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11:32 AM 21/01/2006

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10:51 AM 16/01/2006
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Federal Election - 2006 - élection générale

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Bob Cruise
James McVeity
Taras Natyshak
Jeff Watson
Susan Whelan

Jeff Watson

2004 Result/Résultats:
Jeff Watson
Susan Whelan
David Tremblay
Paul Forman
Robert A. Cruise

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19 01 06 Bear and Ape
We've held out a long time and since our last posting prior to Christmas, we feel it is time to change our prediction here. The CPC will likely keep Essex, but it is not going to be a huge victory but something closer to a few thousand votes. The CPC campaign is the sole reason for our change of heart. Had the CPC not been doing so well nationally then we'd still have thought that the NDP votes from 2004 would have partially returned the Whelan (note we said returned to Whelan and not returned to the Liberals), giving her a very good shot at winning. Unfortuantly for Sue it is just not in the cards this year.
17 01 06 MdB
Essex isn't a typical SW Ontarian riding if there is such a thing. Last election's outcome was a surprise, because the Whelan dynstasy has perennial popularity down here, and that certainly hasn't abated. I think if the liberals get a single take-back in all of Ontario, it will be here in the deep south.
17 01 06 Fabian B
If the fate of this riding was in the hands of CAW President Buzz Hargrove, the riding would go Liberal as he has endorsed Ms. Whelan. However, I read in Tuesday's (January 17, page A8) National Post that there has been a backlash by local CAW members against Hargrove's decrees. Some CAW members feel Hargrove is out of touch with members of his own union and the local labour council(which is dominated by the CAW) is backing the NDP candidate, Taras Natyshak. incumbent Jeff Watson's rookie performance has been viewed by some analysts as weak and vulnerable while some of his campaign workers have been involved in a nasty internal dispute. Watson's 2004 Election manager has been charged with uttering a death threat against the MP. However, given the disastrous national Liberal campaign and the Tory lead in SW Ontario, the Coservatives should come out ahead here. I think many Liberal voters would rather vote NDP or CPC rather than back the Liberals this time.
13 01 06 Colin
Okay, I understand holding this one off a little longer than the others in the province, but I think it is time to change this one from too close to Conservative. Susan Whelan has made a good effort, with some minor mishaps, such as being so cocky as to post signs asking voters to "re-elect" her, but she is yesterday's news. Let's be honest with ourselves here. The Conservatives were down 10% in the province last election, although I don't know the figures specific to Southwestern Ontario. They are now trouncing the Liberals in Southwestern Ontario, even ahead province-wide. They are ahead 11 percent nationally!!! Sorry Susie, but if you regain this one, it will be miraculous. Prediction: Look for Watson to at least double, if not triple his margin of victory. Watson by 2,000 - 3,000 votes.
31 12 05 A.S.
Even if it was an advance-poll-salvaged shadow of what midelection polls predicted, Essex was still Ontario's most portentously important CPC breakthrough of '04--and now it's the textbook "Buzz Liberal" target, with Buzz Hargrove even admitting as much. So, what appeared to be a 3-way or at least a 2 1/2-way race is desperately trying to shake itself down into a straight 2-way--almost like relative to 1988, the Tories and NDP are switching places? Relatively speaking, a problem is that even in cabinet, Susan Whelan never really emerged from the green-stetsoned shadow of her father--but does that matter now? It's the Liberals' most imperative takeback Tory target in *Canada*, never mind Ontario. And before the proto-breakthrough of the Alliance in Essex in 2000, such a situation could scarcely have been imaginable...
22 12 05 JN
Whelan has it this time around. Watson won last time with a strong GOTV effort and a strong NDP candidate. He has lost both - he drove away all of his GOTV workers, who were all new to the Essex campaign team, and a newcomer like Taras Natyshak is unlikely to get as high a proportion of the vote as David Trembley did in 2004, especially with the NDP polling at 10% in SW Ontario and Buzz Hargrove's endorsement of Susan Whelan. If his team was still with him and had been working since his election, or there was still a strong NDP candidate Watson might still have a chance, but as it stands he's finished.
Whelan has been working hard since 29 June, 2004 to win this seat back, and will find it useful to attack Watson on not having moved to the riding yet, especially since he promised voters at the doors in 2004 that he had basically purchased a house in Belle River, and he found a home in Ottawa so quickly after his election. In Windsor you can get away with living outside of the riding, but rural Essex voters want one of their own to represent them.
20 12 05 Bear and Ape
We're going to have to strongly disagree with M. Lunn, Whelan is not a liability according to those we know who live in Essex. Sure there are those who don't care for her, but those are people who likely voted against her initially. She did poorly because of a surge in Tory support in 2004 throughout rural SW Ontario coupled with a very strong NDP campaign. If support for the various parties were the same as in 2004, Whelan would win as the NDP do not have as strong as a candidate this time. Thing is now, the CPC is riding higher than in 2004 in SW Ontario, making this a closer race than before the writ was dropped. As for people's opinion of Paul Martin, he's no longer the hometown boy and the general consensus is that they don't like nor trust him. People we speak to have more faith in Whelan. Let's just keep a watch and see what happens.
20 12 05 MWG
Let's make some further clarification. Taras Natyshak's mother worked for Pat Hayes during both of his stints as MPP. With Hayes' backing and being a new young choice for the people of Essex. I think that this race will be closer than expected. Watson has been silent on job losses. 2nd - you don't tell autoworkers how to vote - they'll tell you what you can do - the Buzz backlash will be extremely strong. People want to ensure that their children have a future, that there will be jobs for them. I think, that if Taras is passed the torch from Hayes - that this will lead to a victory. Maybe not this election, but possible the next. The same tired Whelan's with the equally tire Watson name - may just push people to change their vote.
17 12 05 James
I just wanted to clarify something for SDC. Taras Natyshak is not Walter's son, he is his nephew. Walter has been working for the NDP in Essex for many elections now and has yet to have any influence when it comes to CAW members voting NDP over Liberal. This won't change just because his nephew is running for the NDP. Susan Whelan is fighting back with a vengeance and wants her seat back pretty bad. I predict a Liberal win, followed by a strong Conservative second place showing, followed by the NDP.
14 12 05 M. Lunn
Unlike others here, I would argue Susan Whelan is more of a liability than an asset. She lost in what was supposedly a safe Liberal riding and had one of the worse showings in Ontario for the Liberals (34%, there were 12 ridings where the Liberals got under 35% in Ontario). I agree she has a good shot at re-taking this, but it will be because of Paul Martin and the Liberal Party, not her. The NDP numbers are falling which should benefit the Liberals, although Jeff Watson does have the incumbent advantage. Had they chosen someone else, I think their chances would have been even better.
14 12 05 Mark R.
This will be a 3-way race for many reasons, not the least of which is the Buzz factor. There is a lot of anger against the Liberals and frankly the visibility of Mr. Hargrove with Mr. Martin is not going over well in this growing area of suburbia around Windsor. The overall campaign trend will dictate who wins this riding. Although there are large rural areas, the auto towns of Essex, Tilbury, etc. are sensitive to the automotive industry. The continuing troubles at Ford and GM will weigh heavily on this riding. An interesting race for sure.
12 12 05 SDC
This may be a close race and one worth watching to see how Ontario fares for the 3 main parties. The NDP will not win this race, however they will play a significant role.
In the light of the recent Buzz Hargrove/Paul Martin coalition, the riding of Essex will test how voters react. In this riding you have a credible Tory "threat" - an incumbent - it does not get more credible. The most likely person to beat him is the former incumbent Susan Whelan, a competent, capable and experienced politician. The name Whelan is still worth something in Southern Ontario.
Add to this mix however the NDP candidate - Taras Natyshak. Just as the name Whelan may have great resonance in Liberal/farming communities, the name Natyshak is synonimous with the labour movement in the Windsor area and has been for the last 30 years. Taras' father Walter is a giant in the CAW/NDP and he should be able to count on most of his Union 'brothers and sisters' to shun out-of-towner Hargrove and his Liberal leaning suggestion of "Strategic Voting". In a winter election, with likely poor voter turnout, especially in rural areas if the weather is not good, it will be unlikely that union voters will make the effort to vote Liberal. The greatest likelihood is that most of the labour vote that does get to the polls will cast a ballot for Natyshak.
This sets up a chance for the Tory to slip through if he runs a strong race. Though it was almost inconceivable for a Tory to win in the Windsor/Essex area in the last 50 years, this riding and the current circumstances may have created the perfect/imperfect conditions for this to happen.
12 12 05 Bear and Ape
The major point that many people seem to be missing about this riding is that in 2004 the NDP ran a strong candidate that siphoned off votes from Whelan. The candidate this time in not nearly as strong and many of those voters will return to the Liberal fold, helping Whelan get re-elected.
11 12 05 Tom F.
The fact that Buzz has not only endorsed the Liberals, but also Susan Whelan personally, spells real trouble for former auto worker, Watson.
09 12 05 estella
Susan Whelan will win this riding back. Given that the unions are encouraging their members to vote Liberal over NDP in ridings where the Conservatives are a threat, and that Watson won with only around 36% of the vote last time, it is unlikely he will be able to hold it. In addition, the fact that Watson, uh, "misled" his constituents about living in the riding (he was finally outed in the Windsor Star this week) doesn't play well in the County. As much as people in the riding are unhappy with the Liberals, the notorious historical feud between the Whelans and the Martins can only help Susan at this point.
03 12 05 Red Bull
Jeff Watson came off the assembly line and I think people had big hopes for him to do something for the auto industry. Unlucky for him that the Libs announced a big investment in Chrysler's Windsor operations just before the writ was dropped. Susan Whelan worked hard on this deal and everyone will be wondering why they turfed her out in the first place. I think we will see her returned to Ottawa.
01 12 05 C B
I think Jeff Watson has this locked up. Last election was the one that should have been difficult for him, it wasn't supposed to be based on the polls, and it ended up being a lot closer than what most thought that it would be. Bottom line is that this time around, the same issues are present. Voters are STILL angry about the same things they were last year and people didn't vote for Whelan for a reason. Why would they all of a sudden vote for her now? I think the Liberals actually made a mistake in choosing Whelan again. Had they chosed some young, ambitious, fresh face, maybe the story would be different. People are tired of the Liberals and Susan Whelan in Essex. The NDP will take more votes from the Liberals this time and Watson will win by a larger margin. Predicted result: CON 41%, LIB 28%, NDP 27%
30 11 05 Brendan
Last election the conservatives won this riding by almost a 1000 votes, since then the conservatives are up four point in the most resent poll meaning that it is hard to see this riding not painted blue on election night.
27 11 05 ChrisCo
I believe that voter turnout will be most important aspect of this winter election. Not just voter turn out how about candidate turnout. In 2004,I seem to recall 2-3 phone calls from the Watson team(always during dinner, always at a time that was inconvenient)and no phone calls or door knocking from the Whelan team. When election day came my polling station was nearly empty and as my eyes peered at the list I noticed most of my neighbours hadn't voted yet. I keep wondering about how if she would have done leg work in and around my neighbourhood then the results would have been different. I live in LaSalle which has a population of about 18,000. Let us say that there are 9,000-10,000 voters. If she lost by less than 1,000 votes then how about a visit to the more populated neighbourhoods this time around and see what happens!
24 11 05 olp
The NDP Candidate, David Tremblay has decided to step down as the candidate in Essex.
In the 2000 election the NDP (no name candidate) were able to get 6000 votes. Susan Whelan of the Liberals was able to to 21000 votes. The Alliance and PC together were just over 19000 votes.
In 2004, the NDP under Mr. Tremblay with support from the national party and the union help from Windsor was able to attract 12500 votes. This really hurt the Liberals and Whelan was only able to atrract 18000 votes which allowed Jeff Watson and the CPC to split up the middle.
They have announced a candidate but the name was too complicated to write down in time, but it seems like another no name candidate for the NDP. This alone should ensure a tight race between the CPC and the Liberals with the edge going in the Liberal favour.
Combine the above with Susan Whelan's aggressive campaigning and fundraising since the last election, the fact that Watson still lives in Windsor and has not moved to Essex as his literature and website suggest and finally internal disputes among the conservatives in Essex and I will give Whelan the riding with a comfortable margin of at least 3000 votes.
18 09 05 Mick
This will be one to watch.
Watson was true to his word on the Seniors' U.S. Pensions / CASSE issue, and had private members' legislation passed after no action from local Liberal and NDP MPs who are either fundamentally opposed to the issue or are simply afraid of the boss.
No matter the party, personal relationships mean everything when it comes to campaigns. These do deteriorate, and the thrill of the campaign is better spent supporting a candidate you actually like. I wouldn't dismiss Windsor-Tecumseh as a CPC pickup in the least, with Watson's victory having shown that strategic voting may have actually deprived local Conservatives an attainable victory.
I'd like to see the Essex seat stay Conservative in the next election. I think it can if a few "I'm sorry's" are exchanged. There just needs to be a bit of outreach to make it happen, because Watson appears to be a competent and likeable MP. Chalk this one up to Whelan unless the Tories drop their traditional backstabbing and infighting, and Watson makes a genuine effort to reach out to the people who helped put him over the top last time around.
17 09 05 M. Lunn
For the person who suggested the Conservatives will send all the workers to Windsor, lets get realistic here. Despite Stockwell Day's musing at the Tories taking both Windsor ridings, I don't think there is a single conservative that realistically believes they will take either Windsor riding. If anything I wouldn't be surprised if some Windsor Tories come out to Essex to help. As for Susan Whelan, considering she had one of the worse showings in Ontario for liberal incumbents, she is probably more of a liability than asset to the liberal party. She is also a Chretien loyalist which is not good in the wake of the Gomery Inquiry since at least the Martin people can claim they had nothing to do with the scandal. But this riding really boils down to how well the NDP does. If the NDP does well, the Conservatives will hold it, while if the NDP vote collapses the liberals will re-take it. Last time the Conservatives only got 36% while the NDP got 20% and liberals 34%.
16 08 05 Bear and Ape
We're a little perplexed as to Mack's comments about Watson's campaign team. Yes he did have a good team and because of this he toppled the Whelan dynasty, albeit by a very small margin. Whelan will be back in the next election in force so it's anyone's game. Having said that, why would his team suddenly desert him and go chasing after windmills in Windsor-Tecumseh. Anyone who lives in the region (and is smart enough to know that the stuff published in the Windsor Star isn't worth the paper it's printed on) knows that the Conservatives haven't a prayer in either of the city of Windsor ridings. Joe Comartin is locked in solid so far as the Conservatives are concerned (maybe a threat from the Liberals but that is a big maybe). It makes no logical sense for Watson's team to go after Comartin, none what so ever. Bottom line to that diatribe; Watson's team is probably still with him, Whelan is out for blood, sit back and watch the fireworks come the election call. Too close to call.
29 07 05 Mack
Jeff Watson had a strong campaign team that beat Susan on the early vote (special ballot and advanced polls). They got 90% of their supporters out to vote.
They raised and spent the limit. They had nearly 400 volunteers. From what I have been told they had a brilliant GOTV effort. This same team was responsible for working on Frank Klees provincial leadership campaign after the 2004 federal election. Frank only won 20 ridings out of 103 and came in 3rd overall to Flaherty and Tory. Watsons old team in Essex won 11 of them.
Long story short, many of those people have left Essex to work in Windsor-Tecumseh where they belive Joe is vulnerable. The Essex Conservatives have less memberships than they had at the last election. There are many problems in that riding association.
Susan has been working non-stop since the last election.
Watson should win this riding. If his main guy goes back he should win without a problem. If he stays in Windsor then Whelan should take it.
26 05 05 Aric H
Well polls are going to keep on changing until the election and since we don't know exactly when it will be these predictions may change from time to time to reflect that. Today's new Leger Poll shows the Liberals 11 points ahead of the Conservatives nationally and about 15 or more points ahead in Ontario. Now that it is official that Susan Whelan is going to run as the Liberal candidate again, this combined with the close vote last time and high Ontario numbers for the Libs means that if an election were held soon Whelan would win. But this could change if the election does not come until later.
11 05 05 Craig
This riding has some Windsor dynamics, but is far more rural than urban. The Conservatives should hold on to the seat for a while now that they managed to snag it from the Liberals. The NDP will also make gains, but mostly at Liberal expense and it won't be enough as the anti-Conservative vote will be split. Predicted results: CPC 39%, NDP 30%, LIB 26%, GRN 4%, others 1%.
11 05 05 Bear and Ape
Currently this is Ape's riding (Bear currently lives in Windsor West) so we have a good feel for this riding. The close race last time was because Watson was up against the Whelan dynasty and there was alot of voter loyalty to Susan. Had there not been a strong NDP candidate then very likely Susan would still be a sitting MP. Unlike nearby Windsor, this is limited NDP support and the stong showing for the NDP was largely due to a popular candidate. This riding is going to stay Conservative provided one of two conditions are met:
1)Susan Whelan does not run again (or another star candidate for the Liberals)
2)The NDP run a strong candidate
If Whelan runs again and the NDP don't have someone stealing votes from her, then there is a chance this will go back to the Liberals. However, we're not counting on that to happen.
09 05 05 M. Lunn
This is a traditional liberal riding so it could go back to the liberals if they are able to swing enough of the NDP votes their way since Jeff Watson only got 36% last time. However, the increases in Conservative support have been greater in rural areas outside the GTA meaning that Jeff Watson will likely get above 40% this time around making him hard to knock off.
08 05 05 Aric H
The Conservatives won here by less than a thousand votes last year, but perhaps they will do better if they don't run against the Whelan name if the Libs have a different candidate this time. The NDP also placed a strong 3rd here and could take votes away from the Liberals making it difficult for them to get in again. However, with the Liberals ahead of the Cons in Ontario by around 10 points again, the Cons cannot afford to make mistakes in this province or they could lose close seats like this that they just won back and so this seat is not a certainty for the Cons.
07 05 05 Brandon
Essex will re-elect Jeff Watson. He played giant-killer last time ending the Whelan dynasty in a riding that was Liberal for decades. The NDP is strong here and will take even more votes away from the Liberals but not enough to beat the Tories who are up in the polls in rural Ontario. Essex County is very socially conservative too and will increase its voting mass for Harper.

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