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|Hon. Joe Fontana
|Bronagh Joyce Morgan
For historical result, please see
2004 Prediction page
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|18 01 06
|I'm actually predicting a Liberal win, but Stephen Maynard has impressed a lot of people in the city lately, my prediction is that he will turn heads. Mazzilli is a perpetual loser for the Conservatives, and his campaign this time has been weak. Last time 'round Fontana owned two relatively strong candidates, but I think Stephen Maynard will get a VERY respectable second place this time.
|16 01 06
|This riding in my opinion sits right on the border between minority and majority for the Tories. If the Tories win 145 seats, this probably won't be one of them. If they win 160, it will be. I'd like to call this TCTC for right now, but with the EP submission deadline fast approaching and the polls showing strong minority for the Tories, I think Fontana will win in a squeaker.
|15 01 06
|While Fontana is an incumbent with alot of guaranteed votes, he is admittedly a loser. Mazzilli does not really pose a threat, unfortunately, as he too, is a few fries short of a happy meal. The worst candidate by far is the NDP 'student' candidate, who poses about as much threat as a marxist-leninist or communist party candidate. While Fontana will likely win, Mazzilli will pick up alot of votes based on his party, not his reputation or his name. Maynard will be a distant third.
On a separate note, for the person who said UWO students won't vote here, and that they'll vote in their home riding, those living on-campus or in the north-centre area are entitled to vote here. Furthermore, the school makes it easy for them to register to vote in the community centre on-campus.
As for the person saying UWO is heavily conservative. I'd say it is more fashionable to be left-wing and there is a silent conservative movement and a loud left-wing movement. Also, for the person claiming that conservatives were helping the maynard campaign, that is a total load of baloney. The chances of anybody wanting to help Maynard are slim, he's a joke.
Finally, the person who claimed that people will vote against Maynard BECAUSE he is a UWO student, clearly doesn't understand the London appreciation of the school. The economy in this riding is fueled by the 30,000 students and many smart residents and business-people cater to students' needs and wishes. While I doubt his student status will help him in any possible way, I doubt people will vote against him because he is a 'UWO' student.
|13 01 05
|It's time for us to go to TCTC here.
Could Fontana still win here? Yes, but if he wins, it will be very close, as will all the London ridings (baring a HUGE shift in momentum).
Historical Liberal voters here are shifting their voting intentions either to be undecided or to the NDP or Conservatives.
Stephen Maynard has had a surprisingly strong showing so far. He has far outstripped the campaigning of Joe Swan last year who, while having name recognition, didn't have any "ground game". Maynard has it.
This riding could go anyway. While I don't think Maynard will win here, I think it's not unthinkable either.
Joe Fontana has been nowhere in the riding. His campaign is near non-existent, especially when conpared with his energetic campaign in the last election.
Stuart Smith of the Greens has probably given the best consistent debate preformance, but given the low rate of Green support, he'll likley still score 5-6% here.
Rod Morley of the Progressive Canadian party doesn't even earn a mention here, so I apologize for even mentioning his name - the party is a non-entity.
Mazzilli's campaign has been picking up steam, especially since the new year began. They are still also an outside shot, but they are probably the most likely to take the riding away from the Liberals.
I think this riding should be TC TC given these features.
|12 01 06
|Fontana is going to get this one. He is well known, respected, has been around forever, and doesn't have the air of Ottawa around him. There's a kind of populist, standing-up-for-the-little-guy aspect to his persona that will prevent him being hit by the corruption backlash. Mazilli is also something of a known quantity, but not in a good way as he's consistently lost in the past. And please, running a student in this riding? The NDP might as well announce that they don't plan to contest it. Other than UWO students and a few committed NDP ideologues, residents of this riding will make a point of voting against a UWO student because he's a UWO student -- only a UWO student could fail to recognize that!
|23 12 05
|I think many who have previously written in about the affect that UWO will have on the election are sorely misinformed. One only need to look at the 2003 Provincial election, in the heart of the school year, to understand the voter turnout of the Western student body. Deb Matthews won every poll on campus, but it was of little consequence. For those attending school here who do not understand the area, let me inform you. The riding of London North Centre is in some parts diverse, but for the most part, much of the riding is occupied by middle and upper middle class people who are educated and predisposed to voting. Maynard being an unknown will not be able to reach these voters, nor will Mazilli, who quite frankly I do not believe belongs in politics. Joe has the name recognition as the NDPers believe Mathyssen does in London Fanshawe (although that is debatable as well). Joe will win convincingly by the higher than 8000 vote margin he did in 2004. Do not underestimate the influence of the position of cabinet minister. One need only look to Edmonton Centre and Landslide Annie, who would be defeated if it were not for her position.
|20 12 05
|(no, I'm the other A.S.)
Re Western's "conservative" student body, remember that another university with a "conservative" reputation, Queens, hasn't prevented Kingston from going solid-Liberal provincially and federally--in fact, the most Queens-affected polls in Kingston tend to lean far more heavily NDP/Green these days than Tory. Ultimately, a student is a student is a student--that is, more fashionably left-ish than the voting norm, wherever you go--and except maybe in knife-edge circumstances (f'rinstance, Trinity-Spadina), the school's-in-session factor is electorally negligible, even if you get a bunch of Saugeen strippers to coax those conservative-or-not Western naughty-boys to the polls. More important would be a secret meta-effect, a certain "college-town karma"; that is, a culture and economy and political "feel" that partakes in the raw presence of a higher educational institution (think of Richard Florida's creative-class theories)--and that's a 12-month-a-year affair. And it's upon that platform that the NDP has at all become competitive in London over the past generation, even if their best polls are more working-class than creative-class. But that can only leverage them so far--like Toronto Centre and St. Paul's, LNC simply has too much formidable affluenza. Which is why LNC's '04 federal result virtually duplicated the '03 provincial result; that is, low 40s Grit, high 20s Tory, 24ish NDP. But it was also SW's Ontario's most hyperactive demonstration of NDP "vote efficiency"; that is, 1643 fewer people may have voted Dipper than CPC, yet that earned them 60-or-so polls to CPC's 6-or-so! (Tellingly, the best Reform-a-Tory polls were also the best Liberal/ex-PC polls.) Things don't look terribly different now; strategic voting and a "kid candidate" may well impair the NDP this time in spite of itself, yet even if the Tories are on the rise in SW Ontario, a seat this urban and cultural-classy is, short of a sweep, a pretty tough nut for Harper's party to crack. A three-way *at most*.
|19 12 05
|A win for Fontana is the most likely outcome. The reasons for this are as follows:
1) Fontana is well enough known in the riding know having represented the area since 1988.
2) The Conservative candidate is unlikely to win here having been unable to win in 2004 in London-Fanshawe where is name is more well known due to his brother having been MPP for the riding.
3) The NDP candidate is indeed less well known than the previous candidate, as the previous candidate was a former London city councillor.
4) Fontana remains a cabinet minister which often gives incumbent MPs a boost.
I would also point out that only students of Western who happen to live in London North Centre can vote in the riding. Simply attending university in a particular riding does not give anyone entitlement to vote in that riding. The person must also have some type of residence in the riding.
There will indeed be a student vote, some of which will vote NDP. It may give the NDP candidate a slight boost, but if the students in general are as conservative as rumoured, it is likely to boost the Conservative candidate more than the NDP candidate. However, student turnout is likely to be low. Fontana still has the best chance of winning.
|15 12 05
|I think there is a significant misreading of student voting patterns represented in the NDP predictions.
Students are not angry over issues, except for a very small minority (10%?). They simply do not care.
Most students have a hard time even naming an issue, for that matter. Most of them view all politicians are equally corrupt and don't care, unless the election affects beer prices.
This is the same school that could only get 90 people to a tuition fee rally during the Mike Harris era.
Most students at UWO simply find politics annoying and nerdy. Most students have a similar view of student candidates/politicians, regardless of the level of politics or the affiliation of the candidate.
The NDP candidate could have the backing of every political club on campus and the USC and it would make no difference, because only a tiny fraction of the student population cares about these groups (unless Ugg boots become an election issue!).
Besides, any votes the NDP gains from students will be lost in non-student voters due to a lack of name recognition.
Even if the NDP adds, say, 1500 votes this time (an optimistic estimate), it won't be nearly enough.
|14 12 05
|Bear and Ape
|Both if us being students, having attended 4 different universities between us throughout our academic careers, we know and understand students and can safely say that students are NOT angry at the political process, they ARE apathetic! Ask most students about their political views, and with the exception of the few who are politically savy, most would much rather talk about the weather. Students who do vote will vote for which ever party (yes party, as being an urban riding it is the party that matters more than the individual candidate) best suits their purposes. As for student candidates, we deal/have dealt with them and their antics. Most students are irritated by these candidates as they bother you at lunch, or interrupt a card game in the student center, or peddle their propaganda between periods at floor hockey, or annoy you while you try to work out at the gym. If student candidates irritate students who frequent this website (such as ourselves), how could they possibly strike a chord with the rest of the student body?
|14 12 05
|As a Western Student I am sad to say that our student body is among the most apathetic of all universities on campus. I simply do not see people rallying behind a student candidate. For the 500 or so people who know Stephen personally it may make a difference but on a campus of 26,000 students you dont quite make that 'personal' connection with everyone. Adding to this problem, Stephen is from the faculty of Engineering which like it or not tends to keep to themselves, because of this he wouldn't get the kind of universal support that say a social science or science student would.
The reality is that most people at Western wont vote at all, let alone support a candidate from the NDP (note conservative centred campus.) Unfortunately the student vote will not make the difference that it can and Fontana will win this riding again due simply to his experience.
|13 12 05
|Will 29,000 students vote NDP? No. Will 29,000 students even vote? No. However, at least 10,000 residents of London North-Centre will vote for anyone with "NDP" besider their name. Yes, Western is a very conservative school (I'll debate that it is the most conservative in Canada...) but students will vote for a student candidate. Several members of the Western Conservatives Association are voting (indeed volunteering) for the Maynard campaign because students are excited about having their issues voiced in the political discourse of this country. The reason young people do not vote isn't apathy, it's anger over the fact that we are not represented in the House of Commons. It's anger over the fact that politicians brush our issues and our concerns aside. That is why Maynard will get the support of the University Community.
As a side note, University Students get to choose which riding they want to vote in (their home riding, or their university riding.) Given a student candidate in London, I think that most of them will choose to vote in London.
|13 12 05
|While I think there's the *possibility* the student vote COULD make this riding closer than 2004, I highly doubt the NDP will even place second, let alone win the riding.
A) Many have alluded to the fact UWO is a conservative school. It is indeed. Though many young people tend to be more sympathetic to the left, Western is certainly an exception.
B) There are thousands of students here. Now let's take student apathy into effect. Let's say 30% vote (that's probably a high figure). That's 8700 votes from Western. Now, given that Western is a conservative/centrist institution, I would say the chances of the NDP even claiming half those 8700 votes is slim-to-none. One need only do the math to realize these sorts of numbers just don't add up in the NDP's favour AT ALL.
C) Joe is relatively popular here, has been elected five times in a row, and is a cabinet minister.
I'm sorry, but there is absolutely no way in hell this riding is going NDP. I would give the Tories a very slight shot, should there be any serious Liberal gaffes along the way, but right now it's definitely looking like Fortress Liberal.
(Oh, and to Bear and Ape, not all students vote in their home ridings. I am merely attending school here, as are many of my friends, and we all plan to vote here in this riding, not in our "home" ridings)
|09 12 05
|I feel compelled to respond to the last post suggesting that the NDP will win this riding because they've selected a UWO student as a candidate. This has got to be one of the most absurd predictions I've ever seen.
1) Students, especially UWO students, don't vote in large numbers. Western is arguably the most conservative, apolitical campus in Canada. I doubt that a majority of students even know who the candidates are. The student turnout won't be more than 25%.
2)Students don't generally view "student-candidates" as "people they can relate to" such candidates are generally viewed as geeks and wierdos.
3)Nominating a student reeks of desperation. The NDP couldn't win this riding with a well-regarded professor in the last provincial election. A student stands no chance.
4)the non-student vote (90% of the voters) will have no idea who this person is.
5) Joe Fontana is the strongest incumbent in the London area and is well-known and personable. Even if the other two London seats change hands, he is safe.
6) with new polling suggesting the tories are up in SW Ontario, some NDPers may be scared into voting liberal.
Overall, this seat is a solid liberal hold.
|07 12 05
|Will 29,000 students vote in LNC? Does Devin realise that UWO is the most conservative university in Canada? That the campus Conservative club is bigger than the Liberals and NDP combined? I think Fontana will retain his seat but I'm not making that prediction yet. There is no way that Western students will ever swing anything to the NDP.
|07 12 05
|Bear and Ape
|Students do not vote in the riding where their school is located, rather in their home riding. Ergo, there is NOT 29,000 students voting in London-North Center. Also students have some of the lowest turn out numbers. So that alone renders the NDP prediction meaningless. What also renders it meaningless is the possibility that a political neophyte could topple a well known and respected cabinet minister who won more than 9000 votes over a better known NDP candidate in 2004. An NDP prediction is either wishful thinking or just plain silliness.
|07 12 05
|Joe Fontana won by a pretty large margin, so there is no reason to believe the NDP would win this. As for the university back in session, that will only make a minor dent as voter turnout amongst students tends to be quite low and many live in other London ridings or will vote in the riding of their parents. If the NDP picks up any London ridings, it will be London-Fanshawe. The fact they have a 21 year old student likely means the NDP doesn't think they have much chance of winning here as a stronger candidate likely would have run for the nomination if this was seen as a winneable riding.
|01 12 05
|The NDP have just announced that Western Student Stephen Maynard will be their candidate in this riding. With 29,000 students living in the riding, and a student candidate with whom they can identify, the whole dynamic of this riding changes radically.
|The Conservative candidate is John Mazilli--he ran in London Fanshawe last time, moved over to this riding and defeated Gatten for the nomination, which may cut into the Conservative vote if Gatten supporters sit this one out.
If Joe Swan runs again for the NDP, there will be another strong showing for them here.
However, Fontana is well regarded and should win this one, unless more health problems crop up and he is unable to run. He was spotted in the local emergency room and rumours of heart problems are circulating. But if these rumours are untrue and he remains, he will take this one.
|15 05 05
|All signs are that Fontana will be elected to a sixth term in London-North-Centre. He won by over 8,000 votes just last year despite predictions that it would be a tight three-way race. With Gatten likely running again, the race may be a bit closer, but I would give Fontana the riding with at least a 5,000 margin. The fact that he now sits in Paul Martin's cabinet and is doing a decent job as Minister of Labour and Housing will only help him in re-election. London hasn't had cabinet representation in Ottawa since the Mulroney years and now that we finally do, it would sound rather foolish to elect a Conservative who would likely go to Ottawa to sit on the backbenches. In short, whether you like the guy or not, Fontana's long service, influence in cabinet, and personal popularity will help him to win London-North-Centre handily.
|09 05 05
|While this is likely the solidest Liberal seat in the city of London, there is very little for Joe Fontana to be complacent about here. Consider a few salient facts:
Joe Fontana has traditionally polled 5-8% higher than the federal Liberal party. In the last election he polled even with the Liberals in Ontario.
The NDP campaign, even though running a well known candidate in Joe Swan, didn't make a large dent in the Liberal numbers that were suggested last time. The Swan campaign didn't really get off the ground. Which is unfortunate, considering a strong NDP campaign turns this riding into a horse race.
Does this mean that the Liberals won't, in the end, win again? No. But I'm willing to bet that this election will be much closer than in the past. The voters are starting to experience Fontana Fatigue, and this will probably translate into a loss of about 1,000 to 2,000 votes, not enough to imperil Fontana, but the beginning of a message being sent.
What starts to make this riding worth watching are a couple of possible factors:
1. A return of a strong NDP candidate. If the NDP put in a good fight in this riding, it would translate into another few thousand votes moving to them from the Liberals. It also creates a three-way horse race.
2. A resurgent Conservative campaign, using battle tested campaign staff (& possibly candidate should Tim Gatten re-capture the nomination on Thursday). This in and of itself is prophetic of a likely gain for the Conservatives of 1,000 votes, simply through better management of resources (GOTV, phone banking, etc). This is a corresponding advantage that wouldn't apply to the Fontana camp which has already had this "battle hardening"
What is the end result of all this? I beleive this riding will be far closer than anyone is thinking at this point, with the destinct possibility that an extremely tighly run Conservative campaign, combined with a good national campaign can steal this riding away. It's a longer shot, but I would argue this should be too close to call.
|05 05 05
|Of the four London area ridings, this is the one safe liberal riding. The Conservatives and NDP are too far behind to win this even with the liberal numbers falling. Joe Fontana has also been a strong Labour minister so he should be re-elected and maybe one of the few liberal MPs left in Southwestern Ontario.