traditional loyalties. And those wishing to vote the Tories out are organizing like never before, and they have a new tool - The internet, which is more widely used than during any previous election. I do not belong to any union, but I'm watching Union Websites, and site by organizations like "Ontario- Yours to Recover." I think these organizing forces will be powerful. They back Skidmore in this riding because he's most likely to beat the Tories.|
|The new riding boundaries may help to split the opposition vote, but the NDP (god love 'em) has no chance at all. There are a lot of affluent suburbs, but Tory support seems to be softening. Mr. Wood is a truly unlikeable creature whose main strength in '95 was his anonymity. The Liberals can win if they manage to mobilize the opposition vote.|
|In response to the last comment; It's very true that unions are putting a lot of anti-PC pressure on the public, but this is a riding where I do not see that having a great effect for them. Reason being that most of this pressure originates from unions and labour organizations, but London West is by no means a stronghold for blue collar union philosophy. Everyone knows that the winners of this election will be decided more through loyalty to Party and Leader than local candidate. London West will not be decided by Bob Wood's or Darrel Skidmore's (The NDP are completely out of the question here) personal attributes or faults. As well, it is not a good idea to put too much faith on Skidmore just because of his ties to the board of education and teachers. The majority of this riding are middle to upper class, higher income earning citizens who are most likely not going to be sold on the board of ed.-teacher union-MPP. I don't think it's a shoe-in for either Grit or Tory here, but I think there is too much optimism from the Liberal supporters.|
|Mcnee seems to be running stronger here than thought, and could take enough votes from Skidmore to elect the lizard Wood. Probably will boil down to whether enough NDPers hold nose and vote against 4 more years of harris.|
|It has recently been announced that Bob Wood has been officially endorsed by the Ontario Police Association. Darrel Skidmore has been under constant attack here from Ontarians For Responsible Government for his role in allowing union leaders to gain control in this area. |
||London Free Press
|Four London ridings too tight to call by Debora Van Brenk |
|17 per cent undecided
Sandra McNee, NDP (7): Support is "at least'' 10-per-cent higher than the poll suggests, said campaign manager Gina Barber. McNee will be battling the "strategic voting" idea that only Skidmore could unseat Wood. This week, McNee supporters will remind teachers she and the NDP, not the Liberals, supported them on the picket lines in their fight against Harris.
Other candidates in the riding also agreed McNee's support is likely greater that the Insights poll shows.
Darrel Skidmore, Liberal (39): "My sense is we're dead-even with the Tories," Skidmore said. He believes many of the undecided voters are headed his way. The next few days will be spent reinforcing committed voter decisions and persuading the undecided.
Bob Wood, Conservative (37): It's an obvious horse race and "the No. 1 message is the importance of getting out to vote," Wood said. He will concentrate on calling supporters a second and third time to make sure they plan to vote. "It's a swing riding and it's going to be influenced by the provincial trends. Who votes is going to have a significant impact on who gets in."
|Much has been said about Darrel Skidmore's support among teachers (of which there are many) in this riding. Yet there is also a lot of resentment among voters in London West toward the teachers union, as a result of their tactics during the recent strike. The long memories of angry parents, and a better-than-expected showing by NDP Sandra McNee (who unlike Skidmore actually supported teachers during the strike) should give incumbent Bob Wood enough votes for re-election.
|with NDP vote so low- Liberals should win with a strong cnadidate- will be determined who gets vote out if PCS win this seat- point to PC majority|