|This will be tough fight for all candidates. Ed Philips, the NDP candidate was the sitting MPP for Etobicoke Rexdale for a number of years prior to his defeat in 95. The Liberal candidate is a strong one and will steal votes from Philips. This leaves the option open for the PC's John Hastings to slip up the middle and take the cake. The advantage the Liberals have is ground organization and strong federal Liberal support. I predict this will be a swing riding in the 99 election. |
|Ed Phillip was an institution here as an MPP for 20 years and traditionally stacked up some of the largest pluralities of any NDP MPP in the province. His defeat last election was a reflection of the NDP government's unpopularity... with the Rae government fading into memory Ed Phillip's personal following in the riding should give him an excellent shot at retaking it.|
|In most ridings in toronto healthcare will be the dominate issue and in my opinion Dr. Shafiq Qaadri is in an excellent position to deal with that issue head on for the liberals. He has a strong base of support in the rising and is very committed to the campaign. The liberals will win it in a close race.|
|A probable NDP win - not necessarily due to NDP popularity, but largely because of a strong NDP candidate (former cabinet minister and long-time MPP Ed Philip) and very weak Tory and Liberal candidates.|
|Right now I'll give this one to Ed Philip, but with trepidation. He would seem the obvious choice, given his long reign over Etobicoke-Rexdale (to the degree that this turf can be considered "rightly his") and the fact that just about all the relevant anti-Harris organizations will be in his camp. But there are several causes for concern. One, of course, is the lingering mediocre provincial NDP numbers. Another is the unfavourable addition of a south-of-the-401 section from Etobicoke-Humber, which knocks the 1995 NDP figure to 3rd place. And yet another concern might be that Philip, four years out of office and almost a quarter century after he was first elected, could be deemed "yesterday's man". By contrast, the Liberals are offering (as in Etobicoke-Lakeshore) an attractive "young turk" candidate; and then there's John Hastings, with the weakest mandate of any (except for the qualified case of Jim Brown) Toronto Tory running for reelection. It'll be a severe blow to the anti-Harris forces if Hastings wins again over a split opposition. I assume the New Democratic forces will be giving their all to get Philip back in--this is one of their topmost "non-incumbent" targets. With a little sleight-of-hand, I'm predicting that he'll do it. But it won't be easy.|
|Cooking up a Tory defeat By Enzo di Matteo|
|Family-values Tory MPP John Hastings won't be able to cash in on the voter frustration over welfare and taxes that he used to win by a slim 853 votes in 95 over NDP MPP Ed Philip, who, Terminator-like, is back for another kick at the can.
Philip's considerable political currency -- he represented the Etobicoke Rexdale part of the new riding for 20 years before the Tories came along -- is just the beginning for Hastings, who will have a hard time selling the Tories' employment equity policies here, where half the riding's 115,067 residents count themselves visible minorities, making it the fifth most diverse riding.
The Grits are sacrificing physician and political first-timer Shafiq Quaadri. Welcome back, Ed.
|People here are fired up enough to vote NDP. PC's won't fare badly, probably will see a polarization that will help the NDP.|
|The Liberals have a strong core of immigrants who feel they owe them their votes. This riding had the opportunity to oust the BQ from official Opposition in Ottawa in a bye-election, but preferred to send a sleepy backbench Liberal. Many will knee-jerk vote Liberal here. However, what people say about NDP Philip is true. He will do far better than his party overall. This may give the sitting PC the opportunity to capture a plurality. It's anybody's race.|
|With the upcoming Tory victory on June 3 this riding will NOT be left out of the Tory sweep|
|if Liberals surge a bit in 416 area - may hurt Phillips and the Tory may slip through|
|The PC incumb. Hastings has a very good chance here. I don't believe that the liberals can win, but if the NDp support drains from them watch for a vote split. I'm going out on a limb but it went PC in '95, and has potential to do it again.|