Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003


Last Update:
4:44 PM 07/10/2003

Prediction Changed:
12 November 2002

Political Profile:

(Links? See sponsorship details.)
Liberal Party:
Garry Minnie
Progressive Conservative:
John O’Toole
New Democratic Party:
Teresa Williams
Green Party:
Matt Crowder
Freedom Party:
Cathy McKeever

John O'Toole

Federal MP:
Alex Shepherd

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

26103 57.07%

14694 32.12%

4235 9.26%

467 1.02%

242 0.53%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality6 859
Alex Shepherd
20 602 45.2%
Gerry Skipwith
13 743 30.1%
Sam Cureatz
8 367 18.4%
Ken Ranney
2 545 5.6%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation71.10%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born86.64%
Ontario Born78.73%
Visible Minority3.71%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$171342

College/Trade School27295

Authorized by the CFO for the Durham Provincial Freedom Party Association
01/10/03 G.M.
From what I know of O'Toole, I would describe him as a populist. I know that he is not alliance (wrong again, M.S.), as he supported Hugh Segal way back in the leadership...not sure where he was this last time. Supporting a Bill Davis guy like Segal might actually make him a little more "red tory" than your reading. His tendancy to shoot from the hip probably comes from his municipal experience, where there is no party whip to keep you in line. That being said, a populist usually has cross-over support, which will only help him in a tighter election. I am watching the riding now because I know it, and because it is one that I have pegged as a "hold". I watch this board for the interesting tidbits, not weak attempts at electioneering. Good luck tomorrow, M.S. and make sure you don't spill Minnie's coffee on the way to the polls.
01/10/03 M.S. from Durham
To G.M.: I'm definitely not a Tory insider, (or a political insider at all!) and I have not heard your spin on the 1990 election. I have heard from traditional Tories that I know in the riding that there has been a considerable rift between those long time traditional Tories, many of whom are more red Tories, and the more hard right Tories who federally are Alliance members ( John O'toole included). Those old time PC's have held their noses and voted for O'toole in 95 and 99, but are fed up with O'toole now and may do what you claim they did in 1990 (stay home), or do the inconcievable and vote liberal! Despite your claim about him being well liked and hard-working (I hear that most often from O'toole staffers), even long time Tories disagree with you. As to saying positives about Garry Minnie, I believe I addressed that in my last post. Any other Tory staffers care to wade in?
29/09/03 M.S. from Durham
To Gerry Kennedy, you posting does make alot of sense. I agree with most of what you have said, including the part about a 50 point swing - ok maybe I did exagerate about that. It will be close but I still think the combination of the central campaign numbers, a weak NDP campaign in this riding and his own mistakes will bring about...ok... a narrow victory for Garry Minnie. Minnie seems to be picking up steam, being well received at debates and seems to be getting much better name recognition. Ultimately, voters here do want a change and I think will vote for one on Thursday, if only by a narrow margin.
29/09/03 Dave
The Tories are in free fall across the 905 region and Durham seems to be moving that way too. I agree that O'Toole had been a popular local politician before going to QP,and he won solid victories on the Harris ticket, however, the fact remains that he has not delivered the $ in per capita as compared to many other ridings around the area. I'm told by people in the know at QP that John is not well liked even in the Tory caucus. I stopped by the Minnie office in Bowmanville tonite to see for myself how things looked there and was amazed to see over 50 canvassers come back in after doing their rounds.I also visited the O'Toole office which had 5 people there and was very quiet indeed. Seems to me that the Minnie campaign is energized and much stronger this time than last. They have had their office open since spring and have been identifying vote throughout. If the Liberals can muster a good E day system and work hard, this riding could move away from O'Toole. People remember how John O'Toole always campaigned on being part of the Government was good for Durham, with the Libs poised to win, his own advice may come back to haunt him. I find it interesting to read how the "mavericks" are gonna survive, and maybe they will, but it sure will make for an interesting Tory caucus if all they have left are likes of Murdoch,Arnott,O'Toole and Flaherty all of whom have criticized Eves at one time or another. Im calling this one for Minnie by 1,200.
29/09/03 G.M.
Everyone checking this board is no doubt active in partisan politics, so each posting must be read with that in mind, mine included. The previous posting, however, is a case in point. Heavy on partisan hyperbole, light on any factual basis for his prediction, and devoid of real knowledge of the subject matter he posted. While Mr. Kemp is a nice guy from a good family, it is well known that the Tory vote largely stayed home out of frustration that the Tory MPP Cureatz had not re-offered due to rumours of a deal he had made with Peterson for an appointment. This enraged the grassroots, but the irony was that the seat did not even go Liberal, and Peterson ultimately lost and could not come through with his end of the bargain. That being the case, Mr. Kemp stepped forward for the cause, but was young, inexperienced, and did not have a great campaign. The fact that O'Toole beat out another councillor and several others for the nomination leading up to the 1995 election shows that people expected the seat to go back to blue even while Harris was in second place in the polls. The party was certainly pleading with Kemp to reoffer and he did not even run. O'Toole is known as a hard worker and is extremely well versed on the issue, which is the reason why he is pointman on so many initiatives. Having also been a local councillor for years, he is obviously doing something right. The poster made no mention of the Liberal candidate, who did not do well last time and appears not to have learned from the experience. Friends tell me that he has not even sent out a mailer to the riding. While the riding does have a federal Liberal MP, he is an awkward backbencher, who has voted against his government many times to reduce waves in the riding. I predict that O'Toole will win due to his own track record locally and the Tory traditions of the riding. It will certainly be much closer than previous elections, but if this seat goes the PCs are facing a provincial version of the 1993 federal election.
28/09/03 Tory in Dixie
Email: canadien76@hotmail.com
Say what you will about Mr. Toole's comments on the negativity of the Tory campaign, (pale by American standards, to be sure), under the current polls showing a Liberal swing of about 8 points, he should be one of the safe ones.
28/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
To MS, I will agree with you that "Initials" is obviously a Tory partisan but we still must be realistic here. You stated that you believe the Tory-Liberal numbers would be reversed. That would mean a 25% swing (50% diffence) and that ain't gonna happen. O'Toole still could lose on a red wave across the province and especially 905 but he has gained a reputation for himself as somewhat of a maverick. This could help win (which I think it will, hence my prediction) or hurt him (in which case you are right). But we must look at examples of what has happened to such "mavericks". Take, say Bill Murdoch in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound. He criticizes Ernie all the time. My family owns a cottage in that riding and the constituents love him. In doesn't matter that his party poisoned their water but they love BILL. I cannot really speak on behalf of Durham but politicians who do stupid things tend to get re-elected, as stated below we must only look to Ralph Klein in Alberta. O'Toole was known across the province before "birdgate" and the criticizing of Ernie due to his no cell phone and driving stance and I can tell you, in my community, we respect him for that. I understand my community (Scarborough) doesn't get to vote in Durham but we'd be more inclined to vote O'Toole, even if he is arrogant, than pitbull Steve Gilchrist or non-existent Marylin Mushinski. This will be close and for all intents and purposes should be listed as "too close to call" but I feel that O'Toole will be the sole survivor in Durham Thursday night by about 1,500 votes.
26/09/03 M.S. from Durham
To Gerry Kennedy, my point was that since 1990, the riding has always voted with the government, both Provincially and Federally. Yes, it did go Tory in 87, but the population has greatly changed in Durham since 87, making it far less the Tory-loyal place it once was. Courtice and North East Oshawa and to a smaller extent, Port Perry and Bowmanville have seen a great influx of people moving in, largely from Toronto, with far less loyalty to the Tories. And to the person that was unwilling to give an name or even initials, you talk about O'toole as few in the riding except O'toole staffers do. You portray him as hardworking, and serving his constituents well. What I hear more often is an image of an arrogant, elitist, voice of the goverment, more likely to lecture voters for disagreeing with his party's stance. No one I have talked to, seemed at all surprized by his display in the legislature or his lying about it afterwards - this is the John O'toole his voters now know. Finally to your point about the NDP winning in 1990, only because of a weak Tory candidate. Yes Kirk Kemp was inexperienced, but a respected small businessman from a well-known, well-liked family of the riding should have been enough to win a 'Tory strong-hold', like Durham was supposed to be. Unfortunately for Kirk, the Tory tide was going out and he had no coat-tails to get elected on. Much like the situation O'toole now finds himself in. Kirk Kemp had no track record politically. Unfortunately for O'toole, he has a poor track record to weigh him down.
25/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
The uninformed posting of "MS from Durham" demands a response. The Tories won this riding in '87! The riding, which is 90% of the Old Durham East has never been held by the Grits. Any votes O'Toole may have lost due to so-called "birdgate" he made up for by attacking Ernie on the campaign trail and appearing to local voters that he is sticking up for them. I agree that the margin will be much closer considering the red wave going across Ontario. However, O'Toole should hang on. The notion that the Liberal and Tory numbers will be reversed is ludicrous. If Ontario voters go all out and truly whip the Tories, there is an outside chance Durham could switch hands by a couple of percentage points but that would require the Tories going even lower in the polls.
23/09/03 Initials
The last person whose posted, despite being from Durham, obviously doesn't have the greatest grip on this riding. Durham, as many others have posted is a Tory riding. The NDP won in 1990 by a slim margin (notice on the other hand O'toole has dominated the last two elections) and only because the PC's ran a young, unknown candidate instead of someone strong like Sam Cureatz. Also, as has been repeadetly stressed, John knows his riding. He was a local councillor and trustee for many years before becoming MPP. He is known to work hard for his constituents (even when their interests conflict with his own) and is well known and liked locally. The finger will cost him a couple votes, but not enough to swing the riding. Durham is till very rural on its eastern and northern borders, and John also gets the higher income houses in the suburbs of North Oshawa. His only trouble spot may be Clarington, and that's his hometown!! I admit it will be closer than last time, but John will prevail.
19/09/03 M.S. from Durham
I don't see why this riding is not being rated as too close to call. The signage, the talk on the street I hear as a resident of the riding all suggest a close race. I really think this is more of a swing riding than a Tory riding - 1990, 1995, 1999-provincially; 1993,97 2000 federally, the riding has consistently voted with the winning party. O'toole won on Tory coat tails in 95 and 99 and with the Tories trailing by 14 points, he is big trouble. After his stunts like flipping the bird in the legislature, does he not realize he needs a strong cetral campaign to hang on to his seat? You would think he might think of more effective strategy than slamming his own leader. I see the Liberal PC numbers from the last election in this riding reversing this time.
19/09/03 J.S
Email: jarrow_crusade1936@hotmail.com
The fuss over "the finger" is long gone now...and O'Toole has managed to avoid *any* anti Harris-Eves mania, by tearing a pound of flesh of Eves(well...not *actual* flesh...political flesh, but...)
18/09/03 Gerrard
Nice to se John O'Toole giving Ernie the et tu Brute treatment in Port Perry yesterday. There was the premier, saying how his elction ads about McGuinty weren't attack ads, and there was O'Toole, saying how he deplored his government's attack ads. This is why O'Toole will survive despite being, by most accounts, the only man the Tory caucus hates more than Richard Brennan. The man is a cunning, cunning local politician and he knows exactly when to jump ship.
08/07/03 initial
Email: jarrow_crusade1936@hotmail.com
Its odd how places with the same name, can be so very different. This Durham is farmland+suburbia whereas Durham in the U.K(the original Durham), is industrial+ex-mining. The NDP would certainly prefer this to be Durham in the U.K, which is of course a Labour stronghold. But this is Durham, Ontario. This is a Tory stronghold. But then I read about what the MPP had been getting up to recently. It is possible that the "finger incident" might win it for the Liberals. I still think the Tories will win here... But not sure enough.
25/06/03 WD
Freedom Party at 5% in Durham? A narrow win for O'Toole? You don't know this riding at all, I am afraid. Durham is as Tory as they come, and while the results are going to be closer than last time, O'Toole is going to win. The Freedom Party isn't even on the radar. I'd be surprised if they break 1%.
09/06/03 Craig
Several unknowns hover over this riding. The 'natural' results would suggest a narrow Tory win, but O'Toole has been scandal-ridden lately and the presence of the Freedom Party could play a role (although they will not get beyond mid-single digits for sure, it could tip the balance). A rematch of 1999 that will be decided in later polls, if the Tories can eat back into the Liberal lead then they will hold on but if they keep falling they will lose the seat. Predicted results: PC 44%, LIB 42%, FPO 5%, NDP 3%, Green 3%.
21/05/03 Grizz
Despite O'Toole's recent stupidity (the finger incident and subsequent lies) I still feel that he will be re-elected. I trully hope I am wrong on this one, however I have found that when politicians (and particularly, dare I say, ones running in right-leaning areas) do offensive/stupids acts as O'Toole has done (as has Ralph Klein in Alberta), they end up winning. Reason being; it gives them a "commoners edge" to them. Really I think it makes them look like an ass.
23/05/03 WD
John O'Toole flipped the bird, lied about it and then lied about lying about it. But it doesn't matter. Looking at community papers, public opinion (especially male) seems to be on his side (ie: everyone gets angry, the media are making a big deal out of nothing, people behave like jerks in the House all the time, Trudeau did worse, etc). "Birdgate" will erode support for O'Toole, but not cost him the election. Despite not being on the outs with both Harris and Eves (and repeatedly passed over for cabinet), O'Toole is a wily political veteran who knows which buttons to push in his consituency. His Liberal opponent, on the other hand, is invisible.
17/05/03 R.H.
John O'Toole is still struggling with the truth. In the Wednesday, May 14 edition of the Ajax News Advertiser, Mr. O'Toole says he initially denied making an obscene hand gesture to NDP MPP Peter Kormos when confronted during a media scrum outside the legislature because he was unsure what he was being asked by the reporter. "The fact is, I didn't know what he meant by flipping the bird," he maintains in the newspaper article. It was only after the videotape of the proceedings was reviewed that Mr. O'Toole apologized for making the rude gesture. However, on the Saturday, May 17 airing of Global's Focus Ontario, the media scrum that Mr. O'Toole was referring to was aired on television. During that scrum, the phrase "give him the finger" was used on more than one occasion by Global's Graham Richardson when questioning Mr. O'Toole and there was no mention of the phrase "flipping the bird" by Richardson. Clearly, Mr. O'Toole has not learned his lesson as he continues to deny the facts of the incident, even in the presence of video evidence of the media scrum. With one lie leading to another, Mr. O'Toole faces the dim prospect of recovering his reputation that has been significantly damaged to the point that Mr. Minnie should now be the favourite to win the riding of Durham.
13/05/03 R.H.
John O'Toole has just become the poster boy for the Tories' contempt of the legislature by giving the middle finger to members of the opposition in the House during the debate over the presentation of the budget. Mr. O'Toole has committed the epitome of a career-limiting move. By making such an inappropriate gesture and then denying it until provided with the video evidence, Mr. O'Toole has proven beyond any doubt that a picture is worth a thousand words. The sneer on his face, coupled with the raising of his middle finger is an image that has been seen on media outlets, not only in Ontario, but throughout the country. This is an image that he will not be able to separate himself from. By acting in such a vulgar manner when debating issues of tradition within the legislature, Mr. O'Toole's character has been damaged to the point that no matter what he has to say during the election campaign, the voters are bound to remember this incident. Mr. O'Toole's self-destruction will propel Gary Minnie to victory in this riding.
13/05/03 Mark
What a picture of O'Toole - a angry grimacing face as he flips the bird. When does he do it - during a debate about parlamentary proceedure and decorum. Very nice, only if he had mooned the opposition could it have been more offensive. This is a very hard seat for the liberals to win but if I was working in their camp I would be using that photo to great effect. "What does your member have to say about parlamentary proceedure and democratic process" -- display photo. The only problem is that it is so offensive it is hard to send out. Maybe the opposition should just call for him to be 'suspended' using the same rules they want schools to follow when such behaviour is exhibitied.
04/04/03 Dave
A rematch of 99,I see this one swinging the other way this time. Seems O'Toole is viewed as a do nothing backbencher. Minnie has been getting very warm response from the previously strong Tory rural areas. The Liberals have already set up a large office in Bowmanville,and Minnie is on the streets. Rumour has it that there was some polling done in the Durham region that shows the Liberals with a solid lead. Minnie needs a strong showing by McGuinty and the central Liberal campaign to help him ride to victory. The Libs have nominated well across the region, except for Oshawa and thats a Ryan-Oulette battle anyway.
14/11/02 Andrew Cox
1) the Eastern 905 is much more conservative than either the Northern or Western stretches. Growth is slower here, and the economy more blue-collar. The population is more hetrogenous. And big parts of this riding especially are rural. Any anti-Tory provincial swing won't move as far around here. 2) O'Toole is a strong local campaigner who works his riding well. 3) O'Toole is on the fringe of the 905, where it turns to a more rural "Tory heartland" feel. He is much more secure than a few of his counterparts in Mississauga, and certainly safer than those in the "inner suburbs" of Scarborough, East York or Etobicoke. 4) Three local cabinet ministers mean programs tend to go to their ridings rather than the sole Durham backbencher, O'Toole. But people here tend to think region-wide, rather than "my backyard." All in all, a Tory seat.
09/11/02 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
Farm country + Flahertyan suburbia/exurbia, and O'Toole's a good grassroots performer. Formula for a hold--this was generally Tory country even during the Peterson-era provincial PC nadir. (Darlington? What's that?)

Information Submission

Return to 905 Regional Index
Ontario Provincial Election Prediction
© 1999-2002 Election Prediction Project - www.electionprediction.com - Email Webmaster