Election Prediction Project
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Thunder Bay-Rainy River
Federal Election - 2004 - élection générale

Update/Mise à jour:
8:55 PM 6/25/2004

Prediction Changed
La prévision a changé
12:09 PM 6/27/2004

Constituency Profile
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Green Party/Parti Vert:
Russ Aegard
Liberal Party/Parti libéral:
Ken Boshcoff
David Leskowski
John Rafferty
Christian Héritage Chrétien:
Johannes Scheibler
Parti Marijuana Party:
Doug Thompson

Population 2001
Number of electors 2000
Nombre d'électeurs

Incumbents/Les députés:
Kenora-Rainy River (20.1%)
Hon. Robert Nault
Thunder Bay-Atikokan (79.9%)
Stan Dromisky

2000 Result/Résultats:
12,582 36.36%
10,575 30.56%
7,216 20.85%
3,551 10.26%
683 1.97%

Kenora-Rainy River
(50/191 polls, 12608/54632 voters)
2000 Prediction/Complete Results

Thunder Bay-Atikokan
(155/171 polls, 50140/55737 voters)
2000 Prediction/Complete Results

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23/06/04 Jon C.
Email: [hidden]
Time to call call this Liberal. I have never voted Liberal(and won't)but reality is Ken Boschcoff is very popular and is not labeled with the hated Liberal past. He came first as a councillor at large and as Mayor had a huge majority. his name and face recognition is close to 99%. This is hard for other parties to beat when they are running nobodies.
15/06/04 David C
Email: [hidden]
The mathematics makes this one a close PC- NDP fight. Also the fact that in parts of this riding it is Manitoba media rather than Ontario media that counts. It isn't all about Liberal spin here: "Stop scary Harper", but more about history and personalities. Rainy River area is home of the provincial leader and Atikokan is an NDP stronghold, but RR area also part of the prairies, very Conservative while T Bay is often a Lib NDP battleground. Overall in Ontario the CPC is still a few points behind the Combined 2000 PC-Allianace vote, while the Libs are well off their vote percentages under Chretien. NDP support has almost tripled across the province, from 8 to 20 per cent in most polls. So assuming the same trends in the North, the NDP could win. If not, watch for it to go Conservative.
10/06/04 Greg M
Email: [hidden]
A liberal supporter: Thank you for your comments, and I do respect your opinion when it comes to the philosophy of Northern Ontario programs.
However, whether a program has merit or not (such as the gun registry or Fednor) will not dictate to that great a level as to whom shall be elected. That being said, I think you're grasping at straws when you try to scare people with conscription, a practice that would just not be done in this age and time.
The fact of my original point is, whether or not you agree with this fact, that Leskowski can pull possibly into the 40% support range. Anyone that knows Thunder Bay politics knows that should be good enough to win this riding. Seriously, that is the reason for this website and the reason that this riding will be "too close to call" until possibly the last week of the election.
06/06/04 A Liberal Supporter
Email: [hidden]
In response to Greg M... it is interesting to see that my colleague from the 'new' conservative party has over looked his leader's commitment to Northwestern Ontario, that being, moth balling grant and loan programs, mainly, FedNor and it's vital role in helping to carry Northwestern Ontario. A conservative win in Thunder Bay - Rainy River is not beneficial for this riding plain and simple and it is because of the following reasons. The conservatives claim they will switch the firearm registration into a sex offender registry... well how can we be sure that this registry does not end up costing billions as the firearm one did? The legislation of firearm registry is already in place and the spending has already been spent... but the program CAN work if it is fine tuned (I am a hunter and support this legislation). My second point, Mr. Harper wants to increase the Canadian military by 25,000 members yet enrolment for the reserves has been traditionally low for Canada. Now, I would like to submit a possible answer to Mr. Harper's vague promise of 25,000 new members, sadly, that possibility could mean conscription for many young Canadians. Finally, budget numbers released indicate that over a five-year plan the conservatives will be spending close to $58 billion dollars yet somehow allowing many tax cuts for Canadians. How can a 'fiscally sound government' possibly govern the country with taxes as low as the United States and support a budget slated at such a HIGH amount? I accept everyone's beliefs and positions, but, when the facts are the facts we must not let them stand aside.
06/06/04 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
What a polarity: Northern Ontario's best provincial Liberal seat in 1999 (thanx to Lyn McLeod) was its *worst* federal Liberal seat in 2000. Yes, I know it's a CPC target, and imagine that--the federal Alliance/Conservatives are so close to doing what Mike Harris could never do: win seats past Nipissing. But what puzzles me is that nearly all these oh-so-confident Tory/Leskowski predictors aren't even *mentioning* the NDP--that is, treating it as if it were but a straight two-person two-party race. Which, in Howie Hampsterdance's home-seat-as-now-configured, ought to be anything but the case. Look: this isn't Halton or Peel region, this is Thunder Bay-Rainy River, so to treat it in strict two-way Grit-Tory terms is simply fatuous--esp. as the Howie machine (real or residual) is likely to leave its mark on *both* camps, Bill C-68 or no Bill C-68. Judging from previous NDP-favourable results (they were even 2nd in 1997), a lot of the 2000 Leskowski vote could well have been NDP-by-proxy. On the other hand, for the NDP to be able to win TBRR shall depend on how strongly the Hampton-Blaikie populist synergy (which includes a less rigid stance on hot-button issues like gun control) pokes through Jack Layton's city-slickerness. And as far as the latter goes; well, heck, Thunder Bay proper is a city. Put it this way, if this is an election that'll see a few *third*-place Ontario Liberal results, here's one of the top such possibilities...
05/06/04 JT
Email: [hidden]
Let's be real here. Yes, the Conservatives will make a breakthrough in Ontario but not up here. The CPC's brand of neo-conservatism doesn't wash this far north as the Harris Tories failed to win seats this far north in days in office. The NDP will put a dent in Liberal support but not enough for them to lose this seat this time around.
04/06/04 M.C.W.
Email: [hidden]
While this will be a close race, I think that, at the end of the day, the Liberals will win this riding. Boshcoff might not get much support from the western part of the riding, but the polls in Thunder Bay will tend to be in his favour. The biggest advantage that Boshcoff has is name recognition. As well, he came out of the gates very strong with the signs and that will help keep him on voters minds!
03/06/04 Greg M
Email: [hidden]
Could I make a few statements for the people such as "Tannis" and "A Liberal Supporter" in regards to the united right?
First of all, this is THE riding that was waiting for unity between the parties: too far east to be part of the Alliance trend, too far from Southern Ontario to be progressive, this riding seriously starting in 1992 was split down the middle with half on each campaign team. It made for really edgy Provincial Tory Christmas parties, let me tell you!
Secondly, all I've heard is "1+1 doesn't equal 2" and I tend to agree: I think that in this case, 1+1 equals 2 and a half. I have been in contact with a large number of influential people in this riding, and EVERYONE has fallen in line behind the candidate Leskowski, including many influential people who have been so disgusted in the past couple of years that they've been "sitting it out". For anyone who knows this riding well, does the name, Andy Coffey ring a bell? He was a MAJOR political player with a great deal of contacts that just became so disgusted with a divided right that he supported NO ONE last election. (To me, he was #2 in influence right behind the late John Carroll) He and is contacts are 100% behind Leskowski and the Conservative party in this election.
Thirdly, in the past few elections there's been so many people who just haven't cared to support one or the other. As the campaign manager for the Ian Sinclair campaign last election, we dealt with so many people who wouldn't support Ian just because they said, "What's the use? The PCs aren't going to form the next government." Talking to people in Leskowski's campaign, they said that they experienced much of the same sentiment when going door-to-door.
Finally, I implore any of you to check the votes on a poll-by-poll basis. Take a look at the country vote, especially around the Ignace area and you'll notice that Leskowski swept those polls! Combine that with the fact that the 2 candidates in Kenora-Rainy River were competing against the sitting minister of Native Affairs (and the PC Candidate was a student-teacher who was only campaigning on weekends!!) and you have to realize that a lot more of those country folk will be supporting Leskowski as a united front. If you want proof of that, go downtown Ignace, stand on a crate, and start shouting that everyone who doesn't register their guns is a criminal. Guaranteed that after a few seconds, you'll be cleaning buckshot from your pants. (Note: They STILL bring up Bill C68 when heading along the Highway 11 Corridor.)
So the next time you want to start making general statements about how united a riding is, please choose one you know about! The candidate might be a former Alliance candidate, but a bunch of the board members and other workers are PCers. (Such as President Richard Neumann, Past President Ian Sinclair, both past PCers) There is NOT a divided right in Thunder Bay-Rainy River!!
29/05/04 Bush_2004
Email: [hidden]
being only 15 years old I can predict a Liberal victory for this riding (unfortunatly)Boshcoff belonging to a very popular Ukraine church with mostly old members supperting him 100%, he will accumulate many votes from this. Also his very enthusiastic campaigne will either attract new voters or annoy many old voters.
25/05/04 Thorfinn
Email: [hidden]
Too close to call - I'm predicting a tough two-way fight between Boschoff and Rafferty, with the outcome hinging which party puts more resources into the fight, and whether or not the national campaign tours stop off in the area.
25/05/04 RL
Email: [hidden]
Definitely a Conservative win for David Leskowski! John Rafferty will bleed off Liberal support on the left. Ken Boshcoff alienated traditional Liberal support in the nomination race and people recognize that he has no substance to back up his personal ambitions to go higher in politics - he is not as popular as his mayoral record indicates. Ken ran in 1984 and 1988 in the same riding for the Progressive Conservatives under Brian Mulroney, and could not win when the national trend was in his favour - now he has changed parties and as a turncoat has many Conservatives working hard against him. David has maintained a public presence and has been a loyal supporter of the Reform and Alliance predecessors of the new Conservative party, even through the Stockwell Day days. The national trends favour David.
24/05/04 A Liberal Supporter
Email: [hidden]
#2 John Rafferty will NOT win and will once again come in third place and for the following reason. As we are all aware, Howard Hampton is assisting John win the riding by helping him out to large proportions. Sadly, as much as John thinks Howard will help his reputation, he has consistently never won and in the end the voters must choose JOHN RAFFERTY and not HOWARD HAMPTON. People are not foolish enough to accept backing from Howard Hampton as being something that makes John the right candidate for this region.
#3 David will have a good run and I will say he would be the only candidate to actually come close to the Liberal Party, BUT, we must remember that there is no "united right" no matter how many ways you say it… division in the party exists.
#4 Ken has served the community of Thunder Bay, has served the municipalities while being on AMO, and represents the region with class. The choice is clear and with Ken’s background in politics, that totals 25 years, why would you vote for those other candidates?
19/05/04 J Poole
These Northern Ontario ridings almost never throw out incumbent MPs, MPPs or municipal politicians, but when one retires, Party loyalty means very little. Another issue in these ridings is the common Ontario habit of covering your bet, having Federal and Provincial representation in different Parties. These two trends explain why Hampton and other NDP MPPs kept their seats when Bob Rae's government slipped into trivia (I will discuss Peter Kormos elsewhere). This riding will be very volatile, and the Party which wins is going to be the Party that does the most to show the residents that it WANTS their vote. A leader's visit here could be decisive, particulairly if none of the other leaders showed. Logistically, I think this would require a day, and only the Layton needs this riding bad enough to spend the whole day getting around it.
13/05/04 Olive_Branch
Email: thedevilthedevil@hotmail.com
NDP candidate John Rafferty surprised many observers in the Ontario elections in 2003. His showing was among the best of the NDP candidates who did not get elected. Couple that with a riding that is strongly NDP at the provincial level (Howard Hampton's riding), and you've got a classic upset in teh making here.
13/05/04 Tannis
Email: [hidden]
The riding is definitely in play. While the numbers add up to a Conservative victory the candidates and their teams do not.
Ken Boschoff has years of ties and profile within the riding. This track record has attracted Conservatives and NDP'ers. Howard will be working for the NDP candidate but his value reduces significantly outside of the small new Rainy River District corridor added to the Thunder Bay riding.
My guess is that this riding will swing against the tide and be a surprisingly strong Liberal victory.
07/05/04 Stevo
Conservative pick-up. A united right-wing and a very strong NDP will tilt this riding into the conservative column. Paul Martin's refusal to abolish the gun registry will only add fuel to the anti-Liberal fire in this Northern Ontario riding.
19/04/04 GM
Email: [hidden]
I do believe this one to be close, however, Leskowski has been moving up in circles in the Conservative party and the party definitely sees this seat as a possible gain.
As a past long-time member of this riding, I saw one trend in the 2000 polls: Leskowski, hailing from Kaministiquia, took almost every vote in his rural area clear down highway 11 right to and including Atikokan. He's a rural candidate, and the expansion of the riding to Rainy River only helps his campaign. Must we also remember that as lousy as Uncle Stan was, he always was always popular with the teachers in Northwood: Ken Boshcoff will not be as popular.
The other point that helps Leskowski is that the past members of both the Alliance and PCers are united. After years of friends fighting friends, the battle is over. From Richard Newmann to Warren Hughes to Ian Sinclair, they are all behind the one Conservative banner. In other words, that slime-of-an-ex-mayor Boshcoff has better watch out, because his federal political career might just be derailed before it ever begins!
11/04/04 Dean
Email: deansherratt@rogers.com
I'm not at all certain about this one...I think it is "too close to call" because of a real possiblity that this could be the best Conservative seat in Northern Ontario, based on the 2000 results. I suspect the good results for the Alliance in 2000 were motivated by its populist, anti-gun registry approach approach and there is plenty to recommend this in 2004. Fort William, the southern part of Thunder Bay and where most of the population lives, has a plausible Conservative history to it (I dare harken back to Bob Manion in the 1920s and 30s)...an interesting question will be how the new areas of the riding (Rainy River) will vote, given that for them, there will be no incumbant running.
31/03/04 Al
Email: alnu_cephmiar@yahoo.co.uk
I'll go out on a limb and predict that the NDP wins Thunder Bay-Rainy River.
The Liberal mandate here is *very* weak (about 20% below the Provincial average) and the demographics of the riding have "NDP" tatooted all over them...
Rainy River is also Howie Country.
Hampton was first elected as MPP for Rainy River, before being the provincial seat was merged with Kenora for the 1999 election.
He's a "local boy come good" and if he campaigns hard for the NDP candidate here, that should be enough to tip them over the top.
29/03/04 Jer
Email: jer@jerscape.ca
Actually only the Rainy River part is part of Howards riding. The much large (population wise) Thunder bay portion has never been in Howard's riding until redistribution which was not in effect during last fall's provincial election. The majority of Howie's riding is Kenora. And before 1999 Rainy River was it's own provincial riding entirely. In fact, this riding elected Lynne McLeod, the former Liberal leader up until she chose not to run last time.
24/03/04 Steven H.
Email: [hidden]
This seat can be considered too close to call, but i predict the Liberals will win because former mayor Ken Boshcoff is the Liberal candidate. He is fairly popular and will be able to attract non-Liberals. The Conservatives will challenge for this seat especially after a near win by the Alliance last election.
20/03/04 Nick Boragina
Email: kee_empire@hotmail.com
This is the provincial NDP leader's riding. If the quesiton is who will beat the Liberals, the answer is the NDP.
15/03/04 Mike Wakefield
Email: [hidden]
Dead Liberal Walking #9.
With a united right and a resurgent NDP bleeding votes away on the left, the question isn't whether or not the Liberals lose, but who beats them.

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