Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003


Last Update:
3:09 PM 01/10/2003

Prediction Changed:
17 October 2002

Political Profile:

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Liberal Party:
Dennis Fox
Progressive Conservative:
Jim Flaherty
New Democratic Party:
Dan Edwards
Green Party:
Michael McDonald

Jim Flaherty

Federal MP:
Judi Longfield

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

27623 57.85%

16235 34%

3889 8.15%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality12 534
Judi Longfield
25 693 52.7%
Shaun Gillespie
13 159 27%
Rob Chopowick
7 563 15.5%
Vic Perroni
2 359 4.8%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation72.70%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born79.07%
Ontario Born69.17%
Visible Minority11.09%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$182674

College/Trade School28070

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01/10/03 Jordan
I predict Whitby-Ajax will go Tory because there are not enough teachers in the riding to swing the vote! I don't know very much about Dennis Fox and the numerous flyers I received from Mr. Fox (distributed by local teachers) have attacked Mr. Flaherty or stated Liberal party rhetoric, but failed to tell me anything about Mr. Fox. Flaherty is a fixture in Whitby and has proven his loyalty to the riding and Mr. Fox will have to do a better job of proving his value to the entire riding if he expects to be elected. The last thing this riding needs is a liberal teachers union rep.
01/10/03 Campbell
Things are likely to play out somewhat differently in Whitby-Ajax then the rest of Ontario. Jim Flahery has been running a superb local campaign (helped by people who live in the soon to be Tory dead zone of the 416) and has Fox simply outgunned on the ground. Durham residents know that he has deliverd the goods in his time as an MPP (local hospital, expanded GO service etc.) and rightly see him as a potential future leader of the party and Premier. Given a choice between a teacher's union rep who would be destined to spend his entire career on the backbenches and the man who could be the next Premier, Whitby-Ajax voters are going to make the smart choice.
30/09/03 R.H.
Here comes Dalton! McGuinty will be visiting Dennis Fox's campaign office on the last day before the vote. Obviously, Flaherty is in trouble, but will he lose his seat? On one hand, the lack of a NDP presence in this riding could be his downfall. On the other hand, Flaherty has been pushing the Tory platform more effectively than Eves. I guess it helps when the platform is largely Flaherty's! My gut says Tory in this one!
30/09/03 Tory in Dixie
Email: canadien76@hotmail.com
I add my name to the chorus on this page who feel that Flaherty is too strong to knock off. He is not exactly associated with Eves, and he can play a central role in bringing the party back to a conservative point of view, whether it happens in government or in opposition. And the province will undoubtedly be the better for it !
30/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
I'm now confident about this one. Ipsos-Reid says the Tories are 10% back in Durham. Now Oshawa frigs this up but even if the Tories are 10% behind the Liberals in Oshawa (ha ha), Ecker would have to lose by 30% to allow O'Toole and Flaherty to tie! I don't think so. (This poll does have a large margin of error but would you even suggest that Ecker would do 20% poorer than Flaherty?) And O'Toole is the safest of the four so Flaherty looks like he's definately going down. God only knows who the next Tory leader will be.
29/09/03 A
Craig says, presumably with a straight face, that "Flaherty is too strong to lose, even though his party faces a hard defeat. The voters know that he is a very popular and inspirational candidate (he inspired the Eves re-election campaign)". Well, yes, the central Tory campaign has been run by Flaherty supporters on Flaherty's issues and it's tanking. If Flaherty's hot-button style of politics is proving a disaster in the rest of the province why would they be any more successful in Whitby-Ajax, a traditional bellweather riding? The shocker of Election night will be the defeat of both Tony Clement and Jim Flaherty.
Email: merrit_p@yahoo.com
Andrew, I received the Flaherty video and it does feature the PC logo. At the end, but it's there. So does his website and all of his literature. I don't think you can argue that Flaherty is running from his party. Flaherty was just endorsed by the local newspaper and he seems to have a surprising amount of local popularity for an urban/suburban MPP. The only factor that he should be worried about is a very weak local NDP campaign.
28/09/03 Q.M.
I guarantee a victory for Fox in Whitby-Ajax. Mr. Flaherty is working hard but is now coming from behind and Fox will out work him in the last few days just like he did throughout the spring and summer. If Flaherty wins it will be by the slightest of margins.
28/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
And now for my "wishful thinking" prediction. Nothing would please me more than to see Flaherty lose and I think he just might. Even my Tory friends think he is a fascist. We are witnessing a thirty-five point swing in the 905 belt and Jim only won by 23% last time. Albeit, he is much higher profile and has a large ground team (his staff) that is dependent on him winning. He can probably count on about a 5% swing in his favour as a result. That still leaves him two percentage points behind. In addition to this, the Liberals will send a large ground team of their own out on e-day because defeating such a high profile member. Like Andrew Cox my head says Flaherty will survive (because it would otherwise be too good to be true) however my gut says Fox and I like to go with my gut.
28/09/03 Andrew Cox
Too Close to Call. I can't tell, I just can't tell. This I know for sure. 1) The Grits are way ahead in the 905 (11% in the latest Ipsos-Reid). 2) All Flaherty's leadership supporters are out of their home ridings and defending their leaders seat. 3) He's dropping re-edited versions of his leadership video all over the riding with no PC logo and no mention of Eves. 4) The Fox campaign is getting tons of resources poured into it from the Liberal central campaign. The Sun this morning said the Grits are hunting cabinet ministers and Flaherty has to be near the top of that list. Conclusion: My head says he will hold it by 2,000 votes. My gut says Flaherty is going down.
27/09/03 TM
This is a Liberal pick up. The McGuinty bus has changed their campaign schedule to knock off Jim Flaherty. The Tories are toast in the 905.
26/09/03 Craig
Flaherty is too strong to lose, even though his party faces a hard defeat. The voters know that he is a very popular and inspirational candidate (he inspired the Eves re-election campaign) and is likely to work hard as the Leader of the Opposition (unless they fall behind the NDP). The people here like the hard-right platform and someone who truly believes in them. As a result, Flaherty will be a key opposition force. Current prediction: Flaherty 50%, Fox 39%, Edwards 9%, others 2%.
26/09/03 Lincoln
Jim Flaherty should win in Whitby-Ajax. He is popular locally and preformed very well here in 1999. Dennis Fox works for one of the Teachers' Unions, and is not a simple educator as he claims. I have to think that the parents in Whitby-Ajax would rather choose the guy who first came up with the idea of banning teachers' strikes (Flaherty) than a guy who negotiates for the teachers (Fox). I have been through the riding several times and Flaherty has lots of signs up on private property, while Fox only has a few. Fox has lots up along open stretchs of concession roads, I guess the cows and corn will be voting Liberal. I'm not sure what good dozens of Liberal lawn signs stuck in the sholder of Taunton Road does. Despite declining poll numbers across the province, Flaherty will hang on in Whitby-Ajax.
25/09/03 Ellis
Flaherty performed extremely well last night at the Whitby-Ajax all candidates debate delivering a knock out blow to Dennis Fox when it was revealed that Mr. Fox had seconded a motion to close the Whitby General Hospital. Mr. Fox is a terrible debater who repeatedly had to ask for the question to be repeated. Furthermore there is an abundance of Flaherty signs on private property while there are very few Fox signs. This riding will be Flaherty's without a doubt.
25/09/03 J. Petruk
Flaherty held his own in the candidate debates against Fox on Rogers cable, and there doesn't seem to be much discontent in the Whitby newspapers. I would be extremely surprised to see him go down here. He's put up signs in the neighbourhood saying "Ban teachers strikes" and "Property tax credit". He knows what sells in his riding full of home owners and school children.
24/09/03 David
I'm going to go out on a limb here. The Liberals have to gain about 10 points in the overall poll, over the 1999 results, for this swing riding to fall to them. With the Tories below 35 province wide and the Liberals over 50, Flaherty will lose. My guess is Fox 45 Flaherty 44 Edwards 10 - if the overall poll numbers hold. Fox has run in several elections and comes from the same political background (Whitby Council) as federal MP Judi Longfield who scored over 50 per cent. Fox and Flaherty are neck and neck in the sign war. There are a lot of new voters in this riding who don't necessarily know the candidates, and traditional loyaties mean less than usual. Close one, with the nod to Fox.
13/09/03 Peter Misiaszek
Email: letstalk@sympatico.ca
Flaherty's to lose. Based strictly on signage, PC signs are in abundance on private property across the riding. There is a smattering of Liberal signs. In my journeys I did not see a single NDP sign with the exception of those at intersections (hence public property). The NDP and Liberals are toast here. Flaherty has this one in the bag.
08/09/03 WD
There is no way the Liberals will win this riding. Flaherty is too popular, too well organized, he has a high profile and this riding is too conservative. I'm willing to bet he takes it by an even bigger margin this time.
21/08/03 M.S.
This will be one of the biggest upsets of the election! Durham ridings will continue their post 1990 trend of voting with the winning party. I see McGuinty's lead growing once the election starts, and 3 of 4 Durham seats will go Liberal - this is not the exception. The Liberal candidate, Dennis Fox, while largely unknown outside the riding, is a well- repected city counsellor. He will ride the liberal coat-tails to victory.
01/05/03 Craig
As the Tories fall fast, this seat will be one of only a handful left for them. Jim Flaherty is too strong of a candidate, one of the star Tories and likely their leader after this election. The Liberals might make a run but the fast-shrinking Blue Machine will just have enough to get this and a few other seats in an otherwise embarrassing election year. Predicted results: PC 46%, LIB 39%, NDP 10%, Green 3%.
22/04/03 Justin Leonard
Sorry, I have to strongly disagree with Q.M.'s analysis. Here's why: 1) I live in Whitby and I've never heard of Mr. Fox; 2) If being on the "right" of a right-wing party is too controversial I don't know what the problem is. My own opinion in that Eves is in trouble precisely because he has abandoned the CSR; 3) I would be wary of comparing Quebec to Ontario. Why? a) Quebec politics is traditionally unstable with the electorate changing political loyalities after a party's second term of office - whether they've provided good government or not; b) soveriegnty is always a wild card; c) in Ontario "balance theory" works wonderfully whereby the electorate seeks to have an alternative to the national party govern at the provincial level. On the fourth point, the polls of today won't hold up come election time. The Liberals have a nasty habit of folding like a deck of cards during the campaign. The biggest wild card is Ernie Eves himself - even die in the wool Tories don't like him. He'll have to buy into the CSR once again if the PC's are to hold power.
21/04/03 KA
What is QM smoking...if Tories only won five seats in the Province....this would be one of them. Dennis Fox is a hot head and it will show
15/04/03 Q.M.
Prediction - Dennis Fox should give Mr. Flaherty a good run for his money and I predict a very narrow margin of victory for Fox. Reasons. 1) Mr. Fox is a well respected educator and local politician with strong local connections including the full support of local teacher's unions. 2) Mr. Flaherty is a good MPP but controversy with his party and leadership might hurt his campaign 3) As I have stated for all the Durham ridings, if the Quebec election has taught us anything, it is that the public is ready for a change and two terms of Conservatives in Ontario is enough, the current numbers prove this. 4) Again, if 45% of the popular vote gets you 61% of the seats in Quebec, then 53% of the popular vote in Ontario should capture 72% of the seats. Three of the four Durham ridings will go Red this year, this will likely be the third but will be a very, very close race.
01/04/03 B.N.
I didn't seriously just read that someone is predicting a Liberal upset in Whitby-Ajax? That is completely absurd. There are plenty of contestable ridings out there for both the PCs and Liberals, but this is NOT one of them. Nothing short of a 1993-Federal-PC-style collapse would cost Flaherty this seat, and even then, if only two PCs were elected, he'd probably be one of them. None of the points raised by Mr. Zimmer are grounded in anything except pure partisan rhetoric. I see that Mr. Misiaszek has already responded to Mr. Zimmer's comments, but I feel compelled to add to his rationale. 1) Flaherty not well known or only known by the elite? Nothing could be further from the truth. Flaherty was already well established in this riding before 1999, and he won handily. Since then his name-recognition has had nowhere to go but up due to his strong showing as the alternative to Eves in the leadership convention. His involvement in that contest also granted an elemen! t of clarity to his political views that virtually no other PC candidate in the province enjoys. Like him or not, you know what Flaherty stands for. 2) Small business not onside with the PCs? What are you joking? The small-business 905 demographic is exactly the core of the "new" PCs (aka post 1995 PCs). The party's core may still be traditional PCs, but the CSR was crafted for the interests of the Whitby-Ajax demographic. 3) Ivey League association? Where did this even come from - voters don't care at all about this, and if they did they wouldn't have elected him three times already - it's not as though this aspect of his suitability for office has changed since the last election.. 4) Leadership Fallout? To suggest that the party doesn't want Flaherty around because of the leadership is nonsense. Though he didn't win the leadership, his strong showing only solidified him as a key player for the present and future. 5) I can't see why on earth the NDP would vote Liberal to oust Flaherty, but let's just pretend you were right and all 3900 of them from 1999 voted for the Libs (making the NDP vote an unfathomable 0), Flaherty would still have won with a plurality of 8000 votes. The NDP are a non-issue here. They could not even run a candidate and it would make no difference. SUMMARY: There is absolutely no good reason to believe Flaherty is anything less than a shoe-in for Whitby-Ajax.
27/03/03 J Zimmer
I am surprised that Mr. Misiaszek's prediction was allowed to be posted. The guidelines I read said that we could not get personal or nasty. At least the spelling mistakes in Mr. Misiaszek's posting were limited to three, not bad for one paragraph, but should be enough to disqualify this prediction. I prefer to use extremely instead of "very, very" but let me start by using your own terminology. Your debunking was VERY, VERY weak, allow me to retort. 1) Just because Mr. Flaherty has money and high society friends with money does not make him a lock. The people of Whitby-Ajax do not know Mr. Flaherty only the elite 20% does 2) If Mr. Flaherty were a "red" Conservative he would have a chance at re-election. The last thing people want is a move further to the right 3) Only around 15% of people in this riding have a University education. Comparing housing prices between Whitby-Ajax and Oshawa is not relevant, how about comparing them to our neighbouring Pickering or Scarborough. 4) Mr. Flaherty is an MPP not an MP as you stated. My original position on this issue is clear enough. 5) Saying that the NDP faithful will remain faithful without some explanation is not enough to make your position convincing. And using my mention of the NDP to say that there is a chance this riding would ever return to the NDP is ridiculous. I said many NDP faithful would vote NDP again in 2007-8, not that they would win. See you on election night, I'll be the one standing in my driveway with the salt and pepper waiting for you to follow through on your promise.
25/03/03 Peter Misiaszek
Someone has been slipping something into Mr. Zimmer's coffee. His rationale for a Liberal victory in this reiding is very, very weak indeed. To debunk his commentary: 1) Flaherty is hardly a mystery candidate. He grew-up in the region an has a well regarded law practice in Whitby. He's paid his dues as well - running for the Tories in 1990. 2) Flaherty may have strong Conservative leanings but this is nothing new. His constituents knew where he stood in '90, '95 and '99 - his social conservativism shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. 3) To suggest he's not in touch with "the people" becuase of his ivy league past makes Whitby out to be some sort of crypto-communist enclave. Whitby's pretty upper crusted. It's a conservative town that - historically - has leaned to the right. Average dwelling prices and household incomes are much higher than neighbouring Oshawa. And Flaherty's plurality in '99 was rather significant. 4) Flaherty may oppose Eve's dismantling of the Common Sense Revolution but that doesn't necessarily mean the party is going to leave Whitby-Ajax to chance. Flaherty is a seasoned and well respected MP that represents a large social conservative constituency in the party - the brass won't let him sink. 5) The NDP faithful will vote NDP. And if you think Whitby is going to sink back to the aberation of '90 you're dreaming. The NDP has had it's day. Flaherty has a lock and if he doesn't win I'll eat my shirt!
21/03/03 J Zimmer
Liberal win in a very tight race. Reasons. 1) Jim Flaherty is a mystery candidate in terms of platform, very little is known about his true stance on issues other than he is a right wing Conservative (near Alliance status) 2) Small business still accounts for 80% of employment in this and other ridings, a sector where the Conservatives do not have a good track record 3) Flaherty's Ivy league schooling is not consistant with the local demographics, not in touch with the people 4) Flaherty's falling out with the PC leadership will likely create less support from the party in terms of help campaigning, fundraising, etc. 5) The NDP faithful will vote Liberal in this election just to see the Conservatives ousted. I am one so take it from me, and I know alot of others who will do this too. Back to NDP in 2007? Despite the above reasons, Mr. Flaherty will still make it a close race because he is the incumbent and has a lot of money to spend on his campaign.
14/11/02 Andrew Cox
Tory win. Reasons. 1) Eastern 905 is just more conservative than elsewhere in suburbia. Flaherty is a good fit. 2) GTA anti-poverty types will likely target Flaherty, due to his comments about jailing the homeless. Nothing will drive vote faster to the PCs here than OCAP trashing Flaherty's campaign headquarters. 3) Flaherty has brought government investment to the area, saved the local wetlands and opened a hockey arena. Basically, he's a good MPP. 4) That said, there are rumours Flaherty won't run again and will instead run federally before the next election. If an opportunity comes along for a shot at a federal Alliance seat or a legitimate shot at the federal PC leadership, he could go. That would obviously change the situation. 5) The local NDP is nowhere, which helps make the race a simple PC - Liberal fight. But the Liberals will need a lot of new votes to get Flaherty here. A solid PC seat that is almost unbeatable with Flaherty in it.
20/10/02 KN
I would be very surprised if Jim Flaherty is not the MPP for Whitby Ajax after the next election. The Whitby part of the riding is very conservative. Just as important; however, is the fact that his constituents love Flaherty and have supported him throughout his political career from the backbenches to becoming the Deputy Premier. Liberals have a very weak base outside Ajax.
16/10/02 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
I wouldn't be surprised if Jim Flaherty winds up with one of the five or ten best PC results in Ontario. Then again, I also wouldn't be surprised if he's in a tightly "targeted" race w/the Liberals, like Mike Harris vs George Maroosis in '99. Still, even if his rightward leanings rub some constituents the wrong way, he'll only lose if the Tories are absolutely skunked a la 1987...

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