Prediction Changed
10:47 AM 13/10/2008

Election Prediction Project

Federal Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

Bender, Philip
Couto, Manuel
Garvie, Drew
New Democratic
King, Tom
Klevering, Kornelis
Kovach, Gloria
Animal Alliance Environment Voters
Levenson, Karen
Nagy, Mike
Turmel, John
Valeriote, Frank

Hon. Brenda Chamberlain

2006 Result:
Brenda Chamberlain **
Brent Barr
Phil Allt
Mike Nagy
Peter Ellis
Scott Gilbert
Manuel Couto

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

08 10 12 King of Kensington
I'll give a slight edge to the Liberals...but it will be very very close. The NDP with Tom King running should do very respectably and come not too far behind. The Greens may enter double digit territory, but they will be a distant fourth.
08 10 11 Gone Fishing
Industry Minister Jim Prentice and Prime Minister Harper are running into Guelph about now as I type. I talked a few minutes with Prentice as they were in London earlier today.
They aren't going to Guelph and London for photo ops. These are two ridings that are in play that they think they can win. Prentice didn't come out and say it but he did doubt someone else's comments that the NDP is in it.
We desperately wanted Harper in London West in 2006 because we felt we were that close. Harper spent a ton of time last election in ridings where it was hoped could make a difference it worked for those ridings.
That's why I think if he was here in Guelph and London today it was because they are on the radar.
08 10 11 ML
Regarding the University of Guelph vote, the Green Party handily won the UofG poll in the last provincial election. I believe the Liberals were second and the NDP a distant third. If Mike's team can get voters in this poll out on Tuesday, it would certainly help to put his numbers over the top.
08 10 10 MP
Just finished speaking to a friend who is a University of Guelph student. The Green Party has been doing a lot of recruiting and advertising for Mike Nagy on the Guelph campus. This could result in 1,000+ votes that in a tight race could tip things his way. Yes not all students will vote Green(there may be many NDP voters for example) but it is a key Green constituency who will be active in this riding.
And to add to the last post, telephone polls often ignore students who either don't have a land line, are living in residence, or have only recently signed up to vote. I would be wary of such polls even if they do have some validity.
08 10 09 gwelfie
Here are the results from another Guelph KLR VU poll done, this one done last night (1,711 completed responses out of 13,307 possible respondents, for a response level of 13% with a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of 2.31%):
CP 29.94%
LP 27.63%
NDP 21.42%
GP 21.0%
The question was:
‘If the Federal Election were held today how would you vote?
Press One for Jack Layton's New Democratic Party
Press Two for Stephen Harper's Conservative Party
Press Three for Elizabeth May's Green Party
Press Four for Stephane Dion's Liberal Party
Press Five for Undecided.’
So, if you believe this poll (and its source is highly questionable IMHO), Cons and Libs in a statistical tie for first. And the NDP in a statistical tie with the Greens. Note that they did not mention the local candidate names in the question!
I have strong doubts about these numbers. I think the NDP are not doing nearly as well as 21% and the Greens are doing a lot better than 21%.
I'm betting on Mike Nagy and the Greens squeaking by in this riding.
08 10 09 Joshua Zuckerman
I really don't think I can agree with the Green predictions below. If the Greens were about to win this seat, wouldn't there be lots of media attention on this riding? I live in Ontario and I've heard nothing about it. I think the Liberals will hold on by a small margin.
08 10 08 seasaw
Morgan made an interesting analogy, the riding has changed and there's an influx of well educated professionals, not likely to vote Tory? Hey, this is the group most likely to vote Tory, also, this riding's always had better educated people than average. Polls show the support for CPC has declined in the last week, however, Frank Valeriote's been pleading with NDP and Green supporters, to vote for him and unite under his banner. That means, his campaign is in trouble. Unless, the Liberals take the lead and win, Kovach's got this one. Also, in recent years, the riding's had representative who were government front bench and back benchers, and an opposition back bencher, they liked opposition backbencher the least. As for the Green prediction, this is a riding that seldom elects opposition members, they're sure not going to elect a fringe party member.
08 10 08 Edward Clarke
The Guelph Mercury just endorsed the Greens in Guelph.
Given the steady momentum of Green growth in Guelph, with a week to go it's probable that this will put them over the top.
08 10 06 Denis Agar
I'm going to call this one for the Greens, too. The last commenter made some very pertinent points. Guelph is a riding of two solitudes - the downtown core and university neighbourhoods which are made up of generally progessive environmentally conscious voters, and the rest of the city, which is the usual Southern Ontario sprawl, whose residents are more conventional in their voting habits, meaning mostly Liberal and some Conservative. This is of pivotal importance.
Let's look at the latest poll results we have for Guelph:
Frank Valeriote, Liberals 38.4%;
Mike Nagy Green Party 24.2%;
Gloria Kovach, Conservatives 12.6%;
Tom King, NDP 8.0%
This was from before the current election. Now, I'm sure things have moved around since then, but I believe that those results weren't perfect from the get go. It's very obvious on the ground that the NDP is doing better than 8%, and the tories are probably being a bit underestimated there too. And the Liberals are being heavily overestimated. One factor in this is that the poll was done by phone, and phone polls always reach more established families and seniors, because that's just the nature of the medium. Very few young people are listed. And in Guelph, the Liberals are the party of the establishment. So that 38% is very high. It's a much closer race. There are four strong contenders, and they've all got their respective bases; the Liberals and Tories in the outskirts, and the Greens and the NDP downtown and on campus.
So in the last provincial election, we saw near complete Green domination in the downtown core, and a very strong showing on campus. That was with little to no campaign at the university. This election, the Greens are targetting the university hard, and rightly so. They have a lot to gain. In a recent poll, the Green Party placed 1st among people 18-25 in Toronto. And much of the Guelph student population is from the GTA. So it's very likely that the Greens will take downtown and campus.
Now, to tackle the outskirts. The Green Party is typically a harder sell in low-density neighbourhoods, but we're seeing a lot of traction. We're also getting a lot of Brent Barr Conservatives who are fed up with the party right now. Because our policies aren't ideologically driven, but rather logic-driven, it's not as hard a jump from Conservative to Green as it is Conservative to NDP. So there really isn't as much growth potential for the NDP in the outskirts.
With a four-party race, it doesn't take much to overtake the competition. With a Green dominated downtown core and campus, and inroads being made in the outskirts, Guelph could very well go Green. Oh and I should say that this wouldn't be possible without a very well spoken, extremely competent candidate, and a similarly strong campaign team.
08 10 04 MP
If there's any riding in Canada where the GP can get elected it is this one. The Guelph Greens are one of the most organized campaign teams in Canada and have a large number of volunteers and supporters to draw on.
I can't stress enough the importance of this in winning an election. For example during the election the GP had 50+ phone canvassers making hundreds of calls a day into the riding. What other party can match that number?
As another example volunteers from KW and the surrounding area will be travelling to Guelph this weekend to lend a hand canvassing. Major resources are being put into this riding so it's reasonable to expect a good result.
Many national events have also given the GP good exposure (EMay getting into the debates, and then performing well in them). Her Whistle Stop Tour also stopped in Guelph where she was greeted by many enthusiastic supporters. The opportunity to elect the first Green MP in Canada will be a strong incentive for many to vote.
Also to be factored in is that there's now been a month for students to settle in town and get signed up to vote. This will also increase the Green vote. A campaign office on the corner of Gordon and Wellington doesn't hurt either.
Mike Nagy also has a long list of supporters including religious leaders, city councillors, small business owners, members of the media, artists, and national figures. Having support from these type of people can be a great help in convincing voters.
My sources in the NDP also seem to think they have a realistic chance of winning in Guelph. If that's so then this is going to be a very close four way race.
08 09 30 John
The byelection is recent enough that nobody has incumbency advantage in this riding.
08 09 18 Morgan
I believe, as others have said, the voters in Guelph are progressive and would be surprised to see them vote for the Conservative party. Yes, Guelph has voted Conservative in the past, but anyone who lives in the city know that the riding has changed considerably in recent years. There has been an influx of educated young professionals, precisely the type of voter that is unlikely to vote Conservative. I would also point out that NDP and Green supporters in Guelph, of which there are many, are strategic voters and many will likely vote Liberal to block the Conservative candidate, as they have in the past.
08 09 18 Shotgun Willie
The Guelph Mercury put out a poll about 10 days from the by-election date that had the Liberals with a large lead in Guelph. Looking at the province-wide polls and the national polls the Liberals have actually gained a few points on the Conservatives. This leeds to the logical conclusion that despite wishful thinking by the Conservatives, Guelph will remain Liberal.
08 09 17 seasaw
Hre's a little trivia for fellow political junkies, if Valeriote wins, he'll be the first lawyer ( either fed. or prov. ) to win since 1930. If he loses, he'll be the thirteenth to go down since then. The riding's MP's and MPP's have been a baker, a butcher ( no candlestick maker, however a homemaker or domestic engineer ), 2 bankers, 2 engineers, a professor, a pharmacist, 2 teachers, a vetrinarian, a businessperson, a realtor and a labourer. There you have it.
08 09 15 Stevo
Conventional wisdom has been turned on its head in Guelph. Originally, many people (myself included) felt the Tories had a far better chance of winning a byelection here rather than a general election, since Tory supporters are far more enthusiastic than Liberal supporters, and since it would have taken place before all the students at the University of Guelph were settled in for the semester. However, I think now many of us would conclude that the Conservatives' chances of winning here have INCREASED now that we're in a general election.
08 09 14 Full name
Guelph is a bell weather riding in every sense of the word. When it was just a by-election, Valeriote most likely would have been the victor. A by-election is more about the personality, not the party because the race is localized. When its a national campaign, you can throw that logic out the window. Chamberlain lets be honest was not a bad MP, but I certainly don't think she did enough to warrant re-election 4 times.... and by the margins she did. Liberals however, were the majority party for 3 of those 4 re-elections. Early signs are pointing to a Liberal collapse similar to 1984. Guelph won't go against the rest of the country. Guelph will once again be Blue, and I couldn't be more happier to see Gloria Kovach representing the people of Guelph in Ottawa.
08 09 13 Gone Fishing
The Dynamic DOES change with the byelection cancellation.
The hype of electing the first Green MP (not going to happen in 2008) is gone, that was the fundamental reason Lizzy May came close in London Fanshawe a year ago.
In a general election Guelph (my home town) is going to ask itself the same thing it has asked for generations. Do I vote Liberal or Conservative?
Watch the surrounding area and know that Guelph goes blue. It has blue before Mike Harris (not someone guilty of the progressive brand) seemed to take this one twice.
There is a sea of blue around Guelph and it can go blue, the world will not stop turning if it does.
08 09 13 mfg
I'm sure many Greens will still voice their ‘dissent’ in the general election in Guelph, maybe even enough to give the Tories a run for second place still. The dynamics of this riding don't change just because it's no longer a byelection. Voters here are progressive and prone to voting Liberal. I think Valeriote will still win this in the end. I'd be shocked to see Kovach pull back from near catastrophe she was headed for on Sept 8th...
08 09 09 Gone Fishing
Sorry Greenies this is no longer a byelection and any chance of winning on a environmental platform evaporate with a general election call. This is no longer a chance to voice decent but an opportunity to endorse the government or the opposition.
As the momentum goes so will this riding. I am not naive enough to believe this is conservative for the taking but it is now in thier sights now that the trendy vote green when it doesn't matter option fades.
This is a smaller city and a place where conservatives may make gains because the surrounding sanity of rural voters may penetrate the urbanites enough to give them a shot.

By-election Prediction

08 09 05 King of Kensington
The Greens have released a ?poll? saying that the Liberals are at 38% and the Greens are in second place at 24%. The Tories are way down at 13% and NDP at a mere 8%. Of course they also released polls saying the Greens were in second place in Vancouver Quadra (ahead of the Conservatives) and Churchill River (ahead of the Liberals) - and in both cases they came in fourth place (and in the latter, a mere 3%). Let's see how ridiculously off they are this time!
08 09 04 binriso
Looks more and more like Valeriote is headed for a win, a new poll out gave him a 17 point lead over the 2nd place Greens and a 31 point lead over the CPC, now this poll doesn?t seem to be close to what the race will probably be like, but id still give the Liberals a clear edge. Only if the CPC pass are quite a few points ahead of the Liberals in Ontario will this one be theirs. Greens were only 5 points behind the provincial PCs in the provincial election too where they got 20%.
08 09 04 seasaw
Don't ever confuse this riding with London North Centre, because in the last 50 years that particular London riding's sent only one Tory in '84 to Ottawa. If one looks at the last 12 federal and the last 9 provincial elections, they can see that this riding's always been within a few percentage points of the provincial average, and this time'll be no exception. At 40 to 35, the CPC seems to have the upper hand now, but it's still TCTC.
08 09 02 E. L. Smerl
Former Green Party leader Jim Harris, amazingly still trusted with internal Green polling data, released a poll by the Greens that leaked far outside their party, showing that Mike Nagy was within two points of the Liberals. Not so far fetched given the results Elizabeth May got in nearby London. This internal security breach suggests that the votes aren't leaking away from Liberals to Green so much as from Conservatives and the NDP. This is consistent with observations in the Ontario election last year and also is consistent with Harper's position that Elizabeth May should be kept out of the leadership debate. Why does he want her out if she draws from Dion ? So internal Conservative polls must likewise show that Harper loses to May.
Given the new visibility and credibility of the Greens and the difficulty of excluding them from the leadership debate with their new MP, I say this seat goes Liberal in the general election. They've already had some Green Kool-Aid to drink and decided they like it apparently. Nagy may even come second as May did in London.
Conservatives had a star candidate in that race too.
Do other parties have a Jim Harris inside them to leak confidential polls?
08 08 31 Juliana Smith
A byelection in Guelph would've guaranteed Kovach a shot - the university students would've arrived too late to vote on September 8th, and Conservative supporters are statistically more apt to show up to the polls in the event of a low voter turnout than Liberal ones - but if a general election is called, her chances will be safely dashed. Moreover, it's very unlikely that anyone but the Liberals could win in Guelph, given that it's too well-educated and left-leaning (the Canadian Communist Party was founded in a barn outside the city) to vote for the CPC (note the momentum the Liberals have gained in Ontario since Bill Winegard's stint as federal representative and the unease with Harper's ex-Alliance/Reform status), and too wealthy and devoid of labour to vote for the NDP.
That said, there is one glint of hope: the Green Party in Guelph has been growing steadily, and while I certainly don't anticipate that they'll outpace the Conservatives in the upcoming election, they seem like a plausible alternative to Guelph voters given the city's country-club-esque detachment from poverty (voters in Guelph can afford to endorse a post-materialist party) and - as mentioned before - lack of organized labour. In addition, the Green Party in Guelph benefits from the support of a veritable sea of volunteers, which would mean alot more if it weren't for the dumb NDP-Green divide (remember the joint SDP-Green rule in Germany?) that has basically lent itself to both parties having voter-base saturation points that respectively come up well short of victories anywhere outside of, say, Trinity-Spadina (with UofT and Olivia Chow as a candidate that appeases Chinese voter, no less). Case in point: the collective Green and NDP votes in the last Guelph federal election came in at a collective 30%, and the only poll conducted for the byelection thus far (how credible it is I cannot attest) puts the two parties' at large support at 36%, in parity with the Liberals. 50% of Green Party members are from the NDP, for Christ's sake, and the demographic that supports it is more in favour of social democracy than the Greens' actual party platform - can't anyone see the logic in a coalition/merger? I qualify: the Greens may actually be wise to wait until the Canadian auto industry has been expunged as a result of free trade and they reach their genuine saturation point, so that they'd have the upper hand in an NDP merger.
My prediction for the Federal Election:
1. Frank Valeriote - LIB
2. Gloria Kovach - CON
3. Mike Nagy - GRN
4. Tom King - NDP
P.S. People who think the Brent Barr ouster in Guelph will have anything more than a marginal effect on the election results are drastically overestimating the extent to which regular Guelphites take up hobbies like avidly reading the Mercury or voting on more than general ideological lines. Let's get real: alot of Canadians can't find the time to discern the apparently subtle differences between provincial and federal politics, let alone worry about the reasons some random (and Brent was a good candidate, so I'm speaking figuratively) was deposed.
08 08 31 Citoyen Dion
MP, since when did the Green Party become the natural alternative to the Liberals in this riding. The CPC did far better than 20% in the riding the last time and were acknowledged as serious contenders for this seat even by the Toronto media as recently as 3 weeks ago. The Greens, on the other hand, are banking entirely on a segment of the population that only votes 20% of the time (aka only 1/5 of them vote) to pull this riding out of a hat for them: UofG students. The students a)don't vote uniformly and b)probably won't be turning out en masse for this one due to the timing so it is seriously doubtful that the Greens will finally win an election this week, or in October.
As for the Tory-Liberal duel, I think that the CPC's choice in candidate will allow them to pull through in a squeaker, although the Liberals could easily hold the riding; it all comes down to who gets their base out on e-day. One thing the Liberals have against them though is that Ottawa staffers will have to be split between three ridings whereas the Tories are focused primarily on Guelph, with St. Lambert being a serious but secondary consideration. The NDP, not likely to pick this up in their own right, will be mainly focused on Westmount.
08 08 28 MP
Don't be fooled by outlandish predictions here (such as the conservatives winning) as a lot of people who post on this site are extremely partisan for one party or another. From following the by-election and looking at the sum total of the arguments made here I think this riding is currently TCTC between the Liberals and the Greens. Both the Conservatives and NDP have their base and will poll between 15-20 percent but not enough to win.
The most interesting question in this by-election is how strong the Green Party will be and in what way that will tip the final results. Their website blogs are claiming that there will be 100 volunteers in the riding this weekend, 50 people making telephone calls(with a goal of 10,000 homes reached during the entire campaign), and already 1,200+ signs on front lawns. Plus leader Elizabeth May will be campaigning herself. Candidate Mike Nagy seems to be making a strong impression.
With all this activity, can the Greens break through? The Liberals certainly have a well built brand and base of support that are tough to overcome in many Ontario ridings. The feeling I get is that the results could be a slight repeat of London North Centre with the Liberals maintaining their lead and the GP coming a close second. Or will they have enough to overtake the Liberals?
It remains to be seen whether the Greens will be strong enough, so at the moment it is TCTC.
08 08 26 Maggie Laidlaw
I can't believe that people actually think the Conservatives will win this riding! We have the Brent Barr issue. The Conservatives will be lucky to come in third. This race will be between the Liberals and the Greens. Many Guelphites I speak to can see that a Green vote will be a vote for everything that regular Canadians believe in, and will allow Green party leader Elizabeth May into the televised debate to wipe the floor with Harper.
08 08 20 Initial
I voted for Brenda Chamberlain in 2006 but I believe this election will be a tough challenge for both parties.
I am normally not what you would consider a Harper fan but the Conservatives have impressed me with the steady stream of cabinet ministers they have visiting the riding. While I am aware of the controversy surrounding Gloria's candidacy I am also a resident of Ward 4 in Guelph and have always voted for her. I also disagree with some of the commenters here- looking around the city I can see that there is one of Gloria's signs for every one of the Liberal candidate's.
08 08 21 Krago
If you want to know how things were in Guelph in the last election, poll-by-poll, check out the links on this page.
08 08 21 DL
I think this race will be very much a tossup - and as much as it pains me to say so, i would not be surprised if the Conservatives win. The Liberals, NDP and Greens will spend all their time denouncing each other and the Tories will fly home under the radar screen the way they almost did in Vancouver-Quadra.
I think the ‘poll’ that people have referred to is no better than an amateurish hamburger poll by a few amateurs no one has ever heard of. The same company was recently in the news asking bizarre questions about what people thought of giving the order of Canada to ‘abortionist’ (sic.) Henry Morgentaler. Let's wait and see a poll by a reputable company using tried and true methods.
I suspect that if the Conservatives were actually doing that badly, Harper would not be nearly as bullish as he seems to be about calling an election.
08 08 21 Byron Toronto
The credibility of the company that conducted the poll is highly questionable. KlrVu is the same company that did a push poll about whether people support giving Order or Canada to ‘abortionist’ Henry Morgentaler. Other than these two polls, there is no public record of this company having done any public polls.
08 08 21 R.O.
The by-election has been underway here for a couple of weeks but still not really a clear winner yet. All 4 parties have been putting a lot of effort into this riding and the strong push by the ndp and green might be a concern for the liberals. Not sure what to make of the poll but the riding has been liberal since 93 so they went into this with an advantage. But Gloria Kovach is still a strong candidate for the conservatives and working hard during this by-election and well known as she previously was a city councilor. She is likely better known than the new liberal candidate Frank Valeriote who is running here for the first time federally. Myself I expect the results here to be very close on election day and would be surprised if any party was able to win by more than 5%. and realistically expect it to be much closer than that on actual by-election day.
08 08 20 MC
A poll released today
shows that the Liberals are poised to retain the seat.
for full results click the link, or those ruralites on dial-up can just take my word and read the results below:
Liberal- 36.60
Conservative- 26.35
Green- 19.22
NDP- 17.77
This poll was completed in two rounds on July 27th and August 13th, sampling over 3396 random residents of the Guelph constituency representing
nearly nine percent of all households with a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of 2%.
Since the poll was taken about one-two weeks ago, expect the results to go in favour of the best campaign, and the party with the most momentum (Liberals and Greens gain at the expense of the Conservatives and the NDP)
08 03 02 Pierre from Québec
Liberal hold. A recent poll shows the Liberal Party winning with 38% this ridding. The Conservatives are 10% behind.
However my own prediction: LIB- 33% CONS- 28% NDP- 22% Green- 17%
08 08 18 seasaw
Interesting comments by I'm Always Right. I'm not calling this one for the Liberals yet. It is still TCTC.
I certainly didn't know that MPP Liz Sandals is campaigning for Valeriote. A very popular MPP? Is this some kind of a joke? I've known Liz for a very long time and she's a very nice person, however, as a long time resident of the riding I know that most people, even some of the staunchest of the Liberals don't think much of her performance. She's anything but popular these days.
Also, contrary to what he said, environment isn't much of an issue here these days, most people are concerned about rising fuel costs, rising food costs, crime and their overall financial well being. Yes, most people do use reusable bags for their groceries, because most grocery stores charge 5 to 10 cents per bag, and also because of the city's unreasonable three bag garbage system.
Having said that, team Valeriote's certainly working a lot harder than any other team, the only liability that they face is Stephane Dion and the Liberal front bench team of Rae and Ignatieff. Also, Scott Brison's insulting comments on his recent visit to Guelph, certainly won't help Valeriote any. Right now people are paying attention to the Olympics. The race'll be won or lost in the last week. Valeriote has a slight advantage.
08 08 17 I'm Always Right
I just got back from spending a sunny August Saturday watching the by-election unfold in Guelph.
From what I saw there are a lot of government staffers running the local Conservative campaign here and I didn't get much of a buzz that they're really any kind of threat to win this seat. That seems to match the way the Conservatives are lowering any expectations they are going to pull an upset in Guelph. I also found a number of people who wondered why the federal government announced they were putting a new transit system in Kitchener while Guelph wasn't on the list for cash. As others have mentioned in the past, Guelph has a well educated population and dropping by a major grocery store, I couldn't help notice that almost no one was using plastic bags to take home their purchases. Lots and lots of those cloth bags being used. No question the Environment is important here and that's good news for the Green Party and the Liberals. The NDP have a high profile candidate but their headquarters wasn't hopping with union volunteers like I expected it to be on a rare sunny Saturday. The summer campaign is tough for the NDP who depend on the ground troops who are now on vacation. The Green Party has a definite presence in Guelph which as we all know hurts the NDP as a lot of the Greens are former NDPers. It's a riding like this that makes the NDP dislike the Green Party so much as they see their support bleed to a party that actually has a right wing economic and social agenda that nobody knows about. As far as the Liberals go, they seem to at least have the same or maybe a little more in the way of troops on the ground as the Conservatives do. No surprise they are pushing the Green Shift in a riding like Guelph. I've also heard that the very popular MPP Liz Sandals has been playing a big role in the local campaign and unlike the past, Sandals has turned over her provincial campaign team to the federal party. Province-wide polling this summer shows little change in Ontario with the Liberals holding on average a 7 to 10 point lead over the Conservatives. So there doesn't seem to be much of a chance of a change in Guelph considering the Liberals won here by 6000 votes last time. By-elections are naturally closer than general election results due to the low voter turnout that puts all the parties on a more even playing field. For that reason, I'm picking the Liberals to win by 2000 votes. I'm planning one more trip to Guelph before E-Day and will report back then.
08 08 16 RSBrush
Having lived here for the past 7 years, this has always been a liberal stronghold. I now see more and more Conservative signs and believe the left vote will be split in three with the Greens making a decent dent in the Liberal and NDP vote. Conservatives have a very strong candidate this time and she has a legit shot at taking the riding.
08 08 15 Stevo
What a race this one is shaping up to be! I'm not so bold to make a prediction - all 4 parties are likely to do relatively well. I think a significant victory here for either the Conservatives or the Liberals will provide the impetus for a general election shortly thereafter. A solid Conservative win would show that Stephen Harper's Tories can win in the vital medium-sized cities in Ontario that, along with francophone Quebec, will determine whether the Conservatives manage to get over that majority seat threshold. Likewise, if the Liberal manage to hang on (and not just by the skin of their teeth, as in Vancouver-Quadra), Stephane Dion may feel confident in pulling the plug, safe in the knowledge that his non-rural Ontario base is still secure.
Given how badly the Conservatives want this seat, and the fact that they've secured a top-notch candidate in Gloria Kovach, makes me almost want to say the riding currently leans Tory. *Almost*.
Above all, whoever wins probably won't have long to serve the riding before the GENERAL election campaign gets under way, unless the result is something akin to Vancouver-Quadra (a near-draw, regardless of which party is on the higher end).
08 08 14 PY
The latest from Harris-Decima has the Tories treading water, which seems about right. Perhaps there's buyer's remorse about Harper these days, given the traction the in-and-out scandal still has thanks first to Doug Finley's stunt and subsequent witnesses having to be subpeonaed for not showing up at the Ethics Committee hearings. Secondly, for Finley and CPC officials to put out the claim that Brent Barr was dogging it in the last election is ridiculous when he put up a pretty decent fight against the now-retired Brenda Chamberlain. I doubt voters are going to put that out of their minds to blindly vote for Kovach. The smart money's on Valeriote here.
08 08 13 Dr Bear without Prof Ape
This is a tough one! Weird things happen in by-electiosn and it's why I have not discounted the NDP. They have a strong candidate that could hurt the liberals and maybe enough so to come up the middle to win. The removal of the previous candidate by the CPC will surely leave a bitter taste in some people's mouth, but it remains to be seen if this is long forgotten or is subtly stewing. Probably this one will be won by the party that can best organize on election day and get its vote out.
08 08 14 Tikki Barber
the stronger than usual NDP campaign will make room for a tory win here. It will be interesting if the cpc win here, finnish 2nd in st.lambert with the bloc winning and the ndp wins wm-vm...
08 08 13 binriso
Im surprised that everyone seems to be discounting the NDP here, with a good result last time and a good candidate coupled with the loss of the liberal incumbent and some trouble in the conservative nomination process they might have a chance to win this here. Greens are probably going to take a fair number of votes, but the split wont be bad for the NDP as the Greens will take some CPC and Liberal voters too(in fact they usually take more of them than NDP voters). i see a three way race with the Liberals probably winning but any of the three could win(not the greens though they might get 15%).
08 08 12 Ancastarian
The Liberals are on shaky ground financially, and have the disadvantage of having to win Westmount as well, which will certainly drain resources from here. Couple that with the fact that the Conservatives have a strong, relatively well known candidate,a strong base (friends of mine in Guelph tell me they have been canvassed twice by Conservative youth!), and I think this might be a steal for the Harper tories. However, several weeks remain so things can change, but I am going to go on a limb and say the Tories steal this one.
08 08 11 Mad Caper
This campaign will be a very close race due to the fact that the N.D.P. and the Green Party have increased their strength and the Liberals have made a mistake in choosing Frank Valeriote who is seen to be a weak candidate. These factors may be just enough for Gloria Kovatch, the Tory candidate to slip in with a very small majority. The dark horse in this race is the N.D.P. and their candidate Tom King host of C.B.C.'s Dead Dog Cafe. Tom King is very popular in the area and well known. If the N.D.P. seem to be winning in the Westmount-Ville Marie race, the electorate in Guelph may decide to take a chance and swing towards the New Democrats at the last minute, but, the stars will have to align themselves just right for this to happen.
08 08 10 rebel
I have to pull back on my long-shot of a Green upset, based largely on the likelihood that the turnout at the University will be subdued since not all students there in September will have been resident in the riding in mid-August (though students from previous years may well qualify to vote)
This will hurt every Party but the Conservatives who ran fourth both in 2006 (when the University voted narrowly Liberal over the NDP) and in the 2007 provincial election (when it voted Green over the incumbant Liberal MPP).
The Greens have established a bit of a reputation for soaring in by-elections (e.g. Elizabeth May in London North Centre) and I do expect them to run probably third. I expect the Conservatives to close the margin with the Liberals but I am not yet sure they will pass them. Polls showing federal voting intentions in Ontario do not suggest much of any Conservative trend in the province from 2006 so any Conservative gain may arise from the strength of their candidate and the loss of incumbancy.
08 08 09 MC
TCTC! TCTC! TCTC! tough competition from the other three major parties, especially from the NDP and the Greens spells Bad news for the Liberals. The Conservatives are running a very strong candidate who could potentially defeat the Liberals due to increased efforts from the NDP and the Greens.
The NDP seem to be running a strong campaign, however I suspect most efforts from the Federal party will go to Westmount Ville Marie.
The Greens will be putting a majority of their efforts in to Guelph and have even moved their convention date which was to be held September 5th to 7th, to ensure the party supporters would be free to help with the Guelph campaign. Expect a London North Centre-esq effect.
My prediction: Lib- 32% Con- 32% GRN- 20% NDP- 15% OTH- 1%
08 08 08 Raw C
This should be a Liberal hold. The manner in which Mr Barr was removed as the local candidate has left some Conservative supporters feeling they have suffered disfranchisement. They may not move their vote to other parties, but given it is 'only a by-election' they may not move out of the house to vote. It also must be noted that the riding is not the same one that was one by the PCs under Mulroney. Wellington County has been removed and with it many Conservative voters. The NDP has a strong candidate, but he may not resonate with the local voters. The NDP should find him a more suitable riding if he does poorly. The Greens have scored well, but do not have the base of support to win. That leaves the Liberals. They will win the by-election. The next general election, however, maybe another story.
08 08 07 Paul Synnott
Interesting comment James. Just what would those ‘questionable activities’ be? Since her ouster as FCM President the FCM has issued an apology and stated that her removal had nothing to do with her excellent performance as FCM President. ‘The Board reached this decision for reasons totally unrelated to either Gloria Kovach’s conduct or performance as President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities or as Chair of its National Board of Directors. The Federation acknowledges that Gloria Kovach carried out her duties in a responsible manner consistent with her commitment to municipal government.’
08 08 06 ken james
Gloria was the first ever President of the Federation of Canadian Muncipalities FCM, to be dumped in the history of the organization for very questionable activities. She will also be dumped by the voters of Guelph and the Liberals will win this seat easily.
08 08 06 Fraser Macdonald
Drove through the riding a couple days ago, looks like all four parties are doing well in the sign war. Definitely will be TCTC and depend on who shows up on election day. However, one must consider that the strength of the Greens and particularly the NDP will be eating away at the Grits. Probably leaning towards Tories as a result, but definitely still up in the air.
08 08 04 seasaw
Well, they're off and running. Four good candidates, but only one will win. Unfortunately NDP and Green don't have a hope. Sorry, to those Greeens who brag about the 17% in the last PE and think they're competetive, they're not. Never compare federal elections to provincial one. The last time Green got lots of votes for their school issue, they'll be lucky to get 10%. NDP's rarely done well here and this time'll be no exception, they'll be lucky to get 20%. So it's between Valeriote and Kovach. Private signs are up and Valeriote so far's kicking Kovach's butt at least in lawn signs (I've only seen one NDP sign, and no Green). I live in Kovach's ward and even there Frank's kicking butt. What can this mean ? Does this mean team Kovach's short on volunteers ? Hardly, three of my neighbours, have volunteered to help Kovach, they've yet to receive a phone call to do any work. Which means either team Kovach is taking it easier now and making their big push late in the campaign or, since neither Dion or his highly unpopular ( at least here ) Green Shift have been mentioned, one can only wonder is the CPC deliberately trying to lose here to trigger a general election. If the latter is true, Frank Valeriote could become the shortest serving MP in the riding.
08 07 29 Nick J Boragina
I took a trip out of Guelph a few days ago, and all the signs are out and ready to go. I noted that all 4 parties (yes all 4) had about equal coverage on public property (no private signs are up yet). While the public signs might not count for as much, to see the NDP and especially the Greens keeping with the pace is certainly a good sign (pun intended)
08 07 29 BBS
TCTC at this point. An open seat election can often wipe out previous advantages. The Green and NDP push in this riding can't be discounted. I suspect that E-Day ground games will be the deciding factor. Despite the September 8th date, students will not be a factor as you must be a resident of the riding by August 6th in order to be eligible to vote.
08 07 28 PY
Despite her credentials, Kovatch could well disappoint here, especially if people remember Brent Barr being unceremoniously dumped. Granted, not every Barr supporter will flock to Valeriote, so it might be reasonable to assume that they'll stay home rather than embarrass themselves and vote for Kovatch. Valeriote's probably better able to seize this than Tom King will, so I don't see an NDP upset here, not with the possibility of another Green surge.
08 07 25 canrocks
Media and canadians alike, it would be wise to keep an eye on those Greens in Guelph.
They're more organized than ever before, they've got a star candidate, they got 20% in the last provincial election, and it turns out the election will be happening when the students are back (1/6th of the city's population). It's a tight four way race, and in a byelection, anything can happen.
08 07 24
The Conservatives have a top-notch candidate here, a long-standing city councillor who has been recognized internationally for her work in developing nations. What the last poster is likely - that Kovach, should she be elected, will sit on the government front benches.
The fact that popular former MP Brenda Chamberlain has retired and the strong NDP candidate in Tom King gives Kovach a boost up. Valeriote is not a weak candidate by any means - he has good credentials. However, seeing as the Liberal brand is not fairing so well federally nowadays, I wouldn't be surprised if this riding elected Kovach on by-election day.
08 07 23 Chapeau
I think that the Conservatives will break through with the upcoming by-election. Gloria has shown her strength as a politician over the past 17 years on City Council. She is the strongest candidate of the group.
From my observations, the NDP are working hard, the Liberals are hardly noticed and the Greens are nowhere to be seen.
08 07 23 Volks Lad
With the vote likely to be held on September 2 2008, this will remove the University vote from affecting the by-election.
Frank is no Brenda, the Greens have momentum from the provincial election, and the NDP have a moderately strong candidate, so there will be more of a three-way left leaning vote split than in previous elections. The Conservatives have the strongest candidate, with name recognition, who, should she win, is destined for the front-benches...not the bank-benches like Frank.
This will be a close race, but I believe the Conservatives will eke out a 200 vote victory.
08 07 23 JKY
An interesting factor will be that the vote will be held before most unigoo students return to class, which will badly hurt the Green's ambitions to do well here.
I expect a three way race because of the relatively low popularity of Dion and the Carbon tax issue could drive some liberals away, and with a low turnout anything could happen. I will watch with interest as things develop.
08 07 18 seamus
Rebel is smoking green crack if he thinks the Greens are going to win in Guelph. Regardless of your inclination, I think a little objectivity and sobriety is required. This by-election will likely get called next week along with the two others in Montreal, and the outcome is uncertain. It should be a three-way race (with the Greens in a distant 4th) with the Tories eeking out some more humble pie for Dion. The NDP should finish third, but see its numbers spike over last time with Tom King, the voice of CBC's ?Dead Dog Cafe?, as their candidate.
08 07 09 rebel
I'm going out on a limb here but there is a solid Green base in this riding and if they run a strong candidate (I don't know who has been nominated) they may surprise. In 2007, they ran a strong 3rd and took the University of Guelph. The Greens are also polling well over 2006 levels.
In any event, I see a pretty tight three way race...
08 06 20 seasaw
At the present time, there doesn't seem to be a byelection in the horizon, however lets look at the history of the riding. In the past, whenever a longtime MP's quit, whether it's been an election or byelection, the seat has always changed parties. 1935 ( gen. election ) longtime MP Guthrie-Tory ( retired ), replacement Gladstone ( Liberal ), 1954 (byelection), longtime MP Hosking-Lib ( deceased ), elected Hales ( Tory ), 1974 ( general ), longtime MP Hales ( retired ), elected Maine ( Lib ), 1993 ( general ), longtime MP Winegard-Tory ( retired ), elected Chamberlain ( Lib. ), 2008 ( ?? ), longtime MP Chamberlain-Lib ( retired ) elected ???, based on this formula, the edge belongs to Kovach. Another factor in favour of Kovach is the fact that whenever there's been no incumbents, whether federal or provincial the riding's gone to the person with some political experience, Henry Hosking ( 1939 ), Alf Hales ( 1954 ) and Brenda Chamberlain ( 1993 ) are federal examples and Rick Ferarro ( 1985 ) is the provincial one. Will history repeat itself ? we just have to wait and see.
08 05 07 Hanna Montana
With no general election on the horizon, Guelph will be holding a by-election in the near future. Sitting governments have a history of not doing well in by-election as voters tend to demonstrate they're not happy about some issue when they come out to cast their ballots. Opposition Parties also play a role as they tell by-election voters to 'Send the Government a Message' by voting for them. With gas prices likely to hit $1.50 a litre by the summer and the economy slowing, Guelph voters will have lots to be grumpy about when they mark their ballots. Simply put, the Conservatives will take the heat for issues I mentioned and the NDP are dead in Guelph. This will make for an easy victory for Liberal Frank Velonete.
08 05 09 R.O.
An odd factor that might help the conservative candidate Gloria Kovach here as this riding usually elects women. Was obviously held by Brenda Chamberlain for years but also at the provincial level held by Liz Sandals liberal 03-now and Brenda Elliot pc 95-03. its been years since this riding voted for a male well actually was 1990 or over 18 years ago. Know kind of an odd fact by I think its relevant. In other Guelph news Liberal mp Brenda Chamberlain has officially left as mp meaning riding is vacant and a by-election could now come at any time unless opposition forces a general election.
08 04 26 Curley, Larry and Moe
Let's start off with the NDP in Guelph. The seats the NDP picked up in Ontario in the 2006 election all had one thing in common. The NDP finished second in those ridings in 2004. We couldn't find a riding where in this province where the NDP went from third to first. Since the NDP finished well back in third in Guelph last time, logic suggests they won't be taking this riding in 2008 especially with the Green Party developing a base in this city. This leaves the race for Guelph between the Liberals and the Conservatives. The Liberal win by 6000 votes in 2006 is a significant number and demonstrates they have a very solid base in Guelph that stuck with the party when the central campaign was a mess. Frank Velonete is not going to set the world on fire but he is a substantial enough candidate to finish ahead of Gloria Kovak thanks to a weakened NDP and the buffer of 6000 votes from 2006.
08 04 14 Tom
Worth mentioning that this was the Greens' second-strongest riding in the Ontario 2007 election, 19.5%, well ahead of the NDP. The Greens are probably unlikely to repeat that performance, especially with a different candidate, but at the same time it makes an NDP surge seem highly unlikely.
08 04 13 Nick J Boragina
There are two key things that lead me to believe that this riding will likely be held by the Liberals in any by-election.
First, by-elections do not usually flip a seat from the opposition to the government. We’ve recently seen one where this was not the case, but the fact that so much attention was paid to it, just proves its rarity.
Secondly, especially in Ontario, the poll numbers of the Liberals and Conservatives remains where they were in the last election. This stagnant political situation does not loan itself well to seat flipping from one party to another.
Combine that with the fact that Guelph, while small and rural in character, is still an urban centre, and the Tories do not do well in urban centres, and you have a Liberal win – at least in a by-election.
08 04 12 Hannah Montana
One other point, there's only one politician in Guelph with a campaign machine and that's provincial MPP Liz Sandals. Sandals didn't like Brenda Chamberlain and didn't help her out. Now that Chamberlain is gone, Sandals and her team are backing Frank Velonete. The Grits will win this district with the Tories a weak second with the NDPers coming in a lame third.
08 04 07 Mad Max
It is hard to suggest that a 5,000 vote lead could evaporate. But Guelph is just the riding that could see anything happen in a By Election. I think the By Election gives the NDP candidate an opportunity to create a 3 way race where either the Libs/Cons or NDP could win. I believe that if the General Election Happens first, it is likely to be a two horse race with the edge going to the Libs or the Cons.
08 04 07 Peg Leg Pete
Gloria Kovach is a solid candidate for the Conservatives in Guelph but I don't know anyone who'd consider her a star candidate. Frank Valeriote isn't a star candidate either but he has the advantage of a voter base that gave the Liberals a 6000 vote victory last time. Guelph has changed a lot in the last 15 years and anyone who's been there will concede it looks more and more like a typical GTA riding. That means the Liberals are going to hold Guelph and I predict they win by 7500 votes as Guelph becomes less and less a riding where the Conservatives have a chance.
08 04 05 R.O.
Sort of think this one we might not know how its going to go until a few weeks into the by-election or election. After the campaign starts signs or general momentum might point to a likely winner. Happened to be in Guelph last fall for a day was surprised by how big the city was and how urban parts of it were. Its largely a mix of retail, industrial areas, homes and large apartment buildings. But at the same time somewhat similar to the other ridings the conservatives have won that are close to yet not in Toronto. So I wouldnt say there is not a chance for them here. It really depends on what kind of campaign Gloria Kovach . Frank Valeriote and Tom King is able to run here.
And lets be realistic here how is the ndp going to close that gap and pass both the liberals and conservatives here ? it seems a little unlikely
08 04 03 Doug The Slug
There has been a very large increase in the number of communters who live in Guelph and work in the western GTA. This means commuter train service is really a major issue to this significant number of people. Then there's the university population, student and more importantly staff. There are just too many factors working against the Conservatives for them to win. Guelph will stay Liberal.
08 04 01 King of Kensington
In a byelection scenario, Guelph could prove to be interesting as the individual candidates become more important. The NDP is running a star candidate, Tom King, who can potentially appeal to disaffected Liberal voters as well as take a lot of the protest vote that goes Green. With the Dion Liberals in very poor shape right now, the NDP could take this.
08 04 01 T.V.
In a by-election, the NDP would have a very good chance of taking this riding. They've got a strong candidate, and the NDP always does well in by-elections. In a general election, though, this is a Liberal seat and there's pretty much no doubt that it will stay Liberal. Kovach split her own riding association, so I don't expect her campaign will be particularly strong. City councillor candidates are always way overrated. Valeriote isn't going to be attracting too many votes on his own either, but left-leaning Liberals will be scared off of going NDP by the prospect of the Tories winning the seat.
08 03 30 A Rathbone
The whole thing about the Peterborough train doesn't enter into the equation.
No offense Doug but it seems your prediction isn't really connected with the reality of Geulph.
The people I know in Guelph don't care two cents worth about public transit.
Guelph is not the GTA and definitely not Toronto. Ex-Torontonians who moved there are mostly doing it to get away from Toronto or Bride of Toronto (Missi)
While that doesn't guarantee a Conservative, it does mean public transit for the riding isn't a big as an issue as you seem to consider it.
08 03 29 R.O.
Well I see some reasons for each party to be optimistic here but then at the same time not be. The tough part for the liberals is the fact Brenda Chamberlain is not running again, she has been mp since 93 and fairly well known in the riding, also there new leader dion has been having some trouble. The tough part for the conservatives is this riding has not been conservative for a while and there was some nomination issues here. But both these problems aren?t enough to rule out the possibility that either is able to win the riding. The conservatives have a good candidate in Gloria Kovach so that will help. liberals new candidate Krank Valeriote seems to lack profile maybe. Another interesting factor is the green and ndp vote they have both been a major factor in recent elections and should not be underestimated due to the large university presence here. Another big question is will this riding see a by-election or not its still to early to say if it will.
08 03 27 Doug The Slug
I read in one of papers on the weekend that only 900 people per day, according the Conservative MP there, will use the new GO-TRAIN service out of Peterborough that was part of the budget. Taking that into perspective, a full GO-TRAIN can hold up to 1200 people. Ignoring transit in the GTA and blowing millions on trying to hold a seat in Peterborough makes it clear that the Conservatives don't see any chance of picking up seats like Guelph.
08 03 24 A Rathbone
A couple of points about the whole University thing.
1) Guelph isn't exactly a stronghold of leftist thought like some other Universities.
2) Conservatives CAN win in areas with Universities. Witness seats in Alberta and Sask. which were won even though they contain Universities. Also witness Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale a riding with Two (2) Universities (One being McMaster a large University) where the Conservatives won last election.
08 03 22 PoliSci Student
Many of the Liberal votes were Chamberlain votes, so without her as the candidate, and having a high-profile female in Gloria Kovach, this will be a reasonably-margined Conservative victory.
08 03 22 Curley, Larry and Moe
Some very interesting opinions posted for Guelph. Here's our take on this riding. If you look at Ontario electoral map right now, you'll see that cities that have a major university in them for the most part don't elect Tories. Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Windsor, London, Kitchener, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, Ottawa and Toronto. The Conservatives hold seats on the edges of these cities but nothing in the towns themselves. The only two cities that buck this trend are Peterborough and St.Catharines. All three of us know these two places well and they have a couple things in common. Both Trent in Peterborough and Brock in St.Catharines are small universities located on the edge of both cities. Both are small schools and tend to be much less involved in the community and therefore hold less influence on their cities. Urban areas that the Conservatives do hold right now like Oshawa, Burlington and Whitby don't have universities, making them very different from other cities and they elect Conservatives. Getting back to Guelph. This riding is quite compact, only taking in the city itself. The University there has a great deal of influence in the city and as others have mentioned, the Harper government is simply not investing in post secondary education. It's just not one of their priorities. For all of these reasons, we don't see any Conservative gains in cities where universities play a major role. For that reason and the fact the Liberals won easily here last time, we all believe that Guelph will be Liberal again.
08 03 21
6000 votes in not an impossible vote margin to overcome. Look at Vancouver Quadra: In 2006, the Liberals won by 12 000 votes. In the recent by-election they won by just 151 votes, or 0.5% of the votes. If this is in wealthy, urban, metro-Vancouver, the home of UBC, then certainly the CPC will be able to gain ground in Guelph, especially with a strong candidate with name recognition like Gloria Kovach. Plus, the presence of NDP star candidate Tom King will shift votes away from the Liberal candidate, especially with Dion at the helm of the Liberal party.
08 03 20 Peg Leg Pete
Proposing that the Conservatives will win seats they lost by a HUGE 6000 votes makes no sense. I looked around and I don't see any ridings that the Conservatives won by 6000 votes last time in the too close to call category. With the Liberals and Conservatives close in the polls ridings that were won by a large margin like Guelph just aren't going to change hands. Sorry but the numbers mean more than Conservative spin.
08 03 18
In light of the trend we've seen over the past eight months (the Conservatives gain two seats, the NDP one and the Liberals lose two), I'm inclined to give this riding to the Conservatives in the event of a by-election (it will be TCTC if we have a general election before then, which I doubt). Doug the Slug makes this riding out to be just another bedroom community due to its pecking order just behind Milton on the 401 however there are a few reasons why this assessment isn't accurate:
First and foremost, the GO Station presence here isn't nearly as strong, with only buses so far going to the Georgetown train station. While there are auto commuters into Milton (I commuted myself to that station in the fall and know the traffic well on this stretch of the 401!), they aren't nearly as numerous as they are when you hit Milton.
Next, the city's development is still that of a southwestern Ontario small city in the mold of Kitchener, London and Brampton. While all these cities were swept by the Liberals last time, the margins were not the massive pummeling that the Liberals dealt in the 416 (let's remember that if Stephen Harper is competitive in Brampton-Mississauga now, he is competitive here too).
Finally, the UofGuelph lies in this riding, swinging it a little more Liberal, but unlike the massive schools like UofT or UW, Guelph is a smaller university and the Liberals usually only poll a small plurality in student polls (they can swing to the winner of the riding too). On top of this, given the Green Party's ability to do well in by-elections so far, I'd bargain that the Liberals will bleed a significant lot to the Tories from this area.
These points address the myth of Guelph being a GTA riding - something I'm sure the residents would consider an insult given the culture here. It doesn't address the other points made that the Tories have a star candidate with name recognition in the area, Harper is visiting the riding showing that the PMO feels that they can capture this if resources are poured in and that the type of Liberalism here isn't the type one finds in downtown Toronto, making voters more palatable to the idea of voting for a Stephen Harper MP.
08 03 16
Doug The Slug,
?Some of the pundits here forget there are real voters with real issues living in these ridings.?
So apparently, Conservatives don't represent any 'real issues' in Guelph? Only Liberals apparently resonate with Canadians? I find that statement inaccurate, as well as arrogant.
?Since the federal Conservatives have done nothing for post secondary education, there won't be any new votes for them with this group either.? Actually, the Conservatives have repealed scholarships being taxable income, a move that will attract the votes of hardworking and high achieving students who receive scholarships.
?In order to make up for the more than 6000 spread in the last election, the Conservatives would have to come up with an earth shaking issue to win here. No chance for the Conservatives here.?
6000 vote margin of victory means 3000 minds have to be changed in the riding to vote Conservative. Don't delude yourself - that's really not that gigantic of a margin. Something like a 15 000 vote margin I would not consider winnable, but 6000 is definitely competitive. In 2006, the CPC support went up 5000 votes since 2004. That's a solid gain in votes that the Liberals would make a severe mistake in neglecting.
Peg Leg Pete,
If Liberals were the party of urban voters, they would sweep Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, and Ottawa. I don't suppose you'd call cities like Ottawa where the CPC has a handful of seats as urban, at least I hope not. While the CPC has a sturdy base in the rural areas, they do well in the suburbs as well as certain urban areas. Guelph is not exception - it's a small enough city to be considered winnable by the Conservatives, especially with a Conservative candidate with name recognition (Gloria Kovach). Also the presence of start NDP candidate Tom King will damage Liberal support here.
Sorry to float your boat here, but unfortunately, youth apathy is very high - university students don't vote ind droves, but in fact a very small number actually vote. Their presence in the University of Guelph will not have a large effect on the race outcome, especially since the students who do vote are known to spread their support quite equally among the major parties.
Guelph is definitely a competitive riding.
08 03 13 Doug The Slug
Some of the pundits here forget there are real voters with real issues living in these ridings. Looking at Guelph a growing number of people living here commute to the Peel Region and Toronto. They have to deal with the GTA gridlock on a daily basis. Since the current government has done nothing about this situation there shouldn't be an increase in support from this group. Then there's the large segment of the Guelph community involved with the university. Since the federal Conservatives have done nothing for post secondary education, there won't be any new votes for them with this group either. Face the facts. In order to make up for the more than 6000 spread in the last election, the Conservatives would have to come up with an earth shaking issue to win here. Since they won't be doing that, Guelph will be Liberal again in the upcoming election.
No chance for the Conservatives here.
08 03 12 Peg Leg Pete
I'm not surprised the last Conservative supporter didn't leave a name on that last post. When the Liberals and Conservatives are tied in the national polls, you're really stretching the imagination to predict the Conservatives taking an URBAN riding they lost by 6000 VOTES last time.
That's like saying the Liberals will take Niagara West-Glanbrook this time.
There are two Canadas. Urban Canada that votes Liberal/NDP and rural Canada that votes Conservative. Guelph is an urban riding with a huge university population that will be going to vote against Stephen Harper in the next election. Councillor Kovach is going to look like a deer in the headlights when the results come in on election night. I predict this riding stays Liberal by 7500 votes this time. Nobody misses Brenda Chamberlain.
08 03 08
A lot of Chamberlain's support in 2006 were ‘Chamberlain-votes.’ She was well-liked in this riding. Now that she's retired, CPC Gloria Kovach, city councillor for 16 years, has a solid shot here. The CPC closed up the margin of victory from 10 000 votes in 2004 to 6 000 votes in 2006. With Chamberlain gone, this riding should go Conservative, or at least competitive.
08 02 22 Doug the Slug
The old Guelph-Wellington riding had a substantial rural section but the current Guelph riding only includes the urban part of this city. Guelph is a progressive, university town without an NDP base. Perfect ground for the Liberals. Face it, Stephen Harper just doesn't sell in cities like Guelph. The Liberals will hold this riding without any problem.
08 02 01 Jonathan
The removal of Brent Barr from the Conservative candidacy in this riding has likely destroyed any chance of further gains from the Conservatives, not only in Guelph, but also in surrounding ridings. Many grassroots Conservatives are enraged with Barr's arbitrary removal, and for lack of any clear explanation, have pinned Kovach and a faction of the Conservative Riding Association as the Brutus. Further, outstanding questions concerning Kovach's forced removal from the FCM, and her blatant use of Guelph's city council to advance her own partisan interests only serves to further inflame observers.
Tom King has little chance for serious gains here as well. While he has some name recognition, it is generally among a small core of NDP party faithful and some students. The broader community is barely aware of his presence. The fact that the NDP placed dead last in the provincial election speaks volumes of the kind of campaign organization they possess, and their increasing irrelevance in the face of a surging Green Party and the perception by the vast majority of voters that they lack any credibility as an alternative to Stephen Harper will likely mean losses. Progressive voters will recall what happened the last time Jack Layton asked them to ‘lend him their vote.’ Stephen Harper was put in charge, and Layton, desperate for more seats, continued to attack the Liberals rather than his true ideological opponents.
Moderate gains for Green Party candidate Mike Nagy can be expected, and major gains can be expected for Liberal Party Candidate Frank Valeriote. In both cases, this support is likely to bleed over from disaffected Conservatives angry over the Barr debacle. Such Conservatives will never vote NDP. Moreover, Valeriote's extensive involvement and relationship with the community runs extremely deep, on social justice issues as well as business; for this reason there is likely to be little significant leakage into the NDP or Greens from the Liberal camp.
08 01 04 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
Question: If the CPC are inching towards certain victory (or just precieved to be by the voting public) as an election nears, would these alleged NDP and Liberal supporters still vote for Kovach, knowing full well it meant helping Harper and the Conservatives? Another question: Are these NDP and Liberal supporters who would vote for Kovach just playing lip service to a friend/neighbour/fellow citizen of Guelph and in the polling booth choose to vote for the party they support? Recall Guelph is a city and urban voters tend to vote for parties and not for candidates. Just some food for thought....
07 12 19 Paul Atarsus
Hold the phone everyone... well respected city councilor Gloria Kovach has just announced that she's running for the Tory nomination.
If she gets it, it's a HUGE boost for the Tories, and I think puts it back into the ‘WIN’ column for Mr. Harper. She's well respected on both the left and the right of the local spectrum, with a lot of Liberal AND NDP voters who have indicated they'd support HER, even though they don't support the Tories in general.
I think Frank is quaking in his boots right about now...
07 12 20 blakegoodman
It is amazing how stable this riding has been over time with similar vote tallies for the Liberals and the CA+PC/CPC, in 2000, 2004, 2006--there have been slight variations, but the liberals have retained a voting bloc between 22000-23000 people, while the tories hover around 15-18000. The NDP have been the only party with large growth over the past seven years, getting only 5,000 votes in the 2000 general election.
While with any election there are new factors, it will be interesting to see how this bloc of liberal voters endures a new candidate, as well as a challenge from a charismatic and articulate candidate on the left in the form of Thomas King. As the NDP move closer to a three way race, they may just upset the old parties, either that or split the ‘progressive’ vote to the benefit of the conservatives. I think that the campaign to watch in this riding is not the old Grit-Tory rivalry, but instead the New Democrats.
While I may be ‘dreaming’ as some posters have insinuated, I think that Tom King and his campaign deserve some more attention than previous posts have been giving.
07 12 10 seasaw
I would like to reply to Foodora's comment, which belittled the Liberal candidate, Francis Valeriote. Well, this person obviously does not know the riding and its history very well. He must be completely unaware that the candidate himself and his family made some very valuable contributions to the community that dates back a century, and to say that Marva Wisdom, who hasn't done much for the community, would've made a better candidate, is totally wrong. To binsiro who thinks if elections were held today the CPC, would finish a close third, again, this person doesn't know the riding and its history. The Left has only done well here once, provincially, and that was during the 1990 protest vote, most of the time the left gets less than 15%. If elections were held today, I would not bet. Though the Liberals may have the best candidate, Dion's leadership style is unappealing to most voters here. Again the right time to call this riding for anyone, is days before the actual voting day whether that day falls in'08, '09 or even'10.
07 12 06 binriso
Well when Chamberlain first won back in 1993, Frank Maine even ran as an independent and took away about 4000 votes mostly from the Liberals and they still won handily, by about 10000 votes. And its not like 1993 was a year that everyone voted Liberal. Then 1997 and 2000 came where the Liberals beat even the united right by alot, which tightened up a bit in 2004 and then became much closer in 2006. If you are going to say that the 2008 or 2009 election is going to be one of those 1993 washouts theres no way the Conservatives are going to come close to 90 seats. They’ll be lucky to get more half the seats in Ontario this time around. This might be one of them though, its a relatively close race and might be a three way race in the election if the Liberals go down and the NDP go up some in Ontario. Ill give the Liberals an advantage for now and if i was to bet id say they would win it, but the CPC although hurt by local problems benefit if the election is extended for several months in the future. They likely wont do better than a close 3rd if its held anytime soon though. NDP might sneak up with a center/center right vote splitting occurrence as well.
07 11 09 seasaw
Still too early to call. We don't even know when the next election's going to be. For those people who think Brent Barr's firing means a Liberal win, remember 15 years ago. At that time, councillor and former MP Frank Main, was going to run and win for the Liberals, he was not allowed to; everybody said the Liberals have no chance. Well, we know the outcome of that one. I'm not saying that history will repeat itself, but it just might.
07 11 04 Jack Cox
Well the Conservatives just handed this riding to the liberals, The Conservatives just removed Brent Barr as the candidate from this riding, and I am betting this is just going to harm the Conservatives here and in the region.
07 11 02 T.V.
The Tory central party just fired their local candidate in Guelph, so division in their ranks can only help the Liberals. The NDP will put up a strong fight and might even win some of the University area polls, but they just won't pick up enough votes in the rest of Guelph to have a hope of winning.
07 10 30 seasaw
The right time to predict a winner here, is in the last week of the campaign. The results here have always reflected the provincial average. Without a Liberal incumbent here it should make it a very interesting race. To the person who believes Elizabeth May could run and win here, I ask ‘ in which dream ? ‘, for the left has hardly ever done well in this riding. To Matt G, who calls this for the Liberals, I say ‘ it's too early to tell ‘; One should also not use provincial election results here and determine the federal outcome or vice versa. Just look at the past, in Fed. '84, the Tory candidate won over 55%, and just a few months later Ont.'85, the Lib candidate won by a substantial margin. In Ont. '87, the Lib. candidate won convincingly, the Tory finished a very poor third, yet in Fed. '88 the Tory candidate took it in a landslide. Fast forward ten years in Fed '97, the Liberals won without difficulty, yet in Ont. '99 the Tory candidate took it in a landslide. Also, in only 16 years since WW I, has this riding had politicians of the same stripe both in QP and Ottawa.
07 10 15 Matt G
The Dippers on this board are dreaming. The NDP have no chance in this riding. At best, they'll hold the 22% they had last time. The NDP just finished a dismal fourth in the provincial election. Furthermore, the Tories just barely beat the Greens for second place in Guelph. This riding is progressive and not enamored with Harper. Frank Valeriote is a great candidate and should be able to hold this after a good fight with the returning Tory.
07 08 12 Foodora
The Liberals made a foolish decision by picking Frank Valariote as their candidate. They had a far stronger, more articulate and more ‘liberal’ candidate in Marva Wisdom but chose instead to support yet another conservative Liberal who is essentially indistinguishable from his CPC rival. This will certainly bleed left-wing votes (and there are a lot of these up for grabs in Guelph) to the NDP and Greens. As a resident of the riding, I've heard many people who would have voted Liberal to block the Tories say that they will not vote Liberal now that Marva Wisdom was not chosen. It's hard to say what this will mean. The NDP has a good chance, but the left-wing vote split could just as easily mean a CPC victory. Even a Liberal victory is still possible. It all depends on how many liberal Liberals vote NDP and Green.
07 08 08 P. Atarsus
With Tom King running for the NDP, the Tory chances just went up a whole lot. The Liberals picked a dud of a candidate in Frank Valeriotte, another socially conservative Liberal, backed by the Italian community... a constituency already voting Liberal, so not much pickup there.
Due to Tom King running, look for the left of the Libs to swing to King, along with some of the Greens... and the Tories will pick up some votes due to name recognition from the last election, and people voting for the governing party, should Mr. Harper keep polling better than Dion.
That being said, if the NDP bleeds as little as 3000 from the Libs (HIGHLY likely), and the Tories bleed as little as 1000, that puts this in the ‘win’ column for Mr. Harper.
Plus, there's word the perenial CHP guy that runs here won't run again... that will likely translate into a 400-500 vote pickup for the Tories.
07 08 06 A.S.
For the politically progressive-minded, Guelph's getting to be *really* fascinating, and the last municipal election's only the most visible manifestation of that--and now with Brenda Chamberlain out of the federal picture, just watch. The fact that Tom King's not only the NDP candidate, but given a very plausible chance of winning, tells it all. Except that working against him is a pattern of extraordinary *Green* strength, too--this is the kind of seat which Elizabeth May could have run in and won handily. So maybe it'll all just benefit the comparatively staid Grit/Tory forces instead, but I'll bet that at worst, the combined NDP/Green votes will outnumber either Liberal or CPC. And at best, the combined NDP/Green votes will outnumber Liberal and CPC, *combined*...
07 04 29 Initial
I think that the election race for Guelph will be a very close race, but the NDP will just edge it out. However, should the election be called while the university is out, it may change the outcome as the influx of young, left-wing voters will not be present. The Liberal gap is being slowly closed in on by the other parties. Brenda Chamberlain has done very little for Guelph while in parliament, and voters are likely to remember this before they vote Liberal again. Brent Barr did not put up much of a contest last year, as he was expected to, and if the election is called while university is in session, the Conservatives will gain very few votes in comparison to the left-wing parties. It would take extreme vote-splitting between the Liberals/Green/NDP for this to be a Conservative seat. Tom King has the added advantage of name recognition, despite lack of political experience. This combined with the fact that voters in Guelph are becoming more disgruntled with our Liberal candidate, should lead to the NDP sneaking this one. Mike Nagy is the only candidate who has run for more than one election past, so he too has name recognition, but nowhere near the level of Tom King. Although Guelph is a fairly environmentally concerned city, I don't think we are quite ready for a Green candidate. NDP marginal seat.
07 04 19 R.D.
Tom King has been nominated as the NDP candidate in Guelph, and I think he has the star power to win it. Here's what the Guelph Mercury had to say when he was just considering it:
Tom King may not have any political experience, but you can bet the minute he throws his hat in the ring if he decides to run for the NDP nomination -- and we hope he does -- Guelph would have a federal election race on its hands being watched by more people than just those who live here.
King's lack of political experience is nothing new in such situations; many candidates make the leap with no little to no background in politics. But what King lacks in political experience he more than makes up for in life and career experience: he is a member of the Order of Canada, has penned more than 10 books, is a professor at the University of Guelph and spent some time in the '60s and '70s rallying around native rights and social issues. You might also know him from his CBC radio show, ‘The Dead Dog Cafe Comedy Hour.’
There is no question Phil Allt has served the NDP well as the candidate in the past two federal elections. He's a teacher with a passion for politics and managed to secure a sizable chunk of votes in 2006 and 2004 -- 13,561 (or 22 per cent of the vote) and 10,527 (or 20 per cent) respectively. He doubled the percentage of votes the NDP received between the 2000 election and the vote held in 2004, and was a commendable candidate and debater.
But with King, the local NDP riding association would have a candidate with national name recognition, and the excellent race that is already brewing behind the scenes would become that more interesting.

Source: ‘King would boost excitement factor’ (editorial), Guelph Mercury 3/6/07.
07 04 13
I will be very interested to see who the Liberals will run here (in all likelihood, a female, with Dion trying to run 33% female candidate). I do think, however, that the CPC has a very good chance here. The CPC are strong in small, urban cities like Guelph and I think the candidate who ran in 2006 (and is running again this time) is a very strong one. Brent Barr brought the CPC vote count up 5000+ from 2004, while Brenda Chamberlain's hovered around the same number of votes in 2004 and 2006. She was also one of the social conservatives of the Liberal Party, so this riding would not be hostile to Barr's more socially conservative views.
07 04 10 M. Lunn
In all likelihood, this should stay Liberal since despite the lack of an incumbent, this is a university town and university towns tend to be far more liberal than surrounding areas. In the US, many communities with major universities went strongly Democrat (such as Missoula, Tompkins County, New York, East Lansing, Michigan) despite being surrounded by heavily Republican areas, so Guelph in some ways is Canada's version of Missoula, Montana; Austin, Texas; or Ithaca, New York. And unlike McMaster University where many of the students reside in the Western suburbs of the GTA or other Hamilton ridings, the vast majority reside in Guelph.
A strong NDP split is essentially needed to turn this to the Tories. In addition I would say the Tories chances of winning here are much better if the election is held in the late spring or summer when university is not in session than if held during the other parts of the year.
07 04 03 Rob C
Given the 2006 election sweep of progressive candidates in Municipal elections, expect to see some local issues bleed into the next federal campaign if it is held in the next 6 months. This should be a very close race. It may be one that has a lightening bolt close to the end.
Brent Barr, who ran last time, was re-nominated over Councillor Gloria Kovach to run for the CPC on March 21, 2006.
On April 12, 2007 it appears the Liberals will nominate Marva Wisdom. She is the consituent manager for Liberal MPP Liz Sandals. She also worked in the same capacity for MP Brenda Chamberlain.
07 04 02 Stevo
The Conservatives want this seat badly. They have test-driven many of their policy planks in Guelph - the mid-sized city represents the demographic that wasn't quite ready for the Tories in 2006 but will decide their majority/minority fate in 2007. With a new Liberal candidate and respectable Conservative results in 2006, this one could flip, but it will be a fight to the finish. Guelph is pulled by Liberal Toronto/Peel Region on the east, and Conservative Cambridge and Fergus to the south and north respectively. Too close to call, definitely.
07 03 25 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
With Chamberlain not running again, the CPC faring well in non-metropolitan urban centers and a decent CPC showing in 2006, this riding could go either Liberal or Conservative. We're just going to have to see how the election race starts to shape up before anything definitive can be said about Guelph.

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