1999 Ontario Provincial Election
Riding-by-Riding Prediction
Scarborough Centre

Current Prediction:
Riding Profile:

Liberal Party:
Costas Manios
Progressive Conservative Party:
Marilyn Mushinski MPP
New Democratic Party:
Sid Ryan
Natural Law Party:
Eileen Murray
Family Coalition Party:
Rina Morra

Incumbent (old riding composition):
Scarborough Centre (44%):
Dan Newman
Scarborough Ellesmere (74%):
Marilyn Mushinski
Scarborough West (29%):
Jim Brown

Member of Parliament:
John Cannis

Surrounding Ridings:
Don Valley East
Scarborough East
Scarborough-Rouge River
Scarborough Southwest

Population: 107 373
Avg Household Income 50 413
Language (Home)
English 82 205
Chinese 2 930
Greek 2 420
Submitted Information
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Too Close
02/28/99 Email: 3arb@qlink.queensu.ca
If OPSEU President Sid Ryan gets the NDP nomination here look for a LOT of union manpower to pour into the riding. Could make it interesting. This riding is a swing riding and has gone NDP several times in the past.
Too Close
03/03/99 Email: 3arb@qlink.queensu.ca
Sid Ryan will soon announce his candidacy for the NDP in Scarborough Centre. Tarek Fatah has already withdrawn from the nomination race in order to support Ryan which means Ryan will likely be acclaimed. The CUPE president will draw a lot of union volunteers to the riding and win the votes of many union members in a consituency which the NDP has won in alternate elections for the past two decades.
03/10/99 I.MacFarlane Email:
The liberal candidate with strong local ties in the riding and in several communites that could help him easily come up the middle defeat two better known candidates who will spent alot or not most of their time attacking each other.
03/31/99 A.S. Email: adma@interlog.com
Major union leader "star candidates" have a mixed elective record, but if Sid Ryan gets in, so should (at least, for the sake of party morale) Michael Yorke in Scarb SW. The Mushinski saga is so disillusioning--a moderate municipal councillor, who earned leftish support in her failed bid for mayor in '94, her reputation now sullied by Harris brush tar and an notoriously impotent stint in cabinet--that it's strange to see her running again, rather than throwing up her hands and following the post-political path of Shea and Leach and Harnick. But if the opposition splits the right way, she could well have a stay of execution. Still, the election pattern's been the NDP's David Warner every other election, alternating with an appropriate "non-NDP" candidate (PC through 85, Lib in 87 and 90, PC again in 95). Don't automatically assume the pattern'll continue post-Warner, but for strategic purposes the Liberals will more likely be the odd ones out. How well has Scarborough's NDP machine held up in its years out of power? We'll see..
04/08/99 NOW Email:
Cooking up a Tory defeat By Enzo di Matteo
Tory Marilyn Mushinski has local community credentials and the fact that she won handily last time, by some 4,000 votes, going for her.
But this ethnically mixed, working-class riding that ranks 72nd of 103 in median household income at $39,782 and counts 42 per cent visible minorities is no stranger to NDPers.
This time, the NDP has a real doozy in the loquacious Canadian Union of Public Employees prez Sid Ryan -- and all the organizational support that entails on the ground -- running for the party.
The Grits will be skimming some votes of their own from the Tories with a none-to-shabby candidate in Costas Manios, executive assistant to Scarborough Centre MP John Cannis.
04/16/99 Paul Poll Email: poll@canada.com
Sid Ryan's election machine is already up and running. He has been getting a solid base of support from various communities in the riding, plus the traditional labour allies. Liberal candidate, not liked even by the Liberal activists in Scarborough, has been unable to cash in on the wave of anti-Harris sentemant in the riding. He is not expected to recover from this during the upcoming campaign. Mushinski has no community profile as she has been invisible in the riding. Clearly, Sid Ryan will be hosting a retirement party for her on the election day. Perhaps as early as this June 10th.
04/18/99 Mike O'Brien Email: l.obrien@nf.sympatico.ca
Tories won this place in a landslide, but in a fight that's bound to be closer and after four years of a rough ride for a constituency that was marginal to begin with, the NDP election machine and it's strong grassroots candidate will probably carry this riding. Liberals might have a shot, but the tories are well down the line.
04/18/99 L.O. Email: petercashin@yahoo.com
NDP have been well organized there for quite some time. Harris unpopularity will probably have a lot of effect here because of health and city issues getting in there. A lot of tory voters will side with the Liberals and probably put the tories in third.
04/19/99 Peter Kearns Email: p_kearns@hotmail.com
It is a traditional swing riding, with no chance of forming a government, that will hurt Sid Ryan. Ryan also has no local roots and a penchant for straying from the party message. Liberal Costas Manios has little in the way of profile in the riding and a federal machine is the only thing he has going for him. Incumbent Marilyn Mushinski has a new young cmapaign team and 16 years worth of history as an elected official in the riding. Those factors, and a Mike Harris re-election, should return her in the seat.
04/19/99 J C Email: 8jc3@qlink.queensu.ca
As a parachute candidate Sid Ryan will have to face a lot of strife for that. The interesting thing is the most outspoken labour critique was afraid to run against the Minister of Labour. Besides his weak conviction to run in Whitby Ajax, union money will definately be a benefit to him. Marilyn Mushinski will win if not for her great track record but as a result of Sid Ryan splitting the votes at an unbeliable rate. Another concearn to raise regarding Ryan is Union Backlash. It seems to be assumed that Unions hold a great deal of respect in the eyes of the average voter. This is certainly not true, especially as it becomes evident that the unions are going to be playing an important role in negative advertising. Something that very well may just backfire on them.
04/29/99 OEM Email:
Sid Ryan is not even a factor is this riding for the following reasons.
1) NDP is at 14% in the poll
2) Tarek Fatah, the better NDP candidate, screw himself up with Christmas cards.
3) Scar Centre NDP Association was shutted out of the nomination process. The leader's/party office directly interfered with the nomination to ensure a victory for Sid Ryan. Half of the riding executive resigned during the nomination process.
4) Peter Lobovich, campaign manager of Sid Ryan refused to use the facility booked by the riding association, and booked a seperate location himself, and the party actually went with that.
5) Lot of NDP members will campaign in other ridings, and will not vote NDP in this riding.
6) Sid Ryan is a parachute candidate.
7) Sid Ryan is an old boy, not a social activist.
8) Sid Ryan is a arrogant sexist. You can confirm that with Ms. Darcy from the CUPE (and many other female activists).
9) Sid Ryan is a arrogant racist. You can confirm that with Mr. Naqvi, acting president of the NDP association (and other Visable Minority NDP members of the riding)
10)It is clear that NDP have no problem abandoning the minority to applease the labour union.
04/30/99 A.L. Email:
The nomination battle was divisive and controversial but since then Tarek Fatah and the Scarborough Muslim Association on the one hand and Sid Ryan on the other have worked very hard to patch things up. Tarek Fatah recently interviewed Sid Ryan on a Muslim community tv show aired on Vision tv and has pledged to do what he can to ensure Ryan is elected and the Scarborough Muslim Association has been vocal saying that Sid Ryan is an outstanding candidate whom they will be working very hard to elect. As for Ryan being a "sexist" or a "racist" that's frankly nothing but a smear on the part of the previous correspondent. Ryan is very much a progressive and is a supporter of anti-sexist and anti-racist causes.
05/03/99 Leith R.A. Coghlin Email:
The Tories will win this riding narrowly. Sid Ryan will bring his usual clap trap of union socialists with him, but the constituents of Scarborough Centre will not appreciate Ryan's use of them as an "easy" way to win a seat. The Liberals and NDP will split the left-wing vote and Mushinsky will emerge as the victor. Remember that Mushinsky is next door to Gilchrist's riding, and with his popularity and influence, he will definitely aid Mushinsky in her attempt at re-election. Can anyone obviously think that a guy like Steve Gilchrist would sit idly by while a fellow Tory in a ridingnext to his is facing one of the Tory's greatest foes? I think not!
05/09/99 Fast Eddie Email:
Ryan's high profile and union backing will certainly help him, but anti-Harris voters will see his union cure as being no better than the Harris disease, so will vote Liberal. Any of the three major candidates could win with less than 40% of the vote.
05/13/99 Email:
OEM's statement above is clearly libellous. It's odd that the webmaster of this site scours the internet for anything which might libel the Liberal Party but allows libel of other parties on his own site.
05/19/99 Toronto Sun Email:
NDP helps Tories, Sid Ryan keeps votes from Grits by Christina Blizzard
Despite a high-profile candidate, the union label doesn't wash in Scarborough Centre, a Toronto Sun/COMPAS poll shows.
Sid Ryan, head of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, who is carrying the NDP banner in this largely working class riding, is trailing both Tory Marilyn Mushinski and Liberal Costas Manios in what appears to be a two-way race.
If the election were held today, Mike Harris and the Tories would poll 44% of the decided vote, Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals 38% and Howard Hampton's New Democrats would get 17%.
"Despite a high profile and high public recognition -- everyone in the riding knows him -- the vote isn't coalescing around Ryan as an alternative," says COMPAS senior partner Chris Martyn.
"He is still in the teens, despite his presence."
Martyn points out that even in a majority of union households, Ryan isn't the first choice for voters.
"If you look at the union split, while it's an improvement, he is still running third in union households," Martyn says.
The union vote continues to split between the PCs and Liberals. Most union households -- 36% -- say they intend to vote Liberal, only slightly more than intend to vote PC (33%). Only 23% of union households are on side with the NDP.
On the other hand, non-union households dislike Ryan because of his union roots -- 42% say that they are less likely to vote for him because he is a union leader vs. 16% who say they are more likely to vote for him for this reason.
While union households are less averse to Ryan's union roots, it's not a dramatic difference -- 25% say they are less likely to vote for him because of his union connection, while 33% say they are more likely to vote for him for that reason.
Martyn says the strength of the NDP vote is unique to this riding and attributes that strength to Ryan's high profile.
"The NDP looks like they are doing better in this riding than in other ridings, with the Tories up by six points," he says.
Martyn says if the NDP weren't as strong, the Liberals would pick up the strategic votes of people who are voting an "anyone but Mike Harris" ticket.
"Right now he may be contributing to the Tories continuing to lead in that riding," says Martyn, adding that Ryan has a "startling profile."
While the Tories have a good chance of winning, their opportunities for growth are slimmer than those of the Liberals. As many as 78% of current Liberals and 91% of current NDPers say that they would definitely not vote for the PCs. On the other hand, only 21% of Tories and 9% of NDP supporters say they would definitely not vote Liberal.
Mushinski and Manios have equally committed bases of support, while Ryan's core support is softer. Of the Tories, 63% say they are absolutely sure to vote, while 22% are probably sure. For the Liberals, those figures are 62% and 22%, while only 54% of New Democrats are absolutely sure they will vote NDP and 33% are probable.
The poll surveyed 300 households in the riding between May 14-15 and has a margin of error of 5.8%.
05/26/99 A. Email:
Anyone who's ever worked on an election, period, can tell you just how "accurate" mid-election riding-specific polls are: NOT. The margin of error in these things is astronomical. Two weeks before the 1995 election, for example, the St. Catharines paper's poll showed the Liberals winning every seat in the Niagara region by a landslide. They ended up winning ONE. Ryan has strong support in the riding and has managed to build up a formidable campaign organization in a short period of time.
05/31/99 A.L. Email: 3arb@qlink.queensu.ca
The Star's surprise endorsation of Ryan should give the NDP a boost here.
05/31/99 Brad Nicpon Email: nicpon@execulink.com
Recently the liberals seem to be recognizing that they are threatened by the "vote split" that results in left-wing anti-Harris supporters splitting their votes between the Liberals and the NDP, allowing a conservative to walk right in. If this is going to happen anywhere in Ontario, Scarborough Centre is probably one of the most likely ridings that it will. The Liberal is not high profile, but he is attracting some level of support (as the site owner has recognized by calling this PC<-->Lib), but at the same time Sid Ryan, one of the most powerful Union Leaders is running for the NDP. Not only is Ryan well known, he is endorsed by practically every anti-Harris organization; however, NDP support here is not high enough for him to actually beat out the other parties. The PC candidate is fairly well known and served as an MPP in the last legislature. PC support here seems fairly strong anyway (They are comfortably leading in the riding polls according to The Sun). So, the result is that anti-Harris votes should probably be split fairly evenly between Ryan and the Liberal (of whatever non-PC votes are left). A comfortable PC win.
06/01/99 Michael Ensley Email: mensley@rocketmail.com
Sid Ryan will split the anti-Harris vote and the Tory will win

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Last Updated 1st June 1999

© 1999 Milton Chan, University of Waterloo
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