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Ottawa West-Nepean

Federal Election - 2006 - élection générale

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Neil Adair
John Baird
Canadian Action
Randy Bens
Lee Farnworth
John Pacheco
Marlene Rivier

Marlene Catterall

2004 Result/Résultats:
Marlene Catterall
Sean Casey
Marlene Rivier
Neil Adair
Russell Barth
Mary-Sue Haliburton
Alexandre Legeais

For historical result, please see
2004 Prediction page

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19 01 06 rock
I listened to the CFRA debate Tuesday evening and surprisingly, John Baird didn't show up. Only representatives from Liberal, NDP and an independent were there. I think Lee did ok and the independent was actually very good, directing pointy questions to Baird. It's lucky (or deliberately so) that Baird was not there. I was wondering why Baird would not show up for a radio debate!?
Then Peter McKay was here to help him yesterday to go door-to-door. Together with "dodging from the debate", it's a sure sign that Baird is losing the riding and desperately needs help.
17 01 06 I'm 4 pro rep
A sure sign that John Baird is confident of winning this: he ended his opening statement at monday's all-candidates meeting by stating that he has known (outgoing MP) Marlene Caterall and (current Lib candidate) Lee Farnworth for a long time, and that he has no doubt that neither was involved in any way in the Liberal corruption scandals; and then added that it's still time for the Liberals to go. He's looking to mend fences before taking office.
16 01 06 Cherubim
A drive around the riding shows clearly that Baird is the leader in the number of signs. But from the grapevine, Pacheco's campaign has been gaining ground mostly from grassroot efforts. Volunteers for Pacheco's campaign have redoubled their effort in getting his name known to the masses, especially after the systematic vandalism and removal of Pacheco's lawn signs and theatre signs across the riding a couple of days ago. How many sympathy votes Pacheco will get as a result is anybody's guess. But it is now indisputable that Pacheco has garnered tremendous attention in OWN and might actually steal a win in this classic David-vs-Goliath battle.
16 01 06 kate
What everyone is overlooking is that the NDP garnered more votes in the last election than previously, and in fact increased their vote in nearly every poll. While the media has been quick to point out that former Marlene Catterall won by only 1,500 votes, they fail to note that most of those votes went to the NDP not the Conservatives. A close examination of the poll results shows that the Conservatives lost votes in almost every poll, which would be interpreted as an innate dislike of Harper and his "united right" and that the so-called "red Tories" were not happy with the Conservative stance or the Liberals as a result of Gomery and other antics within the Paul Martin team. This time around, I expect those who voted Liberal last time will vote Liberal again, and many of those who voted NDP in protest will vote Liberal as the threat of a Harper-led government becomes more real.
16 01 06 M.T.
I don't believe that there is any reason to hold off calling the riding for Baird at this time. With his own personal record, plus the sinking Liberal campaign, this should be a very strong victory. The one "but" is that Baird was supposed to win last time, and didn't because of a shift back to the Liberals at the last moment. In this election the Tories are much further ahead than last time, and the NDP vote seems to be holding strong. The other question raised on this site is what impact would Pacheco have on a very close race. I think that Pacheco, playing the "Independent consevative" card will get a much better count than he could as an FCP candidate; his own personal standing within certain so-con circles makes this possible. He should get a surprisingly strong showing, and yet, the race is no longer close enough for his candidacy to play a spoiler. In fact, because a Baird win is so certain, so-cons will be comfortable voting Pacheco in protest who wouldn't have wanted to elect a Liberal by doing so. Either way, Baird's going to win the seat.
14 01 06 Rockstar
If the Conservatives win two new seats in Ontario, this is one of them. A dead lock, and no reason for it to be too close to call. Baird is one of the most hard-working door-knockers, even when he served in Cabinet. If an independent candidate is the best argument against John winning this riding, it's time to move on to a riding that actually is too close to call. Note the provincial elections of 95 and 99 when John decimated a pro-family independent candidate.
14 01 06 Viking
Baird will win here quite nicely. Although the former MPP for the adjacent riding, Nepean-Carleton, Baird enjoys enormous respect and popularity in the former city of Nepean including Ottawa's west end and the rural townships. He already had considerable momentum when he won the nomination, in fact was courted strongly by the federal Conservatives in his own riding back in Jan 2004.
A popular issue is the matter of the Queensway Carleton Hospital's plight as it faces a huge rent increase to be imposed in a few years by the federal government. The hospital sits on federal land and Baird and M.P. Pierre Poilivere (Nepean-Carleton) have been calling for that rent to be reduced to one dollar a year or granted the land outright to be consistent with other hospitals sited on federal land. Farnworth is on the wrong side of this issue not to mention running for a party with chronic difficulty telling right from wrong. Farnworth might be the right candidate for the Liberals, but it's the wrong time for her.
Fiscally conservative Baird is socially liberal on some issues, e.g., gay marriage; however, this is unlikely to hurt but rather will help him. I expect his victory to be a crushing one.
13 01 06 Dale Woloshin
I was at the Britannia Park All Candidate's meeting last night (12th Jan). I lived in Nepean-Carleton during most of the time he was MPP for that riding. I don't know whether the many young folk that cheered Baird and heavily heckled Farnworth were plants of Baird (it is easy to believe so after his history in Nepean-Carleton), but Farnworth was never able to speak one time after the opening speech without disruption load enough to have to pause. In my opinion, Marlene Rivier gave the best responses, respectable, and very little heckling was towards here except when he called Baird's record in the Mike Harris office on the line. Lee seemed decent except that you really cannot say given the environment. Baird was okay, and I don't think he lost too many votes although my wife observed afterwards that he could not respond to anything on his own record as MPP without forst (or only) trashing the LIberals. He was the most negative person there. Even teh question which asked him directly about the 10,000 Public Service jobs that Mike Harris' government cut when Baird was in cabinet (and hence part of the decision) was not responded to in favour of a complaint against the liberals for moving one of teh CRA tax functions to Shawinigan. He gave some good responses as well, as did Adair (Green) and Bens (Canadian Action Party) Watch for Bens in the future, he is a young kid still full of idealism and a sincere, hard-working heart and courage.
That said, I suspect that unless the Liberal party stops the bloodletting, many of Farnworth's votes (competent as she seems) will go to Rivier and Barid, with Baird ultimately winning the seat.
13 01 06 Frog Mouth
Lee Farnworth has worked hard for the people of this area but her record doesn't mean a thing going up against Baird and a Conservative wave. Baird will be the only Conservative in the Ottawa area and along with his provincial experience, this will give John a lot of clout in the Harper cabinet. Farnworth just picked the wrong time to run for the Liberals.
This one is over. I'll say Baird wins by 2000 votes.
13 01 06 Bear and Ape
The Green party got a measly 2000 votes and should they implode the votes will scatter to all 3 main parties (as the Greens have policies which bode well with many types of voters). The key here and it is THE key to this riding is the fact that the Liberal incumbent isn't running, but a well known (liked?) Conservative IS running. Add that to the tanking Liberal numbers and watch Baird waltz to victory.
13 01 05 Dave
Perhaps Hipster will advise us where we can watch him eat his hat. I'll eat mine if the independent gets lets than 2000. Historically of course, he is right that independents get nowhere. But there are new factors at play here.
One is the use of the Internet, a great enabler of inexpensive campaigning. Another is the political awakening of socons; Pacheco is not running on a single narrow issue but on the whole raft of socon values.
12 01 06 The Hipster
These Free Dominion fans need to give their head a shake.
I was in O-W-N last week and Baird is totally dominating the riding. I'm not sure if Espresso or any of the other posters predicting this to be an "interesting riding to watch" know their electoral history: INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES DON'T STAND A CHANCE! SSM is NOT a mobilizing factor beyond a core of, say, 300 people. People (yes even *gasp* conservatives) are much more complex. They won't vote against Baird based on one narrow issue that the PARTY has said they will take a free vote on.
Baird is a tireless campaigner who is "THE" Conservative in Ottawa. He's on all the radio shows, TV and in print. He started campaigning the day after he got the nomination and never stopped.
The other John jumps in after the writ is dropped with no party and no infrastructure. He's still nattering away on conservative chatrooms on Jan 1st!
And you think he'll beat a former Cabinet Minister whose party is leading the polls?
That's beyond dillusional. If he gets over 500 votes I'll eat my hat.
12 01 05 Trevor F
This riding was bound to be close from day 1. Now, with the LPC flailing about in the most pathetic way, OWN is Baird's to lose.
Baird's record as a cabinet minister has been long forgotten by most voters. I'll bet that a huge majority of those who vote can't even remember what cabinet post he held. The LPC record, on the other hand, is a current and major issue. Whether the LPC deserve the tarring they are taking at present is beside the point -- anger at the LPC scandals is fresh and anger at the CP (especially at the federal level) is not.
Perhaps the most striking (albeit isolated) evidence I've seen of a shift in OWN is in my own neighbourhood. The neighbours across the street, whose lawn has always sported LPC signs, now has a Baird sign. They are lesbians and both are retired nurses. Not your standard CP voter profile.
12 01 06 LJ Amundsen
Amazingly a hold. Despite a loss of incumbency. The Green vote was very high last election and it will be lower this time around due to terrible leadership in that party, a serious internal governance split. Neil Adair has put more energy into the Green Party of Ontario than the federal party lately, and may be identified with the faction that wants Jim Harris out. He is thus not motivated to do much to increase the Green vote this time 'round.
But the independent can only pull from the Conservative and focus voters on the wrong issues, those that make people not vote Conservative.
10 01 06 Dave
Socons are torn between the official Conservative candidate and the only socon candidate, Pacheco. Paradoxically, the surge in national poll support for the Conservatives may favour Pacheco as the feeling is that winning here will be less essential. Also, some disillusioned Liberal voters see an independent as a desirable option. This riding could produce one of the more interesting results of the 2006 election, an independent conservative.
09 01 06 Victor A.
I've already given my prediction for this riding but I forgot to say that I was aware of Pacheco's candidacy at the time that I was writing my prediction. His candidacy certainly plays in Fanworth's favour but it won't be enough to deter Baird from winning the riding. Not only the western part of Ottawa is right-of-center and is way less francophone than the rest of Ottawa but also the CP has been way ahead of the Liberals in every poll in eastern Ontario. Even with Pacheco's candidacy Baird will win by 5 to 7 %, the only question is whether the LPC will be able to keep Ottawa-South and Ottawa Orleans, both of which will be among the closest ridings in Ontario.
09 01 06 M. Lunn
Espresso - SSM maybe a big issue for a minority of voters, but the vast majority have moved onto other issues. In fact I think choosing a candidate who supports SSM is probably good for the Conservatives as they want to shed the image of being a far right party. It is true the independent candidate could potentially help the Liberals hold this if the Liberals re-bound and this is really close like last time around. I only expect the independent candidate to get around 2%, so based on the current polls, I believe John Baird will win, but if the Liberals can turn things around, they can hold this.
08 01 06 Espresso
All the Parties Supports Same Sex Marriage except for John Pacheco an Independent Candidate. He could well be supported by Immigrants among the christian circle knowing him as the organizer of the March4Marriage. There is a large presence of Evangelical Churches in the Riding and a number of christian fellowships who will difinitely supports him. I know our Fellowship will. I dont know why the Conservatives have decided to put in a Candidate that supports SSM. Traditionally we are Conservatives but we cannot support Mr. Baird for his stand on SSM. John Pacheco is the Wild Card in this Race if he seriously knock on doors in this next 2 weeks.
07 01 06 Scott S
Pacheco was interviewed in today's Ottawa Sun...I'm as conservative as anyone you'll ever meet, but even I was surprised by what he said - he claimed it was an "objective fact" that gay people suffer from "sexual addiction" and that the "gay political agenda" is out to destroy people like him. To quote the story: "This whole thing about gay rights is a complete walkover because whatever (rights) they get, they take away from me," he says emphatically, worked up with his arms waving". He also went on about the "medical facts" of homosexual acts. Only the most extreme type of SoCon would support such a view. When he ran in the last provincial election, he got 500 votes in Ottawa South, runnning for the Family Coalition Party (which is pretty moderate in its tone). I don't think he'll do as well without the party label, and by making comments such as he did in the Sun. I imagine such behaviour on his part will push voters away from him, not attract them from the Conservatives.
01 01 06 Aric H
What politics gives with one hand it takes away with the other! Farnworth was probably pleased to see Pacheco enter the race last week because he said in the paper that he is trying to steal enough votes away from Baird to cause him to lose, but then just as she gets that good news the Liberals drop several points in the polls because of the Income Trust Scandal! This means that both Baird and Farnsworth have received a problem to deal with. The question is, who will be more affected in a close race like this?
29 12 05 Brendan
I drove through part of the "Ottawa West" portion of the riding, which I understand is the more liberal portion. Baird looks stronger than the Lib candidate (Woodroffe Ave/Queensway). His signs outnumber her's 6-1.
29 12 05 West End Progressive
I live in the riding, and the lawn signs on private property must be at least 5-to-1 for Baird. Not that Farnworth doesn't have any up (she seems to have more than Richard Mahoney just next door), just that every street seems to have 3 or 4 Baird signs it seems. Even on the main streets where the Liberals have traditionally dominated the sign wars (Fairlawn, Carling etc) the clear majority of signs are for Baird. While that may indicate nothing more than strong organization, it's certainly indicative of something going right for the Conservatives. Baird has the benefit of high name recognition and pretty much open support from the local papers - Whatever people may think of Baird, he's been a proven vote winner in the West End for years. Rivier is an unusually strong candidate for the NDP, health care background and has run before, so she has a base of organization and support she's building upon. Farnworth is a perfectly fine candidate, but some of my Liberal friends say that her campaign is too much like a municipal campaign and she doesn't have the big canvassing/get out the vote machinary like Catterall had. It won't be a big romp like his time in Nepean-Carleton, but I believe Baird will pull through by a couple of thousand votes.
29 12 05 Pete
John Pascheco will certainly not get enough votes to come close to winning, but he very well might take enough votes off Baird to give the Liberal candidate the win. This is not a traditionally Conservative riding; like much of Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley, it has been a Liberal stronghold that has only recently made an abrupt shift to the Conservatives (although this riding still has a lot of Liberal support since it includes part of the city). And much of the support has likely been for socially conservative reasons - all the current Ottawa Valley MPs are ex-Alliancers. So although socially conservative Pascheco won't win, he might well fatally split the vote on the right, although I'd say it's too close to call.
29 12 05 Full Name
The riding is an interesting mix of seniors, immigrants, and young families. I think Ontario Conservative mistakes will come to haunt Mr. Baird. The Tories got rid of 10,000 nurses and spent federal transfers for medical equipment on lawn mowers and private sector start-up companies. Marlene Rivière of the NDP take him to task on that at every turn. This business about QC hospital will be a non-starter. It is an issue in 8 years, not now. Besides it was the Conservatives under Mulroney that legislated fair-market value rent. The key though is the John Pacheco factor. He will draw more votes from the Conservative base than the Liberals(2 to 1). It is sad to say but Baird's sexual preference will not sit well with the religious right. I think John Pacheco will get close to 2,000 votes and that will be enough to sink Baird. The fact Baird allied himself with the ulta-right Conservatives at Queen's Park will make it difficult for him to re-cast himself as a moderate to counter the Pacheco factor. It will be close but Farnworth will win. She simply reflects the nature of the riding. Mother, wife, Italian immmigrant, professor, former Nepean councillor and church goer makes her a warm, comfy, and safe choice.
27 12 05 Dave
Pacheco was the prime organiser of the Rally on the Hill attended by Harper and which drew about 20,000 people. He is evidently no slouch at organising.
He will pull in at least several thousand votes, drawn from both Conservative and Liberal socon camps. It will be a litmus test of the strength of socon support. At this point in time, Pacheco has to do a lot of running and Baird is likely ahead, but it will be in essence a three horse race.
27 12 05 Victor A.
It will be a very tight race to the very end. Unlike in 2004, I'm predicting a Conservative win here this time around. Granted, on the positive side for the Liberals there is no provincial tax hike, but at the same time there is also no incumbent. The numbers for the Conservatives are up in Eastern Ontario, comparing to their 2004 score while numbers for the Liberals are down. In my opinion Lee is an excellent candidate however I do think that the overall distrust of many Eastern Ontarians in the Liberal Party will be her biggest problem that she will have to overcome if she wants to win it. It is very close and in fact it will be one of PC very few gains in Ontario ( they are likely to lose a bit more than what they'll gain ) but I think that John will win by less than a 1000 votes, maybe even less than 500. Don't count out Lee yet, the footage of her that was shown on CPAC shows a very effective campaigner that targets the right people with the right message but unlike Eastern Ottawa, the number of Francophones here is less significant. At the end of the day, I think John is more likely to win.
26 12 05 Bill Thomas
All this business about John Pacheco would not have happened if either a). the Party had let John run in the nomination or b). John Baird had bothered to meet with John Pacheco afterwards. It is wrong to say that the party denied a pro-family choice however. The other three candidates that ran against John Baird in the nomination were pro-marriage and pro-life.
It is somewhat hypocritical for John P. to say he was the standard bearer and thereby is entitled to run because so-cons had no choice. They did have a choice at the nomination. Ed Mahfouz, Margarett Kopala, and the other guy mentioned traditional marriage and family values in their speeches.
For that reason, I don't think John Pacheco will siphon off enough votes to win.
24 12 05 EP
It would be interesting to watch John Baird squirm over same sex marriage questions on the campaign trail. As a self proclaim same sex marriage supporter, one must wonder how could he allow Stephen Harper make his "roll back same sex marriage" announcement in his very own campaign office. Apparently various gay press has been trying to contact him or his campaign and getting no response. One can only wonder if he can duck these questions as seamlessly in all candidate debates.
23 12 05 jonforest
Another complication is the decision of John Pacheco to run as an independent on an anti-ssm platform. (For the story: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/dec/05122209.html) Pacheco is a conservative who is upset about the way the nomination in OWN was run; he's especially animated by Baird's support for ssm. He could cost Baird a few hundred votes, but in this riding that could be the difference.
20 12 05 Tommy Hamilton
The fact is that in the last campaign, the Liberals nearly lost the seat due to an incumbent wearing out their welcome, a not uncommon phenomenon in politics, not because the riding is dramatically sloping to the right. Moreover, Caterall, being a long-time member of the Liberal administration, was easier to tar with the "scandal" brush. This time the Liberals have a new name on the ballot, but one with credibility with the voters.
20 12 05 JB
The small lawn sign war seems to be turning Lee Farnworth's way. She seems to be out working John Baird by going door to door to meet her future constituents whereas Baird appears to be relying on his name recognition and blind hope that people are "anyone but the Liberals". This strategy may backfire on him and he better go knocking on doors soon.
19 12 05
Having recently moved from Nepean-Carleton into Ottawa West Nepean, and having watched John Baird very closely since he waqs first elected, I suspect he could well win this seat, unless his legacy as Mike Harris lackey and right-wing ideologue catches up to him, but his language has smoothend out over the past few years to the point that he sounds more normal, even if his ideology hasn't moderated much. What the Liberals did need to go face-à-face to Baird is a bull-dog; Lee Farnworth is probably too nice for that role. Baird has a lot of weaknesses, and it may be that Marlene Rivière of the NDP might fulfill that role to Farnworth's favour.
19 12 05 Sean Casey
I think two factors swing this riding in John's favour - first, with Ms. Catterall's retirement, John becomes the de-facto favourite. With all due respect to Ms. Farnworth - John has a much higher profile coming into the race. He would be in the drivers seat at the moment.
Secondly, I am not convinced that the NDP swing to the Liberals in the dying days of the campaign will be as strong. Our final polling in 2004 saw about a 5% shift to the Libs from the NDP in the final week - and we lost by 2%....I don't think I want to do the math again on this one.
I think it will be a close race, and if the bottom doesn't fall out on the national campaign in the final week, he should take it by between 3 and 5%.
18 12 05 Aric H
There is no sign of the NDP's Marlene Rivier so far this year, so the only signs I saw were for Baird and Farnsworth. Baird appears to have the edge so far on lawn signs, but there were some for Farnsworth. Perhaps it is just as well for Liberal Lee Farnsworth that not much is happening with the NDP in this riding right now because she will need to prevent people from voting NDP if she wants to beat Conservative John Baird.
14 12 05 Wonka
The comments made by the “Nature Boss” below just do not stand up to the facts in Ottawa West Nepean. Nature Boss suggests that Farnworth will win by more votes than Catterall did in the last election.
Last time the Libs, with a long time incumbent, not facing scandal, barely scraped out a win (1,400 votes) against a capable, but no-name Conservative. This time the Conservatives have a high profile, and more capable candidate against an unknown new Lib candidate in the middle of political scandal. Are we to believe Nature Boss’s comments that Libs will win with a larger plurality? Not a chance.
Catterall knew the Libs were toast here. Once Baird got the nomination she announced her retirement. It is time for others to recognize it as well. Baird will win this riding easily.
12 12 05 Robert
Lee Farnworth got the nomination early and has been using that time to get to know the riding better. Her record on Nepean City council shows she can get things done. She works, lives, shops and worships in the community.
14 02 05 Pink Tory
This will go Tory almost for sure. Sean Casey who was a no name, almost won the riding in 2004. John Baird has a higher profile, is more well liked, and is an amazing campaigner (you should have seen the nomination fight).
Second factor is that Catteral is not running. Incumbency can give a candidate an extra 2-3%, but with no Liberal incumbent, John Baird will be even more difficult to beat.
Unless the Liberals get above 37% in the polls close to election day, this riding is going Tory for sure. No doubt about it.
Increased NDP vote will also only help Baird. I'd say expect Baird to take it with around 40-45% of the vote.
07 12 05 The Nature Boss
While it's going to be a tight election nation-wide, the voters of OW-N will most likely hedge their bets and stick with the Liberal Party. This is a progressive and urban riding with a large population of new Canadians. That coupled with the fact that the Conservative Party candidate is on the extreme right wing of his party, who implemented deep cuts in social services and advocated criminalizing homelessness in his capacity as a PC cabinet minister on the behalf of his boyhood idol, Mike Harris. These politics don't fly with the demographic in this riding, and does not bode well for Stephen Harper's new regional viceroy, John Baird. Prediction: Farnworth by a comfortable 3 000 votes.
05 12 05 JB
John Baird may be winning the "large signage" war but what is most telling is the severe lack of personal lawn signage. This is shaping up to be a repeat of the 04 Election in which closet, almost guilty to support the Liberals, residents are keeping quiet but will cast their vote for Lee Farnworth. This is a very affluent, older voter riding who bennefit from the current economic climate and are not so concerned with wanting change. I predict a very close match but ultimately a Liberal win.
03 12 05 Marcus
Well-known MPP, who will take this for the Tories. He won't just win because of NDP/Liberal vote splitting, but also because he is a credible and strong candidate. Provincially, the Ontario PC has been in power for the majority of time in Ontario, and so running an Ontario PC here is smart. Predicting 40% for Baird.
29 11 05 M. Warren
The big story may not be the Conservative win here, but the gain in NDP support (both at Liberal expense, especially with the Caterall retirement). The perception of a Baird cakewalk here is well-founded, though.
29 11 05 Ryan
John Baird will win the riding for the Conservatives. In 2004, CPC candidate Sean Casey almost beat Liberal incumbent Marlene Catterall -- and now Catterall is not running again. Baird is one of the higher-profile CPC candidates in the Ottawa area.
18 11 05 RWR
This will be a very tight race. Both John and Lee have records of achievement in the riding. John as the MPP for Nepean served the Nepean portion quite well. Lee, as a city councilor, too, served a portion of the riding quite well. The key to victory in this riding for John, is a combination of the national Conservative campaign and Jack Layton. The NDP still have a very strong base in this riding. If the NDP run a strong campaign and Liberal fear tactics don't work this time. John will win. Howerver, if 'dippers, fearing a Baird win swing to Lee, she should win. My guess is that the Layton campaign will do everything it can nationally to prevent the bleed that occurred last time. For that reason, John Baird should be the next MP for Ottawa-West Nepean. Prediction: Con 41%, Lib 39%, NDP 17%, Green 3%.
22 10 05 A.S.
It certainly says something about the federal Tories that John Baird can be epitomized as "moderate" (albeit more the "James Moore" variety) within that context. And at least within much of the Nepean part of the seat, he does have an electoral history here (albeit dating back to his first provincial victory in 1995). But even if it was a superm arginal Catterall close call in '04, John Baird wouldn't be running in OW-N if David Pratt had somehow succeeded in getting re-elected in Nepean-Carleton. Indeed, in a seat this urban and urbane in Ontario--in GTA terms, comparable to a "Don Valley" or "Etobicoke" sort of seat--such elevated recent Tory tallies feel a little too giddy to be a clear harbinger of future achievements. Even with a star candidate of Rusty Baird's calibre, I can well imagine CPC losing rather than gaining ground in OW-N--through no fault of Rusty's...
16 10 05 Thomas
John Baird will beat Lee Farnworth, but he will have to work at it. In his favor is his popular fight with Pierre Poilievre to get the QCH its land for a dollar. This has struck a chord with the general populace and Lee Farnworth has come out against the hospital.
There was a furor shortly after the Liberal nomination because the Liberal Party installed her without any nomination fight because they wanted a woman. A highly qualified male lawyer was told to sit it out. Former popular liberal mayor of Nepean, Mary Pitt was outraged and this was a big news story in the Citizen.
This will be an issue in the campaign. There are also reports that Lee Farnworth actually privately supports the QCH getting its land for a dollar, but has to tow the Liberal party line.
This issue is so popular that when John Baird spent a day at Carlingwood Mall gathering signatures for a petition on this issue, hundreds and hundreds of people kept going over to see him from what I heard.
04 10 05 M. Lunn
I don't think this is a certainty for the liberals. The Conservatives nearly won last time around with a far less known candidate while the liberals had the incumbent advantage. That being said, even though John Baird is moderate on social issues, local candidates generally have less impact in urban ridings than rural ridings. Unlike Carleton-Lanark or even Nepean-Carleton, this is a swing riding that isn't a hard core liberal riding like Ottawa-Vanier, but not a hardcore conservative riding like Carleton-Lanark. Also the predictions that Sean Casey was going to win big were accurate if you look at the advanced polls since he won them massively, but the collapse of the Conservative campaign in the final week cost the conservatives between 30-40 seats. If Stephen Harper learns his lesson this won't happen again, although since people know Harper a lot better and people generally don't like him, his numbers going into the final week likely won't be as good as last time.
30 09 05 DJP
Baird has a terrible record in Provincial office. Opponent Lee Farnworth for the Liberals has a long and good record with the voters in this riding and the fact that Baird does not live in the riding should really hurt him...another parachute for personal, not voters, benefit.
22 09 05 NUMBERS
The Conservatives had their chance last time and fell just short. Predictions on this site were giving Casey a 14,000 vote majority. That's 15,000 more than he got. 15K votes is enough to elect an MP in some ridings, so that's a significant enough error to call for close scrutiny of wild predictions.
17 09 05 M. Lunn
John Baird is certainly an asset to the Conservatives so this is probably amongst their top likely pick-ups. However this primarily an urban ridings and urban areas is where the Conservatives are struggling the most and I am not sure John Baird's socially moderate views will make-up for Stephen Harper's socially conservative views. When he throw his hat in the ring, the Tories were leading in Ontario, not trailing by fifteen points so it looked a sure thing at that point. I still think John Baird will ultimately win this riding, but it will be close. I am guessing low 40s for the Conservatives and high 30s for the liberals
18 05 05 Brittania Bad Boy
I have to think Baird will take this riding, especially with Marlene out of the race. JRB has a dynamic, young campaign team chomping at the bit to go after the Grits. This is especially true if Trudeau leg-over Deborah Coyne is in the candidate.
16 05 05 Steve G
Yes, this riding narrowly went Liberal in the 2003 provincial election, but John Baird's high profile, his personal popularity, and his fairly moderate views on social issues will bring him victory even though he actually lives in the riding nextdoor. Ottawa, along with the rest of Eastern Ontario, is trending Conservative and after the next election only the downtown Ottawa ridings populated by civil servants will withstand the blue tide. CPC 45% Lib 35%
16 05 05 Bear and Ape
So the Liberal incumbent is calling it quits and a Conservative MPP is running in a riding that was very close last year. This seems like a no-brainer win for the Conservatives. True Baird may have a lot of enemies but he also has the experience, and that's a big plus (though it didn't help Clement, but he had an incumbent to deal with).
15 05 05 Eastern Ontario Values
Marlene Catterall announced today that she would not be running in the upcoming election (citing family issues). This is a double blow for the Liberals. First, the election looks like it may come in five days, and they have no candidate, no signs and no literature. Second, they lose the incumbant benefit that Catterall provided (she was well known and had been helping people out for 17 years - she had developed at least some personal vote). All of this will help feed the perception that Baird has all the momentum. Some people on this forum think that his track record at Queen's Park will hurt him - the fact that he won his provincial seat by over 10,000 votes in the 2003 Eves wipeout suggest quite the opposite, that he is in tune with the voters in the West End. He also benefits from high visibility in the media, as well as the fact that he's build a strong campaign team over the years (witness the almost 1,000 people who voted for him at his nomination meeting).
15 05 05 Aric H
With the announcement in the Ottawa Citizen today that long-term Liberal MP Marlene Catterall has decided to retire, this makes the close race between her and John Baird for this seat a no-go now. This means that unless the Liberals find a really good candidate and increase their vote in this riding, John Baird will now win this riding for the Conservatives with little trouble.
15 05 05 enews
Marlene Catterall has announced that she'll be leaving politics at the end of the term (whenever that will be), citing personal reasons. Still too soon to determine a possible successor, though the few names conjectured have considerably lower profile than that of Ms Catterall.
14 05 05 Eric D
With Catterall announcing today that she isn't running again, this is going to be an easy victory for John Baird and the Conservatives. CON 50%, LIB 30%, NDP 15%, other 5%.
12 05 05 Jay
On the other hand...people who dislike Baird are very enthusiastic in their dislike. To a lot people he exemplifies the worst of the Mike Harris Tories, i.e. the bully tactics and smug self-righteousness. He risks turning off a lot of people.
11 05 05
John Baird is a great candidate. Experienced legislator, social moderate. Definitely the type of guy the new Conservative Party wants in the house.
15 05 05 Rebel
Baird's nomination and Catterall's retirement gives the Conservatives a clear shot to take this seat from the Liberals. Baird has immense name recognition in the Ottawa area and a large and enthusiastic organization to boot.
07 05 05 Jonathan Amor
Last Night, close to 1500 people came out to vote/observe the coronation of John Baird as the Conservative Candidate in Ottawa-West Nepean in the largest gathering of Ottawa Tories since the Mulroney glory days of 1984. Baird was backed at the meeting by National Campaign Co-Chair John Reynolds, MPs Pierre Poilievre, Rona Ambrose, Scott Reid and Gord Brown, former Ontario Finance Minister and PC Leadership contender Jim Flaherty, Beloved former Ottawa-West Nepean MPP Gary Guzzo, Former Ottawa Mayor Jaqueline Holzman, the 2004 Candidate of Record Sean Casey, the young and dynamic 2004 Tory Nomination Contestant Andy Gibbons, 2000 PC Candidate Tom Curran and the ever popular Joe Varner, PC Candidate of Record for Ottawa Centre. If the energy and excitement displayed last night is a sign of things to come, Marlene Catterall will be able to enjoy her fat pension in peace. The Big Blue Machine is coming through Ottawa-West Nepean and come election time, this riding will be a safe bet to turn Tory.
06 05 05 Marto
Oh - JC - ever the dreamer!! You are doing what many have before you to their peril- underestimating the talented and sophisticated John "Rusty" Baird!! Baird will win this riding in a walk!! He is one of the hardest working MPPs in Ontario's History - and when it comes to Politics - John doesn't lose - Last nights nomination is a great example - Not only did he win -He embarrassed the competition - Just like he will embarrass the Libs in the Election!! Prime Minister Rusty?? Who knows - maybe one day?
05 05 05 Honest Abe
John Baird is no doubt the front-runner in this race. But, Mr. Baird will be forced to address the hugely policy differences between himself and the Conservative party. Mr. Baird is rightly in favour of same-sex marriage...the Conservative party is not. Mr. Baird is rightly in favour of promoting and spending on bilingualism policies...the Conservative party is not. And finally, will John Baird meet the standard set by Jim Watson: Promise and keep that promise of moving into the riding if elected! John Baird has already failed by collecting a taxpayer-funded salary from one riding at one level, while running in a different riding for a different level. For shame!!!
03 05 05 Derek Fildebrandt
This riding could very well go Conservative in the next election. The X factor here is John Baird. If he is successful in the nomination, I think it would be courteous to send Catteral a nice Hallmark goodbye card. I thought that she was bad for Ottawa West-Nepean, but those who have been here longer than I have (including non-Conservatives) seem to hate her. Assuming that the leader’s campaign doesn’t go to hell or the NDP and Liberals don’t get as smart as the PCs and CA did, this riding is blue.
02 05 05 PN
I worked on the Catterall campaign last time around and she barely pulled it off. With Baird running here there is really no chance for the Liberals to hang on. The NDP in this riding are beyond a no player. This riding will go Tory easily.
02 05 05 JC
True, John Baird is running here, but he should prepare to have his awful record in the Ontario Legislature brought up.
02 05 05 M. Lunn
With the trend in Eastern Ontario moving towards right wing parties over the last few elections unlike the GTA which is turning away from them, I would suspect the Conservatives would probably take this whether John Baird wins the nomination or not. Nevertheless, the polls are quite volatile, so I don't think Marlene Cattrall is finished yet, Although I would put her amongst the ten most likely liberal MPs to lose their seats in Ontario. Eastern Ontario often votes differently than the GTA i.e. liberal in 1988 while Conservative in GTA, while last election liberal GTA and Conservative in Eastern Ontario.
26 04 05 Craig
With John Baird running here (he couldn't run in Nepean-Carleton since that is already Conservative) and the Liberals looking like they are on their last legs with AdScam, Marlene Catterall had better have the keys to the office ready to be handed over. Like most ridings in eastern Ontario, this is turning blue. A stronger NDP would also help Baird even more; vote shifting to the left is a possibility in this urban riding. Predicted results: CPC 45%, LIB 31%, NDP 19%, GRN 4%.

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