Prediction Changed
12:12 AM 08/10/2007

Election Prediction Project

Ottawa Centre
Ontario Provincial Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

Family Coalition
Progressive Conservative
New Democratic

Ottawa Centre (100%)
Richard Patten

2003 Result (redistributed):

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07 10 14 Bernard Manning
Well, it didn't quite pan out like that did it? With the Tories getting their usual 10,000 and the Greens getting their usual 6,000 it all came down to how many Liberals would swing to NDP or vice-versa. Liberal won by 2,000 which is solid enough, but way down from the lead of 9,000. I guess in the end NDP had just too much to make up and Naqvi got carried in by the overwhelming Liberal tide that swept the Province on the night. Could be the end of the NDP honeymoon in Ottawa Center at the Federal level as well.
07 10 10 JR
Ottawa Centre is clearly no longer too close to call. An NDP pick-up here is now an easy prediction to make.
I'm not sure what the recent postings are referring to. I live in the Glebe and have to go out of my way to find a liberal sign, usually discovering one on public property as opposed to the property of a voter. Will's signs have continued to pop up on almost every street right up until yesterday when my neighbour finally jumped on the bandwagon!
Given the heavy weight NDPers that have backed Will from the start of the campaign I suppose this was never really as close a race as many predicted. Paul Dewar's popularity and hard work as the Federal MP has really boosted Will Murray's campaign - not to mention Ed Broadbent, Marion Dewar, Howard Hampton and Jack Layton have all strongly supported Will's candidacy and have joined him on the campaign trail at every opportunity.
Richard Patten was a well respected community leader. Had he been more of a presence on Yasir's campaign or made an endorsement that didn't sound like he was trying to compliment a child, perhaps the Libs may have still had a chance. I'm sure voters clearly interpretted his displeasure with the McGuinty liberals and his nominated successor.
07 10 09 jc-ottawa
Richard Patten held this seat for the Liberals for 15 years but it is now an open seat. The NDP has a better chance than in previous elections but they have a very steep hill to climb. I am told that, at least in the Glebe area, Liberal signs dominate clearly. The Liberal majority will no doubt be reduced, however I think they will retain this riding.
07 10 09 Joe
Probably the closest race in the Ottawa area. It's an interesting riding because the incumbent, Richard Patten is not seeking re-election. A well liked MPP this would have been much easier to call as Liberal. 2007 brings us a riding that is definitely too close to call. Since 1995, the voters have chosen a Liberal and split the rest of the vote relatively evenly among the Conservatives and the NDP. The riding hasn't actually gone NDP since 1990 in the Bob Rae era. Patten won in the next election. I don't think Ottawa Centre is willing to forget the troubles of Rae days and will probably chose another Liberal in Yasi Naqvi but it is definitely too close to call.
07 10 09 Bernard Manning
Whatever happens in Ottawa Center is not logical, its psychological. Its more of an Opinion Poll than an Election. Based on all the facts going into the last few days the Liberals are going to carry the Province. The reaction to that will be a swing to the left because of vote switching all over the place.
07 10 09 binriso
I dont know if there is enough room for the NDP to win here, but Ill predict them to win anyways. Liberal incumbent is gone and the NDP hold this federally since 2004 by a large margin. Frankly they dont stand a chance in any riding near here so Id have to think alot of volunteers from the neighboring ridings came over and helped Will Murray and the NDP here. Really I think the NDP have a good chance to win 5 new seats (Ottawa Center, London Fanshawe, Oshawa and the 2 other Hamilton ridings) and should hold their other 10. However thats only a chance so Id say they’ll win half of those ridings and finish with 12-13 seats.
07 10 09 PB
‘I'm Never Wrong’ says all 3 parties are competitive here. OK, now he's wrong. The 22% received by the Tories in 2003 is pretty much their ceiling, while the 23% for the NDP is pretty much the floor.
Where ‘I'm Never Wrong’ is right is where he talks about both parties concentrating on this seat, similar to London-Fanshawe. But the Liberals have a rather odd tendency to pull everyone on E-day, while the NDP only pull confirmed supporters.
This *looks* like an NDP win on the ground (certainly in Wellington West/Westboro), but I've seen similar looking provincial races in the past go to Patten. There's no incumbency factor this time, though...I think this will be very close (as will London-Fanshawe) but I'll predict a Murray win by about 1,000 votes.
07 10 08 Bernard Manning
I think you could be right. With most media and press calling it a McGuinty win with a healthy majority this is going to bring out Ottawa Center's alter ego to vote for the Dippers just for the badness. That and the recent Federal Liberals' bout of in-fighting. The area has become so like a City of Toronto riding; TO-Danforth, Beaches-East York, Parkdale-High Park, Trinity-Spadina that they will follow suit regardless. Coming in third Provincially won't faze them. You're right about the number of NDP workers these guys will mobilize this week, same thing happened Federally and in Outremont just a couple of weeks ago. They won't win many, but they'll win this one.
07 10 08 King of Kensington
The Conservatives have pretty much maxed out in this very progressive urban riding. The NDP has nowhere to go but up. After Broadbent re-energized the party in '04 the party has been re-energized in Ottawa so we can't just look at the old numbers. The fact that Paul Dewar took the riding comfortably says to me that it wasn't just Ed.
I am told that Will Murray is just as present in the riding in terms of signage, buzz, etc. as Dewar was last time so I'm going to call this NDP.
07 10 07 Glebe Guy
Since my earlier post the local Liberal campaign did come to life after a noticeably slow start. I attended the debate at Glebe Community Centre and my earlier comments about the only two contenders, Naqvi and Murray, still stand. They seem like relatively decent candidates, but both parties failed to get a star candidate here that might have made a difference. Federally and provincially NDP votes and campaign efforts are locally concentrated. This is one of those ridings. Expect every Dipper from Kingston to Montreal to descend on Ottawa Centre to get the vote out.
That said, the Liberals are clearly picking up votes from some loyal PC voters that have been turned off by John Tory. It is really remarkable how some PC voters, who hated McGuinty a couple months ago, are now so unimpressed by Tory that they are going to vote Liberal. The extent to which I'm hearing this first hand around the hood suggests that the Liberals will be hard to beat here and across the province.
07 10 07 I’m Never Wrong
Ottawa Centre is one of the very few ridings where all three major parties are competitive. That makes it one to watch on election night. Have to go with the Liberals here because the Tory vote has been badly damaged in the Catholic community on the private school issue. Those soft right wing voters as in many ridings this time are voting Liberal or staying home.
Headlines about Howard Hampton and the NDP ‘flatlining’ this week have hurt their campaign in Centre. The key here is getting the vote out and both the NDP and Liberals are pulling workers out of other Ottawa ridings and putting them in this one. The Liberals will do a better job pulling the vote and win here by 1500 votes.
07 10 06 Old Willowdaler
RIchard Patten owned this for years and based upon the demographics and the large number of mid and lower level fed and provincial public servants in the riding it should really be an easy hold for the grits. However, I think it will be much tighter. I see alot of people calling this for the dippers but based on my gut and the area I DO NOT see it. I see as well a bigger number for the greens. Look to see the liberals hold with 38-40% of the vote, look for an NDP and Green uptick on this with the PC's static or going down
07 10 02 Orleans Voter
The NDP campaign seems somewhat disorganized here. They even called me today asking for my vote even though I live in Ottawa-Orleans - it turns out they have been using an old voter's list from several years ago which has not been updated. I also don't think Will Murray comes across that well in the personality department.
07 10 01 Bernard Manning
Ottawa Centre has a very interesting race. There are four candidates who are going to get a solid number of votes that will dilute the aspirations of the form horse - if there is one. As an ‘undecided’ what I see is the three main parties have all gone with a thirty-something candidate with impeccably well qualified resumes. But, this is politics. Somehow, I don't think the enormous lead and Harris back-lash that Patten handed over is going to clawed back rather divided up between the PC, NDP and Green. The Federal love affair with the NDP will continue but the Ontario NDP are still seared on the memory with Bob Rae. The PC's are going to suffer the Mayor Larry O'Brien back-lash as he walks in to flak day after day. This is still a one newspaper town and the Citizen has been on his back since day one. So for me it is Naqvi by a much reduced majority but still good enough to win comfortably. As for the race? Because of the limits on donations how can any Candidate mount one? Unless you bump into one of them walking down the street and they give you a flyer what contact do any of us have? Nobody can make any noise, nobody can promote themselves, nobody can get out and get in there. Is this what we really want? With the Thanksgiving weekend looming this Election has all the interest and exposure of a School Board Trustee run. This is translating into ever increasing numbers of people voting in advance. There is nothing to wait for.
07 09 28 Joe Francophone
I'm a Green supporter and I think Greg Laxton is a decent candidate, but I think this riding will go Liberal. Once again, the PC candidate is the worst of the bunch (although I would argue that she's better than Joe Varner, the PC candidate in 2003). The NDP candidate is almost identical in presentation and tone as Jeff Atkinson in 2003, which makes me think that NDP has some sort of Candidate Boot Camp where they all learn how to campaign in a strictly controlled way without allowing for much variation (or personality, for that matter).
In terms of the pamphlets that I collected at a candidates' debate, the only one with decent French was the Liberal candidate's. Will Murray's (NDP) has the most laughable errors, including one in the quote from leader Howard Hampton. Trina Morrissette's (PC) is just as bad, with literal translations of English expressions making for awkward reading. Yasir Naqvi's pamphlet is the only one that was evidently written and edited by fluent francophones. Alas, the Greens seem to have no documentation in French, but I'd almost rather have none than have it done poorly. I doubt that this will much of a bearing in this riding, but I find it interesting nonetheless.
07 09 28 Chris B
I think this will be a tight race - But, I want to chime in on the sign war. NDP lawn signs (as opposed to signs on public property) in the Glebe and Centretown outnumber all opponents combined by at least 3-1. I think that is the most important measure of support when it comes to signs. Any group with a lot of money can put up signs on public property,but getting people to display one means that they REALLY support you, and will be trying to convince others.
07 09 27 WellingtonWest
Less than two weeks left and this is now a two horse race. The Tory lady has failed to make an impact in this election. with the real hits coming to the from the NDP and liberal candidate. But after the last two all candidates debates at the Glebe Community Centre and Carlington last night, Yasir Naqvi is showing to be the class of the field. Murray's personal attack on the green party candidate Greg Laxton showed poor judgement and a lack of self control.
I have changed my mind on this one am calling Naqvi the winner in OC.
07 09 25 JP
Since I live in this riding I suppose I should chime in. Not calling it, just making observations from the ground.
Not sure what 'hswerdfe' is talking about in regards to the signs, unless they mean exclusively road signs on public property which don't indicate anyones support. Of window/lawn signs it is overwhelmingly NDP in Westborough, Hintonburg, Glebe and Centretown at the present time. Pretty even mix in the south of the riding of NDP, Liberal, Conservative and Green. Cannot speak to the eastern reaches of the riding, which are traditionally more Liberal/Conservative.
Very telling are the businesses that post signs, in Chinatown it is mostly NDP with Conservatives not far behind. On Bank it is mostly NDP with an occasional Lib or Con (usually posted beside an NDP in the same location).
07 09 24 hswerdfe
I've been to 2 ACMs now and of the 3 major party candidates Yasir (Lib) is the most personable. Trina (PC) is the best of the 3 at what she does in very small doses but the more you listen to her the more you understand she is nothing but a talking head for Tory. Yasir, is running on both the liberal card and on his own record and is good at doing it. Will (NDP) is very good also but Yasir is better on the ?unusual? questions.
That being said, Greg (Green) is better then all of them, he explains even the most complex issues in a way that anybody can understand and convinces me that he fully understands most issues, I feel Green will take some NDP votes and Fully secure a Liberal victory now.
Oh and in the sign war Liberal and PC are way ahead of NDP.
07 09 23 JT
Coming from a Tory supporter, I'm giving this riding to the NDP. Given the fact that the Federal NDP holds the seat and general close data on the election as a whole shows the NDP with increased support from 2003. Add that to a virtually invisible Liberal campaign who are running a virtual unknown to boot, the NDP has a real opportunity to make significant gains in their vote numbers and win the riding from the Liberals.
07 09 22 ottcentre
This is an interesting race three new candidates. But Yasir should take it with hard work and the support of Richard Patten and his campaign team who have shrugged off their differences and seem to be working well together. Yasir has the most visibility on the street and I hear at the door. This is a new dynamic in Ottawa politics and should be a great race to watch.
07 09 19 A.S.
Geographic proximity plays a part, but it's rather easy to imagine that if a Thomas Mulcair echo-effect is felt anywhere in Ontario, it'll be here. Though one says so with reservation; after all, if Richard Patten ran again, he'd probably have stood a reasonable chance of yet another win--and given how far behind the NDP was last time, for them to win now even against a non-Patten might require an NDP seat total well beyond the 10/11/12 that's been projected in these early stages. (And in the aftermath of Broadbent/Dewar on the federal scene, we can pretty safely assume it's the NDP that's the top non-Liberal contender.) Another element to be accounted for: Ottawa Centre had the best Green result in '03. Okay, okay, in the aftermath of Broadbent, Dewar, and Mulcair, perhaps this might indeed bumble into being the only NDP gain in all of Ontario...
07 09 18 Glebe Guy
Still TCTC but the NDP might have an edge.
What's up with the Libs and the NDP? Does neither party really want to win this riding? Both parties nominated unknown candidates. They sound like a couple of fine young lawyers, but who cares? Hardly star candidates in what is a winnable riding for both parties. Frankly I don't know what's so ?modern? about the Lib candidate, nor do I understand what that means. Cons have no chance here, absolute zero.
In my neck of the woods, Will Murray (NDP) has signs all over the place, and I can hardly leave my house without tripping over the guy. It's actually kind of weird! Then again, maybe he doesn't know that the riding extends beyond the Glebe. I certainly haven't encountered the Lib candidate, but I've seen a few of his signs mainly on public property along with the Green signs. The PCs did a token literature drop in my 'hood.
I assume the NDP is concentrating its Ottawa resources on this riding. Clearly the candidate is campaining hard. And this is an area that votes for NDP characters like Paul Dewar and councillor Clive Doucet. They'd have this for sure with a better known candidate.
07 09 13 Liberal Supporter
I am betting on Will Murray. Both he and the liberal candidates are young(ish) lawyers. Will has an impressive education background. He is well- known around town, at least in his late-30s early 40s age group. He's had media profile for winning some socially significant legal cases. Ottawa Centre is ripe for a provincial NDP candidate.
07 09 12 binriso
Well the PC vote must have increased since last election? Oh no wait a minute, the last poll shows its DECREASED by 2 points. 41-33 going in to the election according to Decima. Now i know this is one poll but barely any polls put the PC's above 35-37% and they will lose the election for certain if they arent near 40. There are much easier ridings for them to take than this one so ill say its going to be a Liberal NDP race with the Liberals having the early advantage. Something like LIB 36 NDP 32 PC 24 Rest 8 for now. But too close to call yet.
07 09 09 Some guy
The NDP will win here.
In response to a few recent postings,
(1) Conservatives come up the middle? Not a chance. They have never won in this riding, in 40 years. Plus, public funding for religious schools will be very unpopular in this riding, as it will in most inner city ridings in Ontario.
(2) The Greens won over 10% here in the last federal election and the NDP still won the riding. The Green vote does not come at the expense of New Democrats much more than that it does at the expense of Liberals and Conservatives.
(3) I saw the Liberal candidate on TVO last week. He's a weak candidate and a bad choice. I think it's the old story: the Liberal machine picked a candidate able to work the party, but a candidate most Liberal voters (who aren't party members) won't like. This guy is Richard Mahoney all over again.
(4) People in Ottawa Centre are, increasingly, like downtown Toronto voters. They feel frustrated that the urban issues that matter to them go unadressed. (The O-Train, for example. Most people in Ottawa Centre voted for Alex Munter.) The NDP, under Layton, has done a good job of speaking to those issues. There will be a spillover effect from Layton.
The NDP will win this one.
07 09 08
Liberals hold Ottawa Centre in provincial election, unless NDP somehow produces a superstar candidate (they have not - Will Murray is an unknown) The margin will be reduced, naturally, because Richard Patten has departed, and Dalton McGuinty is now an incumbent government Premier. It's still a bit harder when you are the incumbent. But the record is solid. So's Yasir Naqvi. Young lawyer, multicultural experience, a very modern Canadian for a modern riding with diverse needs and a broad world view.
Prediction: Liberal hold.
07 09 07 hswerdfe
To many variables to call
* all 4 parties a running new candidates
* The liberals won easily last time
* the NDP/Liberals have the strongest historical support in this region
* I expect the Green party to take even more votes from the left this election as the environment is polling high.
My conclusion is that voters in this area would be happiest with an NDP victory as this riding has a strong Left/Green lean to it.
But the vote split Liberal/NDP/Green might allow the PC to come up the middle.
my prediction is not much of one. A Close 3 way race
Lib/NDP/PC, with LIB/NDP with a slight lead.
07 09 05 Dan Dolan
Mr. Patten, who incidently backed Diane Deans and not his own Treasurer..Yasir..( more on that later) for the Center town seat has been indicating time and time again in his exit speeches that this is the Government of Toronto, not Ontario. If Richard, a long time servant to Ottawa and former Cabinet Minister can not get the needed attention for our community, how can anyone else in the Liberal domain under Dalton, let alone an unknown candidate. Mr.Patten was recently profiled in an Ontario news article that led with ...Richard Patten quits in Disgust...
07 09 03 Nick J Boragina
The NDP has seen a drop in poll numbers over the past little bit, unless they can reverse that trend, seats like these will remain Liberal
07 08 08 Some guy
The Liberals had a choice of candidates between a nobody that everybody knows, Diane Deans, and a nobody that nobody knows, Yasir Naqvi. The latter is probably the better choice, but his resume is really thin. His community presence seems to consist mostly of working on various Liberal Party campaigns. That doesn't hold much water outside of the bland-as-crackers inner circle of Liberal yes-men/women in the party organization. Just ask Richard Mahoney if you don't believe me. Mahoney, for those who don't know, is a career Liberal - the party is apparently his one only employer throughout his legal career - who was crushed badly by Ed Broadbent federally in 2004, despite some rather classless last-minute machine tactics (involving an auto-dialing machine and a calculated lie), and who really fared no better against Paul Dewar in 2006.
Now - the other nobodies. The NDP continues its inability to find a higher-profile candidate that would have allowed them to pick up this riding in the 2003 provincial election. Although Murray is certainly qualified, as well as young and interesting, he's no Ed Broabent; nor does he have the political pedigree of a Paul Dewar. If the NDP had Alex Munter they would win this in a lock. In fact, they'd run away with it. But--it won't matter. The Conservatives have no hope, even if they run a somebody. The local populace is finally free of its Harris-phobia, so they won't vote Liberal to prevent that so-and-so from getting in - which did happen in 2003 (Eves, but same thing) and, especially, 1999.
NDP will win 39%, Liberals 31%, Conservatives 20%, Greens 9%, Others 1%.
07 05 13 King of Kensington
This urban seat chock-full of civil servants and creative class/intelligentsia seats is a top-tier pickup for the NDP. Paul Dewar won this seat federally even when many claimed the seat's NDP stature was entirely votes for Ed Broadbent.
07 05 04 WB
Will be a close election, but this is one of the most likely NDP pickups in the province. The NDP gets a huge boost from Patten embittered decision to retire. While Diane Deans is somewhat well known, she represented Ottawa's southern suburbs on city council and has no history in central Ottawa. The NDP candidate is activist lawyer Will Murray, not a big name, but he certainly has the community experience and charisma to do very well.
07 04 15 Andrew Cox
Too close to call.
1) I have a feeling that this seat is going to flip to the NDP but it is too early to say. Expect me to come back and comment more after the nominations are completed.
2) This seat has been a Liberal-NDP battle since realignment in the early 1980's when the provincial Liberals became an urban party after years as a rural rump. It was held by party leader Michael Cassidy in the late 70's and early 80's, then by Evelyn Gigantes from 85 to 87 and from 90 to 95. Richard Patten held it for the Liberals after Peterson's 1997 sweep and since 1995.
3) Richard Patten decided not to run again in 2007 and will be stepping down after the election. Diane Deans has the support of most of the riding executive and is expected to be the Liberal candidate. A local city councilor, Deans would be a strong candidate for the Liberals.
4) A lot will hinge on who the NDP nominates. Obviously, it won't be Ed Broadbent, but a strong nominee will really put this riding into play.

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