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Ottawa Centre

Federal Election - 2006 - élection générale

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John Andrew Akpata
David Chernushenko
Paul Dewar
Keith Fountain
Christian Legeais
Richard Mahoney
Stuart Ryan
Anwar Syed

Hon. Ed Broadbent

2004 Result/Résultats:
Ed Broadbent
Richard Mahoney
Mike Murphy
David Chernushenko
Michael Foster
Robert G. Gauthier
Stuart Ryan
Carla Marie Dancey
Louis Lang

For historical result, please see
2004 Prediction page

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19 01 06 Factiod
Chicken Charlie's been posting all over the place, and it's clear he doesn't live in Ottawa. Layton's been to Dewar's riding three times since the election was called and Dewar's blowing Mahoney away on the ground both in signage, literature and door-to-door canvassing.
Note that Ottawa Centre isn't on Martin's hail-mary list of ridings for the last week of his tour. Odds are if he comes to Ottawa, he'll be pushing McGuinty more than Mahoney.
Mark this one in the NDP column. It's over here.
19 01 06 J
I think the obvious reason Layton hasn't been by this riding is that Ed has been a constant presence in the Dewar campaign. There's little sense in bringing in Jack to hype up the race when you already have a strong endorser in Ed. I would also add that Jack isn't visiting here because the NDP probably (and rightly) feels they're going to win this riding. The NDP vote here is very consistent in non-Ed years, and I think it will increase up a fair bit with disaffected Liberals. And, others will turn to the Conservatives, (or the strong Green candidate) which squeezes the Liberals from the other direction. The big story in this riding on election day will be the decline of the Liberal vote, more than the increase in the NDP vote.
19 01 06 Graydon
Its good to be noticed and not proven wrong. This is a tight three way race, there is no doubt about that, and history shows that it has happened before. In 1999 a no name conservative candidate came within 1500 votes of unseating Liberal incumbent Richard Patten, in the provincial election At 40 percent in some national polls, you would have to be a eternally optimistic Dipper not to acknowlege that fact. Or someone truly nervous about the NDP vote tanking, as it has before, in the face of a tight national race between the Liberals and conservatives.
As for whether Mahoney can hold on to the Liberal vote he got in the last election I would point out the following:
Mahoney held on to that vote against Ed Broadbent; he held onto it despite the most unpopular provincial budget in recent history; and he held on to it despite a campaign waged over the sponsorship program, sound familiar. There is no legitimate reason in this election to believe that Mahoney will bleed this core Liberal vote. Even the advance poll numbers were down in Ottawa Centre, an obvious sign of a lack of momentum on the part of the NDP given Ed's massive win in the advance polls last time.
It was acknowledged by both posts that if Mahoney does hold his votes he will win, so thank-you for pointing out what was already pointed out. You're both very smart and I salute you. Especially the guy without any experience in the riding and who bases his posts off cursory glances at the provincial numbers bases on a small sample size of 300. You get a gold star.
Two breaking news stories: The LIberals are either statistically tied or leading in Ontario according to every poll, NDP support has dropped by five percent in Ontario according to SES. Not good news for Dewar.
As for my quote abut Dewar that was pointed out in the previous post, I will repeat, "Anybody who thinks Paul Dewar is DEFINITELY going to win this race is nuts." This is a three way race and as I have said the entire time, and it is tiring being consistent, Richard Mahoney has the edge in ground organization and name recognition and should take this riding in a sqeaker.
18 01 06 Chicken Wing Charlie
In the 2004 campaign, Jack Layton dropped in to see Ed Broadbent every week of the campaign. This time Layton has avoided Ottawa Centre like it's the last place he'd want to go. Why would Layton stay away from the only seat the NDP hold in all of eastern Ontario?? Well my friends,the answer is very simple. Dewar hasn't been able to hold the support Broadbent put together in 2004 and he's going down. Mahoney won this seat the day Ed decided he's go back into retirement. You have to wonder what happened to the Conservatives in Ottawa Centre. They hardly showed up.
Maybe all the area Conservatives went to try to knock off David McGuinty or something like that.
17 01 06
When I posted last week, I made this TCTC. I'm leaning more towards calling an NDP victory than I was a week ago, Liberal scare tactics notwithstanding.
Graydon continues to baffle with his comments. Of course Broadbent wouldn't unleash a stinging personal critique during an election - that's why he's Ed Broadbent.
As for Mahoney's name recognition factor, with Old Ottawa South, the Glebe, and East & West Centretown awash in a sea of prominent Paul Dewar signs, and with the recognition factor his family name bears, I think it's being overplayed.
Graydon concludes with, "If Mahoney holds his vote from the last election he will win in a tight one." Readers, I promise you that Mr. Mahoney will NOT hold his vote. Even without any first-hand experience of the riding, a cursory glance at Liberal numbers in Ontario, Eastern Ontario, and Ottawa itself should tell you that Mahoney will need more than a miracle to get 19478 votes this time. But, with the increased competitiveness of the CPC and the Greens, 19478 should be enough to win the riding this time.
Even if the NDP vote drops by 6300 from Broadbent's tally - and I can't see it dropping quite that much - Dewar will win.
17 01 06 Aric H
I still think the NDP has the edge because of its base of support from last time, the assistance of Broadbent, and the Liberal vote bleeding to the Conservatives. However, this week Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli endorsed Richard Mahoney. Whether this well help Mahoney I don't know, but I suspect it won't have a large effect. As for The Ottawa Citizen endorsement for this riding that someone speculated on below, that will be out in a couple of days. Since they didn't endorse Mahoney in 2004 and chose to endorse Churneshenko, it's possible they will do the same this year.
17 01 05 PB
Ah Graydon...wasn't it you who said last time "Anybody who thinks this riding is definitely going New Democrat is nuts."? Why yes, it was. This time, you're pretending the Conservatives have a chance to win here, clinging to the hope that you might scare some NDP voters to the Liberals and reverse the slide. But it ain't happening, least of all in this riding, according to every pollster out there.
You're also saying "If Mahoney holds his vote from the last election he will win in a tight one." Two things: First, why should anyone expect that will happen, when the pollsters put Liberal support in Ontario from 31-37%, and last time around they got 45%? The bar that Dewar needs to jump over is getting lower by the day.
Second thing: Dewar could shed over 20% of Ed's total from last time and still beat Mahoney's total from last time. And that's if Mahoney can somehow insulate himself from the national tide, which he can't. There is no evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, to suggest the NDP is leaking support like that, if at all.
Ottawa Centre was only a safe Liberal seat in the 90s when the federal NDP was polling in single digits nationally and well under 20% in Ontario. With support now in the high teens nationally and above 20% provincially, the Broadbent Tories aren't needed. This is going NDP. End of story.
As for Socks...Where is Layton? Like all major party leaders, he is concentrating on marginal ridings, not the ones that are already in the bag. Like Ottawa Centre for the NDP. No rationalizing needed, just look at the numbers. In Canada. I'm not making this up.
16 01 06 ottawa south resident
This riding is overdue to be called for the NDP. Though Dewar won't have as large a plurality as Broadbent, he will win by a larger margin. Look for Dewar to take 35% with there being a real three-way race for second place around 20% each.
Dewar has largely solidified his base votes while Mahoney has really been struggling losing ground to both the Tories and the Greens. The Greens took 8% here last time with virtually no campaign, this time they have a campaign office, a GOTV team and the likes. They'll hit at least 15% mostly at the expense of Mahoney where Liberals are looking for a place to park their votes.
16 01 06 Who's Socks?
Desperate NDP times call for desperate NDP rationalizing. Voters in Ottawa Centre won't be thinking about whether Paul Dewar will eventually run for leader of the NDP when they cast their ballots next Monday. That's too inside the beltway, even for an Ottawa riding. Most voters have no idea who Dewar is or whether he's looking to move up in his party.
What has always mattered here is that Broadbent won the seat on his own.
Now Ed is gone, Ottawa Centre will go back to being a solid Liberal seat.
Mahoney has the advantage of running last time and getting his name out there so he's familiar to voters. The other question Dewar's camp should be asking is, "Where is Jack Layton?" Haven't seen him much there.
16 01 06 Graydon
The claims of the Liberals losing in Ottawa Centre are greatly exagerated by the campaign worker for Paul Dewar (J Porter). And any thought of Dewar as leader has to leave the Jaime Heath crew cringing. Not even most of the centre of the NDP party like him.
This will definitely be a close three way race and will be too close to call until election day. Mahoney has the edge on Dewar on ground organization, Fountain has the national conservative coat tails pulling him along, Cherneshenko could conceivably get ten percent of the vote, so any call for Dewar walking away with this one is ridiculous.
A couple of corrections on the Mahoney quote. He was talking about National numbers, not local numbers, and he said he was known as the guy who lost to Broadbent which isn't a bad thing when he still held on to the lion's share of previous Liberal vote tally's in Ottawa Centre.
If we're going to throw quotes out there Ed Broadbent said on Richard Mahoney, "He's a nice guy, a serious candidate," in the Globe and Mail. Not exactly a stinging critique in the midst of an election.
Edge to Mahoney on ground organization and name recognition. If Mahoney holds his vote from the last election he will win in a tight one.
15 01 06 J Porter
This will be my last post on this riding as I believe it has largely solidified now for the NDP. Several other national prediction sites have already given this one to the NDP.
In todays Ottawa Citizen on page two Mr. Mahoney is quoted as saying 'the poll results he is seeing for him he has to admit are dissapointing', and 'people seem to remember him mostly as the guy who lost last time'.
NDP hold with a new candidate some are already touting as a possible future NDP leader, Liberal deflation as the team is hardly excited about only an outside chance at opposition, Conservative gains and Green could go either way but likely up a little from Liberal bleeding.
14 01 06 Ben Carleton
Broadbent won here largely based upon name recognition. This time around, although the NDP have a very active candidate, Mahoney looks like he could take the riding back for the liberals. One of their few hopes in Ontario, really. On the other hand, the Conservatives have a strong candidate in Keith Fountain, which could prove to be a spoiler for Mahoney. I'm still calling it for the liberals, though.
13 01 06 Duck and Cover
Ed Broadbent took Ottawa Centre back to the future in 2004 but this time the riding will return to the Liberal side. Paul Dewar never was the star candidate the NDP thought he'd be and Layton has distanced himself from Dewar campaign. Richard Mahoney will finally win the Ottawa Centre seat but I don't think he'll like the view from the opposition benches. Mahoney ran to be a cabinet minister no an opposition nobody.
13 01 06 Graydon
It's turned in to quite a three way race in Ottawa Centre. The Conservative support is unusually high with national numbers where they are. One has to wonder how the NDP vote will hold in the face of the prospect of a Harper Conservative government.
Dewar has half the signs up that Broadbent had in the last campaign. Guess he couldn't even hold on to Broadbent's sign list. Dewar's tone has also seemed to change in the last week or so at the all candiates debate. Much harsher attacks with the hint of desperation in his voice as the party is trying to hold onto a seat that they only won because of Ed Broadbent.
Don't think there is a Tories for Dewar movement like Ed had last time. If Mahoney holds onto the votes he received in the last election, this riding will definitely be back in the Liberal column. Can't say that for a lot of other eastern ontario ridings, but the numbers point to a win for the Liberals in this case.
13 01 06 J Porter
I attended the Carleton University All-Candidates meeting yesterday. The NDP and Conservative had their activists out but the Liberal camp support was mysteriously absent for such a large event. While the other two had reliable and hearty applause groups, Mahoney occasioned silence at times which was extremely unusual for a major party candidate. I attended with a Liberal friend and he was embarressed to be one of the one of the only ones to applaud at times so he eventually stopped.
The Marijauna and Green parties did very well and will likely get a big boost. The Communist party fellow was horribly uncharismatic and sloppy on his comments.
Overall the student crowd of hundreds was by far the most friendly to the NDP and followed by closely by Green. It likely won't have too much impact on the overall riding results as this is only one poll but it shows the leanings of students.
One other comment: Two weeks ago the Sunnyside Avenue part of town just off Carleton campus was almost entirely covered in Green signs on lawns but on the same route today these have largely given way to NDP on the same properties. Has anyone else noted this?
12 01 05
If you just look at lawn signs, Paul Dewar and the NDP would seem to have Ottawa Centre in the bag. But word on the street here is that this is a very tight three-way race, with Chernushenko of the Greens also running strongly. Conservative Keith Fountain looked like a longshot at best until the national Liberal meltdown started over the holidays. Now it would be foolish to count the Tories out in Ottawa Centre, especially as they seem primed to do so well all through Eastern Ontario. Liberal Richard Mahoney is a very strong local candidate with credibility and connections in the riding, so the disastrous Liberal national campaign will have less impact on his chances than many other unfortunate Libs. Mahoney could still win this thing. How much of the NDP vote last time was just for Ed Broadbent? A lot. Until 2004, the NDP trailed pretty badly here in most elections. There is no doubt that there will be a major drop-off in the NDP vote, as Paul Dewar is simply not well known. In the end, Ottawa Centre may be decided by the strength of the riding organization. The NDP has the strongest organization, so I'd have to give Dewar a very narrow edge at this point in a race too close to call.
12 01 06 pinkerton
Tough battle. The greens are coming on stronger than last time, especially in Chernushenko's neighbourhood Old Ottawa South, which is a critical area for the NDP to dominate in. That could hurt Dewar, but it really depends how many soft Liberals have defected to the conservatives, and that we won't know until election day. From canvas work, I'd say the NDP has stayed reasonably strong, and the Liberals are soft overall. Conservatives definetely up.
12 01 06 I'm 4 pro rep
E.O. is, with all respect, shovelling generously and self-interestedly in his comment that star candidacies are overrated and that the '04 victory was an NDP victory. Since Ottawa Centre was expanded in '96, the NDP had consistently been beaten handily and by increasingly more. Elisabeth Arnold came 3rd and lost by 6,000 votes in 1999; Heather-Jane Robertson lost by 9,000 votes in 2000; and then Jeff Atkinson lost by 11,000 votes in 2003. The most that these 3 previous NDP candidates had received was 13,516, and suddenly Ed got over 25,700 votes.
Dewar will thus have difficulty maintaining Ed's votes, while I can't believe that Mahoney and his supporters are too excited about making him an opposition MP.
12 01 06 Bt
Still think that it is too close to call, but have to agree with EO that the Liberals have seriously overestimated their ability to take votes from Dewar with the 'Scary Harper' tactic. With just 11 days left, Mahoney has yet to find an effective way to deal with Dewar - the Broadbent anecdotes meant to diminish Dewar are just tiresome now. Combined with disaster after disaster nationally, the Mahoney campaign is clearly losing momentum and voters to both the left and the right. If Mahoney doesn't pull down the Citizen endorsement, his campaign is probably finished - no election day demon dialer will save him. On the other hand, an endorsement at the local level might renew momentum and would probably kill the lobbyist attacks once and for all.
Fountain has clearly won back most of the old PC supporters, so it is probably now a question of how many people in the riding don't want an NDP MP. NDP strength on the ground is sort of hard to charge, as they are clearly funneling resources in to the riding to hang on to what is an NDP must-win. Layton will probably be in the riding in the last week. Very unlikely that Fountain is going to anything like that kind of national support.
12 01 05 Chris
This will be tight, but I'm going to call it for the NDP. I went to the all-candidates' debate at the Glebe Community Centre last night, which probably primarily attracted residents of the Glebe, Centretown and Old Ottawa South. Most of these people are likely solidly middle and upper-middle class professionals, with a centre-left bent... but then that's most of the riding as well. I also noticed a significant number of older people in the audience. The hall was packed and there were lineups out to the street to get there. Mahoney (Liberal) and Fountain (Conservative) both had small crowds of supporters to cheer them on, but I didn't notice cheerleaders from any other parties. I think people like Mahoney as a person and appreciate his work in the community, but the fact that he's a Liberal is hurting him right now... when he was talking about local issues, people seemed interested and engaged, but when he started in on the Liberal party line about how scary Harper is and how Martin is going to stand up for Canadian values, you could almost hear people's eyes rolling. Dewar presented himself well as a candidate with vision and ideas for the riding, spoke well to the national scene and the NDP's positioning of itself as an alternative to the two bigger parties, and showed how he would build on Broadbent's legacy while making it clear that he has substance of his own. The crowd ate it up. Chernushenko performed well, as he has every time I've heard him speak, but based on crowd reaction and what I heard people saying during and after, I don't see him making large gains this time around, though he will maintain support. The surprise of the evening was the Marijuana candidate, John Akpata, whose colourfully-expressed yet clearly well-thought-out positions on the questions asked drew thunderous applause. Marijuana may double or triple its vote in this riding, though I doubt it will affect the outcome.
I see the wildcards, if there are any, as being the Greens and possibly Marijuana, but given the national scene I'm going to go out on a limb and call this one for the NDP, by a fair margin though not a landslide by any stretch. Mahoney's personal popularity will allow him a respectable second place showing, but Liberal fatigue may mean it's not even close. Based on crowd reactions and my knowledge of the riding (I've lived and worked here for over 4 years), I'd say Fountain will come in a distant third... he actually got boos and hisses... Ottawa Centre is not in tune with the Harper Conservatives.
12 01 06 E.O.
Pundits almost universally overvalue the importance of a star candidate. Almost all voters decide who they support based on the party, with only a small group deciding based on the local candidate. 2004 was a legitimate victory for the NDP, in a riding the party has won several times in the past on the federal and provincial levels. It was not simply an anomaly solely brought about by the presence of Broadbent. Some votes will be lost by running a relative unknown such as Paul Dewar, but Mahoney is losing many more votes due to the failure of the national Liberal campaign. Across Ontario there has been at least a five percent swing from the Liberals to the Conservatives. Keith Fountain still has no hope of winning this seat, but the Conservatives have drawn off a significant portion of the Liberal vote. Certainly more than enough votes to give the riding to the NDP.
11 01 06 Brain Trust
I this the Too Close To Call is right here.
Even though I live in SW Ontario, I spend alot of time in Ottawa. This is a real horse race. Fountain has come on stronger than anyone expected, especially in the new year.
Following the all candidates debates, each candidate seems to be presenting themselves well, and we haven't seen any real gaffes from any of them.
Mahoney was the obvious front-runner when this began. But with the Liberal meltdown in Ontario, and with recent discovery that public servants are not as scared of the Conservatives, this opens this riding up.
The NDP are strong here as well. Given the make-up of this riding, there is a strong social pull for the NDP from the Glebe area of the riding.
What does this leave us? It leaves this one too close to call until closer to election day when it will be clearer whether any of the candidates can put some distance between themselves and the other two clear challengers.
11 01 06 bitter
Having been to two local candidate debates, here are a few observations:
- Fountain, the Conservative, is quite arrogant and as neo-con as they come. Those who vote Conservative here do so for the leader or the national campaign, not the candidate.
- Chernushenko, the Green, is a very strong candidate, and actually seems human. I know the party line is that they draw from all areas of the political spectrum, but their strength is their social platform, and the different way that they would achieve it, so cutting in on the NDP. Green votes will go up, but not by as much as they should given how soft NDP-Lib votes will not migrate given the tight battle here.
- Dewar (NDP) and Mahoney (Liberal) both seem to be the embodiments of their parties' platforms and policies, and have been involved in the community for a long-time. You know exactly what you're getting if you vote for them.
In the end, I give this by a squeakingly-thin margin to the NDP, because the local association has been trying to transform this from an Ed Broadbent riding to an NDP riding with modest success, as well as the small victories Layton has chalked up in the House with so few members. Also, given the Liberal candidate's backroom history with Martin and very recent job as a lobbyist (something Broadbent derode in his last days as an MP), it would be a minus for him, if... the general population even knows about it.
10 01 06 magpie
Perversely, I think Richard Mahoney will do better as the Martin campaign fails.
Mahoney is a strong progressive candidate, with good experience in party organization, with good roots in the riding. He'll be a great opposition MP.
Martin's impending demise will allow Liberals who don't want a Martin government to come home this time. The absence of Ed Broadbent won't hurt Richard either.
Date 09 01 06 First Time Poster
Gotta Call this for Mahoney. While I voted for Ed Broadbent last time Paul is not the candidate Ed was nor will he be a similar MP. All we will have is a weak oppsoition voice while we could have a minister representing our riding. His campaign office is on my way home from work and I have often seen them working in there until 1am. I have never seen Paul’s office open later than 9.
09 01 06 ocv
I'm not sure where BT sees Tory traction. I actually think despite the national polls, the Tories might finish fourth here. In addition to putting up signs on public property, the Fountain campaign seems to have supporters putting up his signs on vacant apartment balconies (in at least one building I know of). That doesn't bode too well for his chances. I'm still calling this for the Liberals, but a lot will depend on the last few weeks of the campaign. If the NDP melts away in the face of a national Tory victory, will it hurt their chances here? Will sliding Liberal fortunes nationally take Mahoney down too? Exactly where will the Greens get their support from? I think this will be one to watch.
09 01 06 Centretown
Graydon is incorrect in stating that the NDP campaign is having money problems; they will be spending the maximum allowed by federal law.
Graydon is overstating the importance of the attention paid to the Green candidate by the NDP. The 2004 Broadbent campaign paid an equal amount of attention to the Green candidate. Chernushenko is the strongest Green candidate in Ontario, and probably second only to Andrew Lewis in Saanich-Gulf Islands nationally. Even if only 40% of Green votes are bled from the NDP (as per the Greens' beliefs about where their voters come from), it's essential to fight for those votes considering Chernushenko will likely pull 5-6000 voters this time, in what will no doubt be a close result.
Finally, Graydon is wrong about Dewar doing lit drops in apartment buildings. Perhaps his friend was mistaken. The person doing the lit drop was definitely one of the campaign's many volunteers. I can assure Graydon that the NDP candidate is far too busy to simply be flyering.
08 01 06 Graydon
Looks like the NDP war room read my post, gave poor Paul Dewar a call, and get his disorganized campaign into gear and told him to get some big signs out on the street. Better late than never with the first ones going up yesterday, 16 days before election day. Not that signs vote of course but they do play to the perception of a well organized campaign, especially when everybody else has them and Dewar did not.
J Porter should also remembeer that Layton's big signs are up across Canada, since the majority of Dipper candidates have zero name recognition. Any argument the NDP was against big signs is nothing more than the usual self-righteous hypocrisy.
A friend told me he saw Dewar in his apartment building the other day but he was only dropping literature and not knocking on doors. Guess he's a little afraid to talk to the good citizens of Ottawa Centre.
I would concede that with Tory numbers so strong in Ontario that they are certainly competitive in Ottawa Centre. One needs only look at the 1999 provincial election where MPP Patten beat the PC candidate by only 1500 votes. Look at that election though and you'll realize that when the Tories are in the lead provincially or nationally, NDP support tanks. The only NDP candidate that could stem that tide is Ed Broadbent and Paul Dewar is no Ed Broadbent.
07 01 06 BT
Moving this one into the too close to call, from my earlier Liberal call. Of the four campaigns, Fountain's seems to be getting the most traction, with Green not far behind. Dewar seems to be losing some of his base, and in particular might be losing the 'Broadbent Tories' to Fountain as the Conservatives run a far more effective campaign locally. On the other hand, not enough of the ethnic community base that Broadbent took from Mahoney is returning to the Liberal fold - seems to be splitting to the Big Three. Mahoney is probably still the front-runner, but is facing a strong challenge on both sides, and doesn't seem to have anything else except the 'Scary Harper' tactic. COmbined with an inept national Liberal campaign, could be bad news for Mahoney.
06 01 06 The Humble Prophet
I previously marked this as TCTC, but I think with the Liberal meltdown in the past few weeks, and Stephen harper's Conservatives on the verge of slaying the Liberal dynasty, a lot more red Tory types who previously voted Liberal will jump on the bandwagon and vote Conservative. This means Mahoney loses valuable, crucial votes. The conservative will not be competitive but he will finish a respectable third. In contrast to the below post, the NDP base has never been more galvanized. Dewar has the whole Broadbent team behind him, and I have heard from NDPers that there were over 1000 people at his nomination meeting, which when you think about it is 1% of the riding! I think Mahoney is an excellent candidate, but no man can swim against the tide of history, and the tide against the Liberals is extremely strong. Dewar by about 1000.
05 01 06 The Observer
Once again I fail to see the relevance of the size or number of your lawn signs! The Greens have been getting the best local press and who knows Chernushenko must have the grass roots angle there. The NDP may have shot their bolt, and early. Agreed that this is nothing like Edmania. There was a good article in the Ottawa Citizen after that one that the NDP never had the troops on the ground in the first place and the Grits played catch-up right to the end. Remember, Ed still only won by about 7K. I remember during the Chretien era thinking why anyone would vote for Mac Harb? But they did, in their droves, and there was a scandal every other month during that period! Who knows, Mahoney may well take his seat in the opposition after the last round of polls. The Liberals are gonna fall in Eastern Ontario, but not in this one.
05 01 06 J Porter

There is no money trouble for the NDP campaign. Just this week the Ottawa Citizen reported an NDP rally where hundreds showed up at an Ottawa Legion Hall to donate and volunteer. It is well known that the NDP was against public signs from well before the election start and are not going to put them up at any point during this campaign (as others such as House Speaker Peter Millikan are doing elsewhere). And point of order: Dewar signs are in fact plastic and two-sided as anyone in the riding can attest from seeing them everywhere.
04 01 06 Colin
Five reasons why Paul Dewar is going to win Ottawa Centre:
1. Richard Mahoney. He's already lost the riding once, despite his dirty tricks. For someone who was allegedly so well connected to still lose, and lose so well, it only takes the shines off their candidacy.
2. This is a highly-educated riding, with a lot of public servants and a good memory. People are going to remember that Richard Mahoney, Liberal candidate, is the same Richard Mahoney who was cited on the page of the Ottawa Citizen in the fall for improper lobbying. Ottawa Centre will not want the embarrassment of a David Dingwall-lite as its representative.
3. Reg Alcock. This is a riding of public servants. Liberal Reg Alcock, as President of the Treasury Board, treats public servants with contempt. Voters who work in the public service are going to wonder why they should support a party that thinks so lowly of them.
5. Ed Broadbent and Paul Dewar. Saint Ed beats the naysayers and won the riding. He then did a great job as a professional and even admirable representative. Paul Dewar is a strong replacement who has Ed's support and long ties to the riding. It's a one-two punch that Mahoney just can't beat.
03 01 06 Graydon
Poor Paul Dewar, still stuck in Ed's shadow, even in his campaign brochure, where he's literally standing in Ed's shadow.
Two sure signs of desperation on the Dewar campaign.
1-Paul Dewar is attacking the Green Party on his website.
Not surprising considering that Cherneshenko got more press from the mainstream media on the day that Layton was in Ottawa Centre to help Dewar, and in a riding where the Green candidate has more name recognition then this inexperienced son of a former mayor and what seems like just as many signs.
2-Paul Dewar will not be putting up big signs, really, I'm serious, go see his website. I can't believe it.
A sure sign of money trouble when even the Green Party is putting up big signs. Dewar has tried to say this is to save the environment, but along with his small flimsy cardboard, one sided signs, that no self-respecting child would slide down a snowy hill on, this is one big indication that Dewar has been unable to tap into to the broad base of financial support that Broadbent had in the riding. Is he saying that his leader Jack Layton, who has his big signs plastered across Canada, doesn't care about the Environment either?
02 01 06 RSG
The sign war has been meaingless since the beginning of this campaign. It started when Paul Dewar complained about the Mahoney and Fountain people being first out of the gate in having signs on major roads such as Scott Street.
Dewar's got signs spread throughout the riding in scattered bits and pieces. Mahoney's got them in concentrated groups, Fountain's got them in commercial areas.
My sense from talking with neighbours around here (Westboro) is that Mahiney's in the lead, Dewar a far second . He's riding on Ed and his mother's coattails and Fountain is a non-entity. If Mahoney himself was a bit more dynamic and not so associated with Martin he'd be a shoo-in. Still a very probable Liberal win.
02 01 06 G
I just don't see anything like the energy in the NDP forces that we saw last time in Ottawa Centre. I know several Liberals who tell me that the Mahoney campaign is doing better than almost any campaign in the area as far as organisation, support, donations and candidate canvass. The Mahoney campaign team is also very impressive and well-oiled. I live in the battleground Hintonburg area that went solidly for Broadbent last time. Mahoney is winning the sign war here 2 to 1.
Mahoney by at least 3,000.
29 12 05 Ottawa Centre Resident
Hard to pick a winner here. But previous posters have said that the NDP are winning the sign war. Well, I'm a renter in the Glebe (affluent area of Ottawa Centre) and Liberal signs are the most dominant. These are however mainly road signs and not yard signs. I've seen one NDP sign, one CPC sign. But in the end Mahoney is the name I've seen 10 times as much--no joke. I would say that this riding has too many public servants protecting their jobs so they won't go CPC. And the low income sections reinforce this. Maybe Alcocks plans to revamp the public service will weigh? Who knows.... Liberal/NDP toss-up.
25 12 05 JJ
Here is what the Hill Times said:
"In Ottawa Centre, if the election were held this week, NDP candidate Paul Dewar would win it. One Liberal said Liberals are over estimating the Ed Broadbent factor and said there's no indication they're moving away from the NDP, despite the fact that Liberal Richard Mahoney is the favourite to win."
21 12 05 Ottawa Insider
Moria is correct about one thing: The NDP appears to be dominant. If Dewars signs are visibly concentrated in many locations it means winning many individual polls compared to Mahoneys much more diluted support.
As to the claim of a 200-300 sign advantage for Mahoney that seems amazing frankly, given visibility and reality. They must be fairly well hidden in sideyards and cul-de-sacs and not visible to the majority of us living in the riding...
People are correct, Dewar is winning the visual sign war so far. Advantage NDP
21 12 05 The Observer
Its always hard to track metrics and/or polls but are lawn signs really much of a barometer in such a mixed area as Ottawa Centre? For sure the NDP are highly visible in the gentrified/shopping enclaves of The Glebe, Ottawa South, Westboro et al but for every smiling Paul Dewar outside a single 2-3,000 sq.ft house there has to be significantly more Mahoney voters in the walk-up apartment buildings, high-rises and senior residences that pepper any densely populated inner city riding. I sense that Mahoney's campaign has picked it up a notch or two this week since the first Leader's Debate.
21 12 05 Graydon
Without Broadbent in the race this will be a Liberal win. Ed won this race largely on his own personal appeal and his legion of volunteers and not due to some massive upswing in support for the NDP.
Voter turnout in Ottawa Centre rose to %70.3 in the last election, up from
an average of about 60% in the previous four provincial and federal elections. Nothing can really account for this except the personal appeal of Ed and the high profile of the Ottawa Centre race in the last election. It shoud be pretty obvious who most of these new voters chose and its not likely that the inexperienced son of a former mayor, who lost herself to former Liberal MP Mac Harb, can hold on to this support.
This time around Mahoney has a better organization than any of the other candidates, increased name recognition and is undoubtedly the most experienced candidate in the race. Not an easy Liberal win, but a win never the less.
19 12 05 Moria
A few people here have commented the Dewar is "winning the sign war." The Mahoney campaign has actually been tracking sign numbers very closely, both their own and their opponents'. And by current counts there are actully somewhere between 200-300 more Mahoney signs out there in the riding right now (just talking private property, not the public streetcorner signs) than Dewar signs. It doesn't always look like it because those are spread out across the entire riding, where with Dewar's signs they tend to be in high-density clusters in certain neighbourhoods, giving the appearance of dominance.
18 12 05 Aric H
I was in this riding yesterday. This riding has turned out to be a little closer than I originally expected. At first I thought that with Ed Broadbent leaving the NDP would have very little chance of keeping the seat against Richard Mahoney of the Liberals, but the NDP campaign here has had more effect than I thought it would. I think what will determine it will be the Ontario numbers in January (eg. how high the Liberals are compared to the NDP) and who best connects with voters in this riding. Mahoney probably still has the edge because of Liberal history here, but Dewar at least has a chance.
15 12 05 Mike F.
No Ed Broadbent - No NDP victory
14 12 05 The Observer
NDP most definitely out of the gate first. First small signs of Tories coming to life as well.
13 12 05 Factoid
Word on the street is that after just two weeks, Mahoney's put out the call for help to the other Liberal campaigns in town. Organizers are abandoning Metcalfe, Gaffney and Farnworth to help the Ottawa Centre grits deal with a much stronger NDP candidate than they expected.
Dewar's got deep roots across the riding and has apparently held onto most of the "Liberals for Ed", many of whom went there because they don't like Mahoney.
It's going to be close, and dirty if the grits have already hit the panic button. While there's an off chance a strong Green vote might end up handing this to Mahoney, it's Dewar who's looking like the winner today.
12 12 05 SDC
This will be a close battle. The NDP may win this over the Liberals but it will require all the old-school NDP election sweat that Dewar's team can muster.
Two factors play against the NDP in this riding:
1- The Tories may not come on strong enough;
2- The Greens may siphon off too many votes.
The two factors that help the NDP in this race are that in Ottawa, there is generally no other riding worth working for. This will consolidate the NDP forces in Ottawa Centre; and the character/ethics case is definitely an issue in their favour.
On a separate note regarding a previous posting by M.Lunn: The 1984 victory by the NDP in Ottawa Centre was not with a no-name candidate. They ran and won with the previous provincial NDP leader and MPP Michael Cassidy.
11 12 05 PB
The conventional wisdom says that Broadbent won in '04 because of a massive shift of Liberal votes to the NDP, and that the shift will reverse this time. But the actual numbers tell a different story. Two big shifts did occur in '04 - first, the NDP vote - both raw numbers and percentage - jumped sharply, from 13.2k and 24% to 25.7k and 41%. The other big shift was a jump in voter turnout, to 70% from 61%, reflecting the interest in the race because of the presence of Broadbent. But there was no "collapse" in Liberal vote in '04 - just down to 19.7k or 31% from 22.1k or 40%. That can't even begin to account for the higher NDP total. There was a far bigger collapse in the "right-wing" vote: the combined PC/alliance vote was 17.3k in 2000 for 31% (yes, bigger than the NDP), while in '04 the PCs pulled just 11.9k, or 19%. Did a bunch of Tories really vote for Broadbent? No doubt.
Before trying to figure out what this all means, keep in mind one more thing. In 2000, the NDP vote was just 8% in Ontario, while in 2004, it was 18% - a similar figure to polling results today. That jump makes it hard to ascribe *all* of the increased NDP support in '04 to Broadbent alone.
So, keeping all that in mind, what can we say about this race? First, the voter support levels in current polls suggest a close race between the NDP and Liberals in Ottawa Centre, regardless of the particular candidates. The key to the race then may well be in how many of the new NDP voters from last time can be convinced by the NDP, and Mr. Broadbent in particular, to support Paul Dewar. Clearly the NDP vote can be expected to drop back, but it would be a big mistake to assume every vote the NDP loses from last time is headed to the Liberal camp.
The only other thing to go on is signage, which is clearly a very rough guide. But so far, I'm seeing plenty of Dewar signs on private property in the west part of the riding where I live, including several around the Dovercourt area and even the occasional one in the tony Civic Hospital area! This may be an indication that some of the Tory "Broadbent" vote from '04 was also an anti-Liberal vote, and so may stay NDP. The Liberals, as usual, seem to have the grassy median vote sewn up. There is the odd Mahoney sign here and there, but not as many as I'd expect. Are they playing possum, preparing to blanket the riding after the holidays in a show of momentum? Or are they disorganized?
My instinct would tell me the Liberals *should* have the advantage here, but given all the voting trends, the polling data, and the relative signs of life from the campaigns, it looks like Dewar and the NDP have the upper hand. I wouldn't bet the farm just yet, though. Too close to call, but for now, advantage Dewar and the NDP.
09 12 05 The Observer
Some interesting observations but nothing I see that will not lead to anything but Mahoney squeaking underwhelmingly in. The Bollinger Bolsheviks of The Glebe, and to a lesser extent Westboro, love to plant their NDP signs on the front lawn because it has become fashionable to do so. There are some very valid points about the NDP in Ottawa South and Conservatives in Ottawa West-Nepean. That is where the Liberals will come unstuck, but not Ottawa Centre. As much as Ed would like you to believe, this is just not a socialist paradise. Students don't vote. There is no industrial base. It is increasingly too expensive to live for the poor/new Canadian. The birth and death rate of the Tory vote remains unchanged. There is no chance the NDP-Liberal vote will split and the PC take it up the middle. [That didn't happen Provincially either BTW] I think the Greens will do even better than last time and why not their turn for the protest vote? No. Mahoney is in, in to cabinet, and back on TV where he will have the last laugh.
08 12 05 ocv
Hmmm... I previously called this one for Mahoney, and I still think he'll pull it out, but it'll be interesting to see how the campaign progresses. Early on it seems like Dewar is winning the sign war in Centretown, the Glebe and Ottawa South (but I'm not sure what the western portion of the riding looks like). Interestingly, despite volunteering for Mahoney last time and taking a lawn sign, I haven't got a call this time yet. That leads me to believe they're either adopting a strategy of building sign momentum (ie. sprouting signs as the campaign goes on) or they're not very well organized. Or maybe they think that since I'm a student I probably moved already. Nonetheless, I put a sign from last campaign in my window. I walk around this riding a lot and I have noticed two houses with Broadbent signs last time now have Mahoney signs, and one has a Green sign. Another Green supporter from last time has a Dewar sign. I'm not sure if this is simply turn-over from a hot real estate market or some volatility. Also, it doesn't look like Fontain has any signs up yet. This is a bit surprising since he was selected a while ago, right? I'm not sure how much signs mean in this riding though. When I was still new to this riding in 2000 I thought Heather-jane Robinson would be neck and neck with Harb judging by signage, but she was well-back. I think Centretown will key if Mahoney wants to pull this off. Last time he did better than-expected in me polls in the inner city and I think he should try to build on that. His base is around the hospitals, however. I also wonder how the student vote will play here. Will Carleton and U of O students vote here or choose to send a ballot to their home ridings? The student vote was here in 2000, but many people left in the summer of 2004. I also think the national campaign will also play a role. If Stephen Harper doesn't start appealing to urban voters, the right might either opt for Mahoney or Dewar to prevent a Liberal from getting elected. And the Green candidate is quite strong here. He seems to draw from everybody, but the NDP have expressed the most concern about the Green affect. My aunt in Kingston was a long-time NDP supporter who has switched to the Greens. I think we'll have quite a few close races on election night and this will be one to watch.
08 12 05 JT
I believe the voters of Ottawa Centre gave Boardbent the same treatment the Calgary Centre gave Joe Clark. Electing him on his past record as a well respected former leader with a great track record. But with his retirement this riding will go Liberal again but by a very close margin.
08 12 05 Tommy Hamilton
08 12 05 A former liberal voter
This is a tight race but I got to go with Keith Fountain. Why you may ask? 1) The local Liberals voted against the funding of the Queensway-Hospital and this will not be forgiven by many. ( Yes I know Mahoney himself didn't vote for it, his party did) 2) Keith Fountain is highly respected in the civil service, not everyone has the guts to work in Kabul making sure Canada is helping out 3) Mahoney - how much of a scumbag do you have to be when the Liberal friendly Ottawa Citizen calls you a crook. 4) The NDP will lose (unfairly I like Paul Dewar) too many votes because of strategic voting, sad really. 5) The Green Party will put a huge dent into all 3 parties with the Tories suffering the least damage. 6) Hell stranger things have happened 7) almost forgot the Elgin street action group is supporting Keith Fountain because of that parole office mess. Nice one lets put all the perverts beside an elementary school and across the park from the violence against women memorial.
06 12 05 Humble Prophet
This riding is still too close to call. The Liberal Mahoney is a strong candidate with a strong organization but he has been hurt by a number of factors. First, the fact that the Liberals are in the fights of their lives to keep Ottawa South and Ottawa West-Nepean means that additional Liberal shock trops will not be able to be deployed for this battle. Second, the Ottawa Citizen has given Mahoney extremely bad press, and he is largely seen by the public as a backroom boy lobbyist, exactly the type of image problem you do not need Post-Gomery. Third, Fountain for the Conservatives is a credible candidate who will steal votes from traditional right of centre Liberals who are disgusted by the sponsorship scandal. Paul Dewar for the NDP is a strong candidate in his own right. He is the son of a former mayor of Ottawa. He is well respected in the environmental community which means he will not lose as many votes to the Greens as former NDP hopefuls have. He has an incredibly strong and motivated organization still largely intact only a year and a half since Ed Broadbent breached this Liberal fortress. The NDP has no chance anywhere else in Ottawa so all the resources will be concentrated on dewar's behalf. I see this as an incredibly tight race which will be decided by less than a 1000 votes.
06 12 05 BT
Mahoney almost immediately attacked Fountain this time out - last time he ignored the Conservatives. Liberal numbers are suggesting they have a solid lead on Dewar, who simply hasn't shown the inclination to take the fight to Mahoney. Liberals are now much more concerned about a three way split, with a moderate Conservative bringing new strength to the campaign and calling back the Broadbent Tories. They will start hammering at Fountain soon - watch the Big Red Machine spring into attack mode.
04 12 05 Two Cents
I believe that Keith Fountain is the sleeper candidate in this riding. A local resident, he has been pounding the pavement for many months and slowly picking up support one vote at a time. The Tories already have a solid base of around 25 percent and Fountain has a good shot up the middle if the two high profile candidates each knock the other one out. It's a long shot, I admit, but election observers should not rule out Keith Fountain.
03 12 05 The Observer
Lightning will not strike twice in the same place and this will come back to the Liberals. The Conservatives can't win, they may even place 4th behind the Greens. I won't re-hash the last Broadbent victory because it has been done to death. Broadbent got the protest vote in what was really a By-Election stuck in the middle of somebody else's Federal Election. And what a protest vote that was. Or was it? Ed only won by about 7K at the death. A different ball game now. Just as fate cut the legs off Mahoney last go around, fate has conspired to hand it all back to him. The NDP made a fatal error in not going with Jamie Heath and have let Mahoney off the hook. They have dished up a lightweight in Dewar whose reach is further than his grasp. School Board Trustee or City Councillor material yes, but Federal Politician? - please. In the all important Lawn Sign barometer poll at the end of the first week the NDP have, well, dipped. Last time Ed's smiling chops gazed out from what felt like thousands of signs popping up like mushrooms all over the place. This time around - not so much as a whimper. Richard Mahoney will win by a moderate but comfortable 2K+ margin or so. Bruised and battered but taking his seat. Stay tuned.
02 12 05 François
Le NPD gardera ce compté non seulement en raison des resultsts obtenus dans le dernier parlement mais surtout en raison de son comportement éthique dont Ed Broadbent est l'emblème. Le nouvau candidat NPD pourra surfer sur cette vague.
02 12 05 J Porter
It's all about organization,
The first signs went up today in the wealthy Glebe area of Ottawa. From the window of my house I can see 8 Paul Dewar signs, and zero others. A walk around the block revealed one more NDP sign, and zero others.
Last year the NDP carried the Glebe area with Ed by a wide margin in the sign war and current indicators are it will happen again.
One more thing: in todays news Paul Dewar is requesting that, like in Kingston, there is a campaign moratorium on signs being placed on public property since it is visual pollution. Somewhat ironic, when the NDP is promoting private property usage over public!
01 12 05 Bank St. Bullies
As a person who has been invloved in the political scene in OC, I think ocv has some decent points, especially that Dewar needs to worry about the Green Party candidate, but I want to say he is wrong on one fact. Ed was visible at community events and available to constituents, and brought many issues forward on behalf of this very diverse and intensely informed constituency. There are plenty of stories of Ed chatting it up with constituents, making time for anyone when he was out privately. This all while coping with issues at home. Dewar, who has Ed's large and dedicated infrastructure behind him is also well respected in the community and has no ties to unpopular politicians or ethical gaffes. If you use the logic that people only voted for Ed and not the NDP, the plan to have Ed visible for the Dewar campaign at least partly eliminates that belief. I agree this riding in a vaccum goes Liberal, but in the past, Liberal Mac Harb coasted because he was well-respected and his opponents were not overly strong. Paul Dewar is very qualified and Mahoney has some legit charcter issues. That said, Mahoney has been active, has election experience, the Liberal staffer/bureaucrat machine behind him, the fact that he would be in Cabinet and anti-CPC sentiment may shift votes from Dewar. Its unlikely that the amount strategic voting will repeat in 06 like it did for many ridings in 04. The CPC candidate won at a nomination meeting with 25 people so his support and overall CPC support is still low, and probably stagnant. The Greens won;t win but may make some gains. That already have alot of signs out. It will be close though between Dewar and Mahoney, no doubt so my prediction could be reversed.
NDP - 39% Lib - 36% CPC - 16% Green - 9%
30 11 05 ocv
Ed won this last time due to name recognition, of which Paul Dewar has none (hence featuring Ed in his campagin ads). Otherwise, this riding is usually a Liberal riding. The Liberals have their eye on this one as a winnable riding, so I'm sure they'll throw in some extra resources. Plus, the Green candidate is strong and left-leaning, further eroding Paul's chances. Ed was also not a very strong local MP (partly because he was asked to play the elder statesman. It'll be close, but I pick Mahoney over Dewar, Fontain in third, and a strong showing by Chernushenko. Unless a bomb drops during the campaign to shake things up.
29 11 05 M. Lunn
I think the Liberals will probably pick this up, but since it did go NDP in 1984 without a star candidate, the NDP could take this especially considering the Liberals some to be falling (at least for now) in Ontario while the NDP and Conservatives are both siphoning off votes from the Liberals. The Conservatives obviously won't take this one since it is too close to the city centre, while their vote is strongest in the suburbs, especially on the West side of the city.
29 11 05 M. Warren
This one is a shoo-in. Broadbent's departure notwithstanding, Liberal support is splitting on the left and on the right, to NDP benefit here. The NDP were a close second to the Liberals prior to Broadbent in previous elections, and the Conservatives have no footing in this riding whatsoever.
29 11 05
Talk about being organized... Paul Dewar's folks were already phone canvassing last week.
In fact the NDP are the only party that has bothered to canvass me in the last three elections. The PC have always been missing in action in this riding, parachuting in some local business opportunist we've never heard of, and never hear of again.
As for Mr.Mahoney, being a Martinite rather than an old school Liberal, and having no record of public service will not help him. Ah, Mac, I bet they miss you now!
29 11 05 Alan K
How many time did MNS use the word "stale." There's nothing stale about the Liberals in Ottawa Centre, a riding that's been Liberal before my dad was old enough to vote (with one exception in 1984). Richard Mahoney only lost last time because Ed Broadbent decided to come out of retirement for one more round of politiking on the Hill. Look for this riding to return to Grit hands on Jan 23. Lib 45 NDP 40 CON 10 GRN 5 (my closest estimate anyway).
23 11 05 MNS
Paul Dewar has a bit of luck if an election is called with the campaign happening while local teachers are on Christmas break. His years as the Vice-President of the Ottawa Carleton Elementary School Teachers’ Federation give him lots of committed fans and feet on the street, a real organizational boost. Even if he gets 30 of 3000 teachers helping him it's a real boost.
Meanwhile Richard Mahoney is a stale candidate for a stale party acting as a stale government. Notice the lack of mention of Paul Martin in his campaign literature. In 2004 he was Mr. Team Martin himself.
19 11 05 Rebel
With the NDP polling 23% or so in Ontario currently...and the Libs in the low 40s and Conservatives low 30s respectively in Ontario...this is a riding that the NDP can win on its own right. It certainly took a star candidate last time in the name of Ed Broadbent, but the NDP may be reaching the stage where the simple political affiliation of Ottawa Centre voters may be enough. Also, I do not think that Mahoney is going to be able to draw outside of the absolutely solid Liberal base.
18 11 05 A.S.
True, Marion Dewar couldn't beat Mac Harb; but ah, remember *when* she ran. 1993. The NDP's absolute single-digit nadir. She hadn't a hope in blazes. In fact, under those circumstances, the low-20s percentage she *did* get was almost an "Elsie Wayne" achievement, one of the party's top 5 finishes in Ontario and by far the best result in any NDP-nonincumbent Ontario seat that year--clearly, if the party had Broadbent- or even Layton-grade leadership that year, rather than poor Audrey McLaughlin. this would have been a takeback or very close to it. As it is, and particularly with the collapse of Red Toryism, Ottawa Centre has been slowly listing in the inner-city civil-servant NDP-congenial direction for ages; you can't simply dismiss the Broadbent-less Dipper chances on "Michael Cassidy blip" grounds anymore. And that's a reason why Broadbent ran here--as a result, Ottawa Centre is now truly NDP Holy Ground, Broadbent or no Broadbent. But their chances of translating this Holy Groundness into a party hold: still tough to call, and depends on whether the "Liberal party hack" goop dumped upon Richard Mahoney in '04 still stinks up the Grit joint. And given the state of *that* party, don't think it won't...
18 11 05 RWR
This will be an easy Liberal win. If Paul's mom, Marion, couldn't beat Mac Harb, then there's no way he'll beat Richard Mahoney. The Liberals want this seat and will do what it takes to win it. Broadbent, single handedly, won this riding. Dewer is not a high profile candidate. This riding has voted NDP twice. 1984 with Mike Cassidy, former leader of the Ontario NDP and last time with Broadbent. His mom couldn't win. He won't win. Add in the suprisingly strong Green numbers and weak Conservative numbers. All this equals Mahoney being the next MP for Ottawa-Center. Prediction: Lib 44%, NDP 37%, Con 12%, Green 7%
30 10 05 Rebel
I would hold out for a prediction on this riding just yet. While I would generally agree that the Liberals would have an edge, but Mahoney is such an unrepentant backroom boy that it is hard to imagine him really connecting into the very community-oriented riding.
04 11 05 TM
Paul Dewar is a strong and credible candidate with a connection to the Ottawa Centre community and without the taint of cronyism and entitlement that follows Richard Mahoney (how DO you pronounce his last name?!). He will maintain the NDP's seat in Ottawa Centre because voters in this riding understand the difference between true concern and slick marketing. Paul has been in the news as often as Richard, and never as negatively. I heard from insiders that Paul's campaign office opening was packed to the rafters and the recent AGM drew a large crowd who elected an energetic new executive for the riding association. It looks like Paul has the momentum while Richard is mired in scandal. And with Ed Broadbent supporting and campaigning beside Paul, that will clench the NDP's winning position.
25 10 05 M. Lunn
Even though I think the controversy with Richard Mahoney will hurt him, not to mention the fact the NDP has generally always had a strong second place showing in this riding and even won it in 1984, there were way too many personal Ed Broadbent votes versus genuine NDP votes for them to hold this. Still I would be surprised if the NDP got less than 25%, but that certainly won't get the 41% Ed Broadbent got. However, even with the loss of this riding, they will pick-up several other ridings since people are generally pleased with the fact Jack Layton has chosen to work with the government rather than play games like the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois are doing so I am pretty sure they will have more than 19 seats after next election.
20 10 05 JB
Richard Mahoney has been in the news in a big way. He was the headline article in the Ottawa Citizen, a conservative newspaper that calls him the "leading candidate." Cross-partisan endorsement like that shows a real lead. Having his name and face everywhere like this is fantastic for his chances.
Richard is even coming under attack in the house, which is unheard of for someone who hasn't even entered the election yet. NDP leader Jack Layton asked about Richard's law practice - a sign of fear. Questions in the house usually concern government business as a function of responsible government. Layton, the leader of a federal party, has decided that the best thing he can do is to attack Mahoney. This shows Mahoney's importance.
Mahoney's campaign team, which is a veritable who's who of Ottawa, has been working tirelessly since the last election. The NDP (who will finish second in OC) have seen their campaign executive dwindle to two members. I know this because I saw their meeting. Two people, Sutherland, and one other.
Mahoney has a resume that can't be contested, a record of public advocacy in labour and immigration, and a network of supporters that includes the Prime Minister. If he loses in OC, I will paint my house plaid.
19 10 05
Since beloved politician Ed Broadbent is leaving, I would say this riding becomes an easy Liberal pickup. However, with today’s allegations about liberal candidate Richard Mahoney hitting the front page of the citizen, I would say it will be harder for him to do. The Liberals would do better to find another candidate to guarantee a win.
Last years vote was a definite vote for Broadbent.
18 10 05 Nick Boragina
The Green Party's candidate here last time (also running again) was named as (one of the) party's deputy leader(s).
Does not change the fact that this riding will return to the Liberals, as history dictates, now that Ed's not running.
10 09 05 Phil G.
With Ed Broadbent's retirement, and a lot of talent working the Liberal campaign the Liberals should pick up this seat.
28 07 05 RJW
I think this is a natural Liberal riding and it should revert back to its red roots now that extremely popular former leader of the NDP won't be running. Mahoney came within a surprisingly tight (IMO) ten points to Ed Broadbent last time, so he shouldn't have much trouble beating Paul Dewar. Did someone just compare Paul Dewar to Tony Blair? Slow down, ponies.
09 07 05 Full Name
Because of recent events, I need to change my prediction in Ottawa Centre.
Paul Dewar surprisingly won the NDP Nomination against Jack Layton's Communications Director, Jamey Heath. This win is a grassroots win. It is a community win.
Ed Broadbent won the riding for himself last year... Paul Dewar will win it for the NDP next time around.
28 06 05 Time on hands
Just a quick update. Jamie Heath is not the candidate. Thankfully Jamie will not be pidgeon holed into winning only one seat for the NDP in this upcoming election. Paul Dewar (son of very popular former Ottawa mayor Marion Dewar) will be the candidate. I think that this race will be closer than last time, but the NDP should be able to hold on to this one. While I would say that this is a natural Liberal riding... The Dewar dynasty factor, plus Ed's high profile performance in the past year/ large amount of identified support should be enough to attract the necessary Liberal and Conservative votes to the NDP candidate. It's also important to remember that all Ottawa NDP resources will be expended in this riding whereas the Liberals will be spread thin fighting off challenges/ trying to regain ground across the City (e.g. John Baird in Ottawa West Nepean and Polliviere in Nepean Carleton).
23 06 05 MNS
Ok, I >was< going to let this one be a win for the Liberals until Paul Dewar won on the first ballot, and I got to see his nomination machine in action, which I might add is a lot bigger than Ed's, and even bigger than Richard Mahoney's. He squashed everyone else, it wasn't even close.
1. Being the vice-president of a teacher's union doesn't hurt for machine building and getting feet on the street.
2. You think Mahoney has buddies? Check out who was there at the nomination meeting. Some serious campaign legs there.
3. People >really< like him.
4. He's got serious leadership cred. Jack better watch it. This guy may be the Tony Blair that the NDP has always needed.
26 05 05 James
I thought that someone on the site should mention that Mr. Broadbent will not be running again.
This riding has been lost by the LPC only one other time, in 1984. In '84, of course, Mulroney formed the largest majority in Canadian Parliamentary history. I don't see Harper pulling that sort of victory, especially since he will be clobbered in Quebec.
The NDP Candidate is Jamie Heath, who lost to Mac Harb in '97. Harb is a good guy, and I like him, but his campaigns are much less impressive than Mr. Mahoney's. Mr. Heath even referred to the Liberal Campaign in OC as "The Mahoney Machine."
The PC candidate is an unknown named Fountain. He was elected by all of thirty delegates at the Glebe Community Centre. Givent that nobody knows who he is, his leader is less popular than Martin, and that OC tends to be a socialist haven, it is safe to say that he has no chance.
I predict that OC will go to Richard Mahoney whether the election is in the fall or in the winter after Justice Gomery's final report.
25 05 05 BT
Backroom boy versus backroom should be pretty exciting if Heath wins the nomination, only way we could get better would be a summer election, see if we could reach single digit turnout.
Dewar might actually be a more formidable candidate than either of the Talking Heads, Liberal or NDP. This one will be very tight because the Greens were probably hurt more than anyone by Broadbent, and Chernushenko is that much better known now. The Cons are not likely to be a factor - Ottawa Centre voters are too sophisticated to be taken in by the political neophyte shtick, and Fountain's name recognition is almost nil.
Munter would probably have carried it if he had run, but too close to call for now.
23 05 05 delphi
Now that the election has been postponed, that should give the NDP time to find a stellar candidate who could win this seat. The NDP did very well in Ottawa Centre in the disastrous 1993, 1997 and 2000 elections so there is clearly a base of support.
Alex Munter would be the ideal candidate and could win. Unfortunately it seems that he doesn't want to run. If Heath were to win it would only be because the NDP was on such a roll across Ontario that ANYONE could have won it for the NDP. The guy is apparently good backroom strategist, but he has no social skills whatsoever. Why don't people stick to what they are good at?
23 05 05 Observer
This will be a tough NDP-Liberal fight. Predictors, including this site, will wait to put this one in anyone's column until very late in the game. Nevertheless, with Jamey Heath announcing for the NDP today, they now have somebody declared who can take down Mahoney. Munter or Heath take this seat for the NDP, though not by much. Anybody else as NDP candidate would throw me into the "no opinion" category.
23 05 05 Observer
Alex Munter, who is charming charismatic and have an electoral record, may be competitive against Mahoney (or any Martin Crony they put up), and that’s a big maybe. Jamie Heath, in the other hand, would be wiped out by Mahoney. Jamie’s is a brilliant political operative, but would be an awful candidate. He is the non-personable type that want to be a politician badly but couldn’t even win his highschool president race (This is meant to be a metaphor, but I heard that was actually the case, back in little town Barrie, where he lost to someone two grade of his junior). He would be much more effective and influential as a senior political hack than a defeated candidate.
18 05 05 Jean-Roch Villemaire
With Ed Broadbent out, there is no reason why Liberal Richard Mahoney would not win. The New Democrats did not win Ottawa Centre last year, Ed Broadbent did.
17 05 05 Nick Boragina
Without Broadbent running, the so-called "Ed Heads" wont be able to vote for Broadbent. Last election, this riding voted for Ed, not for the NDP, so unless there's another "ed" out there, a candidate with personal draw, I cant see the NDP winning. This is a traditionally Liberal riding that's only voted NDP when it's had good reason to, and this election, there is just no good reason.
16 05 05 Craig
New candidate, basically the same results. Ed Broadbent stepping down has changed the dynamics of the race somewhat, however the NDP should keep the seat. The Liberals have fallen outside the GTA and the public servants will likely be pushing the NDP candidate. If well-known Alex Munter gets the nomination, then he should hold onto most of the Broadbent vote, although his hardline position on gay marriage may swing some votes to the Conservatives (though not nearly enough to win in this downtown riding) and the Greens will be quite strong here. Revised prediction: NDP 38%, CPC 27%, LIB 23%, GRN 10%, others 2%.
15 05 05 Centretown Guru
NDP will easily hold this riding. Notwithstanding Mr. Broadbent's departure, eroding Liberal support that is even lower than 2004, the Conservative/Alliance is inimical to urban voters, the NDP building on a 6000 vote plurality over Mahoney in 2004, and with local dynamo Alex Munter set to seek NDP nomination, all of which point to an NDP hold.
14 05 05 Jamie
If Broadbent were running again, this seat would be his, but since he's not, it will no doubt go back to the Liberals. One things for sure, people in this riding don't want to see a conservative government - and they'll vote for whoever they feel will prevent that.
12 05 05 Initial
This riding rests on the NDP candidate, whomever that is.
If it's Alex Munter, who has very strong local name recognition and credibility, it will go NDP. People will vote NDP for the candidate, in the same way they voted for Ed Broadbent.
If it's not, it's an open race. The Conservatives are polling stronger and stronger in this riding, as the 2000 race well shows. Without a name candidate for the NDP it's a three way race.
11 05 05 Downtown Ottawa
Richard Mahoney's claim to fame in the last election was that he was a good close friend of Paul Martin. Which is true. How is being a crony of Paul Martin a help in this election? Cronyism is now very much out of fashion.
In fact, all the Conservative candidate has to do is say "MAHONEY: CRONY" and that's enough. The crony tag is this year's stink bomb.
The NDP have a popular outgoing incumbent, who can give a powerful blessing. There is no Liberal incumbent to beat, and the Liberal candidate is tainted by association with a weak Martin regime. Paul Martin is gone after this election, either way.
Given that, Alex Munter is a brilliant candidate. An openly gay man who had a history of winning handily as regional councillor in very conservative suburban Kanata, now a part of an amalgamated Ottawa. He has been waiting for Bob Chiarelli to vacate his seat as mayor, but Chiarelli is running for mayor again in 2006.
I can't see the people of Ottawa Centre letting themselves be accused of being more conservative than the people in Kanata. The Glebe and Westboro could never live that one down.
14 05 05
Ottawa Center: This is a three-way split riding, with tendancy to go Liberal. It has been both NDP and Conservative in living memory. With a six thousand vote lead and excellent organizational skills, the NDP are well placed to take the riding with either Jamie Heath or Paul Dewar, although the margin will be under 1000. Given the decline in Liberal support, a strong Conservative candidate, unlike 2004, would lock the seat in for the NDP.
09 05 05 Brain Trust
Ok, so Broadbent isn't going to run again. This tends to put this riding into play for either the NDP or the Libs unless there is very strong Cosnervative swing in this normally left leaning riding.
However there is another factor to consider, which is that the NDP very much want to keep this seat (ok, maybe that is obvious, but it is the NDP), and have been throwing some possible fairly big names into the stir as a successor to Ed. Mr. Munter, a well respected local politican has been played in the media (an offer which Mr. Munter has not denied), as well as other names which have been thrown around who would again offer a strong challenge to Richard Mahoney.
Remember that Ed Broadbent walked into the riding without having had an electoral history in the area. If he could walk in & win, what's to stop the NDP from choosing someone with roots in the area and again mounting a strong showing here. My bet is on NDP hold (95%) or Lib sweaker (5% & only if they pull out a big majority victory).
08 05 05 Jesse Bigras
I'll keep this short and sweet... Liberal!
After working door to door on the campaign last year I don't know how many times I got a long round about story about how people were voting for Ed because of either a) his experience or b) all the media hype. I'm not even sure he would have won if not for the media attention he got. With Ed gone, this will certainly be Liberal... afterall, its Ottawa and even the Conservatives know that where the Liberals hold on, it will be in the cities.
08 05 05 paul westwood
Since Ed is out, I can't see how this will be able to stay an NDP seat. It will still be a close race, but with the Ed factor out of the equation, it will most likely go back to being in the liberal column.
08 05 05 RWA
With Broadbent's surprise retirement, this has to be taken out of the NDP column. Probably goes Liberal in the absence of a star NDP candidate.
06 05 05 Nick
This riding was Ed's for as long as he wanted, but alas, he has announced that he is not running again. That changes everything. I'm not going to make a prediction at this point, but I would not be surprised to see this riding back in the hands of the Liberals.
06 05 05 Dean
With ed Broadbent's decision to retire, the riding is too close to call and cannot be predicted. Everything depends on the strength of both the NDP and Conservative candidates. Mahoney will run again for the Liberals but that is all that is certain at this point. Way too early.
05 05 05 BrianJA
With Ed not running again, this riding is wide open, but the Liberals just don't have the momentum to swing in and grab this riding away from the NDP and the Conservatives don't have a prayer unless they manage to convince Catherine Clark to run here for them. Even without "Honest" Ed Broadbent, Ottawa Centre is staying orange, though not with the votes that Ed would have taken. Prediction: NDP Hold by 750 or so votes.
05 05 05 hatman
I hate to say this, but with Ed not planning on running again, you can kiss the NDP's chances of winning this seat goodbye. Mahoney did very well in 2004, and will win no problem without the popularity of Broadbent to worry about. The NDP will have to find someone else who is *really* popular to win this, and I don't think that's going to happen. This is a traditional Liberal seat, and will be one of the few Liberal pick-ups come election night.
05 05 05 AD
It should be noted that Broadbent is not running again, and the riding will likely re-elect Mahoney, who is running again. Broadbent carried the riding personally, not because it had a deep desire to go NDP.
05 05 05 Janus
Ed Broadbent will not run again. Because of this news Ottawa Centre is up for grabs. The Liberals are likely to win, if NDP can`t find a star candidate.
04 05 05 M. Lunn
I am going to have to move this to the too close to call now that Ed Broadbent has declared he will not seek re-election. The only reason the NDP won this was due to Ed Broadbent's personal popularity who probably could win in close to half the ridings just due to his name brand. This is traditionally a liberal riding although it went NDP in 1984 so until both parties choose their candidates, this is too close to call. The Conservatives are too weak in this part of Ottawa to be a serious contender. They are more likely to pick up some of the ridings further out such as Ottawa West-Nepean, Ottawa-Orleans and maybe Ottawa South.
04 05 05 JC
Broadbent is not going to run again, from what I've heard. This seat is coming back to the liberals unless the NDP finds another great candidate and it's not going to happen.
04 05 05 PB
Ironically, I was going to write about a different riding: "Let's see who the candidates are before making a prediction." Then I hear Ed Broadbent won't run again. This seat is now back in play, and probably advantage Liberals...
04 05 05 Canadian Redhead
Uh-oh! Check out CBC.ca @: http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/05/04/Broadbent_050504.html
Broadbent is out - he needs to be with his ailing wife. Now this race could be interesting - depends on the candidate. If Richard Mahoney runs for the Liberals again he may get in again. If not, the NDP or Green party could win with an interesting candidate.
04 05 05 JFB
Ed Broadbent ne sera pas candidat lors des prochaines élections fédérales. Il a décidé qu'il ne défendrait pas les couleurs du NPD au prochain scrutin, pour des raisons familiales. À partir de maintenant tout peut arriver. Je pencherais pour une victoire libérale, mais attendons de voir qui seront les candidats.
04 05 05 The Insider
Wow! Ed not running. This changes everything. I heard that the NDP nomination battle will be something to watch. It's strongly rumoured that former City Councillor and downtown resident, Alex Munter will throw his hat in the ring. Bob Chiarelli running for Mayor has dampened Alex's hopes to be Mayor for the time being and Alex will not sit out three election cycles (Federal '05, Municipal '06 and Provincial '07). Poor Jamey Heath and Paul Dewar (son of past Ottawa Mayor Marion Dewar) will be overlooked again. If Munter is the NDP candidate, it will be a great race between him and his good friend, Richard Mahoney...with Mahoney winning.
04 05 05 Honest Abe
Honestly readers, Richard Mahoney will be elected Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre. He has been a long-time Community activist and defender and he tirelessly worked hard to earn the respect of Ottawa Centre residents in the last election. The NDP without Ed will still be competitive, while the Conservative will keep their 11,000+ core support (2003 provincial and 2004 federal).
04 05 05 Reality Check
Most Ottawans have now heard that that Mr. Broadbent will not be seeking reelection. My best wishes go out to Mr. Broadbent and his wife Lucille. They are in our prayers this evening. Craig is in need of a Reality Check. How does he deduce that the Conservatives will best the Liberals by 5% when Richard Mahoney beat Mike Murphy 12%? Anyway, with Mr. Broadbent not running, and Richard Mahoney having proved himself to be a great candidate, Ottawa Centre will return to the Liberal fold.
04 05 05 Full Name
I have to disagree with Craig. I think Ottawa Centre voted NDP last election mainly due to Ed Broadbent being their candidate. Now that Ed's announced he won't be running again to take care of his ill wife, this riding's once again up for grabs. While I would say it's mainly a toss-up between the Liberals and the NDP, I would have to give this riding to the Grits, because the only other time the riding went NDP was back in 1984. LIB 35%, NDP 31%, CON 20%, GRN 10%, OTH 4%.
04 05 05 Kyle
With Ed Brodbent not running for re-election this one could get very interesting. Some of the people who voted NDP will go liberal and alot of hte liberal vote could go conservative. It will be interesting to watch how this one turns out on election day. It could even stay NDP.
I think this riding is a tight three-wat race.
04 05 05 Aric H
The dynamics of this riding have just changed today with Ed Broadbent's surprise announcment that because of his wife's ill-health he will unfortunately not be running for re-election. This means that what most likely would have remained an NDP seat will become more competitive between the Liberals (most likely Richard Mahoney again) and the NDP (if they find a high-profile candidate). So this riding unexpectedly will now move into the undecided category.
01 05 05 Miles Lunn
People really like Ed Broadbent so as long as he continues to run in this riding, they will re-elect him. In fact, notwithstanding Rural Alberta, Ed Broadbent has enough personal appeal he could probably win in just about any riding in English Canada. With the Bloc likely to pick up seats on the other side of the Ottawa River, we will likely have all four parties represented in the House of Commons with seats in the National Capital Region. After he retires, this will probably go back to the liberals.
26 04 05 Craig
No contest here. While the Liberals are self-destructing, the Conservatives are too far behind to make significant gains in this downtown Ottawa riding, and certainly won't be popular with the public sector employees who have a strong clout here. That means Ed Broadbent should increase his margin on his way to an easy re-election. Predicted results: NDP 45%, CPC 25%, LIB 20%, GRN 9%.

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