Canadian Federal Election Election
Riding-by-Riding Prediction
Burin-St. George's

Current Prediction:
Riding Profile:

Liberal Party:
Bill Matthews
Canadian Alliance:
Peter Fenwick
Progressive Conservative Party:
Fred Pottle
New Democratic Party:
Dave Sullivan
Sam Synard

Bill Matthews

Previous Result:

Surrounding Ridings:

Population: ?
Avg Household Income ?
Language (Home)
English ?
French ?
Submitted Information
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18/10/00 Bluenoser Email:
This riding in the last general election elected a Progressive Conservative. I would say they will again, despite Mr Matthews's decision they really wanted him to become a Grit. Given his loss of the Liberal nomination, I wouldn't be surprised to see him emerge as an Independent and thus split the Liberal vote next month.
19/10/00 D. Kirby Email:
This riding will be a toss-up -- Tobin or no Tobin. First, the elected Tory, Bill Matthews, crossed the floor to the Liberals and said nothing further. Then, long-time Liberal supporter Sam Synard defeated Matthews in the nomination vote by 11 ballots. This vote was declared null/void because of irregular balloting. So the nomination will happen again on Mon. Oct. 23. All of this has left voters quite upset with both the Libs and Tories. If the NDP were to nominate a high profile candidate, they just might squeek in.
20/10/00 Niteshade Email:
No candidate for the liberals yet, bill matthews crossing the floor to liberals during his riding, an invalid candidate vote for the liberals, and from what I hear, a good up and comming candidate from the west coast for the tories.... this all sounds like the recipe for a PC riding to me
20/10/00 J Smith Email:
Even if Matthews manages to re-secure the nomination, which I doubt, it is doubtful that he will win this seat for the Liberals. Even a different candidate will have little success against a regenerated Federal PC party in NFLD. The Tories will win this one back.
22/10/00 P.M. Email:
The PC candidate for Burin St. Georges, Fred Pottle, is a force to be reckoned with. It is in my opinion, that once the campaigning starts, many who considered voting liberal will soon change their minds. Bill Matthews made the wrong move when he crossed the floor. He was not doing it for the constituants of the area, but for Bill Matthews himself. The librals may think that this seat is theirs, however; the seat went PC in the last election, and there is still strong support for the party, especially with Mr. Pottle leading the way. Mr. Pottle, a business person in Stephenville, has only the peoples interests in mind, not his own. I feel that who ever ends up winning the Liberal nomination, Sam or Bill, will have a hugh fight on their hands over the next month.
29/10/00 gmw Email:
The PCs do not stand a chance here. It will go Liberal.
29/10/00 JRE Email:
Burin is GritLand. The riding elected a PC only twice since 1949: in 1997 and in 1984. Pretty much everybody voted Tory in '84 in the country but their candidate there only won by a few hunded votes. The riding is among the poorest in the country - not the type of voters who will buy the "let's get rid of the debt in 25 years" message from Joe Clark. Bill Matthews, however, doesn't seem to have the Red Machine behind him, since he did need two nomination meetings to get the actual nomination. If Sam Synard (the guy who first won the nomination) runs as an independant, he might split the vote, so the incumbent might be in trouble. Liberal win without the independant; Toss-up with one.
29/10/00 A.S.
Don't know which way the wind'll blow. Despite the party-jump and nomination woes, this could wind up in the Liberal column, anyway, for lack of a proper Fed PC rejuvenation. Though given all that's happened, it'll cause a Tex Avery jaw-drop if a re-elected Bill Matthews cracked 80% like the b'y he defeated, Roger Simmons, did in '93...
29/10/00 J Smith
Just to add to my prediction of a week ago. The man who nearly beat Bill Matthews has decided to run as an independent. This will siphon away liberal voters from Matthews and guarantee a PC victory. It would take a miracle for the turn coat to hold this one.
01/11/00 dmp
everything is becoming very clear... Cretien dropping by for a visit in stephenville. I hope that the people of this riding can see through the political games going on here... I guess Cretien owes mr. matthews a couple of favors seeing that he walked across the floor for no apparent reason, except for the fact that mr. matthews thought he could continue his long term political career working towards his pension... for a man who thought he had it in the bag i'm glad to see that his nemesis has finally showen up... Mr Pottle (PC)is close behind!!!
03/11/00 Mike Wakefield Email:
The Alliance is now in double figures in Newfoundland. If the Tories continue to bleed support there, watch for a Liberal sweep.
03/11/00 DW Email:
The really interesting variable here is the odd geographical make-up of the riding, which covers two distant regions that don't really have a lot in common. The south-eastern end, where most of the population is concentrated on the Burin peninsula, is home turf for both Matthews and Synard. The west coast is Pottle's territory, and is about a 10 hour drive from the other end of the riding. If people vote along regional lines, then the Synard/Matthews split in the Marystown/Burin area might let Pottle slip up the middle, if the west coast votes cohesively in favour of the local candidate. Candiates from the south coast have dominated the riding for as long as I can remember, so it might be a nice change. However, that said, Matthews seems to be a pretty popular MP who has mainatined a presence in the riding (unlike Roger Simmons, who in the last federal election listed his home address as "Nepean, Ontario" - an Ottawa suburb). Matthews won in 97 simply because he wasn't Roger Simmons, so I think the significance of him crossing the floor is exaggerated. (In fact, it's probably a lot more common in the Newfoundland House of Assembly than anywhere else). If pressed, I'd have to predict Matthews, but think the regional dynamic will be interesting to watch. Peter Fenwick, the Alliance candidate and former provincial NDP leader (!), is also from the west coast, but his bizarre shift in loyalties (and the low popularity of both parties) means he won't be a serious contender.
05/11/00 Scott Email:
I don't think it's fair to comment on this particular riding without mentioning Peter Fenwick. The former NF NDP (yes, NDP) leader is very well known and respected in this riding and around the province. The only reason he hasn't gained more publicity is his late Alliance nomination. I think he will prove to be a force to be reckoned with.
07/11/00 WJM Email:
Peter Fenwick *IS* well-respected... by both his Newfoundland fans. Since they probably don't live in B-SG, they can't vote for him. Despite the Synard candidacy, the Liberal vote is still riding fairly high, and will probably consolidate behind Matthews, floor-crossing and nomination infighting notwithstanding.
OTHER 10/11/00 Jeff Mackey
All the candidates are from the west coast except for Synard...this gives him a very big advantage...especially considering most liberals are supporting him...therefore, he'll take a large chunk of the vote on the Burin him a very good shot at an independant victory!
10/11/00 HE Email:
A bunch of turncoats! The only candidate that can be trusted is Fred Pottle, he is someone that the people of this riding can trust. Opportunism doesn't sit well with people here. Newfoundland is NOT going to elect a CA MP either... my goodness!
17/11/00 Pundit Magazine Adam Radwanski
The federal Liberals thought that they had assured themselves of electoral victory in the Newfoundland riding of Burin-St. George's by convincing incumbent MP Bill Matthews to cross the floor. But in protecting Matthews from a strong nomination challenge, the central party created a storm of controversy within the local riding association - and now, it would seem, there are two candidates promising to represent the riding as Liberals.
21/11/00 Christopher J. Currie
For what it's worth, one of the leading CBC-Newfoundland pundits is projecting a close race between Matthews and Synard, with the Tory candidate not really factoring. How accurate is this call? I've no idea. Add: Fenwick will probably get less than 5%.
21/11/00 DW Email:
Just talked to the folks back home and I'm afraid I have to revise my prediction... Sam Synard seems to be gaining a lot of momentum. His reputation as a hard worker and straight-shooter is beginning to take hold in the western part of the riding (where he's not as well known). His fortunes have also been bolstered by the resignation of most of the Liberal riding executive, to join his campaign team. Synard came out swinging at a recent all-candidates meeting in Stephenville on November 15, revealing that in the 13 months Matthews has been a Liberal MP, he has only made one speech in the House of Commons - on the issue of Aboriginal treaty rights in British Columbia (!). Rather ironic for a member who crossed the floor to better defend the interests of his own constituents (who, not surprisingly, are more concerned about things like the extremely high unemplyment rate (over 20%), the fishery and the poor state of health care in the province). Needless to say, lo! cal journalists are having a field day with this one, and it seems to have become the defining issue in the campaign. As for the other candidates, Pottle performed poorly in the debate (relying on scripted answers, very nervous, and generally appearing to be not up to the job). Fenwick just isn't taken seriously, and the NDP has been a no-show at most events. Overall, with Matthews having lost his team, and now his credibility, Burin-St. Georges is poised to elect an Independent for the first time since Confederation.
25/11/00 Nick
We're looking at three-way race between the PC, Libs, and NDP. It could go any way, but I'm going NDP for this area.
25/11/00 Damian P.
Synard and Matthews will split the Liberal vote, letting Tory Fred Pottle come up the middle.
26/11/00 Mike White Email:
Having worked on the loosing 1997 Liberal campaign, I understand how hard it is for Liberals to support their new convert. However, Bill Matthews is now a Liberal and has the support of most of the party. Mr. Sinyard would have been my first choice for Liberal candidate, but Burin- St. George's is the most Liberal Riding in Newfoundalnd and Labrador. It has only gone Tory twice and both times it was lost by Roger Simmons. Not enoght angst in the riding to throw out a Liberal, however new.
26/11/00 J Smith Email:
Synard has been campaigning in this riding as the Liberal candidate. Combine that with the fact that most of the Liberal executive have gone to work against him, it looks like the Liberal votes in Burin St. Georges will split, and allow either the NDP or the Tories to slip up the middle. I think the PC's, because of their history in this riding will take it however.

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Last Updated 27 November 2000

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