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Federal Election - 2004 - élection générale

Update/Mise à jour:
7:59 PM 6/26/2004

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7:59 PM 6/26/2004

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Canadian Action canadienne:
Will Arlow
Christian Héritage Chrétien:
Ken DeVries
Liberal Party/Parti libéral:
Gar Knutson
Tim McCallum
Joe Preston
Green Party/Parti Vert:
Julie-Ann Stodolny

Population 2001
Number of electors 2000
Nombre d'électeurs

Incumbents/Les députés:
Elgin-Middlesex-London (96.6%)
Hon. Gar Knutson
Perth-Middlesex (3.4%)
Gary Schellenberger

2000 Result/Résultats:
16,970 40.64%
15,418 36.93%
6,248 14.96%
2,304 5.52%
814 1.95%

(210/218 polls, 68973/70768 voters)
2000 Prediction/Complete Results

(8/204 polls, 2421/68876 voters)
2000 Prediction/Complete Results

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24/06/04 Voice of the Common Man
Email: [hidden]
London Free Press poll shows a tight heat. Incumbent advantage to Knutson. Also, a tight heat in what was supposed to be a giveaway riding for the CPC in rural Ontario means that many of the Liberal rural incumbents, especially those with a record of dissent against their own party, should be safer than the CPC would like to think they are.
24/06/04 Jeffery Bennett
Email: [hidden]
Free Press/New PL poll shows a tie in this riding between Knutson and Preston with the NDP polling over 20% in this rural riding which I find to be puzzling - makes me wonder about the accuracy of the figures. I think Knutson has done himself a disservice by choosing to climb the greasy pole in Ottawa rather than making constituent service his top priority. I think the Conservatives are probably going to win this one narrowly.
24/06/04 GW
Email: [hidden]
The polls taken from June 16-June19 are in and Gar Knutson stands at 34% tied with Joe Preston at 34%, with TIm MacCallum at 22% of popularity. However, due to the recent rise in Liberal Popularity Nationwide and the fact that in this riding, the NDP often does better in the polls than in the election, the liberal support will rise, and Gar will keep his seat.
Email: youngreformers@yahoo.ca
Despite part of this riding being part of that Rural On-Tory-O by-election shocker that elected Gary Schellenberger, there was a mild takeover of PCPC over CRCA members with former Reform candidate John van der Veen being shoved aside by the federal Tory-heavy board in favour of the failed Ontario PC candidate Joe Preston during their nomination process but, like most ridings in the southern half of the Rural South-Western Ontario region, they don't seem to be bothered by the full Tory takeover that wasn't totally finished by the United Alternative/Ontario Tory hard right-wing transformation of the populist extreme centre Reform Party with the Canadian Alliance in 2000. Past that, Elgin-Middlesex-London doesn't want Gar Knuston or his Liberals anymore to the point that Knuston has been defending his party statements while in HoC committee against Myron Thompson on the lowered age for sexual relations and a possible connection to child pornography which seems to have residual interest, especially in St. Thomas and Aylmer where the so-cons don't like Gar's high marks with EGALE. Steve Peters made be the saving grace for the Grits here but even at the stock yards one can hear about the Reform Association for protection of policy on that never-ending Gun Registry issue, the talk of membership in mass numbers and how the farmers and Reformers aren't going to take it anymore from their own Agriculture Minister so remember Independent Peter North in the next provincial election.
23/06/04 Arzie Chant
Email: achant@uwo.ca
So the argument of the CPC is that E-M-L is not Hamilton or Toronto? Well played...but rural doesn't mean conservative. St. Thomas may not be a Liberal or NDP strong hold, but it is hardly Conservative. What's more, one cannot count on all former PC supporters voting for the CPC. It is pretty much a nationally recognized reality that the Alliance took over the PCs with very little support from the Tory side.
The point of my post was simple(and therefore missed by the Tories): the is a well sized town on the edge of the 10th largest city in Canada. Gar is popular. Tory foul-ups are heard clear across the province (so Cheryl doesn't need to shoot her mouth off in S-W Ontario to be heard there). My prediction is this: the rural and urban mix of E-M-L will return Gar to power. It won't be easy, but I expect the 4 London seats will see Sue and Gar back in Parliament with Joe Swan and Irene taking down Fontana and O'Brien. Two for the Liberals, two for the NDP....not too shabby.
18/06/04 AlanSmithee
Email: [hidden]
Conversely, Arzie seems not to realise that St Thomas is not downtown Toronto. If the Liberals are relying on a massive progressive underground community in St Thomas to sweep Gar back into office, then I have a feeling they will be disappointed come election day. The sliver of London taken in by this riding is suburban, middle-class White Oaks - again, not exactly Hamilton East.
Joe Preston is not Cheryl Gallant either - he's a Wendy's franchisee and past President of the United Way. Oooh, scary! No one is bothering to "refute" any of Arzie's comments about Gallant because this is Elgin-Middlesex-London we're talking about here - not Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.
If you simply add the Tory and Alliance combined vote total from 2000, you're left with a Preston win. With the Tories now well-ahead in the polls, expect this riding to go blue on June 28, big-time.
15/06/04 Arzie Chant
Email: achant@uwo.ca
As for E-M-L, the CPC is making the same mistakes it makes everywhere else: assuming that signs can vote and that rural=conservative. As a rural Canadian, I can say that we do not all vote Tory. We have brains. We read. We make decisions. It's not all hog-calling and plowing, thanks. And the sign thing! Wow. Do all conservatives ignore basic statistical concepts or it just the wishful CPC thinkers of E-M-L?
Finally, "anyone who really knows this riding" would know that Gar is actually quite popular. He may not be Steve Peters, but he has a good reputation, and as I said before, he is not a huge social conservative. He isn't poised to deny equal rights to some Canadians based on their sexual orientation, like many of the conservatives running across the nation *cough* Gallant *cough*. Funny how no one had the nerve to try to refute that one. Their silence says it all about the conservative policy, or lack thereof.
15/06/04 Glen
Email: [hidden]
Travelling around Lambeth I see Preston winning the sign battle. He has bigger signs than Knutson and more signs planted in parks and along the side of the road. Big signs in public places don't translate into votes.
This riding is as much urban as it is rural, so Conseravtives should not count on "rural issues" like the gun registry to pull this riding their way.
15/06/04 MJM
Email: [hidden]
The only reason Preston is in this race is because voters are upset with the Liberals. He's a virtual unknown outside St. Thomas. His campaign team is dominated by former Alliance members - the long-time Tories in this riding are either not involved or chose to sit this one out. Knutson has managed to find the favour of both Chretien and Martin and was appointed to Cabinet under each PM, and has not disappointed either. He quietly goes about doing his work, and does it effectively. The only way Preston gets in is if the voters punish the federal Liberals for the sponsorship scandal and the budget from the Provincial Liberals.
14/06/04 hieronymous
Email: [hidden]
Don't be so sure of this ridings Liberal roots. True it stayed Liberal in a provincial Tory landslide but Steve Peters is not running federally as far as I can recall. (he's the one provincial liberal who might not be a liability to a campaign)
Again provincially, the NDP won this riding in thier sweep and if my memory serves me the NDP incumbent left the party and won as an independent.
Preston seems well liked and the eastern portion of the riding is a tory bastion.
Knutson is not well respected rurally on guns and the rural vote may not be so scared of a "hidden agenda" socially. They may even support it!
13/06/04 JMJH
Email: jhertwig@msn.com
When Steve Peters won the provincial election in 2003, he won by around 10 000 votes. There is a hotbed of conservatives in this party that will ALWAYS vote conservative, and these are the same people who always have sign. Sign polls are not effective in this riding because the Liberals usually keep their ballots secret and are more likely to go out and vote. Gar has served the riging for 11 years and has been a cabinet minister for many years. I strongly believe that Gar will win this election, but by a close margin of maybe 1000 votes.
12/06/04 AlanSmithee
Email: [hidden]
It's good to see Arzie and the UWO Young Liberals weighing in with their opinions... however in real life, Steve Peters was elected against a Tory tide in 1999 due to his demigod-like popularity in St Thomas. EML is a naturally conservative riding and if only one of the four London ridings defects away from the Liberals, it will be this one.
10/06/04 RWA
Having taken a trip through Lambeth's neighbourhoods I can say that Preston is dominating the lawn sign battle. If he wins south London, Gar is history.
10/06/04 Brad
Email: [hidden]
Arzie: Don't confuse the provincial liberal victories here as a sign of a deep Liberal disposition in E-M-L. The Liberals won in 1999 because their candidate was Steve Peters - the young, energetic and very popular mayor of St. Thomas. His re-election in 2003 doesn't tell us much, since I am pretty sure every Liberal incumbent won in that election as part of the province-wide movement to bring in McGuinty. Federally, this riding is prime conservative land. Gar held on only 41% to 37% against the Alliance last time, meaning the Alliance candidate polled *significantly* ahead of the party. Were simialr variables at play this time compared to 2000 I would probably still say a conservative victory through the power of uniting the right (though the possibility of some of the 15% old PC vote switching to the Libs would exist); however, in the Ontario environment today, a conservative victory is almost certain. An SES poll the other day had the conservatives leading 43% to 33%, but even if we took the gloomier Ipsos-Reid poll of 40%(LPC) to 35%(CPC), that support level for the conservatives is still more than enough to send Gar packing.
09/06/04 JNE
Email: 2jne@qlink.queensu.ca
Anyone who really knows this riding knows it is going Conservative. In response to the last post, this riding ONLY became Liberal under the Harris government because of wildly popular former St. Thomas mayor Steve Peters, and he barely won at that. If it was anyone else running under the Liberal banner, PCer Bruce Smith would have won. Secondly, Gar Knutson is not a very popular MP, despite being in parliament since 1993. He is poised to lose this riding due to the both its rural nature and the unpopularity of his party.
08/06/04 Arzie Chant
Email: achant@uwo.ca
As for the specifics of this riding, it was the only London riding that remained Liberal provincially under the Harris/Eves farce of a government. It has Liberal roots despite the blanket stereotype that rural=conservative.
What's more, Gar Knutson is very well liked and he is receiving good marks from public groups like EGALE.
Elgin-Middlesex-London not only takes in a small swath of the city, it also takes in St. Thomas and Aylmer. These are not hamlets, and the ultra-right wing message of the CPC doesn't sit well with the homosexual or racial minorities therein. With his tolerant demeanor, he is one of the top 2 of 4 London MPs (the other being Sue Barnes). Gar's not out of the game yet. Sorry Harper.
07/06/04 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
The Gar who's not Le P'tit has always registered what're, by Ontario standards, lukewarm Liberal results; and last time out, was nearly an Alliance casualty--though that's in part due to the personal strength of Alliancer Bill Walters, who reputedly even enjoyed the campaign help of Liberal MPP Steve Peters. Still, prior to Chretien this was long regarded as sleepily reliable Rural On-Tory-o (ironically, thanks to Peters and independent Peter North, Elgin was the rare SW Ontario bird to never elect a Common Sense Revolutionary in the 90s), and even in 1993 and 1997 PC had a relatively strong upper hand over Reform. As Walters' 2000 mandate was somewhat "personalized", I remain guarded about calling the inevitability of a Knutson defeat--though it sure doesn't look good; however, were it not for the mid-election collapse in Grit fortunes, I might have been willing to call this as a technical swing *toward* the Liberals...
07/06/04 full
Email: [hidden]
I was in St. Thomas the weekend of June 5 & 6 and did not witness any plethora of Knutson signs. In fact, it looks very much like Preston's signs outnumber Gar's by almost 2-1 in the residential areas of St. Thomas.
I don't doubt that Preston's support is even higher in the rural areas...Gar needs St. Thomas and south London to win, and it isn't looking good.
02/06/04 RWA
I live close to this riding, and while it looks like a natural fit for the Conservatives right now, I'm not sure yet. I'm hearing that the riding Conservative insiders really think they'll win in this area is London West. From what I've seen, there aren't many lawn signs but most of what I've seen are Gar signs. That said, I've only seen the southern tip of London and parts of St. Thomas, areas that Knutson will need to win big to keep the riding. Preston is probably doing well in little towns like Belmont and Rodney.
27/05/04 Politico11
Email: Politico11@yahoo.ca
Gar Knuston was a strong Chretien supporter - I doubt much help will arrive in this fight from the central campaign.
Also - the Conservatives will gain in this riding from the on-going gun registry issue.
25/05/04 GM
Email: [hidden]
The Alliance candidate almost outright won this seat last election, and that was with the Liberals running away with the polls in Ontario. The most recent numbers have the Liberals and Conservatives in a virtual dead heat (42% compared to 39%). Add to the fact that the candidate was a good PCer and you will realize that there will not be a lot of ex-PCers jumping to the Liberals.
Conservatives win about 50% and Gar Knuston is sent to the unemployment line!
30/03/04 Full Name
Email: herbertrhildebrandt@msn.com
Based on the results from last election, this riding should be a clear Conservative winner. The Liberals won by less than 2000 votes above the Alliance and the PC's garnered over 6000 votes. Even if not every combined vote can be counted, the Liberals still have to gain a dramatic number of votes to counter this newly-strengthened force that has nominated a local community-oriented businessperson.
17/03/04 RWA
Email: radams2@uwo.ca
A classic case of vote-splitting in both 97 and 2000. The riding has been held for two terms by a provincial Liberal, but he is not a typical federal Liberal. The Alliance came very close to winning this riding alone in the last election. WIth vote-splitting at an end, the COnservatives will make it over the hump in EML.
17/03/04 V.D.
Email: [hidden]
Just based on the past results, but the fact there is a very good candidate with Joe Preston (a former PCer, supported by the 2000 PC candidate) he'll be able to keep most of the PC vote and alliance vote, as well even could gain conservative liberal votes. I think this is a win for the conservatives.
15/03/04 Mike Wakefield
Email: [hidden]
Dead Liberal Walking #6.
The Liberal would have won by less than 4% if the last election had been run on these boundaries, but the Conservative vote was split 37% / 15% between the Alliance and PC's. The Liberals would need to capture over a third of the PC's vote to hang on here.

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