Close but not quite there.
|Doug Ford gave this riding away. The NDP have no business winning here but they will walking away.|
|The collapse of the liberals the Mike Harris (his Dad's record ) will flip this to the NDP...the KW region is going orange ...|
|A very interesting article in June 1st Waterloo Region Record entitled 'The Complicated Candidate. It certainly won't help the campaign of Mike Harris Jr.|
|This should be a solid blue riding and would have stayed that way if incumbent Michael Harris was on the ballot.|
However, there seems to be quite of bit of resentment from die hard PC supporters over the way the very popular Michael Harris was unceremoniously dismissed by Doug Ford and replaced by Mike Harris Jr. the very day after Mike Harris Jr.lost his bid for the nomination in his home riding of Waterloo. The NDP usually place third in this riding but the dissatisfaction with the Liberals and resentment over the Harris issue might result in a low voter turnout and possible swing to the NDP.
|Okay, no doubt about it now, this riding should be TCTC. The polling trends are showing that the liberals have largely bottomed out and now the PCs are bleeding support to the NDP. This is especially true in SW Ontario. Seat count models are showing the NDP winning a dozen seats or so in the SW. Erstwhile safe seats for the PCs are now coming into play.|
|Leaning PC for now, but if the NDP continues to gain momentum then they can pick this up.|
|So some back of the envelope calculations here...|
The Mike Harris here is not the Mike Harris from before and was parachuted in because he is PC royalty who lost in near-by Waterloo and because he has the same name as the guy who got kicked out. So...incumbent advantage not quite there. If we assume about 5% of the vote is because of incumbent advantage (deducted from PC score in 2014) and if we assume about 1/3 of the Liberal support goes NDP this time (which all indications seem to show is happening, especially in SW Ontario), then the PC and NDP numbers get uncomfortably close. Enough to warrant a TCTC. I'll admit that an NDP win here is a long shot, but I would not be surprised if this race is much closer than previous ones.
|Of course, there's waggish talk of how Mike Harris Jr., fresh from losing the Waterloo nomination, should opt for Conestoga instead and thereby eliminate election-sign waste ;-) But anyway, whatever the candidate, the political climate isn't exactly anti-PC; and furthermore, if you factor out the notional quirks imposed by the fragments of other ridings, by carving away a massive chunk of south Kitchener the present Kitchener-Conestoga draw is actually more Tory-congenial than ever. Sure, the Cons came within an unexpected hair of losing it federally--but they still held it.|
|Michael Harris' departure doesn't change much. This is exactly the type of suburban/rural riding where the Liberals are bound to lose big in June. The Tory victory here will be much greater than the 2014 results. I wonder if Mike Harris Jr. will try for the nomination here rather than the much tougher Waterloo riding this one surrounds.|
|I'm changing my prediction from PC to TCTC for now, Michael Harris is retiring, and while the PC's still have the upper hand because of their poll numbers, the incumbency advantage is gone and I have to wait and see before making an accurate prediction|
|Mike Harris (no relation) has unexpectedly dropped out of the race, citing health reasons.|
|Current polling numbers indicate that the PCs are flat in SW Ontario, with the NDP gaining significantly off of the Liberals. That alone is enough to keep this in the blue column.|
|We have to call this riding for the PC's at this point. I know the gap between the PC's and the Liberals was narrow the last time around and federally was even narrower, but last election provincially, the PC's ran one of their worst campaigns. It was close federally, because a, people wanted change b, there was Trudeaumania 2, and c, NDP vote totally collapsed. If Brown runs a decent campaign, then it would be a very convincing PC victory. If he runs a campaign like Hudak or worse, it would be close, may even be in double digits but Harris would prevail|
|Agree this riding is becoming more competitive and wouldn't be shocked if the Liberals federally pick this up in 2019, but with Wynne's approval ratings being as bad as they are, I cannot see the party picking up anything they didn't win last time around, so maybe competitive in the future, but 2018 looks to be not a good year for the OLP thus it will be more about holding what they already have not winning new ridings.|
|While the PCs and Conservatives hold this riding provincially and federally, the margins between first and second place have been getting much tighter. If voters choose to exact revenge on Kathleen Wynne's government, then easily a PC hold. But in a tighter race, I don't think MPP Michael Harris is secure.|
|The PCs wont lose this seat if they didnt in 2014.|