Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003

Prince Edward-Hastings

Last Update:
4:40 PM 07/10/2003

Prediction Changed:
4:40 PM 01/10/2003

Political Profile:

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Liberal Party:
Ernie Parsons
Progressive Conservative:
John Williams
New Democratic Party:
Jodie Jenkins
Green Party:
Joseph Ross

Ernie Parsons

Federal MP:
Hon. Lyle Vanclief

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

17987 45.11%

17931 44.97%

2877 7.22%

441 1.11%

203 0.51%

188 0.47%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality10 348
Lyle Vanclief
20 055 50.5%
Jim Graham
9 707 24.4%
Dennis Timbrell
8 083 20.3%
Jason Gannon
1 897 4.8%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation62.50%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born91.28%
Ontario Born79.72%
Visible Minority2.13%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$134250

College/Trade School24460

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01/10/03 Better Informed
Email: trishane@sympatico.ca
Well the local paper is supporting Ernie Parsons. Their editorial on Tuesday was titled: "Our message to Parsons, should he win". The link can be found at: http://www.intelligencer.ca/webapp/sitepages/content.asp?contentid=44672&catname=Editorial Willams definately was not well received in the county according to the Intelligencer. The article titled: Williams pounded at final debate Can be found at: http://www.intelligencer.ca/webapp/sitepages/content.asp?contentID=44670&catname=Local+News
01/10/03 r.r.
Liberal Bus came to town with a stirred up 300+ people attending an invitation only rally with people just dropping in and having to wait outside to see the Liberal Leader.....this contrasts with the 80 dispirited people that greeted the Tory leader this week....all indications are this will not be close...timing is everything and it is a shame that a strong Tory candidate this time seems to be getting swept aside.
01/10/03 SB
Parsons is finished here. Williams has run an excellent campaign here and he will win this riding. He has seperated himself from his party's brand name as much as possible and this riding will be Tory Blue on Oct. 2.
01/10/03 TB
I would expect a close race here tomorrow but I agree with those who say that same sex marriage is an issue here as Belleville is fairly conservative that way. I think the only way for Parsons to pull it off would be to win Belleville and hope for a few polls in the county to come through. But, if the NDP can pull enough votes from the Libs that could be just the difference that Williams will need to win.
30/09/03 J. D.
In the last election, Ernie Parsons won by only 56 votes, but he was facing a candidate from Prince Edward county who had the rural vote. Some of the county people will vote PC because their families always have. But, more will vote for the man they know and they have come to know Parsons as someone who cares enough to attend all functions and tries to meet them personally. They do not know Mr. Williams at all. In addition, Parsons only lost two polls in Belleville last time, and Mr. Williams has done nothing to change that. Williams signs are big and appear on public land or on business properties, very few are found on private property. One man who had a Williams sign indicated he was voting for Parsons and only had the sign because he knew Williams' wife and like her so he said he would display a sign. PC supporters may hope that the NDP will siphon off votes, but in reality they are grasping at straws. My prediction is that it will not even be close.
28/09/03 Better Informed
A curious development in the Tory campaign, the Williams office close up shop on Saturday. Were they renovating or moving for the victory party? It is unknown at this point in time. All factors are pointing towards a Liberal government (even according to the small 'c' conservative paper "Globe and Mail) and a Liberal in PE-H. The last election was EXTREMELY close for Parsons, but it is always hard to challenge the incumbent. The same factor that will be working in Parsons favour this election. As well in the last election Parsons was against a Conservative (Gary Fox) that was local to Prince Edward county which has a bit of a Conservative history (althought a NDP was once elected!). Gary Fox's coming from the county helped him a great deal in the county. This election, Parsons is against what is viewed as a "Big Business" Tory that has no known roots in the country. The lack of roots in the county will hurt Williams. Meanwhile, Parsons has not forgotten the county. Parsons has gone to bat for the residence of the county on many issues including the Walleye fishing ban and attempts to cut down the county hospital down to almost nothing. Williams background will no doubt impress the Multi-Millionaire vote.. But one of the biggest employeers in Belleville (formerly known as Stream) pays around $10/hour...how will they vote? As far as Jenkins appeal goes, first of all I have not seen any NDP signs on any lawns. Secondly, the more traditional voters are not impressed with the image he is try to portray. Thirdly, young voters only make up one part of the demographics. Does he appeal to voters over 30? over 40? over 50? The thing about elections is you can never truly guess how the voters will vote, and who will come out. But if past trends are any indication, people grow tired of one governments policies and will try something new (i.e. Vote in a Liberal government).
25/09/03 Cosmonaut
Here are the election results from 1990: NDP 33% in the Prince Edward riding and a win and 24% in Quinte for second. Admittedly the NDP would have been third in 1990 without the Family Coalitiona and Confederation of Regions candidates. This isn't to say that the NDP will get this riding this year but it is to say that there is some support in the region. But if you talk to NDP canvassers across the province they are getting positive reactions at the door compared to what happened in 1995 and 1999. Jenkins is a personable candidate with great communication skills and brings youth to the table. Jenkins I suspect could increase the NDP vote to 12 to 15% which may hurt Parsons significantly. Ironically, with the Liberals being at 50% right now in the polls - this might hurt Parsons as the strategic voting argument could becomes toast.
24/09/03 Christopher J. Currie
Email: 8cjc1@qlink.queensu.ca
As I've noted on the Stormont-Dundas-Charlottenburgh file, this may be one of the few genuinely vulnerable Liberal seats in the current cycle. If memory serves, no-one posting to the 1999 election prediction site contemplated that Ernie Parsons would be elected; as something of an accidental MPP, he's obviously something of a target now. Ultimately, though, the provincial swing will probably outweigh local factors. Unless things go horribly wrong between now and election day, the Liberals should form government -- in which case, they'll probably have enough support to carry all of their "doubtful" seats. The voters of Prince Edward-Hastings may be socially conservative on some issues, but they've elected Lyle Vanclief four times (even in 1988, when the Tories still dominated the federal scene); my guess is that they'll re-elect Parsons as well. (As to the NDP performing better than expected ... in PE-H, what does that *really* amount to?)
23/09/03 Mr. Plow
There have been a lot of surprises in Prince Edward Hastings in this campaign. First of all, many people have been surprised as what a good campaign the New Democrats are running with Jodie Jenkins. I haven't see this much support for the NDP in years. Another surprise is the weakness of the Ernie Parsons campaign. I don't think Ernie did enough to build up his organization over the last four years and it's costing him now. The Liberals are able to match what the Conservatives are doing with the John Williams campaign. Money doesn't win elections but it helps and Williams seems to have a lot more money to run his campaign that Parsons does. The Williamns campaign seems to be using petitions about same sex marriage to get people involved with their campaign and I see this working. I have come to the conclusion that John Williams will defeat Ernie Parson with Jodie Jenkins getting much more support than people think.
23/09/03 Andrew Cox
Liberal Hold. Reason. The latest Ipsos-Reid shows a wide Liberal lead in the area (Lib 54%, PC 30%, NDP 8%). That helps a Liberal incumbent, showing support in the region is running ahead of where it was in 1999. More significant is a less noted fact. Most analysts think this will be an organization fight between Parsons' ability to pull Liberal vote in Belleville and Williams' ability to pull PC vote in the rural townships. Unfortunate for Williams is a cross-Ontario trend showing the Liberals ahead (48% Lib to 34% PC) in rural Ontario. Rural voters who cast PC votes in the last two contests look ready to either stay home or even cast Grit ballots.
22/09/03 Cosmonaut
Beans claims that Jenkins is the most dynamic NDP candidate in the region but then refers to him as "her". The Jenkins campaign in PEH seems to have some things going for it (office in a strip plaza on a main street in Belleville rather than in a hidden away union office donated to the party, as well as a RV painted with NDP Logo and Jenkins name) which seem to indicate that the campaign is well financed. But I have yet to see lawn signs or canvassing from him. If the Tories are depending on Jenkins taking support away from Parsons instead of themselves taking away his support, their campaign must be in bad shape. Williams has his own problems in Freedom Party candidate and "tax fighter" Trueman Tuck taking away votes
20/09/03 Beans
Jodie Jenkins has turned out to be the best NDP candidate in this part of the province. Jenkins and her team have a real profile here and should increase the NDP vote total by quite a bit. The votes Jenkins attracts come from Ernie Parsons who doesn't seem to be working as hard as he did back in the last election. John Williams is the favourite to win this seat because the NDP are back to where they were before the last election and Parsons is not picking up support from the PC base at all. All the planets lined up for Parsons last time but it looks like Williams will take over this time.
19/09/03 Donut Shop Dave
The last time I checked the polls, the Liberals and the Conservatives were in a dead heat in Eastern Ontario. Looks like it's going to stay that way and that means the local candidates and campaigns will make the difference. John Williams has out campaigned Ernie Parsons on the hot botton issues in this riding like same sex marriage and private school tax credits. Williams has the business community backing him because of his years as a leading member of the chamber of commerce. Parsons is going to make this a close race but Williams is going to finish ahead of him.
18/09/03 The Big Ape
Email: thebigape2000@hotmail.com
Despite what many of the other pundits seem to be saying this is going to stay Liberal. The dates of the postings all seem to predate the election call, when the Torys were sitting pretty. The tide has turned in favor of the Liberals and I'm willing to wager that most if not all Liberals will be returned to power. Keep in mind this went Liberal with Mike Harris as PC leader, a far more charismatic and popular man that Eves currently is.
17/09/03 Craig
This is the only seat the Tories are likely going to snare down an incumbent in, simply because Ernie Parsons got 'lucky' last time with strategic voting. That luxury appears to be gone, the NDP are stronger and that will be the difference, along with the fact that this is a very right-wing riding in real fact and some anger at the federal government may spread to the provincial Liberals. Current prediction: Williams 44%, Parsons 36%, Jenkins 15%, others 5%.
02/08/03 Frozen Toast
Here's a big issue that nobody has talked about here. This riding is bible belt territory and they are very upset by Jean Chretien and the federal Liberals for pushing ahead to make same sex marriages legal. No matter what he says, Liberal MPP Ernie Parsons gets tied to what the federal wing of the party is doing and it's very unpopular in Prince Edward County. John Williams is quietly using this issue to get people involved in the provincial election so they can let off some steam. The same sex issue is the one that puts a lock on this riding for Williams and puts an end to the provincial career of Ernie Parsons.
01/08/03 Better Informed
Ernie Parsons thinks he is in trouble? Ernie Parsons not in Toronto? These are two very interesting comments. From what I know of Ernie Parsons he is not a Politician to take anything for granted. He has remained active, not invisible through his entire term. He has stood up on a variety of issues being pushed by the Tory government. In the early months of the summer not only was he actively working on his campaign but he spoke in Queen's Park on several occasions (to find out for yourself do a search at: http://hansardindex.ontla.on.ca/ type "Parsons" and select the most recent sitting 37:4, my search found 29 hits).
If Parsons or Williams is "more active" or "generates more buzz" is a matter of perspective and can be affected by the party you support. That aside, the PC's has made several decisions that negatively affect residents of this riding. For example, the energy deregulation affects a number of rural voters who depend on electricity for heating (increasing the cost of heating their home passed what they can afford). Other examples include the Walleye fishing ban, the Richmond dump expansion, and the underfunding of the local hospitals. The concerns of the non-Toronto ridings are being continuously ignored by the PC leadership (both Harris and now Eves). This was reflected by how voters voted the last election and it would be a surprise to see any of those ridings lost back to the PC's.
12/07/03 Hop on Pop
Ernie Parsons was able to take this seat by 56 votes last time because everything went his way. The NDP ran a very poor candidate in Bev Campbell and the small base of NDP support in the riding was split between Campbell and Parsons. I'm not talking about a lot of people here but when you win by 56 votes, it doesn't take a lot to make the difference. This time the NDP have a much better candidate in Jodie Jenkins and the party as a whole is up in the poles. This will mean some of the NDP core support which backed Parsons in 1999 will return home. The Tories too have improved the quality of their candidate this time. John Williams is going to make it possible for the Tories to win this race.
04/07/03 Hotdog
Ernie Parsons has been invisible since his surpise victory in 1999. The Tories have a real star candidate in John Williams. Williams has been a very successful businessman who's created a lot of jobs in this riding. I don't think you'll see another miracle victory for Parsons this time. Williams is just too good a candidate to lose.
24/06/03 Political Hack
Can Landslide Ernie Parsons hang on and win this seat for a second time? I don't think that's going to happen. People talk about John Williams and his money. That's not the key here. John Williams is a very good speaker and generates a buzz in this community in a way Parsons never will. That's why Williams is going to win.
13/06/03 Da Man
Liberals...Tories? I would keep an eye out for that Jenkins kid....so far he has picked his spots quite well and is making a buzz...word has it he is in with Williams to take votes from the Liberals.
06/06/03 Scoop Jackson
My Liberal contacts tell me that Ernie Parson thinks he's in trouble in his riding. Parson is spending almost all his time in Prince Edward-Hastings and is not seen at Queen's Park much any more. The Tories really went after John Williams to be their candidate as they feel they let this riding slip away in 1999 and need it back if they have any hope of holding on to power. From what I hear, Williams has used his business contacts and person wealth to fill his campaign bank account while Parsons, like many Liberals is very low on cash. I'm told there are a number of party staff people on the ground for both parties trying to make sure they take this riding.
05/06/03 JLS
According to the City of Pickering website, Wayne Arthurs filed his papers to run for mayor on February 4, 2003 at 10:00 AM. It looks like he's already hedging his bets. With a provincial election in the fall (probably October), it's going to be very interesting to see how Wayne tries to finesse running for two elected positions at the same time. Stay tuned...
13/05/03 Grizz
So the Tory's have some millionaire throwing money into his campaigne. Big deal. Voters want a CHANGE. This means that since they have a liberal incumbant, they will keep that incumbant to help bring about that change in government. Especially if it looks for certain that the liberals will win, the voters are going to want in on the spoils of victory and vote even strongly for the Liberal incumbant. Just look what happened reciently in Quebec...
14/04/03 THE GAMBLER
The Gambler is putting his money on John Williams to win Prince Edward-Hastings. This is another one of my exclusive upset specials. The mega bucks Williams will use his money to roll over LIB Ernie Parsons. Look for Williams to end up in the winner's circle. This one is a lock and you heard it here first.
14/02/03 El Predicto
The Toris learned in 1999 and came up with a much stronger candidate this time in millionaire John Williams. Williams is very high profile as a hotel owner in the riding and will have more than enough cash to run his big campaign. Ernie Parsons is seen as a good man in the riding but isn't a dynamic performer. This will hurt him. This is another riding where the federal Liberal gun registry will hurt the provincial party. Add to that lots of money from the government this spring and you can mark this one down for the Tories.
07/01/03 D. C.
The P.C. nomination here was won by Quinte West city councillor John Williams over former MPP Doug Rollins(Quinte West is a city that comprises the former City of Trenton, Sidney Township, Murray Township and Town of Frankford - the Trenton and Murray wards are in Northumberland while the Frankford and Sidney wards are in Prince Edward Hastings). Williams represents Sidney Ward. He is also a well known businessman as a hotelier - he recently sold the Ramada Inn in Belleville and the Holiday Inn in Trenton for a substantial sum of money to a Hotel Investment Trust. He still maintains ownership of the Best Western in Belleville.
Ernie Parsons also has been a relatively high profile MPP and was well known locally before he ran for parliament (former Chair of the Public Board of Ed., Children's Aid Society board member). He has been high profile on what may be an important issue re fishing restrictions on the Bay of Quinte for Walleye which was an unpopular decision in early 2002 by the Conservatives.
Parsons narrowly beat a weaker opponent in the last election (the joke with Gary Fox and Doug Rollins whose ridings combined to form this new riding was : Is it true at Queen's Park that they call you Dumb and Dumber) However Parsons benefits from incumbency. Also Fox was from the Prince Edward County portion of the riding which meant he drew support there that Williams might not necessarily draw. Right now it is too close to call but my inclination would be to lean towards Parson being re-elected (as he stands a chance of entering cabinet if the Libs win)
02/01/03 S. Webb
Ernie Parsons will need to do a lot of explaining to his rural constituents about his voting record. Like his neighbour in HFLA, he voted against Double Hatters and against the Farm Unionization bill... two very important pieces of legislation to rural voters. Perhaps he is hoping to win the riding by conceding the rural area (Picton, etc...) and concentrating on Belleville. Very risky for someone who won by 50 votes. I don't know why McGuinty would whip the votes on those two issues, thus screwing his rural members
15/11/02 Andrew Cox
Too close to call. Reasons. 1) Tightest race in the province in 1999, although 56 is a landslide compared to Nipissing in 2002. 2) The Liberals have the advantage of incumbency. Ernie Parsons reminds me of another Ernie who squeaked into office, then worked his community diligently to secure reelection. (Ernie Eves won his seat again in the 1985 election by a healthy 6% in the face of a losing central campaign.) 3) The PCs will obviously focus a ton of resources on this race. But they don't seem to be having much luck getting a star candidate out of the gate. Word is Gary Fox may take a second shot at the race. Defeated MPPs rarely make good candidates. 4) The riding is getting more urban as Belleville grows. That helps the Grits. Overall, this one needs to wait until the PCs nominate before any prediction could be made.
16/10/02 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
The tightest '99 result in Ontario (albeit not tight enough for a recount), and one of the vaguely flukey Grit pickups through strategic voting. (As one may guess, Grit-leaning urban Belleville outflanked its Tory-voting rural fringe.) Therefore, at this early stage, too close to call--like the adjacent and even more surprising Hastings et al, this is a combination of dead-cert Tory target and dead-cert Liberal must-hold...

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