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West Nova

Federal Election - 2004 - élection générale

Update/Mise à jour:
6:31 PM 6/26/2004

Prediction Changed
La prévision a changé
3:54 PM 6/27/2004

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Edmund Bull
Jon Carey
Green Party/Parti Vert:
Matthew Granger
Liberal Party/Parti libéral:
Robert Thibault

Population 2001
Number of electors 2000
Nombre d'électeurs

Incumbents/Les députés:
Kings-Hants (20.8%)
Hon. Scott Brison
West Nova (79.2%)
Hon. Robert Thibault

2000 Result/Résultats:
15,154 35.52%
14,760 34.60%
7,667 17.97%
4,887 11.46%
193 0.45%

(45/227 polls, 13657/72101 voters)
2000 Prediction/Complete Results

West Nova
(171/171 polls, 52079/52079 voters)
2000 Prediction/Complete Results

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24/06/04 Mike D
This is a super-tough one. I agree with the submission that calls this a Thibault-Bull contest. Apparently, despite the combined CA-PC vote from last election, the Carey's has been a flop. The only way the Conservatives can take this seat is with a last minute surge throughout Atlantic Canada - doubtful. Bull is an excellent NDP candidate and will carry some parts of the riding, but will probably lose the French areas heavily to Thibault. His strength among Acadians combined with incumbency give it to Thibault, but just barely.
24/06/04 NovaHammer
Email: [hidden]
Solid support seems to be building for NDP with proven grass roots success of Mr Bull. Valid credentials and experience in one candidate are unusual here.
Local debates had him shining above ousted Chretien Liberal Cabinet member.
24/06/04 MWGM
Email: [hidden]
I firmly believe that Robert Thibault will win this election, even though he is not seen as a strong representative of the region. Many supporters feel alienated from Thibault as a result of his service to cabinet as opposed to the constituency. However, in cabinet, Robert served well under Jean Chretien, and I think not being named to the Martin cabinet may help him especially under the current circumstances. Furthermore, Jon Carey is a weak candidate who couldn't even win in last years provincial election. Who is he trying to kid? I don't know much about Bull, but there has never been an NDP candidate elected in west nova. If I was a gambling man, I would put all my money on Thibault.
24/06/04 Neutral Observer
Email: [hidden]
An interesting race... There's no question that Arthur Bull is far and away the best candidate in the race, but in a riding where party loyalties go back generations, he's not likley to pull it out. The key "unspoken" issue in the riding is the Digby Neck quarry. Although the candidates aren't talking that much about it, it's lurking in the background. It's the issue that got local MLA Gordon Balser booted from office in this area provincially, and it was a major factor in Conservative candidate Carey's provincial defeat as well. Don't expect the Conservatives to do well when they rehash a tired candidate and re-run him in the middle of the area where he's on the wrong side of the issue that got him defeated in the first place.
Thibault has deftly dodged the quarry issue for a some time... at first this played in his favour, but now it's driving votes to the NDP. However, in this bilingual riding, the unilingual Ontario-born Bull has some "come-from-away" baggage to overcome.
The second big issue in this riding is job creation. The Conservative position on regional development will also hurt their local candidate, while the Liberals will seem stronger on this issue to local voters than the NDP.
Call this one a Liberal win, but look for the NDP to come on strong.
24/06/04 Roger Rankin
Email: [hidden]
a close three-way, but the determining factor will be where the anti-liberal vote breaks - Arthur Bull is the strongest NDP candidate here in years and could surprise.
10/06/04 Brad Smith
Email: bmrsmith@hotmail.com
This could be one to watch. There seems to be considerable anger with the proposed rock quarry for Digby Neck. Those mad as hell about the proposed quarry won't likely vote Conservative, given the candidates stance. Thibault is clearly trying to play both sides on the issue, if resentment is strong enough there could be an NDP win here. While the Liberals probably have the best campaign, it won't help them in the event of a groundswell. Plus, constituents have proven in the past that they'll toss the incumbent.
10/06/04 Derek
Email: [hidden]
I went to the environmental debate last night in Clare and I was shocked at Jon Carey's responses. The contest in West Nova is clearly between Thibault and Bull but I think Bull only has a lot of support in his area of Digby. Overall, the Green Party was very good at the debate but then again it was on the environment.
If you get a chance to see all four candidates side by side.... it is obvious that Mr. Thibault is the man for the job. he has experience and is very well spoken. I was a little taken back by Mr. Bull's comments that attacked the Liberals. The NDP are a left winged party. If Jon Carey was any kind of competition... Mr. Bull would have attacked him because his party is very far right. Talking to people after... people seemed split between Thibault and Bull but I think Bull's people were heavily invited to the event which became cleared by some of the stacked questions for the candidates.
19/05/04 Liam O'Brien
Email: lpmobrie@dal.ca
This riding only changed in 2000 because of vote-splitting and discontentment with Liberals and PCs over fisheries pandering/disputes (related to Burnt Church and Bay of Fundy incidents)... This will be a CLOSE match-up, Carey is well known in the riding. Thibault is known for his time at fisheries... not always in good light. Most of these incumbants would be doing a lot better but for national out-of-province in-ottawa Liberal policy on matters such as fisheries... their only hope of survival (same goes for adscam etc...) is for local incumbants to distance themselves from the Liberal party of Canada in areas like West Nova (elsewhere [ie-Labrador or Montreal] ) it's less of a concern. Close seat. Likely Conservative regain.
15/05/04 Nick Boragina
Email: kee_empire@hotmail.com
Yes, I'm going to put this riding back where I originally had it, in the Liberal column. The CPC's polling numbers seemed to be a one-time event, and now nationally there's a 16 point gap, at least according to the most recent poll. I think Canadians are willing to accept another Liberal government, though they are not happy about it. This riding will go Liberal along with the crowd. One of the strongest points of evidence is the simple fact that under this riding, at the provincial level, this riding is totally red, as many NS LIB MLA's come from here.
12/05/04 Cameron
Email: [hidden]
On the basis of past results this is a very unlikely NDP pickup, but conditions may be right for a surprise here: the NDP is polling well in NS (in fact most of their Atlantic support seems to be concentrated here); parts of this riding have voted NDP provincially in the past decade; and, the New Democrats have nominated a strong local candidate in Arthur Bull.
04/05/04 Nick Boragina
Email: kee_empire@hotmail.com
Earlier, I called this riding for the Liberals under the assumption that the CPC would poll less then the PC Party did in 2000, in atlantic canada. Right now, however, the CPC is at about 35%, and this would be enough votes to hold on to these narrowly lost seats. This seat is too close to call, though I am still inclined to lean to the Liberals because of the incumbant advantage, and the the fact that nearly all provincial rdings that lie within this one are red at the moment.
03/05/04 Derek Lesser
Email: lesserd@staff.ednet.ns.ca
Carey will lose over 5000 votes as the candidate but he has never run federally. What we do know about Carey is that he lost a tory stronghold provinically to the Liberals. It would be like a feather weight boxer losing a match to another feather weight and then challenging a heavy weight. To be quite honest, I do not know Carey but based on the fact that Stephen Harper is now the leader of a western party and the fact that he lost a provincal election..... the writing is on the wall. The comment of Jon Carey losing 5000 votes is not anywhere near accurate. A lot of those "so-called" right winged votes do not support the new Conservative-Alliance merger and Carey was not the candidate last time for either the Conservatives (true conservatives) or the Alliance party.
If he loss provincially in his own riding....how could he pick up many votes elsewhere.
29/04/04 Not Non-Partisan
Email: [hidden]
Boy! People simply can't read the numbers here. How can anyone believe that Carey is actually going to lose over 5,000 right-wing votes this time? He'd have to, to lose. He's a good campaigner and has won here (provincially) before. He's the man!
19/04/04 GM
Email: [hidden]
Don't underestimate Jon Carey as he was in provincial government and lost by only 110 votes last year. There's a decent majority of Conservatives in this area and Carey could win this riding with as little as 40% of the vote.
16/04/04 Colin Pye
Email: [hidden]
West Nova will be the most difficult riding to call in Nova Scotia for several reasons.
While it had the strongest Alliance vote of any riding in Nova Scotia in 2000, bear in mind that this riding has also been considered the unofficial Acadian seat in Nova Scotia, with the voters of Clare and Argyle often voting solidly Liberal.
The addition of the provincial riding of Kings West from Kings-Hants could work to either side's advantage. Although Kings West elected a Liberal MLA in the 2003 provincial election, the Liberal won far more because of his personal popularity in the riding than because of the party--and even then, only by 110 votes over a relatively weak backbench PC incumbent. It is otherwise a small c-conservative stronghold and will likely be big-C Conservative federally.
Once everything is factored in, both parties will come out above even strength, making West Nova too close to call right now.
16/04/04 Colin
Email: [hidden]
On Robert Thibault's potential return to Cabinet, who are you kidding? If Robert was going to be in Cabinet, he would have remained there.
Let's look at the facts for a minute. There is one federal minister from Nova Scotia. Period. That minister is currently Geoff Regan, whom is widely known as a strong support of Mr. Martin. Whatever the characterization of Robert's time as Minister of ACOA and later Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, it wasn't enough to keep him in Cabinet. Robert unfortunately has been tarred with the Chretien brush, seemingly on account of being a Minister in his Cabinet and not being seen as supportive enough of Mr. Martin. Unless Geoff fails to win the next election, I don't see how Mr. Martin would suddenly come to his senses and substitute Robert for Geoff in a future cabinet.People are deluding themselves if they think otherwise.
And let's throw another wrench into the predictions. The Liberals are polling at about 35% across the country and into minority government land. If they decide to form a coalition government with the NDP or the Conservative Party, Mr. Martin would need to make Cabinet space for his coalition partners. Given such a scenario and accepting the experience and profile of Alexa McDonough and Peter Mackay in Nova Scotia, do you really think Robert could surpass the politics of necessity to emerge once more into cabinet. Hell, I'd be surprised if Geoff would be able to hold on in such a scenario.
While I think Robert's a good guy and a decent minister, I'm not the Prime Minister. Mr. Martin has clearly shown that he is one of the most bias Prime Ministers in Canadian history, choosing a cabinet based on personal fidelity to the leader rather than on experience, ability or other factors. How else can you explain not only Robert's fate, but that of Mr. Manley, Ms. Copps, Mr. Rock, Ms. Stewart, Mr. Nault, Mr. Dhaliwal, et. al.
On the big picture of the overall election result in West Nova? Well, Mr. Martin is going to make himself the issue and he will be a fool for it. He is going to come across as much as a paper tiger when he gets into the hard slogging of a campaign as he has as Prime Minister. Sadly, this is going to drag down the good Liberals with the bad, and will hurt Robert's chances in the election.
Let's not forget too that, in comparison to any riding in Nova Scotia in 2000, the Canadian Alliance polled very well. If you put those numbers with the Conservative numbers polled in 2000 (which were very strong for Mr. Muise), they would have taken the seat. Factor in the Martin factor, the race starts looking very depressing for the Liberals. Simply put, if you put the two numbers together without doing any kind of real analysis, you would be hard-pressed to argue against the Conservatives winning this riding.
But nothing is ever that easy. If it was, Mr. Chretien would not have been the first three term majority Prime Minister since Mackenzie King. Not even Saint Pierre pulled that one off...
Both the Canadian Alliance and the Conservatives will bleed support, even in West Nova. Some of this will be on account of Harper and his views of Atlantic Canada. But let's not forget that, in a riding with a significant Acadien factor, some people who supported the former Progressive Conservative Party of old are going to think twice about supporting a new Conservative Party that has, in high places within it, a number of very vocal, anti-francophone members.

Some of that lost support will go to the Liberals. But some too will go to the NDP, which has demonstrated traction in West Nova in the past. (Think differently? Then look at the NDP's numbers in 1997 in the riding...) Anti-Harper sentiment alone will make things a little more even between the three parties, and undermines the mathematical simplicity of Canadian Alliance + PC > Liberal.
Let's add some additional factors then. The current provincial government, a Conservative government, recently lost sufficient support in the last election to emerge as a minority government. Premier Hamm's Conservatives bleed so much support in western Nova Scotia that Gordon Balser, one of the most significant ministers, did not retain his seat. And it was the NDP that emerged as the Official Opposition.
The provincial election also showed us that local issues matter. Mr. Balser lost much support over his perceived inability to respond to the issue of the Digby Quarry, one of the top ten environmental issues of the last election. These issues will continue to play a role, particularly as more people come forward with a willingness to vote in an election that is
nowhere near a foregone conclusion. Clearly much more than the "nice guy" factor, since Gordon is also a quite a likeable fellow.
Then there is leadership. We've discussed Mr. Harper and his views of Atlantic Canadians. We spoken of the paper tiger, Mr. Martin, and his need for sycophants. By comparison, Mr. Layton has emerged as a strong leader for the NDP, one who plays well across the country. He has a strong team that demonstrates that he can have past leaders like Ms. McDonough AND Mr. Ed Broadbent, running in Ottawa Centre, in the party.
One last point. West Nova is a very interesting riding in that it has not facilitated the consecutive re-election a single Member of Parliament going back at least twenty-five years. The one time it might have happened, in 1993, we saw a change in the standard bearer for the Liberals when Ms. Campbell stepped down as the incumbent MP. Think about it. Thibault in 2000, Muise (Conservative) in 1997, Verran (Liberal) in 1993, Campbell (Liberal) in 1988, Comeau (Conservative) in 1984, Campbell in 1980. This is not an easy riding for re-election.
Consistent change at the federal level. A willingness to dump even senior cabinet ministers at the provincial level. It doesn't take a lot to demonstrate that West Nova likes to shakes things up and do things differently.
For all these reasons, I think it is a tight, open three-way race. Forced to choose and looking at the negatives that the Conservatives (who haven't yet named their candidate) and the Liberals are carrying, I'd put my money on Arthur Bull and the NDP. Who I understand is also a really nice guy.

13/04/04 Brian N
Email: [hidden]
West Nova will be an interesting race. The NDP with Arthur Bull as their candidate have a very strong well respected community leader. Robert T. has been removed from cabinet and is in a weakened position. Paul Martin has shown that only 'his men' will be rewarded. I cannot see why anyone would support any candidate with Harper as their leader, knowing his track record with Atlantic Canada.
13/04/04 Michelle Bull
Email: [hidden]
In the past, the NDP has not been a big factor in West Nova, though they have won provincially in Yarmouth, but I believe this election will be different. The NDP candidate is well known among inshore fishermen and among people working for the benefit of coastal communities, both groups which have been neglected by both Liberals and Conservatives. I think this will make a difference. People are tired of the status quo. The quarry issue on Digby Neck and Victoria Beach showed that both Liberals and Conservatives favour corporations over residents. Only the NDP supported residents. Both ruling parties have neglected health care. Both parties have scandals, sponsorship for the liberals and the rum cheques for the conservatives. I believe that with this general dissatisfaction with the government they've tried before, and with a strong NDP candidate, that people will be willing to consider changing their traditional voting patterns and voting NDP.
25/03/04 John Muise
Email: [hidden]
I agree with the last guy. People really like our current MP. I think Stephen Harper is a hard guy to want to support also. I do not know the other people running but Robert Thebault will will this election easily and I think Paul Martin will put him in the cabinet.
20/03/04 Derek Lesser
Email: lesserd@staff.ednet.ns.ca
Robert Thibault will win this riding quite easily. Robert's high profile will carry him quite well. The tories are running a candidate that loss a provincial election. The NDP are not a factor. I do not think you will find many people that are not pleased with how much Robert Thibault has done for our area. I also think cabinet will shuffle after the election and Robert's abilities will come through. Now that Stephen Harper (Mr. Anti-alantic provinces) has won the right winged parties crown, conservatives might have a hard time supporting an old reform person. It is also obvious that the Liberals will win the election and we know in West Nova that Robert will better serve us as a member of parliament on the winning side.
19/03/04 Mike D
Email: [hidden]
It's been a long time since an incumbent won re-election here. Based on that pattern I'd call it for the Conservatives. Thibault is also a hasbeen Chretienite who longer can use his cabinet post to help his prospects. But we'll see how people here react to Steven Harper as Conservative leader. Good call to say this is a toss-up.
17/03/04 MJ
Email: [hidden]
Nick's correct in that this is a good area for the provincial Grit party. In fact, I'd say it's their second-strongest area in the province(their strongest being the red bastion of Cape Breton). That, and Thibault's moderately-high profile will probably ensure the Libs win, though as redistricting shows us, it'll be close...
17/03/04 Neal
Email: nealford@sympatico.ca
With no split vote, this one goes back to its rightful proprietors, the tories. Muise lostto Thibault by 703 votes, while the Alliance scored over 6500.
16/03/04 Nick Boragina
Email: kee_empire@hotmail.com
it's interesting, had this riding existed in 2000, it would have been a Conservative win, where as in reality, it was a Liberal win.
I think this riding will go Liberal, and I'm fairly sure about it. If you look at a provincial electoral map, virtually every provincial riding contained within this federal riding went Liberal, one of the strongest areas of support in the provincial for the NS Libs. While these are 2 different parties, I do think there will be enough residual support. The Conservatives will do well here, but not well enough to win.
27/02/04 Patrick Webber
This riding is hard to call. In 2000 it had the highest number of votes cast for the Alliance (about 6,500) in all of Nova Scotia, providing the new Conservatives with a base to work from. If Thibault were still a cabinet minister it would go Liberal for sure. This riding will be decided by where the old PC votes go and the strength of the NDP candidate.

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