Update/Mise à jour:
11:20 AM 19/01/2006

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9:38 AM 13/01/2006
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Federal Election - 2006 - élection générale

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Ken Bell
Jim Comiskey
Kathleen Kevany
Dave Van Kesteren

Hon. Jerry Pickard

2004 Result/Résultats:
Jerry Pickard
Dave Van Kesteren
Kathleen Kevany
Rod Hetherington
Margaret Mondaca

For historical result, please see
2004 Prediction page

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17 01 06 A.W.
Wow what a difference the holidays made both nationally and in C-K-E. A while back I assumed party organization in the riding would win the day for the Grits. Now with such promissing polls for the tories, I can't image Dave Van Kesteren winning with less than 1000 votes! Though this will be a great win for the tories, I don't see this being a predictor of any longer term trends for Chatham-Kent. I think that once people in this riding have blown there steam off over the liberals, they'll most likely vote the next Liberal candidate in for another 10-12 years.
12 01 06 LJ Amundsen
Without incumbency, the only chance the Liberal has is to rally NDP and Green votes by picking up points in common on those parties' platforms. And without being a cabinet minister that isn't very credible. Hard to see how this won't go blue.
06 01 06 Juan Banger
Having taken KRP's comments into account, my wife and I decided to take a cruise in the riding(re: signs on lawns). Conservatives are winning the battle 3:1 when it comes to signs on homeowner lawns throughout the entire riding. We went through the riding from Leamington/Staples/Tilbury to Highgate/Blenheim/Wheatley/Ridgetown through Jeanette's Creek/Prairie Siding/Chatham. The only strongholds(it appears) are in the Chatham Collegiate Institute subdivision(where it appears to be a battle between the Libs and NDP)...as well as the Chatham Kent Secondary School subdivision which appears to be Liberal red. A battle between Conservative blue and Liberal red in the Birdland subdivision. South Chatham is a sea of blue with the odd red or orange sign. Central Chatham seems to be an even battle between all 3 parties. Conservatives are winning this battle at about 9:1 to all the other parties. I still predict a Conservative win...from "comfortable" to "somewhat close".
31 12 05 A.S.
Unbelievable; a decade after this was the only real swath of non-deep-urban SW Ontario heartland to more or less resist the Common Sense Revolution, it's possible we may be seeing no Liberals remaining beyond (and inclusive of?!?) London and Sarnia. The only reason I electionpredicted CKE for the Liberals last time was that I made my call before Adscam blew open--what a difference a month or two makes. And it wasn't just that Van Kesteren nearly won; he even made unforeseen inroads in erstwhile terra incognita like Tilbury. Still, I can't see this as a place of "final push" inevitability like Leeds-Grenville last time, if only as token acknowledgment that the solid-Tory historical record isn't there--though that didn't stop Jeff Watson in Essex--and who knows, maybe the Buzz factor will still, in the end, galvanize Grits this close to the automotive heartland (though if NDP is reportedly still doing well in signage, uh-oh). But in case Comiskey does pull through in the end, he seems like the perfect kind of downtrodden-SW-Ontario Grit maverick, so who knows...
01 01 06 KRP
Liberals in Chatham-Kent Essex haven't considered Rex Crawford a Liberal since he retired. He carries no political weight, except with Tories. Crawford was proud to be a rebel, he often voted with the Reformers in Ottawa. If Crawford didn't retire on his own, the Liberal grassroots of CK-E would have booted him in a nomination contest. Crawford carry’s no weight. He’s not a Liberal, and everyone knows it.
Tories may have more signs out, but they are littered on corners and right-a-ways.
In order for a sign to mean anything it needs to be on a home-owners property. I have driven the riding, when looking at signs on people’s front lawns the liberals are in the lead.
30 12 05 Juan Banger
Conservative win! With respected ex-Liberal MP Rex Crawford campaigning for both Conservative candidates in this riding and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex...it's a sure bet the Conservatives will pick it up. The farming crisis and social issues will play in the Conservatives' favour. Here are 3 indicators the Conservatives will win:
1 - Liberals complaining about alleged vandalism of their signs in the press while insidiously blaming the NDP and Consevatives for carrying it out. Ever heard of a snowplough? A snowplough will do wonderful things to a mailbox...imagine what it can do to an election sign. One word: FRUSTRATION
2 - Chatham painted with blue signs...not seen since the days of Darcy McKeough. More NDP signs this time around.
3 - Liberals plastering their internal civil war on the front page of The Chatham Daily News(Friday, Dec. 30th, "Grits go on attack!") by tearing each other down. A sure sign their campaign is tanking fast.
14 12 05
Liberal hold. Comisky has got the energy of a bull. He is socially conservative, devout church attendee, and a strong engaging personality. Has taught about a generation of kids at a local high school and knows a lot of people who are very comfortable with his views. His exploits are legend and (may be) mythic example: performed an "intervention" on a former secondary school student who was stripping at the Beef Baron II in London. He saved her from a life of exploitation by driving to London attending the club and bringing her back to her parents in Chatham.
There exists no "wedge" issue that the Tories can capitalize on. Mr. C. is running to win and is perceived by the party as a candidate in a winnable riding - the Finance Minister came to town and people paid alot of coin to meet him prior to the writ being dropped. As well, his opponent lost to a very tired sitting member. This "bull" will improve party fortunes and retain the seat.
09 12 05 Mike
The new poll that came out today showed that Conservative support in South WEstern Ontario is at 43%. This is up from the mid-30's they had last time around in the area. These new votes have to be coming from somewhere, and I think that Chattam-Kent-Essex is the natural riding to switch from Liberals to Conservatives. The Conservatives lost by so little last time, and now they don't have an incumbant to go against. Although the Conservative candidate is not a great pick, it will not matter. The electorate in general will be mainly votes for the party and not the candidate (deep polarization and clear differences in the parties' platforms allows this phenomenon to happen more than ever), and the Conservaitve candidate's qualifications (or lack thereof) will not be a factor here.
08 12 05 KM
The Local Liberals made a big mistake letting this greenhorn Comiskey in with no experience. There were far better longterm candidates running to fill the Liberal void: example Paul Watson or Janet McGuigan. Jerry Pickard left this riding open after he flip-flopped about same-sex marriage which made many of his supporters unhappy.
05 10 05 Bubba
I predict a Liberal hold, but oh so close. The new Liberal candidate, Jim Comiskey, is a firecracker who speaks his mind, appreciated in these parts. Rumour has it that the Tory candidate, a local car dealer, is similar to another one who barely got elected provincially, Jack Carroll. The Liberal is a retired teacher and current small business owner, who has also run before, so he's no greenhorn. The national leaders will have a great impact here as neither candidate is well known. As goes the country, so will Chatham-Kent Essex.
11 05 05 Bear and Ape
One of several southern Ontario ridings that went Liberal by a hair in the last election. Now that Pickard is calling it quits, voter loyalty is not a factor (which saved Pickard last year). Conservative pick up.
09 05 05 A.W.
Last time I predicted the conservatives would win here -- this time I'm a little more cautious.
Now, when you win a riding by ~400 votes (thats roughly 2 votes per polling station in this riding) the race had come down to pure party organiztion. And this is a fact: the liberals in this riding had better lists of voters and campaign volunteers than van kestren did.
To back this idea up, I have a second point: nobody ever really liked Pickard. He was mouthy and arrogant--Even a lot of his volunteers wondered what they were doing there after awhile. Infact, of the two debates I was at (Leamington and Chatham), he was the only one on stage who was booed and shouted at by the crowd. So again, I'm convinced those ~400 votes weren't from popularity.
In sum, I would say for a van kestren win he better improve his ground works or this will be last year all over again.
08 05 05 Craig
Jerry Pickard's flip-flop on gay marriage sealed the deal here. It won't matter now that the Liberals will have someone new, AdScam and social issues lean in the Conservatives' favour, and it won't even be that close, especially with Dave Van Kesteren running again. Predicted results: CPC 48%, LIB 33%, NDP 14%, GRN 4%, others 1%.
06 05 05 JC
Just give this to the conservatives, I'm a liberal and even I know that they have no chance in hell at holding onto this one, even if Pickard ran again he would lose thanks to his flip flop on Same-Sex Marriage.
06 05 05 Ian
A toughly-fought Liberal campaign the last time around and an MP with a great deal of experience kept this one on side Liberal in 2004. I have no doubts that the campaign will be any less hard-fought than last time, but unless there's a stellar Liberal candidate selected, the national sponsorship issues and Dave Van Kesteren's popularity will, unfortunately, put this in the Tory column this time.
06 05 05 Brain Test
Even without a major swing to the Conservatives from the Liberals, this riding will swing. There has been major efforts put in this riding and it will fall as will most surrounding rural ridings.
05 05 05 M. Lunn
With Jerry Pickard not seeking re-election and the fact the Conservatives almost won this last time around, you can bet they will put a lot of resources into this riding to ensure it goes Conservative. I suspect that both Jerry Pickard and Rose-Marie Ur chose not to run again since they figured there was a better than even chance they would lose their seats. A liberal win is still possible, but there would have to be a major shift in opinion polls. If the Conservatives gain only 5 seats in Ontario, this will be one of them.
03 05 05 Brandon
Jerry Pickard, the Liberal incumbent, clinged to his seat by his finger nails last time (400 votes over the Tories). Chatham-Kent-Essex is at the top of the CPC hitlist and they're going to win it.
02 05 05 RWA
This is one of the top Tory targets in SW Ontario. A narrow margin of victory combined with a retiring MP and the return of the old Conservative candidate adds up to a Tory pickup.
02 05 05 Shane
Incumbent MP Jerry Pickard is retiring. The Liberals kept this riding by just 400 votes last time, and with the Tories on an upswing across the country, this one can go in the Conservative Column.
02 05 05 JC
Conservatives will win this for sure, with Pickard not running and with Dave Van Kesteren who barely lost last time coming back again, Even as a life long liberal I seriously doubt the Libs can hang on to this one.

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