Prediction Changed
6:32 PM 24/03/2007

Election Prediction Project

London North Centre
Federal Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

Hodge, Mary Ann
New Democratic
Holmes, Steve
Pearson, Glen
Van Meerbergen, Paul

Glen Pearson

2006 Result:
Joe Fontana **
John Mazzilli
Stephen Maynard
Stuart Smith
Rod Morley
Margaret Mondaca

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

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08 10 07 GM
I have to disagree with the last two submissions - both the no opinion and a Conservative win. Althouth RobertL states that there are fewer Liberal signs, I think London North Centre - partially due to the byelection - is campaign weary. While there are numerous signs for all the candidates on public land, there seems to be fewer signs on private lawns in general - not just for the Liberals.
In terms of Gone Fishing's analysis of past elections, the vote distribution should be taken back further - making the case for this as a Liberal-to-lose riding (admittedly, boundary re-distribution in 1997 has helped this).
The 1997 Liberal win had Joe Fontana with almost 52% of the vote. Even without the right-wing vote split, combined Reform-PC only managed about 32% with the NDP at about 12%.
In 2000, with the right-wing still divided (PC-Alliance), Fontana still takes almost 53%, with the combined right-wing vote only a bit better, getting about 37%. Surprisingly, the increase in the right-wing vote seemed to be at the expense of the NDP, who got less than 9%.
2004 was the first election with the re-united right-wing and saw the Liberals reduced to a minority. However, even with the resurgence of the right-wing; a fairly high-profile candidate - Tim Gatten - drew less (just under 28%) than the combined right-wing vote in the previous two elections. This was perhaps the result of a well-known NDP candidate - Joe Swan - a former member of London's Board of Control getting just over 24% of the vote. Fontana still held the riding, but saw his support drop to about 43%
In the 2006 election - a Conservative minority win, Fontana's support drops to just over 40% - most of the loss going to the Conservatives who get almost 30% - but a percentage still lower than the combined right-wing votes from the 1997 and 2000 elections. NDP drop slightly, but still get close to 24%.
The 2006 byelection has Pearson see Liberal support drop to about 35% - with the Green Party (leader Elizabeth May running) getting almost 26%. Conservatives and NDP get about 24% and 14% respectively. The 20% increase in Green votes comes at the expense of about a 5% vote loss for both the Liberals and Conservatives and an almost 10% drop for the NDP.
Therefore, my prediction is that the Greens (as expected) will lose some support - mainly due to Mary Ann Hodge not being a high-profile candidate. Close to half of Green support would need to go Conservative, with little to the Liberals, for the Conservative Van Meerbergen to catch Pearson. However, I would expect him to get back to previous split right-wing support (35% range) with Pearson getting about 40%. Greens and NDP will split the rest of the vote with each party getting in the 10% to 15% range.
This riding could be challenged by the Conservatives at some point, but it would take a stellar Candidate - Van Meerbergen was a good choice in terms of getting someone with political experience and name recognition - but it's probably not enough this time. However, Glen Pearson has a reputation as a community-focused humanitarian, a trait that can appeal to voters. Being the incumbent doesn't hurt either.
08 10 04 RobertL
I wonder if this race might be a lot closer than some think, can the Conservatives take it - not sure. However a drive through the riding shows fewer Liberal signs than in the past. Plus the south east part of the riding can ill afford The Libreal tax shift. With Mr. Laytons bull dog attacks in the debate it could make for an interesting election night. I suspect Harper will be through London one more time.
08 10 04 Gone Fishing
Just checking some data from the byelection win by Glenn Pearson. Mr. Pearson won handily but the liberal vote dropped from 23,000 to 13,000 votes in that byelection. Granted, the overall vote also dropped by 10,000 votes. Given the coverage of this byelection with Ms. May involved I have to think the overall vote count should have been higher.
There were problems with the Conservative and NDP campaign but I think also that a lot of Liberal vote stayed home as well. I think with so many people staying away we really have to ask who is going to get out the vote best?
When I look at the struggles of the neighbouring riding's liberal candidate compared to other elections I have to wonder if the rookie MP can rally an election team as great as Joe Fontana was always able to do.
The other thing I have to wonder is how many Conservatives stayed home as the parachuted candidate from Washington continuously stepped on land mines and proved she had been away from London too long to be effective.
08 09 24 AV
Well in response to Jack Yellin, I don't really know which conservative councilor you are referring too. Based on the last municipal election, former Alliance candidate Nancy Branscombe's win in ward 6, which is part of LNC, should be good news for the Conservatives. Especially considering it wasn't in the more Conservative north part of the riding.
Still, this is a fairly Liberal riding and the Conservatives will probably need to be close to or in majority territory to take it.
08 09 23 Jack Yellin
Pearson's values are much more in line with this riding's make up and interests. And frankly, more in line with what many Londoners care about which includes the environment, health care, caring, a mixed economy and helping others. Keep in mind in the last by election, Elizabeth May and Pearson combined received over 50% of the votes and the Conservative candidate, the former Mayor was an also ran. City council elections are a different kettle of fish (pun intended to Gone Fishin'). When was the last time any city council running for re-election lost? Oh yeah, the last one was one of the more conservative ones in the area.
08 09 22 Gone Fishing
Jack Yellin, I appreciate your comment about the candidate for the conservative not living in the riding, and that he has only won two city council elections.
To point one. He is not exactly a parachute candidate. While he may not live in the riding he is still a Londoner and that is close enough for a lot of people.
Glenn Pearson for the record (and in print) says he will be voting for Sue Barnes in London West so I guess that would make not one but TWO candidates who don't live in the EDA.
To the second point. Have you had a look at the left leaning council we have? NDP and Liberal candidates throughout the chambers and they do not look highly on conservatives. They dump on Van Meerbergen and yet he has been elected twice.
I am making the point that he is electable. So by the same standard does the Liberal standard bearer has not won a heck of a lot has he?
08 09 20 Jack Yellin
Gone Fishing, the Tory candidate does not even live in the riding and was elected to council for only the second time in 2006. Pearson will win.
08 09 16 Gone Fishing
Glenn Pearson can pick a winner, he hopped on the Paul Martin bandwagon in 2006 and was beaten in London Fanshawe.
He ran in a byelection in this riding and rode a waive of anti Harper support irritated by a parachute candidate. Haskett had not lived in London let alone Canada for years and is a Christian radical.
He very early on threw his support to Dion in the leadership campaign and even found time to introduce a CONSERVATIVE candidate when he announced his candidacy in a neighbouring riding.
I think Glenn is a wonderful person from the two occasions I have met him but I don't think he is a politician and I can see him capitulating to get back to his family before this is all over.
I am not saying he is going to drop out but I am saying he will loose the fire.
Paul Van Meerbergen is a strong candidate. Though not liked at city hall which leans left he continues to get elected to council. I am not touting him as a cabinet minister but London North Centre voters will warm to him having a voice in governing caucus just as the did Joe Fontana.
08 09 13 northbynorthwest
If memory serves me right, this is a riding that was gerrymandered by the Liberals a few elections back to drop off a heavy NDP concentration at the south end.
I have plenty of family and friends in London, a good number who worked for Elizabeth May and the Greens in the by-election after years of NDP support. A good number are unhappy May did not choose to run here in the main election, what with her strong by-election second, the team in place and the signs. They felt the Greens had a very good shot at legitimately winning their first seat in an election. They feel jilted and don't agree with the May-dion sweetheart deal. Those folk are back with the NDP or Liberals. Pearson is a very decent guy with a good social justice, international poverty profile both professinally and personally with the kids he and his wife have adopted. I suspect he can keep the seat although the first week of the campaign with the Harper majority story and where Harper has gone in non conservative seats means this will be a riding they too will target.
08 09 05 Gone Fishing
Back to reality hear folks. The Greens aren't going to make any breakthrough here. Perhaps people forget Lizzy May is a party leader and the resources (as they are) of the Green Party were on display in the by-election.
If you are looking for a Green surprise you might look to London West, at least the candidate is strong and the organization will work to support her as the best showing in the region. May won't be running through the area much she has her hands full in her foolish attempt to knock off a cabinet minister.
I don't know who the Dippers have on the slate - it doesn't matter this is going back to traditional parties. Former mayor Haskett didn't fair well here coming in from out of town with no team and thinking she was still loved. I think and hope Paul Van Merbergen has a shot at this with better team effort and being on the ground since then but Glenn Pearson is well liked and esatablished well in both the riding and the city at large.
This election London really doesn't change much at all unless there are rumblings of a strong majority but I doubt that very much and if Pearson isn't disgusted with Ottawa yet this is his seat to hold on to.
08 03 17 The Jackal
Is running as only interesting in the by-election that saw Liz May the Green Party finish second. But with her running in Central Nova this is a very safe Liberal riding.
07 07 17 Tom
Easy Liberal hold. I expect the Greens to hold on to quite a few of their voters by inertia, perhaps enough to beat the NDP into fourth again, but many of their supporters will drift back to the Liberals and NDP without by-election conditions and Elizabeth May. The Conservatives, despite being likely to come second, are utterly irrelevant because they can't win more than 25-30% of the vote here.
07 04 27 J Adams
In a strange move, Paul Van Meerbergen moved over from London West (where he lives and where he currently sits as a city councillor) to run in London North Centre. Pearson is well respected and well liked. With his recent by-election triumph I can't see any reason for a change here. Pearson wins.
07 04 26 A.S.
26% wasn't *that* distant a second--it was only a 9-point margin, after all. But seriously; in a general election, the Greens might come a close second in LNC only if they're polling above the 15-20% threshold at large in Ontario. Exhale; we're back to a sort of normal now, folks. Maybe back to the 40Grit/30Tory/25NDP pattern as of late, perhaps with points shaved off whomever on behalf of GP--but it's still a gamble to bet on even a retained Green deposit, let alone close second. For all we know, the current Red/Green dynamic might even allow for a de facto Glen Pearson endorsement on Ellie May's part--and remember: right after winning the byelection, Pearson openly supported Dion at the leadership convention. He's already been blessed...
07 04 21 JP
It's amazing that anyone thinks the Greens will be legitimate contenders here. To be clear: they only got a distant second place 26% when they were running their Leader, they had the resources of the entire country and party at their disposal, they spent near the maximum allowed, the other parties were distracted with municipal races and leadership races, and two of the parties ran candidates despised by most of their membership--then there is absolutely no way they can win, or even be competitive once they go back to a small budget Jeff Culbert campaign. Look for them to fall back into single digits. The NDP have lost a lot of ground after the by-election that will take some time to rebuild (especially with Maynard now running provincially in Fanshawe),the Conservatives are running a single issue (all taxes are bad)candidate who represents a municipal ward outside of the riding. Glen Pearson is respected by people of all political stripes, this seat will be his for the foreseeable future.
07 04 16 Cameron W
I agree that the Liberals will probably win this riding, but I think the Green Party candidate could take a close second if they're a strong community member and run a professional campaign. The last byelection where Elizabeth May took 2nd place with 26%, ahead of the NDP & Conservative candidates, will help the next Green candidate in that riding.
07 03 21 M. Lunn
With Elizabeth May not running, Glen Pearson should regain most of those votes and within without too much difficulty. London-Fanshawe and London West are not 100% safe for the Liberals, but London North Centre is.

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