Election Prediction Project

Canada Federal Election - 2011

St. Paul's

Prediction Changed
2009-08-24 10:17:00

Constituency Profile


Bennett, Carolyn

Harquail, Maureen

Kittredge, John

McGarva, Jim

Molls, William

Hon. Carolyn Bennett

Previous Prediction/result

  • 2008 Prediction
  • 2006 Prediction
  • 2004 Prediction
  • 2000 Prediction
  • eglinton-lawrence (15/186 Polls)
  • st-pauls (203/223 Polls)
  • Reference:

  • Pundits' Guide


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    11 04 25 will87
    This riding has voted PC in the past, but Carolyn Bennett is pretty entrenched here. The Conservatives won a few polls in the northern end of this riding in 2008, but the Liberals do well everywhere else. Liberal hold.
    11 04 17 jeff316
    Re: Howl - she may be incoherent, but so are her constituents. She's a carbon copy of them; well-off, socially-Liberal, pro-Israel but not necessarily anti-Palestinian, in favour of a welfare state but seemingly into some fiscal restraint. Combine that, plus the Liberal brand, plus the negativity of the Conservative brand means she'll win every time. It's not just a 'Liberal' riding, although if she left they'd still carry it easily. She's quite a fit for the crowd in St. Paul's.
    On another note, there seems to be the idea from some that the NDP was seriously gunning for St. Paul's in 2006. The NDP never ever expected to win with Summerville - they only ran him here so as to not be shut out of a high-profile Kent-Bennett race that they knew would attract significant media attention, interviews and articles, while grooming a potential start candidate for a run elsewhere in Toronto or in BC. What they did not expect was to all that work and money lost when he left the party so soon after.
    11 04 16 MH
    HCowl: I think you're underestimating Dr. Bennett. Your suggestion that this riding should attract better opposition has been tried. In 2006 the Conservatives and NDP both fielded star candidates: Peter Kent and Paul Summerville. Some contributors to this forum thought that either of them might beat Bennett, and for a while St. Paul's was listed as TCTC. The final tally: Bennett 29,295, Kent 15,021, Summerville 11,189. (Farmer, the Green candidate, got 2,785.) Not even close!
    This outcome probably persuaded the Conservatives and NDP to stop nominating star candidates in St. Paul's and to stop trying hard to win it. The only way Bennett can lose is if her entire organization stops working, and perhaps not even then. It's too early to speculate who'll succeed her when she decides to retire, but I agree that St. Paul's should attract some top Liberal hopeful. For the other parties the riding will continue to be a barren field. The old PC's did well here, Barbara McDougall holding it during the Mulroney years. However, the Reform Conservatives have simply not been in the picture in St. Paul's and probably never will be. Ditto the NDP and Greens.
    11 04 15 HCowl
    Well Jeff, I agree with you that Bennett will win easily but she will win by default not because of her 'popularity'. Her inarticulate, not to say incoherent, appearances on TV make her slightly embarrassing. Going down to Washington to demonstrate with AIPAC doesn't sit well with many who understand her need to wave the Israeli flag but feel there are places and events to do it and others that are beyond acceptance.
    In view of the dearth of leadership talent in the Liberal caucus, it is a mystery to me why a secure Liberal riding such as St. Paul's isn't used to launch some promising future leader. The need is great.
    But I agree with you about the dismal outlook for both Conservatives and NDP. Their desperation shows in the selection of candidates. Democracy needs a competition of desirable candidates - St. Pauls is cause for despair.
    11 04 14 jeff316
    Carolyn Bennett is extremely popular. She is often seen in the riding, and not just at functions or events - but walking down the street, in stores, actually living her life! She doesn't even have to campaign but she still does. She's very well-liked locally by people of all persuasions and will be MP until she retires.
    Plus, the other two parties' riding associations are on permanent life-support after their failure to capture any significant vote increases in the 2006 federal election or the 2009 provincial by-election. The great blue hopes Peter Kent and Sue-Ann Levy failed to even make a dent in the Liberal plurality, the local Conservatives are pretty pooped. The NDP in particular is beyond lethargic; Paul Summerville still placed third in 2006 despite his national profile, and even with the surprising local buzz surrounding the potential for Julian Heller to squeak up the middle in the 2009 provincial by-election, he budged the NDP's provincial vote up about...1.1 percent. Any hope either riding association had is buried, and they're done.
    11 04 11 Cory Martin
    Another one of my old ridings here in Toronto. What used to be a belweather riding is now a Liberal stronghold for Carolyn. I know Carolyn personally as I am old friends with one of her sons. She is there for the people of this riding. This will be a cake walk for Carolyn.
    11 04 10 Evan Manning
    You could run a lamp post, paint it red and call it a Liberal and it would win in St. Paul's. Even if Conservative numbers improve in the 416, Carolyn Bennett will still easily retain the seat.
    11 04 10 WP
    Carolyn Bennett will likely be returned here, and I doubt it will be close. The interesting thing will be what happens to the NDP vote. So far I haven't seen any activity from the NDP candidate. It's not a riding they can win, but if they run a weak campaign Bennett might pick up votes on the left.
    11 04 09 MF
    ‘St. Paul's Resident’ thanks for your dissent, but seriously, I have my doubts that Maureen Harquail is such a formidable candidate that she will be a game changer in the riding of St. Paul's. She ran for the Conservatives in the 2006 by-election against Martha Hall Finley and lost by a 2-1 margin! When interviewed by Inside Toronto about what local issue she was concerned about, she said that Israel had a special place in her heart and how the Jewish community was hopping mad about lip service from the opposition etc. Anybody who knows this riding at all (I grew up here) would know that the St. Paul's Jewish population is overwhelmingly small-’l’ liberal and the number who would cast their votes mainly based on the Israel issue is very, very, very small (and those that do already vote Tory!)
    As has been pointed out, this is the kind of highly educated, urban riding that in spite of its affluence overwhelmingly rejects rightwing parties. St. Paul's is pretty much the epicenter of limousine liberalism in Canada! It's about as likely to vote Tory as Beverly Hills is to vote Republican. They're quite happy with Dr. Carolyn Bennett (and her provincial counterpart, Eric Hoskins, MD, PhD).
    11 04 07 initial
    This is a Liberal Party stronghold. Carolyn Bennett has been here since 1997 and she is very popular.
    11 04 07 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
    St Paul's is a riding that likes progressives and the CPC has lost that. The old PC party may have a chance but not the current incarnation. If Peter Kent, a real star candidate could not pull off better than 25% in '06, then how can someone without the name recognition do any better (no offense to the Conservative candidate)?
    11 04 06 St. Paul's Resident
    A formidable candidate in Maureen Harquail will result in a close race in St. Paul's. I've heard a lot of grumbling about Dr. Bennett being very loud in the House, but not effective. If the Tories push their numbers higher in the 416, the huge numbers for Dr. Bennett could come down and make it a squeaker.
    11 04 05 Nick J ‘Teddy’ Boragina
    Point of information: in the days of the divided right, this riding leaned much more PC than it did Reform or Alliance. In 1993, the PC's took over 13% more than Reform, nearly 10% in 2000, and 16% in 1997. Where the new Conservative party does do well, are in areas where Reform/Alliance did. That tells me that any history the PC Party has in this area is meaningless to future projections.
    11 04 04 MH
    An election sign on Manor Road East indicates that the Conservative candidate is Maureen Harquail, not Christine Perreault. No matter: at this point, with the Liberal campaign nationally going better than in 2008 (not a high standard), Dr. Bennett is a shoo-in.
    11 03 30 SM
    This riding is full of cosmopolitan, well-educated, intelligent, and literate people. The current Conservative Party is not attractive to such people. Were it not for the stacking of ridings in non-urban areas to allow Conservative luminaries like Guergis and Finley (the MP not the husband Senator accused of criminal violations of the Elections Act), this riding would elect two candidates like Carolyn Bennett. Bennett wins in a landslide.
    11 03 28 M. Lunn
    This may have once been a swing riding, but those days are long gone. Largely white, wealthy, university educated, and very much a liberal elitist type, this is Canada's version of Manhattan and San Francisco both which are wealthy and very liberal. Just as they go solidly Democrat, this will go solidly Liberal
    11 03 28 MH
    This continues to be one of the safest Liberals seats in Ontario if not Canada. The Conservative challenger, Christina Perreault, ran fourth (behind even the Greens!) in Toronto-Danforth in 2008. This time she's a sacrificial lamb in St. Paul's. Can she do what a star candidate like Peter Kent failed to do in 2006? Hardly. She should finish ahead of the Green Party and NDP candidates, but her chances of taking the seat are very slim. It would take a total Liberal collapse in Toronto to make it possible.
    09 09 19 Observer
    Now it is for sure. Liberals improved its result in the by-election despite predictions of a Conservative breakthrough. Landslide for the Liberals.
    09 09 17 MH
    The Liberal candidate, also a physician, has just easily won the provincial by-election here. No surprise at all. Urban, medium-to-high income, well-educated, socially concerned: St. Paul's has the earmarks of one of the safest Liberal seats in Canada. It is difficult to see how Dr. Bennett can lose this seat, whether the election takes place this fall, next year, or whenever.
    09 09 04 Initial
    Carolyn Bennett has enjoyed landslide victories in at least three consecutive elections, and is more popular than ever.
    09 09 03 pollwerker
    I agree on the Liberal prediction, but would point out that this was Isabel Bassetts' riding until 1999. Not the same kind of Tory. There is a provincial by-election on Sept 17th to replace Bryant. THAT one might be close given current OLG issues, the HST and the fact that Bryant just ran over and killed a cyclist in somewhat confusing circumstances. A surprise pickup here by Hudak could be a major momentum shift federally.
    09 09 01 MJA
    Almost forgot: keep an eye on the provincial byelection! While it won't be a perfect translation, if the Tories do better than expected in that byelection, it bodes well for a stronger-than-expected federal result in St. Paul's and throughout the northern part of Toronto. If the Liberals cruise to victory, Carolyn Bennett and the rest of the big red monster are unlikely to be given a run for their money.
    09 09 01 A.S.
    I'm presuming that ‘Toronto itself’ refers to the *former* City of Toronto; and amonng seats largely located within those bounds, St Paul's *is* the most ‘Tory-competitive’--a purely academic stat. And deceptive, as Eg-Law and DVW also stick into the former city of Toronto a bit. Anyway, thanks to less luminous Tory + NDP opposition and maybe some post-brake-line-cutting sympathy vote, Dr. CB's share actually went up a mild titch in '08. Strangely enough (though as I anticipated in my prediction that year), so did the Tory share despite a non-Peter Kent candidate. Big deal, it's still a nearly 2:1 divide, and under an Ignatieff leadership, you really expect a seat like St Paul's to shift away?
    09 08 30 MF
    I agree with Stevo 100%. St. Paul's is the Canadian equivalent of urban ‘silk stocking’ Congressional districts in the US that consistently for very liberal Democrats in large numbers. If Carolyn Bennett won it by a 2-1 margin under Dion when they received their lowest percentage of the popular vote since 1867, you can certainly mark it down as one of the safest seats for the Liberals in the country.
    Perhaps the first poster is mixing up St. Paul's with Don Valley West?
    09 08 29 Stevo
    MJA - you're clearly not very familiar with Toronto neighbourhoods to think that St. Paul's is the most competitive seat in Toronto for the Conservatives. It most certainly is NOT! I can think of half a dozen others that are far more likely to fall to the Tories before St. Paul's will.
    St. Paul's is the stereotypical latte-leftist sort of place, full of well-heeled old-money folks sneering at the Conservatives while they dine on their arugula before going out to a fashion gala. This riding will be in Grit hands for a long long time.
    09 08 24 MJA
    This riding was competitive in the 80s. Now it isn't. This is the most competitive seat the Conservatives have in Toronto itself, but with the Conservatives primed to lose rather than gain seats, there's just no way.

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