Ambrogio, Mary Lou
||Hon Deborah Matthews|
Federal Riding Prediction
Previous Prediction - 2007 Provincial Election
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| ||11 10 03
|The posters saying that Branscombe has run a strong campaign perplex me. She hasn't canvassed my neighbourhood, she hasn't attended any debates. She appears to be attempting to duplicate Susan Truppe's invisible campaign, but I don't think it will work this time. I see more Liberal signs on private property with Branscombe signs mainly on street corners and public property. I think she is going to do really badly.|
| ||11 10 02
|The prediction of prognosticator15 must be the most tortured I have ever seen. Deb Matthews will win, but not for the reasons stated. In fact, many people in the riding (not necessarily just Liberals) think she has done a pretty fair job in Health (and I'm one). She actually appears to have campaigned at least as hard as Nancy Branscombe. (Matthews got to my door; two young fellows from Branscombe's dropped by two weeks before the writ. No NDP or Greens.) Branscombe came across badly for her provincial run right after getting re-elected municipally, and for not attending debates. Also, her campaign has telephoned as many as three times in a day to ask how we're voting. (And this was days after I told them 'Liberal'.) Few in the riding know much of Matthews' Tory connections (or care). Finally, Western students vote in such tiny numbers (around 20%?), they're hardly essential to any campaign.|
| ||11 10 01
|With a juice-up by Deb Matthews' high profile, the story as usual here: draw a line from the NE to the SW, you get Tory-leaning on one side, NDP-leaning on the other, and the Liberals sponge up everything that oozes from the resulting split. And even with a candidate like Branscombe (whose ReformAlliance past might actually work against her, much as similar leanings worked against Diane Haskett federally), you might see the PCs winning fewer polls on more votes than the NDP. On the stable foundation of the McGuinty-Peterson continuum, it'd take a 1990esque Peterson bomb to lose this one--maybe Matthews should count herself lucky that she's just an MPP cabmin rather than Premier...|
| ||11 09 28
|Deb Matthews will win this riding in spite of a very strong Branscombe campaign, but not because of the issues 129 amd LNC Monitor mentioned. There is certainly no talk of her being a great health minister (although some partisan contributors below may want you think this is all the riding is talking about in this campaign!!!). It seems health care does not emerge as an issue dividing parties in voters' minds; not surprising since the two main parties have almost the same health care program with no major changes and with numbers not adding up, as many commentators already observed (the NDP hardly mentions anything specific of health at all, avoiding a hot issue). I believe there is a general understanding in the area the health system will continue to get worse under any party, even as it already got worse under the Liberals, and under Matthews. As for Matthews being charismatic (by virtue of being a part of Peterson family more than through her own achievements) and being a potential party leader, this is all propaganda, and not something affecting voters' minds. There is a good dozen potential replacements for McGuinty if he goes, Matthews not the strongest, and the odds are hard to speculate upon (before elections, anyway).|
What we have instead, is a very different picture: first, a truly charismatic and well campaigning PC candidate and a London city councillor, Nancy Branscombe, with a solid support group. She has been well known and respected for years (since at least her 2000 federal campaign), with the profile sharply rising as a city councillor, and claiming few know her in the riding outside her ward is plain ignorance (with due respect to LNC Monitor). My own opinion is she is the strongest of those PC could select for the elections in this riding at the moment. Second, Branscombe will benefit from a very strong opposition to provincial Liberals among a substantial minority within the riding, due to failing health care (a Matthews portfolio), growing taxes, and very controversial measures aimed at Liberal support groups (such as proposed preferential hiring of new immigrants).
Third, the support for Branscombe will plateau at about a third of the voters, and combined with poor NDP campaign and concentration of left voters in the Liberal camp in the LNC, will again lead to a Liberal victory. The reasons have little to do with Matthews-Peterson family connections or past marriage to a known late PC leftie Bruce McCaffrey. Very few would even think about this when voting, and this surely does not lead to any links with PC support groups as claimed on these pages.
What really matters is the University location within the riding and the concentration of University-affiliated and University-funding dependent population here (I'm surprised no one has posted any note on this factor yet, or is it the UWO spending lobby that runs this site?), and the ability of strong Liberal machine to marshall the vote of government handouts-dependent University population many of whom are politically ignorant beyond following the advice of those affiliated with Liberal machine that has historically funded the necessary and unnecessary programs alike more generously. Remember, that even though no likely cuts are coming from the Tories (in fact, it is questionable how much is their program market-oriented), this academic machine still dislikes Tories for suggesting competition for funded spaces and some other (few) specific issues of their program that may threaten budget expansion benefitting not-allowed-to-be-fired tenured establishment. It is this establishment that Matthews defends, their privileged access to health care, funding et al.
In fact, the one really important fact of Matthews personal biography (for these elections, anyway) LNC Monitor somehow forgets to mention is her affiliation with the UWO by way of her past enrollment in the sociology Ph.D. program, in the university social sciences subsection which has historically been most hostile to funding cuts or any 'competition'. It is the interests of this constituency and their (unfair) privileges that Matthews defends. In short, elections in LNC are in fact about spending at the UWO, with the constituency dependent on Matthews and her (expected even if not overwhelming) voice at Queen's Park being able to organize the vote.
And comparisons with the recent federal elections do not quite stand. For one, students are all in session now, and it is easier to sway this constituency when they cluster around University interests; on May 2, most were not around due to the year's end (four months off for most students).
For another, that was a different campaign: a very weak Liberal leader undermined the campaign (and my own federal Liberal prediction for LNC on this site, with a sensational CPC win with a little known candidate), but today there are no similar signs of Liberal campaign flopping.
So, does anyone still wonder why Matthews wins with not the best of campaigns (much as before)? As long as the UWO marshalls its resources for its stooge, she may campaign only minimally and still win. And the UWO has grown larger since Dianne Cunningham's time, which means less of a chance for Branscombe becoming another Dianne Cunningham (herself at UWO in an Ivey Business program that survives best without government, at least in comparison). Branscombe's strength at a personal level here hits political realities of entrenched interests not willing to face greater uncertainty.
Oh well, what else to say? Hudak was also a UWO graduate, if I understand correctly, albeit from Economics, a more market competitive UWO program in Social Sciences; maybe, that makes him more sympathetic to spending interests here as well?
| ||11 09 27
|If London West is Too close to Call so is this one.|
Health minister continues to battle bad news in her portfolio with home town wait times for cancer surgery being anounced this A.M. as well beyond the provincial standard and not in a good way.
This riding has traditionally swung hard with heavyweights being knocked out. If the PCs can score a true upset win this is it. Both ridings are close but I think in the end barring a wide sweep by the PCs this stays red.
| ||11 09 26
|Deb Matthews has had a high profile campaign and has maintained her presence in the riding, despite having been a cabinet minister. Liberal hold. |
| ||11 09 22
|Judging by signs on private property, Nancy Branscombe is not doing well. Even in her city council ward, there appears to be very little signage. Signage is, of course, not necessarily an indicator of anything, but I'm surprised in this case.|
| ||11 09 20
|Branscombe is running an aggressive campaign - she is outworking the incumbent and has a very organized campaign team. Her signs were up first and have been growing daily. She is hitting my house in the mail, on the phone and on the email. Everyone in town knows that NanBran works hard on the social media and has been a strong representative for her Ward at City Hall.|
I wouldn't surprise me if Nancy wins a close one. Deb seems like she's running out of gas quickly.
| ||11 09 12
|Nancy Branscome certainly has her campaign team better organized than her incumbent rival's, but how can London North Centre consider giving the boot to a health minister who will undoubtedly continue to have a prominent role in a newly-elected Liberal government and who could even be a strong candidate to succeed Dalton McGuinty?|
| ||11 08 24
|Deb Matthews will be re-elected in this riding because of her work as Health Minister (which has been excellent ) and as an outstanding MPP. Also, her connections with the conservative community could hinder Branscombe the most. Matthews is the daughter of former federal Progressive Conservative Party President Don Matthews, and she was also married to a former Progressive Conservative MPP, Bruce McCaffrey, who was once a cabinet minister in the Cabinet of Premier Bill Davis. |
Mind you she also has connections on the Liberal side as well. Her mother was a social activist and her sister, Shelley, is married to former Premier David Peterson along with being connected to DP's brother Jim Peterson, a former federal cabinet minister in the Chretien and Martin eras.
Nancy Branscombe, the PC candidate has a problem. She was just re-elected to her ward in the most recent municipal election and is turning her ward against her because she is so busy campaigning for provincial office.
Moreover, nobody in the other wards that encompass London North Centre, know who Nancy Branscombe IS!
| ||11 08 14
||In the Know|
|Residents are not happy that Branscombe announced as a candidate within a month (?) of being re-elected to city council. While she has always had higher aspirations, it stung. Now she is spending more time campaigning than responding to her ward constituents even with a full time assistant. The area would be better served by keeping her on city council by re-electing Deb Matthews.|
| ||11 05 23
|I live in this riding. IF the NDP provincial numbers rise, Deb Mathews will be in trouble. Nancy Branscombe is a very strong candidate for the Tories, and even a slight uptick in NDP numbers will benefit her.|
| ||11 03 01
|This will be a tight one on election night - If Hudak takes momentum and carries it through the campaign - Deb will be a casualty of Dalton's brutal second term. I give the edge to the tories|
| ||11 02 20
|Bambam - Cheryl Miller did not declare in London North Centre, she is the candidate in London-Fanshawe. |
Deb Matthews has to be the favourite going into the election but Branscombe is popular in certain parts of the riding. London North Centre also has a history of voting out cabinet ministers and even premiers (David Peterson, Marion Boyd, Dianne Cunningham). If the Liberal get trounced province wide then Deb Matthews is in trouble.
| ||11 01 31
|Expect Mathews to hold this riding given her high profile as a cabinet member and the fact that the conservative nomination contest has two controversial candidates. Nancy Branscombe announced shortly after being re-elected to city council that she would be going for the conservative nomination in this riding. Cheryl Miller, a former councillor and former supporter of Liberal Joe Fontana is also running for the conservative nomination. So one switched parties and the other ran for a job she has no intention of fulfilling. I do not know who the NDP candidate will be, however they have not really been relevant since the 90's in this riding|