Prediction Changed
5:01 PM 27/09/2008

Election Prediction Project

Thunder Bay-Superior North
Federal Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

Carričre, Denis Andrew
Hughes, Brendan Daniel
New Democratic
Hyer, Bruce
McArthur, Don
Sarafin, Bev

Hon. Joe Comuzzi

2006 Result:
Joe Comuzzi **
Bruce Hyer
Bev Sarafin
Dawn Kannegiesser
Denis A. Carričre

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

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08 10 12 REB
Cam, that is the poorest political nonsense I have ever read. Tory's voting Grit to stop the NDP from winning? I have news for you, the Tory's want to win government (minority, majority it dont matter). Electing a Liberal hurts that cause. Many Tory's vote NDP in ridings where their candidate has no chance to help eliminate a possible Grit seat. At least you gave me a good laugh today.
08 10 06 Cam
The Liberals will keep this seat for several reasons. Firstly, the left leaning liberals will return to the party from the NDP now that Joe is gone. Joe was always conservative in his views and cost the liberals many votes in the past. Conservatives in the region know that Bev Sarafin will not win the election and they will want to vote Liberal to hold off the NDP from winning. Finally, Don McArthur is a credible candidate that appeals th people in the North. He is a successful business owner and formerly the municipal mayor of Schrieber. Don is an appealing candidate who will hold this seat for the Liberals.
08 09 30 JLB
Definite NDP gain.
Hyer has been aggressively campaigning in Thunder Bay north. His number of signs on private property have been steadily increasing as the election date draws near. McArthur signs are there, but they're not nearly as prevalent.
Last weekend, I went to visit family in the rural part of this riding, and the NDP support is just as strong.
The Liberals made a grave error by nominating an unknown candidate from outside of the city, and it'll cost them this seat.
08 09 27 NJam101
I still stand by what I said a year ago and what I said in February. Somebody mentioned a poll that said Northerners are leaning towards the Conservatives!!! yeah right!!! If that was the case then Harper will have over 200 seats. From what I read, Northern Ontario was included with Eastern Ontario in the poll which has more population and is heavily conservative. This riding should go to Bruce Hyer but McArthur should do quite well mainly in Thunder Bay. I don't know how people in economically hard times would all of a sudden want to support the current government. This riding has no history of voting conservative at all and there is no reason for them to. The whole thing with Comuzzi will turn a lot of people away from voting Liberal as well.
08 09 26 Shotgun Willie
This is another very interesting riding that was close in 2006 and will be close in this election. I think one of the previous NDP supporting posters is a little off base saying that Joe Commuzzi crossing the floor, ‘broke the spirits of Libs in the riding’. Sounds a little like wishful thinking to me. Both the Liberals and the NDP face obstacles in trying to win Thunder Bay-Superior North. For the Liberals, Donald McCarthur has to watch his right flank and not lose votes to the Conservatives. The Liberals caught a break when the Conservatives nominated an unknown candidate like Bev Sarafin. The Sarafin campaign is nowhere in Thunder Bay and does not seem to be a threat. In 2006, NDP candidate Bruce Hyer lost to a heavily damaged Joe Commuzzi who ran maybe the worst campaign any incumbent has run in this part of Ontario. There is no question that the McCarthur campaign is running at much higher a level in 2008. An earlier post pointed out correctly that the Green Party received twice as many votes in this riding as they did in any other one in northern Ontario. Having Elizabeth May in the leaders debate gives the Green Party a lift and I can see them at the very least holding the support they had here and probably increasing it. I believe when the votes are counted on election night that McCarthur will manage to hold this riding with the Green Party keeping the Hyer from winning. The difference in 2006 was 400 votes and it will be that close again in 2008.
08 09 25
Latest polling numbers for Northern Ontario out of Nanos says that northerners are leaning Conservative this time out. I have a friend working in Ms. Sarafin's office and they are apparently seeing donations and sign requests coming out of the woodwork over the past few days. There was recently a piece in the local paper highlighting Conservative accomplishments and I have a feeling that has swayed a lot of people.
08 09 25 Peter Pam
Time to start calling some northern Ontario ridings for the NDP. The dippers are up in the polls and the Libs are way down. These ridings where the Libs squeaked out a win over the NDP last time are going to be the first to fall to Layton.
08 09 25
The incumbant MP Joe Commuzzi crossed the floor betraying his Liberal supporters to move to the Conservatives. I think that huge insult broke the spirits of a lot of Libs in this riding. Since Joe was only able to win by a few hundred votes as an incumbant, a newbie Liberal will not be able to overcome that and this one will likely change hands to the NDP, who are strongly against changing parties without resigning and running in a by-election.
08 09 20 PB
The only thing wrong with Piper's analysis is that the Greens seem to be stealing more from the Liberals than the NDP. The Liberals no longer have the incumbency advantage, and are polling down a bit in Ontario while the NDP are polling a bit higher. This part of Ontario has gone NDP before under Conservative governments. I think this is one of the few NDP pickups coming.
08 09 19 Time to Pay the Piper
I want to refer people to the results of the 2006 election in Thunder Bay-Superior North. The Green Party received 2200 votes, more than twice what they got in any other northern Ontario riding. I believe that is why NDPer Bruce Hyer came up short in 2006. With Liz May and the Green Party getting even more exposure this time around, I expect Green Party totals in this riding to rise to an even higher level. This makes an NDP victory very unlikely and makes a Liberal victory just about a sure thing.
08 09 19 Goats
Hyer came within 400 votes of knocking off Comuzzi in the last election. This was despite the fact that Joe has been a fixture in the community for decades, had been the local MP since 1988, had yellow-dog support from the large Italian community in T. Bay North/Port Arthur and was a member of the then-governing party. Now that Comuzzi has finally retired after a long and unproductive career, Hyer is running against some guy who most people from outside of Schreiber (e.g. most of the riding) have never heard of. Add to that the fact that the Liberals are weaker and more unpopular now than in 2006, and that Dion is the kind of guy (a nerdish, aloof academic with terrible English) who is anathema to your average northwestern Ontario voter.
Hyer will benefit from superior name recognition, having contested this riding previously and as a high-profile local businessman. Further, despite the job losses at the mills and grain elevators, Thunder Bay is still a big-time union town, which will play to the NDP's advantage. Layton has already visited the local area, and likely will visit again at least once or twice before the end of the campaign. T. Bay-Rainy River will be close what with Ken Boshcoff's residual popularity, but T. Bay - Superior North should be an easy NDP pickup.
08 09 15 Cam
Had Joe Commuzi stayed in the race he may have pulled enough former Liberal supporters with him to the conservatives to allow the NDP to split the vote and win the seat. However, he would not have been re-elected. With Joe out, It will be a two way race between the Liberal Don McArthur and NDP candidate Bruce Hyer. However, the NDP gains in the last election were largely a reflection of the dissatisfaction many in the area had with Joe Commuzi and his 'conservative' behaviour in Parliament. Joe was a Conservative at heart which we saw reflected in has parliamentary behaviour. I believe the only reason he stayed Liberal as long as he did was that he knew he could not win an election in this riding as a Conservative. His failure to run this time is an acknowledgement of that. Now that Don McArthur, a more 'Liberal' Liberal is running, many who protested against Commuzi in the last election by voting NDP will gravitate back to Don and the Liberals. I predict a big win for the Liberals in this riding.
08 09 26 Hannah Montana
Joe Commuzi would have run in his riding if it looked like the Conservatives had any chance of coming close. The reality is there just isn't any Conservative base in this riding which makes it a two way race with the Liberals and the NDP. This riding voted Liberal last time and will again in 2008. The NDP are just too low in the polls to pick up seats where it's a two way race.
08 09 13 John
I think Swift is right. This riding will go NDP.
Latest Harris Decima poll has the Liberals stumbling badly in Ontario one week into the campaign. If the last election's results are any guide, the NDP will be in a better position to capitalize than the Conservatives, even though Harris Decima gives the Conservatives a commanding lead provincially. (Watch for the Conservatives to pick up a few seats elsewhere in Ontario, though.)
08 09 12 R.O.
Not that surprised that Joe Comuzzi decided to retire after many years of public service. So now this riding will elected a new mp for the first time in years. Its far from a sure thing for either of the 3 main parties yet for several reasons. One of the main ones is fact riding is so large and its various towns do not exactly vote the same way. Some are very ndp friendly and others traditionally liberal. For the conservatives to be successful here they would need to win over former Comuzzi voters as riding lacks much of a conservative base. If the conservative candidate Bev Sarafin cannot hold the seat there is a chance it might go ndp.
08 09 06 Joey Joe Joe
Comuzzi says he is retiring so difficult race. I say it heads back to the Libs.
08 09 05 Swift
The key point is that Joe Comuzzi will not be running for the Liberals. Thus the Liberals will loose enough votes to allow the NDP to win. If Joe does decide to run for the Conservatives, he might take enough votes from the Liberals to allow him to finish second, but I doubt he will be able to retain his seat.
08 08 30 Tony C
Whether or not Joe Comuzzi runs, the Conservatives will not win here. Despite making appearances and announcements within the rural parts of this riding, NW Ontario is not Harper territory.
In 2006, the voters BARELY elected Comuzzi to represent us as a Liberal MP. When he crossed the floor, he basically slapped his constituents in the face. Sure, he'll have his core supporters who'll follow him regardless, but he's also going to lose A LOT of his previous votes to the NDP and Liberals.
Meanwhile, the Liberal candidate is from a rural community who is virtually unknown within the urban parts of Thunder Bay north. Even I don't even know his name!
This is a very complicated riding, and I fully expect the NDP to win up the middle. Bruce Hyer can only build on his impressive 2006 results.
08 08 30 Stray
I grew up in Thunder Bay and I remember every election since the mid-1970s. In that time, no conservative candidate has been elected federally. During the 1984 Mulroney landslide, both Thunder Bay ridings went NDP. The Liberals win a very close decision.
08 06 27 Doug The Slug
Joe Comuzzi is a factor in this riding if you want to know who is going to finish a bad third. Thunder Bay - Superior North is NOT a Conservative riding and Joe will be run out of town on a rail on election night. The race here will be between the Liberals and the NDP. This riding has consistently voted Liberal for years and for that reason it's likely the Liberals will take back this riding.
08 05 02 R.O.
Joe Comuzzi ? a non factor here . you have to be kidding us I hope. Well I agree there is a good chance he will not run in the next election when ever it does actually happen. He is still a factor here as he was mp for a longtime and his removal from the liberals didn’t do them any good here. His joining of the conservatives was significant and the first time in years that this riding was held by them. I also have serious doubts about your theory that conservative supporters are going to vote liberal here to stop an ndp candidate. Mean it seems like you have a different therory for every riding.
08 05 01 binriso
I think people might be underestimating the 'maverick' image of Comuzzi(if he runs). People love the image of a maverick politician, especially one who actually delivered something notable for their riding. Even though Comuzzi probably toed the party line on almost every issue, the fact that he stood up for his constituents in the budget, and was kicked out of his party for it instantly puts him in a positive light and gives him some credibility. Not to mention he has been an MP for 20 years there.
That being said, I’m still thinking that the NDP have the advantage here in the next election and will probably win the seat. The CPC might be a bit too far back to compete.
08 04 05 Curley Larry and Moe
Thunder Bay - Superior North is one of the most interesting ridings in Ontario. Our take on this riding is that Joe Comuzzi is non factor in the next election. This is a northern Ontario riding where the Conservatives traditionally run a very weak third and that is not likely to change.
That leaves the NDP and the Liberals. There is an NDP base in this riding but if you look that the Green Party numbers from the last election, they received a respectable 2200 votes. We project that that the Green Party will improve on this number in the next election as they are making gains at the NDP expense right now and will have for the first time a high profile leader going into the next campaign. Every vote the Green Party takes from Bruce Hyer makes it more difficult for him to reach the Liberals. Hyer is a solid NDP candidate but not enough of a high profile one to make up for loses to the Greens in the way Tony Martin will do in the Soo. One final problem for the NDP in this riding is that the Conservatives are weak enough that right wingers tend to move to the Liberals in order to stop the NDP from picking up a victory. There's lots of good background on this happening in ridings all over Ontario. This is one of them. For all these reasons we feel that the Liberals will hold their base, pick up some strategic Conservative votes and hold the riding as the level of support for the NDP drops.
08 02 08 N~Jam101
I don't feel Joe Comuzzi will run again and if he does he won't even come close. Just the facts that many paper mills and sawmills have closed and more may close soon is enough to prevent re-election. Being part of both Liberal and Conservative governments is a double-whammy to him as he can't get out of saying he was in an opposition party.
Bruce Hyer is well known, especially form the last election. He came VERY CLOSE to Mr. Comuzzi and proved that Mr. Comuzzi was very vulnerable as a Liberal! There has been a big shift of votes to the NDP and more will vote that way just as a protest vote because of recent events.
Now Mr. Comuzzi as a Conservative only makes things worse for himself. This is Northern Ontario...
Those in the forestry sector: not a conservative crowd
Those in mining: never a conservative crowd
Those in the services sectors: rarely vote conservative
Unemployed: not likely to vote CPC
Aboriginal: obvious
This leaves maybe some business people and maybe some pensioners who might support the CPC but even most of them are Liberals in Northern Ontario.
The history of this riding and its former ridings within the riding show that conservative support is weak.
Having Harper visit will do very little. He only visited one small town. Most of the population is in Thunder Bay and there are many smaller towns that would take forever if one were to visit them all. Oh and the Lake Superior Marine Conservation Area will have little effect on voters. It was proposed under the Liberals and is not close to large populations.
08 02 07 R.O.
Too close to call, unsure where this one might end up. Well it has been historically liberal for last few years , the liberal elected in 06 since left liberals and is now a conservative. This was for the rather silly reason of simply voting for conservative budget. But its still unclear if he will run in next election whenever that may be, if he does run he’d be a strong candidate who is well known. The liberals already have a new candidate Don Mcarthur lined up and ndp will be running Bruce Hyer again. Harper also visited this riding few months ago when new marine park was opened. Going to bet whichever leader visits it during next election might have a better chance of winning it or at least do better. But it It’ll be an interesting race here when it does happen if nothing else.
07 12 11 seasaw
Joe Comuzzi will likely retire by the time the next election is called. CPC has never done well in this riding. The riding's been Liberal for the last 20 years; the big surge in NDP support in '06 was primarily due to the sponsorship scandal. No such issues this time. Liberal gain.
07 10 20 J.B.
I must amend the previous statement that I made:
'if Joe does choose to run again, a significant amount of his previous support will be split between him as the individual, and the CPC as a whole.'
What I meant to say is that his previous support is likely to be split towards:
1. Joe as the individual, simply because people in TB-SN like him. Although there are still A LOT of people out there who are against his defection. Voters anywhere across Canada are usually turned off when their 'elected' MP switches political parties without their official consent.
2. The Liberal party in general. People here might not like Stephane Dion very much, but much of them are still likely to continue 'parking' their votes there, with the remainder flowing towards the NDP.
The Native population will definitely play an important factor, as they represent a significant % both within Thunder Bay, and across the north shore, especially in industrial centres like Geraldton, Longlac, Nipigon, Terrace Bay, Marathon...etc, and they're far less likely to vote CPC, along with the rest of the population in those towns.
As a Native myself, this demographic is particularly concerned that a Conservative government wouldn't even think twice about slashing funding towards the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada department (INAC).
07 10 17 J.B.
I must agree with MOST of Jam101's points, as I grew up in this particular riding, and currently live in TB-RR now.
If you've spent any large amount of time in this region, you'll know that NW Ontario has always been, historically, a 2-party battle between the Liberals and NDP. MP defection is the ONLY way that this region will ever go Conservative.
NW Ontario was neglected and punished by Mulroney's previous PC government, and the bitterness towards any Conservative candidate still lingers to this day. For that reason alone, this area will never go Conservative, federally or provincially. NEVER!
The 1 point of Jam's that I must contest is that name recognition in this area really does play a significant factor. That's why Joe Comuzzi has been consistently elected numerous times previously. Part of it had to do with his name, and part of it had to do with his previous Liberal affiliation.
Northern Ontario is far less likely to fall in line with national/provincial trends. It's almost an autonomous region in itself. The recent provincial election saw Liberal support plummet considerably, compared to previous years. That speaks volumes.

Having said that, if Joe does choose to run again, a significant amount of his previous support will be split between him as the individual, and the CPC as a whole. The NDP support here is SOLID and it will hold up against any surge from the CPC.
Clearly you're living in a pipe dream if you think the CPC will win TB-SN in any general election.
07 10 11 N~Jam101
If an election were held today or before the end of the year the NDP candidate will win for sure. It is ridiculous to predict that a conservative will win in Northern Ontario and especially here. I live in Northern Ontario and can tell that those who predict that Comuzzi will win don't live here and know very little about the region. This area has not voted conservative in recent times and voted NDP in 1984 during the Mulroney PC sweep. Comuzzi won it as a Liberal in 1988 and has held it since but his days are numbered after switching to the CPC. Actually looking back to the 1930s it has been Liberal most of the time with the former ridings sometimes voting in CCF/NDP members. The only time a PC came close was in 1958 and he lost by only 2 votes (to the CCF) and the votes were almost evenly split between the top three candidates.
Another point I always like to make it that in Northern Ontario party affiliation is VERY important. I know some people from elsewhere like to think that rural or small-town people vote for the person over party but this is simply untrue here. In Northern Ontario ridings, it is often the case in the larger ones where most of the voters don't know many or all of the candidates because the candidate could be from another town 500km away or even further. The main issues can be quite diverse from town to town.
Northern Ontario has been really under a two party system (Lib. and NDP) within the last 20 years both federally and provincially with some minor exceptions, those being Nipissing and possibly close to the Manitoba border. Parry Sound and Muskoka are NOT part of the region. There are also some more right-wing pockets here and there, sometimes along the north shore of Lake Huron, non first nation parts of Manitoulin Island, Englehart, and part of Northwestern Ontario as examples.
Finally, the policies of the CPC do not appeal to the average person here. Outside Thunder Bay it is mainly mining and forestry. Trust me, any workers in these industries are not conservative supporters in any case. With the closing of sawmills and layoffs, nobody will want to vote for the current government either and probably will still be steaming about the Liberals as they were in government recently. Many in Thunder Bay are probably in the same situation and will vote accordingly but I would expect the Liberals to get a decent amount of support there. Looks at the results of the provincial election and that the Liberal candidates here and in TB-Atikokan just barely held on. Now look at the 2006 federal election and see that many voters here were NOT happy with Comuzzi as the NDP candidate came VERY close. Now if Comuzzi did run again I'd think he's get some sympathy vote as he said he was standing up for the region but he wouldn't be seen as a solution. I can't see the Green Party candidate doing very well here as someone thought as some of their policies may not be mining and forestry friendly.
Just to give a little better picture....this is a mainly anglophone riding with some francophone mainly in Longlac, Geraldton, Nakina (Greenstone), and Marathon. There are first nations but I'm not sure what percentage the aboriginal population would be here. There are also many of Italian and Finnish background. It's best just to check Statistics Canada for that information.
07 09 30 Scott
If there is a fall or winter election, Comuzzi will definitely run again, and given that thousands of his votes last election were ‘Joe votes’ rather than Liberal votes, he will retain his spot in Parliament.
07 06 27
I think that the increasing popularity of the Greens will be the wildcard in all this Comuzzi fuss. If Comuzzi decides to run again but as a Conservative, the lefties in northern ontario will vote split between the NDP, Liberals and Greens. I think about 2000 to 3000 more votes over and above the last election results will flow into the Greens.
Having the ever popular Comuzzi on board with the Conservatives sends a very clear message to the residents of northern ontario as a whole. ?perhaps the Conservatives aren't the big monsters that the Liberals would have like to paint them as???. Obviously comuzzi is more in line with the Conservatives than his previous party.
Comuzzi = Conservative
Greens will steal Liberal and NDP votes
All this adds up to another score for the Conservatives.
07 06 26 R.D.
Joe Comuzzi has joined the Conservative caucus and is now speculating about running again under their banner.
This could be a true three-way race.
07 06 26 tAUREAN
Sorry there Steve L. but Joe is CPC now!! Until today, I would have agreed with you that Mr. Comuzzi was a committed Liberal - somewhere a brain cell must have snapped - but one cannot be certain.
It seems the right-leaning and pro-business Liberals (among them a large portion of the anti-SSM (same-sex marrigage group) are continually jumping ship. It may have actually started with Bryden (anti-SSM-defected), then Emerson (business, SSM flip-flop-defected), Khan (anti-SSM defected) and now Comuzzi (anti-SSM defected). If one adds the Liberal ?retirees? to the defectors, we can add: Pat O'Brien (anti-SSM, went independent, did not run '06), Wappel (anti-SSM, retiring), Bonin (anti-SSM, retiring), Matthews (anti-SSM, retiring) it doesn't look good for the country's natural governing party.
In recent history this seat (and most of Northern Ontario) have only been Liberal-NDP competitive. So I suppose two realistic scenarios appear: Commuzi runs for the cons and draws enough Liberals away to let the NDP win by a large (and undivided margin!) - but this is doubtful given his age, tenure in the House, and explicit public statement that he will not run again. The other alternative is that Commuzi doesn't run and the NDP wins by a much smaller margin over the Liberal ?non-incumbent? candidate. My only caveat would be that unless a genuine locally-engaged, star-like candidate appears in Thunder Bay for the Liberals, the seat is probably going NDP.
Mr. Boshcoff (another genuinely hard working individual in the adjacent Thunder Bay riding) came really close to losing last time to the same party. Add to that the fact that Charlie Angus already holds TJB - it is possible that the whole area might swing uniformly in one direction.
07 06 24 The Jackal
Despite the possibly of Commuzi joining the Tories he won't re-elected if he chooses to run as the North haven't warmed to the CPC at all. This leaves this riding wide open and I'll call this for the NDP for now.
07 06 23 James Bishop
You can change Joe Comuzzi's current status from INDEPENDENT to Conservative. Harper will be in Thunder Bay on Tuesday, June 26 to make the official announcement.
This doesn't necessarily mean that Comuzzi will be running in the next election, resulting in a CPC victory. He's getting rather old, and the CPC have already nominated their candidate in TB-SN. Mind you, Bev Sarafin can always be replaced by him.
Despite all of this, I still believe that this riding will flop to the NDP in the next general election.
This was a LIBERAL ?Joe Comuzzi? riding, many people will find it very difficult to throw their support behind Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. TB-SN is a working-class riding with close ties to unions.
Whether or not Comuzzi chooses to enter the race, he won't retain all of his previous support, much of it will be siphoned off to the NDP and Liberal voters who absolutely refuse to ever vote Conservative.
Enough of this support will allow the NDP candidate to win up the middle.
07 06 23 Tom
With Comuzzi switching to the Conservatives, things got even more interesting. It looks as if he plans to run again, and, unlike David Emerson, he actually stands a chance of winning. It is certainly clear that the Liberals stand no chance of winning here now. The real question is whether Comuzzi keeps enough of his Liberal voters to surpass the NDP or not. If he does, he wins reelection; if not, the NDP gains the seat.
07 05 03 Ryan N
Steve L,
Trust me, I've lived in this riding for over 20 years, and I fully understand first-hand of our obstacles.
The Conservatives have nominated a VERY WEAK candidate, from a RURAL section of this riding (outside of Thunder Bay). Bev Sarafin is hardly well-known within the city of Thunder Bay, where the MAJORITY of voters are situated!
If Joe Comuzzi chooses NOT to run, the NDP will most likely benefit from his disappearance. People voted for him PERSONALLY, and not for the federal Liberal party!
Stephane Dion made a HUGE MISTAKE by kicking Joe to the curb, when Joe decided to vote with the Conservative budget! Despite that, Joe is not CPC! He was only looking out for the best interest of his constituents, even if it meant expulsion from his own party.
I'm expecting Jack Layton to focus more attention in NW Ontario during the next campaign.
07 05 02 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
A conservative prediction here is bordering on silly, especially with recent poll numbers saying that they're down to about 30%. The budget will be ancient history by the time any election rolls around. Residual anger towards the liberals, general NDP strength in northern Ontario and Layton targeting this riding will help the NDP, probably giving them an edge over the incumbant liberals. TCTC for now but CPC is a nonfactor, unlike in neighbouring Kenora.
07 04 18 Steve L.
the Conservative budget has very unambiguous benefits for this riding in particular. Joe Comuzzi, in his own words, said that his constituents would be ‘terribly upset’ with him if he didn't vote for the budget. in some ways, this isn't even about Comuzzi any more. the Conservatives can run the village idiot of this riding here and as long as that idiot can adequately articulate the thrust of the budget to the voters, he will be a credible threat to the Liberals and the NDP. that said, i don't think the Conservatives are going to win by a big margin here. but i'm repeating myself at this point.
oh and by the way did you know that nearly everybody in the comments sections for the Newfoundland ridings are all clamouring about a Conservative bust because of budget this and budget that? thought you'd like to know.
07 04 17 Ryan N
Steve L, Surely you can't be serious! The Conservatives don't stand a chance in ANY northern Ontario ridings, except for 'Parry Sound-Muskoka', which I don't even consider to be part of northern Ontario!
Whether or not Joe decides to run for re-election as an Independent, this riding will definitely flop to the NDP. In the past, people have supported Joe as an INDIVIDUAL, as opposed to the Liberal party as a whole.
Unless a VERY HIGH profile candidate emerges, previous Liberal supporters are more likely to comfortably ?park? their vote with the NDP, especially since this region relies heavily on government assistance and subsidies, particularly when it comes to the forest industry.
In the past, this riding has NEVER gone federally PC/Conservative, and I don't expect that to change anytime soon.
07 04 17 A.S.
Yeah, I know *why* Comuzzi voted for the budget, but let's get real: just because he voted with the Conservatives doesn't mean his vote will go to the Conservatives. (Indeed, remember that Comuzzi earlier ought to have scored points by exiting Paul Martin's cabinet on principle--but he wound up within an shocking hair of losing, instead. Maybe he *was* a liability, after all.) Besides, TBRR and Kenora will go CPC before TBSN does; the hinterland here is just too resource-towny and distant from the direct Prairie-rural sphere of influence for Tory comfort. And the federal Grits aren't going to go into also-ran eclipse that readily--remember that their provincial cousins already practically *own* the Lakehead. Nonetheless, Comuzzi's near-loss was a weird one, because the vote actually seemed to swing in his favour in the frontier, while the leakage was most pronounced in Port Arthur--Fort William, by contrast, still stuck fairly solidly to TBRR's Ken Boshcoff. But even if the NDP's desperate to cinch those anticipated N Ontario gains that eluded them in '06, and this now probably amounts to Target #1 among them, don't expect it to be a given, esp. if the Dippers are still polling below '06 numbers. Hmmm, maybe the Tories *do* have a chance...
07 04 15 Steve L.
this campaign will probably end up being a ‘Joe Comuzzi voted for the Conservative budget’ campaign. the biggest benefactor will be the Conservatives, obviously.
at the moment i'm more inclined to say this is an NDP v.s. Conservative race because of the unbridled hostility Stephane Dion displayed against Comuzzi. meanwhile the NDP voted against the budget as well, so they have some explaining to do in this riding. as it is i can't really foresee any other outcome than a sheer Conservative shocker - of a 100-odd vote margin, maybe.
07 03 29 Geoff C.
The NDP nearly won this riding last election, despite 18 years of incumbency by Joe Comuzzi. Despite not yet knowing who the new Liberal candidate will be, I expect enough loss of support to allow Hyer to step through and claim this riding. If Comuzzi does decide to run as an independent, it shouldn't even be a question as he will likely steal many votes away from the Liberal camp then.
07 03 27 King of Kensington
I'll make an early NDP prediction here. Joe Comuzzi is retiring so there will be no incumbency advantage, he also had some personal popularity. The NDP lost this one by a very small margin. It looks like the NDP's moving toward more of an economic populist campaign than in '06. Dion's lack of a populist appeal and his opposition to the anti-scab bill will hurt in this very working class, unionized riding.
07 03 25 GM
People voted Liberal because of Commuzzi, and now with him looking to retire it looks like this riding should go back to the NDP (Ernie Epp of the NDP held this riding before Commuzzi in 1988). There's two big reasons why I think so:
1) People liked Commuzzi - he did transcend party lines, had a great deal of support especially from the Italian community, and he spoke is mind. People didn't vote for the Liberal party, they voted for Commuzzi.
2) Because of the rift between leader Dion and Commuzzi, I suspect that incident has only exasperated the hard feelings against the Liberal party. People aren't going to see that expulsion as ‘boy, Stephane Dion was right’ as opposed to ‘boy, that loser Dion won't let Commuzzi speak up for his constituents’.
Unless the Liberals pull someone amazing in this riding (I can't think of one potential star candidate), it should probably go NDP by about 5,000 votes.
07 03 23 Ryan N.
Whether or not ex-Liberal Joe Commuzzi chooses to run in the next election, this riding should go to the NDP, who finished a very close 2nd last time, and that same candidate has already been nominated.
I doubt that Joe will run as an Independent because he'll have an extremely difficult time getting his voice heard in Ottawa, and he knows that his constituents deserve better.
The Liberals will be hard-pressed to find any candidate as popular as he is, and voters have been left with a bitter taste in their mouths when it comes to Stephan Dion.
Meanwhile, the Conservatives are fielding a rural candidate who has very little name recognition within Thunder Bay.
07 03 22 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
Comuzzi carried this riding for the Liberals by his personal popularity. Had he not been running this riding would have surely gone to the NDP. Now with his ouster from the Liberal party and his expected retirement this riding is anyone's guess. Not likely to go CPC as Northern Ontario isn't really conservative-friendly turf. Especially after the precieved snub to the native communities in the recent Tory budget. Another interesting race.
07 03 21 Ravi Joshi
This was an incredibly small margin, with Hyer fighting Liberal incumbancy. The Comuzzi has now been kicked out as a Liberal, and will not run again. I suspect the NDP will take this seat.

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