Prediction Changed
10:31 AM 13/10/2008

Election Prediction Project

South Shore-St. Margaret's
Federal Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

New Democratic
Earle, Gordon S.
Keddy, Gerald
Christian Heritage
Larkin, Joe
Oddy, Michael
Smith, Bill

Gerald Gordon Keddy

2006 Result:
Gerald Gordon Keddy **
Gordon S. Earle
Darian Malcom Huskilson
Jim Hnatiuk
Katie Morris Boudreau

Previous Prediction/result
06 Prediction/04 Result
04 Prediction/00 Result

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08 10 15 JWentzell
I was wrong in my previous post about the Liberal vote collapse. It happened. Smith's trash-talking campaign earned him the worst showing by a Liberal in this riding since...well, forever.
Congrats to Keddy - and Earle ran a decent campaign.
08 10 09 Balon
I don't live in this riding, so I don't know how the campaign has been going, but most polls I've seen suggest that the NDP are polling around 29% in Atlantic Canada, which means around 35% in Nova Scotia. Even assuming Stoffer wins Sackville with 55+% of the vote and Leslie wins Halifax with 45+%, surely there will be enough NDP votes left over to carry a third seat for the Dippers, and this would be it.
08 10 08 R.O.
Going to lean conservative here as in last election in nova scotia incumbents seemed to have an advantage. Although I think it will be close or as close as last election between the ndp candidate Gordon Earle with liberals running strong as well. But I suspect in the end Gerald Keddy will hold this seat as he has been mp for this riding since 97.
08 10 03
In spite of the fact that I personally would prefer that the NDP would win this riding I believe that the Liberals could take it based on the number of lawn signs I have seen for the Liberal's new candidate Dr. Bill Smith. His home town is Bridgewater which is the largest in this community by far. The Liberal vote will increase substantially from last time based on this alone. There are very few Conservative signs up so Gerald Keddy's support appears to be declining as a result of his support for the Atlantic Accord. Unfortunately the NDP campaign appears to have gotten off to a slow start.
08 09 30 John
I'd lean conservative here. Incumbancy advantage counts for something. As well, with the Greens getting more coverage this election, the Greens could get a few more votes and will likely bleed that from the Liberals and the NDP.
Not a safe seat by any stretch of the imagination, but not a lost cause either.
08 09 28
This riding is too close to call. I like both Mr. Keddy and his wife Judy Stretch and they have a great campaign team but so does Gordon Earle. As was already noted, the Liberals were lucky to find a candidate and with the polls the way they are federally and a mindset among many to engage in strategic voting, that means some votes that might have gone Liberal will go to Gordon Earle.
As for Don Downs' support, I suspect his candidacy only means workers are overtaxed (in more ways than one, lol) and are not concentrating on the federal race in the Lunenburg area. Plus, Mr. Baker provincially will help get out the Tory vote there.
While I think at this juncture, Mr. Keddy is ahead, anything can happen on election day - either a Conservative or NDP victory.
08 09 22 Mark R
The tories are tanking in Nova Scotia and all of Atlantic Canada for that tory is safe. Expect a few upsets come election night. I've been told internal polls for the Liberals and NDP show the tory numbers as low as 19-21% - with numbers like that, nothing but losses for the Conservatives - NDP gain here and elsewhere in the Atlantic.
08 09 21 JWentzell
Some people on this site spoke waaaaay too soon.
Keddy will hold this seat no problem. I actually predict that he will eclipse his vote total from last campaign.
The Accord mess ultimately ended up being a victory for him. Just like the same sex marriage mess ended up with him winning soundly. He seems to have an ability to not get overwhelmed by the emotions of the day and stick to a game plan that is more beneficial in the long-run.
The ONLY way the NDP could ever win here is if the Liberal vote completely collapsed. The Liberals have a strong candidate supported by the grassroots of their party so that's not going to happen.
08 09 16 R.O.
The final outcome here could depend on several factors. The riding is somewhat of an example of vote splitting on the left as liberals and ndp each got a lot of votes here but neither was close enough to win. Gerald Keddy also has the incumbent advantage and has been mp for this riding since 1997 so not exactly sure he will be easy to beat here. Well not in cabinet he is a parliamentary secretary in the conservative government which gives him some more profile than the average mp. the ndp candidate running against him is strong and was elected before in nova scotia but not in the same riding. Well the conservatives in nova scotia seem to have some problems in other ridings I’m not yet convinced this riding will change hands.
08 09 16 Brian A
I'm going with Nick et al here in calling for an NDP pickup. Keddy will lose his seat for a variety of reasons, such as the fact that he didn't join Casey in speaking out against the Conservatives for failing to live up to the Atlantic Accord. Also, the NDP candidate is a nice man who continues to run and lose like a guy trying to break through a wall by hitting his head against it. Well, this time the stars will align for Gordon and he'll find himself back in Parliament.
08 09 12 David Young
Another reason why the NDP stand the best chance at defeating Gerald Keddy is the fact that in 2006, they spent less than half the allowable limit for the campaign.
Thanks to the new funding formula, where each vote earns a political party revenue, the NDP will be able to spend close to the limit in this riding for the first time.
If they earned 28% of the vote last time by spending 40% of the expense limit, how much support do you think they'd get if they can spend twice as much?
08 09 11 Nick J Boragina
Dont put this one in the tory-for-sure column yet. The NDP came very close last time and with the party polling near or above 30% across the Atlantic, this is THE first riding that would tip their way. NDP victory.
08 09 11 E. L. Smerl
Hey Lewis when you write ‘they admire Audrey McLaughlin’ do you mean Alexa McDonough? You must either type reeeeally fast or have every single name of every political party leader for the last twenty years muscle-memoried into your fingers. Hah. Nova Scotians do admire Alexa, yes, and your logic is sound. The Liberals have been particularly inept on the South Shore lately and the NDP will treat the federal election as a warmup for the provincial - they expect to gain several seats in South Shore to match the one in Queens.
However, Jack Layton's attempt to keep Elizabeth May out of the debates was not a popular move among NDP members particularly in Nova Scotia outside Central Nova. She's curried favour by endorsing Bill Casey, spending a lot of time in Nova Scotia, and of course Jack's ‘from away’ and there'd be no Nova Scotians at all in the debates if Elizabeth May wasn't there. Several NDP members in NS sent Jack their membership cards over his hypocritical gaffe. So if NDP supporters were looking for a reason to stay home or to vote Liberal or Green, they got one. Expect a few sympathy votes for the Greens entirely due to the debate issue and it will come more from Layton's than Harper's supporters. Harper, after all, has proven he doesn't care about democratic reforms, women's rights or the right to criticize or challenge power - quite the opposite on all fronts. But Jack's supporters do care about all that and were hopping mad when he tried to exclude May.
Meanwhile, popular Liberal Don Downe is running for Mayor of Lunenburg County and the Liberal campaign organization has been somewhat renewed by that. He's not too close to the federal party and often criticized it in public in Chretien's day when he was a provincial liberal MP (former finance minister). But nonetheless many of his supporters will support Bill Smith, who has no history with the previous Chretien-era federal Liberals. So renewed energy on the part of the Liberals can't be ruled out.
It may be that the NDP turmoil and Liberal distraction and Green insurgency all cancel out and re-elect Keddy as usual. Liberals will exploit the nation-wide fact of NDP vote splitting to simplify strategic voting down to ‘hold your nose and vote Liberal’ despite the Liberal not necessarily being the best bet here. Confusion plays to Keddy's favour. So does the fact that many farmers, fishers and timber workers live in this riding and diesel tax will hit them particularly hard if they don't qualify for some offsetting program that Dion has only recently announced.
Given all that, it's a slight edge to Keddy to remain but not by that much given the Atlantic Accord mess, and it's not clear who replaces him anyway.
Maybe at the last minute Michael Oddy the Green will endorse someone else to swing the vote strongly one way or another. But few would see that if it came too late.
08 09 05 Urban Farmer
Quite possibly the most interesting riding in the province and will probably be overlooked by the media as it already has (and this site, giving it the Tory nod). The people of this riding have not forgotten the Atlantic Accord and I think his already slim margin will disappear. The question is, will the Liberals or NDP capitalize? The NDP came second here (barely) on the back of a weak Liberal candidate. The Grit candidate this time around is much, much stronger and will put up an impressive fight against Keddy and Earle. I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict a Liberal victory in this 3-way race.
08 08 18 Mad Caper
There is little doubt that the C.P.C. is in trouble in this riding due to the fact that the voters of South Shore-St.Margaret's are very disappointed in the lack of backbone shown by Gerald Keddy in standing up for what the voters in this riding deemed to be best for them as a people, as Bill Casey did in his riding. This has made winning this seat a fair bit easier for Gordon Earle and the New Democrats. The Liberals are not going to be a threat this time around as Bill Smith dose not have the team that Darian Huskilson put on the ground last time. The Greens will increase their vote, but, it will not be a significant one, even with the added help of their leader running in this Province. The New Democrats have in Earle an experienced candidate who has steadily been building a stronger and more experienced team. THis should be a pick up for the N.D.P.
08 02 16 David Young
The last time voters here voted 'strategically' was in 1993, when this (and every other Nova Scotia riding!) elected a Liberal. And yet Derek Wells (cousin of then-Newfoundland Premier Clyde Wells) couldn't hold on for more than a single term.
The June, 2006, provincial results showed the Liberals in 3rd place in all five of the provincial ridings in SOUTH SHORE-ST. MARGARET'S.
08 02 09 A.S.
Even if he's been an MP before, even if he scored second place in 2006, even if there's a sort of Barack Obama ‘yes we can’ virtuousness in voting for him, I'd still advise being cautious about predicting big things for Gordon Earle. And it's a ‘Federal NDP’ thing, not a race thing. For that matter, Earle's presence could just as well ensure Keddy's survival yet again. (There's a reason why people vote strategically, y'know.)
08 02 06 A. Lewis
Maybe ‘the husband/wife team of Keddy and Streatch have done a lot of good work on the south shore of Nova Scotia’ but Keddy did not stand up the way Casey did, and people on the South Shore know it. They know that Keddy's with Harper. They got hit with a few reminder hurricanes too and Keddy's with Harper on doing nothing about climate change. Now the dollar's up so far it's destroying manufacturing tourism, lobster and already has destroyed Christmas trees. Then there's the Atlantic Accord issue. Folks in the riding got big posters in the same month from Keddy and provincial Tories each explaining the Accord issue in their own opposing ways, and Keddy put a huge 20-million-dollar plus figure on his gigantic brochure, bragging basically that he personally brought the money to the riding. A lot of people took that as bad old politics as usual, as if the Harperites would not have given the South Shore a cent if they elected anyone not of their kind. Given that Nova Scotia politics has cleaned up a lot the past few years, tricks like that don't wash. People admire Bill Casey, they admire Elizabeth May, they admire Audrey McLaughlin, and while they hold their nose and vote for Peter MacKay and Gerald Keddy, they don't like 'em.
MacKay telling Casey he would not be ousted was just one of many lies he's told. Keddy managed to steer clear of that mess, mostly, but his vote for the non-Accord did lead to a lot of ugly noise and signs up on the highway. Danny Williams has kept the noise up and he's highly visible in Atlantic Canada media, so people won't forget about the Accord issue or the merits of an ABC strategy.
In this riding, for reasons correctly explained below, the most likely pick up is for the NDP. The Liberals' Bill Smith is weak and not nearly as liked or experienced as Huskilson. And voters are unlikely to shift from the NDP to him unless they find Earle distasteful.
The population of the South Shore is now markedly more urban commuter, and that changes the way it perceives urban-based candidates. Also, given the way the US election has been covered, focusing on race issues, it might well be that a lot of rural people have heard ‘it's time’ long enough and are ready to elect a black MP. South Shore voters are very saavy and many come from the US or other parts of Canada or Europe, having settled there recently. Those from older families know that the black history of Nova Scotia is as old as the English presence and might go for the ‘it's about time’ logic. The lieutenant governor is also black. Finally, there's been more emphasis on black history figures like Portia White and Willi O'Ree in the Maritimes and that too helps to chip away racism bit by bit.
Earle being an experienced MP and the NDP rising provincially, it may be he could win on his own merits. But the race card may have become a plus.
Green voters have the excellent Michael Oddy to vote for, but he's from the east extreme of the riding near Halifax and most of his voters would consider Earle an option. Oddy quit the GPC and GPNS during the 2006 election to join the NDP, and his accepting this nod probably means he is going to spend his whole time on the podium attacking Keddy and trying to help the NDP. He might alternatively only campaign in Conservative districts, he's definitely not of the ‘more votes the better’ camp.
Finally there's the Christian Heritage Party which hates Keddy because he voted for same-sex marriage and explained exactly why that was the right thing to do in an excellent eloquent mailout that made even his enemies respect him. It's things like that which kept Keddy in office so long, definitely, he's as red a Tory as they come. But he's not that green and he's definitely not black, and he was yellow on the Accord. That's a bad colour combination this year especially with the green issues on point in Central Nova and yellow issues in Casey's riding seeding dissent inside his own party.
07 12 09
The high Canadian dollar is having a very noticable impact on the chief industries that make up the economy of SOUTH SHORE-ST. MARGARET'S: the lobster fishery; the pulp & paper industry; and the Christmas tree sector.
Add to that the perception that Keddy was not standing up for Nova Scotians, like Bill Casey did, when it came to the Atlantic Accord. There are going to be a lot of voters who are not going to be very happy when they mark their ballots during the next federal election, and Keddy is going to be the target of their unhappiness.
Dr. Bill Smith may be known around the Bridgewater area, but with the name recognition that Gordon Earle has been building after running here twice before, he's the one that voters would most trust as an alternative.
07 11 21 binriso
Hmm I think the Liberals too might have a chance here now, the NDP polled 29.9% in NS last time and their highest was only about 30.4% in 1997 when Alexa was the leader. Therefore 30-31% seems to be about the ceiling for them in Nova Scotia. Since the CPC will probably lose some votes in Nova Scotia, despite the budget agreement and also due to the Casey fiasco, those votes would probably go Liberal over the NDP which impacts relatively close ridings like this one. It might also be interesting to note that the NDP outpolled the CPC in Nova Scotia in both the 2004 and 2006 election. Then again, a strong NDP and Liberal Effort here could split up the vote nicely and let Keddy back in with another mid 30s ish result...
07 09 23 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
Your reasoning makes much more sense here T.V. than it did for your Halifax prediction, however it is foolhardy to assume all those votes will go directly to the Liberals. Mr Earl, if he's running again, we're not sure, is very well known and liked. This holds true for Mr. Keddy. Many may have voted for Keddy because they liked him and not the party and may be more enclined to vote for Mr. Earl as opposed to a Liberal candidate. We forsee a three-way race with Keddy being at a disadvantage thanks to the budget fiasco.
07 09 23 David Young
In the 2006 Nova Scotia Provincial Election, the provincial Liberals were so incompetent, they weren't able to field a candidate in the provincial riding of QUEENS, one of the five provincial ridings which make up the federal constituency of SOUTH SHORE-ST. MARGARET'S. That riding went NDP for the first-time ever in 2006, breaking a 53-year run of non-stop P.C. representation. They tried to parachute 2006 federal Liberal candidate Darian Huskilson into QUEENS from the neighbouring riding of SHELBURNE (which also went NDP for the first-time ever in 2006!), but he forgot to sign his nomination papers on the last day of submitting candidates.
And who do the Liberals nominate as their next SOUTH SHORE-ST. MARGARET'S candidate? A Liberal who rebuked the party provincially when it appeared the NDP had a chance at forming the government, and ran for the NDP in LUNENBURG WEST, then jumped back to the Liberals federally.
Gordon Earle was nominated in November of 2006, and has been steadily canvassing the riding. His second-place showing in the 2006 Election gives him the credibility as the one best positioned to defeat Gerald Keddy in the next election.
07 09 25 Christopher
With an election not underway, a decently close 3 way race last time, and a Nova Scotia Conservative MP who voted FOR the unpopular budget I am surprised to see this one isn't marked Too Close to Call... With people in Nova Scotia upset about the budget and with Bill Casey sitting as an independent I could only see the Conservatives holding on to this one with some continued and lucky 3-way vote splitting.
07 09 22 T.V.
Recent polling has the Liberals at 50% in Atlantic Canada and Conservative support plummeting to 18%. That should be more than enough to tip this into the Liberal column, especially considering Keddy's vote on the budget.
07 09 13 David Young
These are the results in SOUTH SHORE-ST. MARGARET'S for the past 3 elections:
2000* 2004 2006
PC 14328 14954 15108
LIB 12677 12658 11629
NDP 4394 10140 11689
C.A. 4697 - -
GREEN - 1700 1198
When the riding was expanded for the 2004 Election to include 8,000 more voters in the ST. MARGARET'S section, the Tory vote barely inched up, the Liberal vote dropped marginally, and the NDP vote more than doubled.
In the 2006 Election, the only party to substantially increase it's vote was the NDP, who came in second for the first time ever in this riding.
Coupled with the June 2006 Provincial Election results, where the NDP won two of the five provincial ridings for the first-time ever, and came a strong, if not close, second in the other three, the voting trends in this riding are clear.
The Conservative vote has stalled, and will suffer because of Keddy's vote for the Federal budget, Liberal support is dropping fast, while the NDP's steady increase, federally and provincially, will give them a fantastic opportunity to make history (again!) by winning this riding for the first time, and put former Halifax West M.P. Gordon Earle back into the House of Commons.
07 06 13 Joey Fenton
The federal Conservative have just put this riding into play. Depending on where angry Tory voters go this riding could swing to the Liberals or NDP.
07 06 13 hatman
Keddy is a very popular MP, but he made one crucial mistake: voting for the budget. The Conservatives are going to hit rock bottom in Nova Scotia, and that is bad news for them. Either the Liberals or the NDP could win this, but I think the NDP will. The NDP made big gains in this area provincially, and they are running the same candidate who is also a former MP.
07 06 12 Boy Waffle
I was surprised that Keddy didn't join Casey in voting against the budget
... it isn't as if he hasn't disagreed with his party before!
But it's not over yet: let's wait and see whether Rodney MacDonald's call for him to change his vote at third reading has had any effect.
Surely, there can be no question that the premier's comment was aimed squarely at Keddy? He and MacKay are the only NS MPs who might vote for the budget, and it's not as if MacKay is going to give up being in cabinet for something he probably could have had changed long before it came to a vote---i.e., when the budget was being written.
Frankly, I think Keddy stands a better chance of being re-elected if he stands up for his province (assuming he chooses to run), but it'll be fairly tight either way.
07 06 11 JB
Conservative support is plummeting across NS on a daily basis, and Keddy is now starting to feel the negative effects from the backlash.
No CPC seat in Nova Scotia is considered safe anymore.
07 06 11 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
With an election many many months away, a lot can and will change in terms of poll number. Having said that however, this riding is certainly up for grabs, especially in the current confrontational climate over the Atlantic Accords. The NDP have a well known, popular former MP as a challenger and the Liberals have always had strength in this area. Had Harper & Flaherty not taken such an aggressive approach to the Atlantic provinces then Keddy could probably have kept it. No more! Keddy is in for a big fight thanks to the PM and finance minister, one he may not win.
07 06 11 Gerry Kennedy (not that one)
I still give the edge to Keddy but really this can't be called yet. With admiration for Casey, anger towards Harper and now MacDonald tossing his support to Casey, I don't think Keddy is assured just yet.
07 06 07 CGH
I think it is safe to say this one is very much in play after Casey's decision and Keddy's failure to join him.
People are pissed...
07 06 07 binriso
I?m going to predict an upset here. Gordon Earle is running, a former MP in Nova Scotia so the NDP will at least have a candidate with some profile again. Keddy got less than 37% last time so its not like he?s safe at all and his vote declined 1.1% while the tory vote went up nationally which doesn?t sound so good. Although normally the area goes CPC the margins of victory in the last few elections haven?t been particularly high for Keddy. Also the budget was bad for NS and the fact that Casey got booted out of the party for voting against part of it cant sit too well here. Its actually possible for the Conservatives to be swept out of Nova Scotia if Casey runs as an independent because im pretty sure he could win or be close there. Mackay sure isn?t safe either and Keddy winning only by a few % last time will fall before Mackay will.
07 06 07 Tom
Definitely TCTC now with Casey's departure from the Conservatives over the budget. Keddy and MacKay are treading dangerous waters. The thing that may save Keddy is a strong split between the NDP and Liberals, but the greater risk might be the humiliation of coming in third.
Even though I think the opposition is now favored in this riding, who stands to benefit, the second-place NDP or the historically strong Liberals, is unclear.
07 05 18 Porter
This riding should be considered TCTC at this point. Bill Casey, another Conservative MP from Nova Scotia states publicly that his party is in trouble in the region due to the federal budget. While Mr. Casey is likely still safe in his riding, Mr. Keddy is the one most at risk (more so than Peter MacKay).
Chronicle Herald: ‘Failed deal will hurt N.S. Tories, Casey says’
07 03 29 M. Lunn
I wouldn't call this one yet. While Gerald Keddy will probably win and is generally good MP, the bad budget for Nova Scotia could hurt him potentially, especially if between the Liberals and NDP one chooses a really strong candidate and the other a weak one. if they run one of equal calibre, though Keddy should hold the riding.
07 03 25 Brian Appel
Federally and provincially, the husband/wife team of Keddy and Streatch have done a lot of good work on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Keddy is a Tory about as red as a Nova Scotia sunset in the summertime, so he fits in quite well here. A lot of social conservatives would, I'm sure, love to see him ousted, and if the Liberals nominate somebody right-leaning, it might split the vote. But he's a good man, a good MP and he'll hold this riding in the end.

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