Update/Mise à jour:
11:31 AM 21/01/2006

Prediction Changed
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9:27 AM 13/01/2006
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Federal Election - 2006 - élection générale

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Ben Cowie
Jamilé Ghaddar
Gordon Guyatt
David Januczkowski
Russ Powers
David Sweet

Russ Powers

2004 Result/Résultats:
Russ Powers
David Sweet
Gordon Guyatt
David Januczkowski

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20 01 06 Ancasterite(?) - Ancasteratonian(?) - whatever
I was at the all candidates meeting tonight...except that David Sweet decided not to show up. Judging by the number of supporters at that meeting, I'd say the NDP would take the riding..but of coure they will not.
I think the Liberals will take the riding again. Despite any backlash against the Liberals, I think ABC (anyone but conservatives) will rule again and we'll see the NDP and Green support go to the Liberals.
Best line of the night was from Ben Cowie (a really well spoken and likeable Mac student by the way) who thanked the other candidates for this debate and the previous debates and in particular thanked David Sweet "since it was a much more pleasant debate without you here".
19 01 06 grittyguy
When Paul Martin came to Hamilton there were well over 800 people packed into Powers' campaign office, fully half of which came from within the riding. The Tories in this riding appear to be pretty confident, but they shouldn't be. Powers has the momentum here and the central campaign is picking up steam in Ontario too. David Sweet's overconfidence only helps the Liberals here.
I also tend to agree with Adam's assessment. Young people, especially those that will benefit from the Liberal PSE package overwhelming back the Liberals. This riding is still too close to call.
18 01 06 J
I have to agree with Adam G. Last year the prediction was conservative for this riding, but Ancaster is simply Liberal and will win it for Powers. The rural areas are the only guaranteed Conservative vote...In fact in Senic Woods and the old Grange public school neighbourhoods there are NDP signs aplenty.
Also, the conservative candidate for this riding is not particulalry qualified. While my loyalty lies with the NDP candidate Gordon Guyatt, who is in my opinion the most educated and well informed I beleive this one will unfortunately go to Powers again.
16 01 06 Adam G
I'm pretty sure that this was called Conservative last time and David Sweet still didn't win. Those of us actually living in Ancaster are not as blue as one would assume. The area is home to the more affluent young families, with high levels of post-secondary education, leaning to the left. Despite what conventional wisdom tells us about the rich, Ancaster has and always will vote Liberal. With due respect to Bear and Ape the student population of Westdale is a much larger factor than you give credit for. It well over 15 000 voters that attend it on various levels, who are largely left-leaning. Despite what is said about the youth vote, student turnout is considerably higher than our non-university counter parts. The turnout of youth is only 25-30% across the board but only 1 in 5 attends university - turnout at universities is closer to 50%, which can definitely swing this riding away from the Promisekeepers.
13 01 06 Bear and Ape
The Mac student factor is minimal at best. Students have low turn out in elections, and like it or not, the Westdale part of this riding is not that big of a factor here. What is going to make a difference now is (as we have described them in earlier postings) the Martinite-blue Liberals or Ancaster and (to a lesser degree) Dundas. These voters are currently turning from the Liberals in droves, as the CPC appears more viable and less scary than in 2004. Unless there is a sudden shift away from the CPC, this will very likely go blue.
13 01 06 DTC
The urban/rural split in this riding makes me wonder how it could be called one way or the other just yet I would expect that Westdale accounts for at least half the population of the riding in a traditionally labour oriented town. The student voter turn-out doesn't need to be huge in order to make a difference. If you live in the riding, you can vote in the riding, and I would think that this would swing Mac voters away from the Conservatives.
13 01 06 Simon Stevens
I'm really surprised this riding was placed in the Conservative category. I think someone is playing games with the site. The only way the Conservatives can win this riding is if the NDP vote is in the 12-16% range, which is not going to happen. The NDP support is not that strong and it will soft shift to the Liberals as the prospect of a Conservative government comes to mind for voters in this riding. Plus, voters were reminded this week about the Conservative candidate's anti-women views claiming something like "men are leaders, women just follow". This riding is a mirror of the last election. My view, Liberal Russ Powers vote spread will be cut from around 4,000 to about 1,500 votes over the Conservatives.
11 01 06
It is fair to say the student vote has not been a present factor in previous elections. However, previous federal elections have been for the most part outside of the academic year. This election is very different as it falls right smack in the middle of the term during a period of time when students are not bogged down in school work.
Secondly, McMaster residence students have normally not been present to vote during the election and in past elections (such as 2000) they were not present in the riding long enough to be a force of consideration. In this election however the mass majority of them are voting age, their fist election in fact, and their has been a very active movement to register these voters.
Factor in that both the liberal and conservative candidates not only snubbed but flat out ignored an invitation to speak before the student union (all the other candidates were present) and you have some interesting dynamics that I believe most people have ignored.
09 01 06 Not Non-Partisan
Ooooh this one's close! However if the Tories go up 5-6% with a corresponding decline from the Libs, Sweet wins. All those CPC votes in the polls today had to come from somewhere and I think that they have to come from places like Dundas and Ancaster which are upscale and relatively affluent -- natural Tory targets.
03 01 06 Steve
A lot more factors influencing the outcome of the election this time around. Much more complex. Never mind the sign war in this riding, do the math. Under 3000 votes separated Powers and Sweet last time when the Conservative national campaign tanked. The vote margin means that less than 1,500 voters need to change their mind in 06. Sweet's base isn't going anywhere and with a stronger national campaign can only grow. Can his team get another 1,500 votes? Maybe not but they'll get at least another 1,000. People staying home or voting NDP and Green may deliver the other 500. Guyatt is bad news for Powers as the NDP vote will not implode as it did in 2004. He is out of the gate and even though people consider him to be a solid third place finisher are still willing to support him over Powers. With no threat of a majortiy government for any Party given the Bloc strength in QC and an apparently more decent than expected showing by the NDP. The risk of voting this time is not as dire for those that switch. Those voters without compelling reasons to vote Liberal again may seek out alternatives. Professional female voters will have a huge impact on the outcome this time. I have spoken to many professionals who voted Lib in 04 and are switching to the NDP even though they know it may elect Sweet. They just do not want to vote Liberal again and are sending a message. (Not comfortable with the Conservatives forming government but not as uneasy as in 04)
29 12 05 Jason
This riding is a mosiac of different demographics and politics, but I do not agree that it is hard to predict. This riding will go Liberal again. The Sign War means very little, people do not vote based on the number of signs they see. The advanced polls and special ballots will be won by the Conservatives because they are pushing hard to get their supporters out then, and the number of people voting by special ballot is incredible. The returning officer, AL Croxall, is no longer saying how many people have voted, but the advantage is definitely Conservative.
That said, the Conservatives are shooting themselves in the foot again. By running a such a strong campaign that a large portion of Dundas and Westdale will vote Liberal, whereas in normal circumstances they would've voted NDP, or simply withheld their vote. Ancaster will be won by Russ again, the new growth is decidedly Liberal in their philosophy, and Ancaster will be turned off by the social conservatives currently in the Conservative Party. Rural Flamborough, Lynden, Jerseyville, etc. will vote Conservative, but with Liberal votes coming in from Westdale, Dundas, Ancaster, and Waterdown, Russ Powers will beat David's support from Rural Flamborough, Waterdown, and Ancaster.
Therefore, the reason I say this riding will go Liberal is because Russ Powers' voter base is well-rounded, he will win the most, or second most votes across the board, whereas David Sweet will place third in most of Dundas, and all of Westdale. It may be close again (within 7.5%) but Russ Powers will continue to be the Member of Parliment for ADFW.
29 12 05 GH
A couple of points:
- Some neighbourhoods in the older part of Dundas are influenced by McMaster as much as Westdale is - think Victorian renos with NDP lawn signs.
- Ancaster, as some other posters have pointed out, is ripe for the picking by a Tory who isn't a religious socon - a successful lawyer with moderate right-of centre politics would do just fine. Think Geoff Scott with a tailor and about 40 more IQ points.
The religious-right faction in the riding (mostly Dutch Calvinists) are powerful and organized enough to swing a nomination meeting, but nowhere close to powerful enough to take the riding. This is a totally lethal combination for the campaign. The local Tories end up with a dynamic like the one that caught Bush Sr. in 1992: his party forces him to tack far enough right that he alienates the public and loses the election.
Sweet used to be the national director of an organization premised on the supremacy of the man as head of the household - all Power needs to do is say this at least four times at every all-candidates meeting. Or sit and look mild and concerned while someone else says it.
I don't know what a secular right-of-centre or centrist Tory is supposed to do in this situation - quietly vote Liberal, maybe. Or Green.
28 12 05 gritty guy
The opening of Russ Power's Campaign last week boasted close to 350 people according to the guestbook count. Despite what many columnists think (which is usually partisan anyway) the community has appeared to rally behind Powers in a huge way. At the 2004 campaign openning, Powers had only 25 people.
Friends involved in the campaign tell me that in the next week signs will start to go up as they have many locations, but will wait until a certain date. Signs being largely useless as any sort of indicator this amounts more to an ego thing, but look for a large amount of signs to appear in the coming weeks, especially from the crowd that gathered to kickoff the campaign (which will actually be kicked off shortly).
28 12 05 gritty guy
I've been hearing rumours that John Bryden is looking to run as an independent. I have thought long and hard on how this will affect the outcome of this riding, but have decided that it will probably amount to more of a protest vote. While he could have reaked considerable havoc for both Sweet and Powers, offering a more moderate alternative to the Liberals, I feel that he does not have the name recognition or the anger to affect much of anything. Bryden will probably act as a repository for votes cast against the Liberals, but unwilling to endorse a more extreme candidate such as David Sweet.
27 12 05 The Invisible Man
Commenting on the signage in this riding must be tempered with the knowledge that the Powers campaign is deliberately avoiding putting up signs and door-to-door canvassing until the New Year, according to a friend that is involved with the ADFW Liberals. Now, whether or not this is a smart move or not, I don't know, but it seems to be the policy of the Powers campaign. That being said, this riding has an interesting dynamic to it. First and foremost, McMaster students will be a minor factor in the riding, as only a bare few of students will actually bother to vote, and of those who do (as previous posters have said) many will vote in their home ridings -- and a good portion of the student population lives in Christopherson's Hamilton Centre. However, those students who do bother to vote are not as monolithically NDP as some might believe. Although the NDP might have the edge, the Liberals and Conservatives also have strength there as well. Flamborough will be solidly Conservative, of course, leaving the tipping of the balance to Ancaster/Dundas, with the real bellweather being Ancaster. Dundas will tend to support its former councillor Powers who is still relatively popular there, so Ancaster is the key. Will Ancaster voters be scared away by the Tories' social conservatism and vote Liberal, or will the desire for change and conservative fiscal policies win the day? It's hard to tell.
27 12 05 mike
Powers has been invisible as an MP and even more invisible as a candidate. As Hamilton Specator columnist said "stuck on an elevator between floors".
The Tory candidate is outworking him. The NDP's Guyatt has good presence in the sign war and ran a strong race last time.
24 12 05 mark
There is almost no "Mac" factor to speak of in this riding. Of the students who go to Mac, no more than 4000 will vote in the election, and of those 2000 will vote in their home ridings. Of the other 2000, the vast majority will vote Green or NDP. The rest will be split relatively evenly between the Grits and Tories.
20 12 05 Bear and Ape
Spent the night in this riding last night visiting a friend, and made note of the sign war, a few interesting points. Westdale was peppered with NDP signs but the second most common signage was not for the Liberals but actually for Sweet and the CPC! In fact we saw no signs what so ever for Powers except for what we think is his campaign office at Main St. near Olser Dr. and his regular constituency office in Downtown Dundas. The part of Ancaster we were in, we only saw Sweet lawn signs. Granted we know this really means little, but with current polling numbers as they are this could tip CPC, especially if Westdale and the Mac crowd vote NDP as opposed to Liberal.
17 12 05 jonforest
A Liberal hold. The candidates are the same as last time; the polls are the same as last time; and Powers won last time by almost 3000 votes. Add to that grittyguy's point that there will be more Liberal voters than Conservative voters in the student ghettos around McMaster, and you've got a Liberal win.
14 12 05 full
This is my home riding. While I have to agree with Bear and Ape to say that this riding is a real mess to predict, I have to say conservatives. This riding has a long history of going conservative, and talking to family and friends in Ancaster it is apparent that people want a change. This pretty much forces them to vote conservative as the NDP is the last party that Ancaster, with its demographics and mentality would elect. I also know many people in westdale, all who inform me that they plan to vote NDP. With the NDP fortunes up, and people in Ancaster desiring some change, my opinion is that the conservatives will win this seat, but it won't be a landslide.
29 11 05 grittyguy
This one will be close, but the McMaster factor is huge and Westdale will become even more of a wasteland for the Cons. This will easily counterbalance the equally barren Flamborough for the Liberals. The influx of left-leaning voters coupled with the inability for Ancaster, (where the bulk of the riding lives) residents to vote for a socon (who has campaigned against women's equality and gay rights) will propel the Liberals to a hold here. Ancaster may be fiscally conservative, but its full of small-l liberals who find many Conservative Party policies scary.
28 11 05 Bear and Ape
If a riding could be Frankenstein's monster, this one would be it. A collection of neighbouring communities that are strikingly different and all vote differently all patched together into one riding. You have Westdale, which is basically the McMaster ghetto, not particularly rich and voting NDP much like adjacent Hamilton Center. There is affluent Ancaster, which is blue liberal/red tory, voting-Liberal-for-now but would likely jump to the CPC in a heartbeat if PC types led the party. Dundas sits comfortably in the valley between Ancaster and Westdale both geographically and politically; more Chretien Liberal than Martin Liberal but not overly so that the NDP can make huge gains here. Then finally drive up the escarpment from Dundas and you are suddenly in very rural and very Conservative Flamborough. With a riding dynamic such as this one, it is not surprising that it is too close to call. A small surge in NDP support in Westdale or Dundas could be enough to pull votes away from the Liberals and allow a CPC win. Another scenerio is the affluent folks in Ancaster don't find Harper as scary as they did in 2004 (a very real possibility) and just may want a change. What all this comes to is that we have a CPC/Liberal battle with the NDP being the possible king makers, and a small shift in opinion can and will send this riding either red or blue.
26 11 05 swankyspoon
If I remember correctly, the last election was held in the summer when classes were out. This election will most likely be held when students attending McMaster University -- much more likely to vote NDP or Liberal -- will be in class and voting in this riding. This should balance the loss of votes from Adscam. Liberal hold.
29 05 05 grittyguy
200 people showed up for Russ Powers' nomination meeting which is surprising because he is protected. There were two big surprises at the meeting, first there were many new people who signed up and joined and a large portion of the John Bryden faithful returned. This surge in support will likely help Powers not only retain his seat, but increase his margin of victory.
19 05 05 jonforest
The result should be the same as last time. Both the Conservatives and Liberals will have the same candidates. As I see it there are three factors to consider. (1) Adscam should move some votes out of the Liberal column. (2) The backlash against McGuinty's budget, which affected the results slightly last time, is gone. (3) NDPers in Westdale may realize from the result last time that the contest is between liberals and conservatives and vote strategically. I think (2) & (3) will more or less neutralize (1). The result will be a Liberal hold.
16 05 05 full
So far, the only phamplets I have received are from the Sweet Campaign team. Sweet seems to be on the ball here. Given the voting history of the riding, (PC for over 40 years straight at one point), it is clear that liberal fear mongering will not work here.
15 05 05 A.S.
What I said in '04 was: "I wouldn't be surprised if West Flamduncaster winds up being the *only* surviving Liberal seat in Greater Hamilton." Not quite, but I certainly was on the right track; Russ Powers bluffed into the best Liberal % and margin in Hamilton-Wentworth. (Although Grits did better still in Burlington, which technically *is* part of Greater Hamilton, even if it's voted more like the Martin-loving 905 GTA.) Distribution went as anticipated: Flamborough Tory, w/Liberal push in Waterdown; Dundas token Liberal w/NDP breathing strongly; Westdale NDP; and urban Ancaster, the seat's true "Martin Tory" heartland, cinching it for the Grits. Esp. w/David Sweet reoffering, the next campaign and result could easily be a photocopy of the last; although fears may be allayed should a "governable" Stronachian moderate wing in CPC prevail, thereby turning a scary David Sweet sort into something more benign and lump-in-throat tolerable, a la Liberals like Tom Wappel. And with the NDP now a "rump-with-hope" (as opposed to a mere rump) thanks to Westdale, funny things can happen.
11 05 05 Adam G
Hey "full", hate to break it to you, but look at the polls, over half of those people living in Ancaster voted for Powers, the affluent in Ancaster have benefitted from Liberal governance and recognize this and will continue to vote for the Liberal party. And David Sweet is anything but moderate and people know this. Sweet, having already be branded an anti-gay anti-woman candidate, he will not be supported by the educated Ancaster voter, who are largely progressive and secular. I think that Powers will increase his lead in Ancaster and in the riding.
08 05 05 full
I live in the town of Ancaster, and predict a Tory Victory. People in Ancaster tend to be rather affulent, and as such they also pay alot of taxes. Last election in the last few days of campaigning the conservatives, who had been leading in the local polls, last ground. This was mainly over fears of the Conservative stance on abortion. This time, with the conservatives pursuing more moderate policies and the Liberals engulfed in scandal after scandal, put this one in the conservative column.
08 05 05 RWA
Even if Sweet's views are off base with a lot of voters, this is one of about a dozen or so seats in Ontario that the Conservatives would have won up to about three days before the election. It will probably follow that trend again.
06 05 05 RJW
David Sweet will once again be the Conservative candidate, having won the nomination uncontested. I think Powers will take this again.
04 05 05 Adam G
I feel that the decision to run David Sweet again, hurts the ability of the Conservatives to make an impact here. The recent literature dropped in Ancaster concentrates on issues such as Gomery and Same-sex marriage. Ancaster is affluent, but not socially conservative, nor does it feel that in Ancaster there is consistant anger against the government over the Sponsorhip Inquiry. Ancaster is the Liberal bread and butter(despite popular belief that it is Tory), it has the highest turnout, the most voters and the most Liberal support, if the Conservatives want to indeed win in ADFW, they require a candidate that is appealing to the Professionals of Ancaster. Dundas is another sufficient obstacle for the Tories, but Russ Powers' popularity there gives him an added advantage over all challengers. In Westdale, the absence of most Mac students will decimate the turnout for the NDP, and hurt the total count for the Liberals as well, yet like last time the Conservatives will probably be shut out. Waterdown will be a tough fight between the Grits and Tories, yet its smaller population cannot counter Ancaster's status as the battleground community. Flamborough as always will be swept by the Conservatives, but with the deamalgamation issue long gone, the Liberals may pick votes up here. My prediction places Russ Powers over his opponents by more than last time, because of the safety of Ancaster from a socially conservative candidate.
02 05 05 M. Lunn
This is probably a strong target for the Conservatives. Had they chosen someone more moderate instead of David Sweet they probably would have won this. Even if David Sweet runs again, he managed to get 35% last time around so he could still win if enough liberals go over to the NDP and allow him to come up the middle. Most people vote for party as opposed to person so his extreme views probably cost him only about 5%, considering that the Conservatives got about 5% higher in neighbouring ridings which had more moderate candidates.
26 04 05 IGB
My home riding. There should be a very interesting race in ADFW. On paper, it seems as if the Conservatives should see an easy pick-up here. However, once again it seems they are poised to nominate David Sweet. Sweet, as some may remember, was the candidate in 2004 who received some very negative publicity for his religious views, which was probably the primary reason he lost. If he is nominated again, current MP Russ Powers would probably stand a pretty good shot at holding on. If the Tories nominate someone else, they'd probably pick it up. The NDP is marginal here -- but, it should be noted, could play the spoiler card by splitting the vote and allowing the Tories to pull it out, if anger against the Liberals is high enough and the NDP runs a good campaign.

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