Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003


Last Update:
3:32 PM 01/10/2003

Prediction Changed:
21 October 2002

Political Profile:

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Liberal Party:
Mike Ramsay
Progressive Conservative:
Joe Tascona
New Democratic Party:
John Thomson
Green Party:
Dan Predie

Joseph Tascona

Federal MP:
Aileen Carroll

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

33721 64.06%

15376 29.21%

2532 4.81%

482 0.92%

302 0.57%

229 0.44%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality8 709
Aileen Carroll
26 309 48.3%
Rob Hamilton
17 600 32.3%
Jane MacLaren
7 588 13.9%
Keith Lindsay
2 385 4.4%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation70.60%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born86.16%
Ontario Born76.54%
Visible Minority3.17%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$157483

College/Trade School32085

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01/10/03 E.T.R.
This area won't be immune to a Red tide. Already, Tascona has been in for a rough ride this election. He's never been particularly strong either in person or the legislature. In this riding Tory votes are generally cast on the basis of the party, not the candidate. (Note: This isn't a personal attack, it's a performance rating.) Joe's performance at all candidates meetings this time around have been lacklustre to say the least. There's genuine resentment about the governement decision to cut planned Cancer treatment at Royal Victoria Hospital in half, with the remainder going to the hospital in Newmarket to give that riding a boost. Joe just doesn't have a good explanation at all candidates' meetings. A few years ago the party tried to shore up Tascona's profile among commuters (read new voters moving here) by putting him in charge of a supposed task force looking into whether gas prices were being manipulated on summer long weekends by oil companies. What happened to that? Nothing. Then there's the spectacle of Tascona and neighbouring MPP Jim Wilson blaming each other on the highway front. Tascona says his gov't will widen Highway 400 over his dead body and the 427 Extension must go ahead instead. Wilson tells his constituents that 400 should be widened and if the 427 is built it will be Tascona's fault. Those kinds of statements don't inspire confidence in the government in voters' minds.
30/09/03 Pat Smith
PC will win with ease in Barrie. The press swarmed protestors who were expressing their displeasure with Ramsay's personal history when McGunity visited the New VR. Ramsay's personal record is very shady. A yellow dog would have been a better candidate than him.
30/09/03 CB
Previous writer, mentionned swing that riding saw in 1990 but remember Alderman Bonnie Ainseworth who is very popular and very right wing polled considerable numbers representing the Confederation of Regions Party. That was an unusual situation that does not exist today. Tascona will win even if the party is reduced to 12 seats.
29/09/03 Jennifer J
I was at an all-candidates meeting in Geriatric city, Sandy Coves Acres. This is the bedrock of the Tory electorate. I was really surprised how unenthusiastic the applause was for Tascona. Granted it was about the same for the Liberal candidate but this was in the heart of supposed Tory strength. I have to wonder how much this reppresents the rest of the county.
29/09/03 John B
The Licks hamburger poll on Bayfield Street has the Liberals way out infront. Joe's toast, with some roasted kitten on top.
29/09/03 JV
Was Tory worker since 1980's; abandonned Tascona early in 1st Campaign. PC's have excellent organization and very good people working for a weak candidate. Liberals even more poorly organized and funded than NDP but will win strategic vote since candidate is as strong as has been presented in many years. I think this will be a nailbiter that may turn out to be a surprise. To suggest that Liberal candidate is hurt by his Council record is to pretend that anybody really pays attention to City politics. Check political record of previous submitter Kennedy he is a prolific and partisan letterwriter.
28/09/03 Tory in Dixie
Email: canadien76@hotmail.com
Still very much conservative, despite polls that show Eves trailing. While it is true that Barrie was 'swing' in both 1987 and 1990, there were particular dynamics that accounted for those anomalies, including, in 1990, some internal Tory friction over the candidate that helped the NDP candidate win. The Liberals would need a very huge swing to knock off Tascona, and Hampton is right, the Liberal support has peaked.
28/09/03 Bob
Provincially this is a swing riding and has been for years. Our MPP has been in government for at least the last 5 or 6 elections. Regardless of how popular Tascona is locally, he is carrying a lot of the Harris/Eves baggage that just won't go away.
27/09/03 Used to live there
This riding is going Liberal. Indeed it does have Barrie and Simcoe in the name, but as the population's exploded, it's become less of a Tory bastion. If Ontario elects a majority Liberal government, people are deluding themselves and demographics to think Barrie won't. Don't believe me, either. Look at the facts...most of which occurred before Barrie became an extension of Toronto. 99,95,90,87: Four majorities, three different parties and Barrie had a government MPP each time. This is a bellweather seat and to pretend otherwise is wrong.
26/09/03 Andrew
I know I'm in the minority here, but I think this riding will be a lot closer than everybody thinks, assuming Liberal numbers stay at around 50%. Internal Liberal polling apparently shows them competitive in this riding (note this is not the same as "in the lead"). If the Liberals actually actually have an outside shot in ridings like B-S-B, then imagine what the rest of the province will look like! We're potentially looking at the largest majority in Ontario history.
21/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
Email: gerardjkennedy@hotmail.com
This riding has the names "Barrie" and "Simcoe" in it. That should be sufficient.
20/09/03 M.S.
This should be safe Tory country for all the reasons previous writers have mentioned. But it seems to me, in the last two weeks of a campaign, the leaders go to places where they need to shore up support to win. So how do you explain Ernie Eves having to spend so much time in the central region, and particularly today in Barrie? If this is one of the strongest Tory seats in the province, why does Ernie have to come here at all? If Tascona needs Eves to help prop him up (and I'm not sure anymore that a visit from Eves is really doing any candidate any favours) then he might be in more trouble than anyone thought. Time will tell.
19/09/03 Derek
Barrie will stay conservative. Its like someone took a chunk out of Mississippi and plopped down off highway 400. In Deliverance-North, Tascona should keep his banjo ready, as the celebration is already beginning.
17/09/03 DL
The far-right wing Barrie will go tory again. The Barrie area is unlike most ridings. Its as if someone picked up a chunk of Mississippi and plopped it off the highway 400.
16/09/03 Walter
This should be a cake walk for the Conservatives. Barrie is highly conservative. The Liberals have an unpopular candidate to boot. Liberal candidate Ramsay recently voted himself on City Council a raise in salary for the second consective term in a row.
09/09/03 Tory in Dixie
Email: ericbucholz@hotmail.com
True as it is that Barrie was Liberal red in 1987 and NDP orange in 1990, the riding has very deep conservative roots, perhaps most noted for electing the lone Reform MP in 1993 Ed Harper. Given Tascona's large majority last time, I don't forsee him loosing this time around.
06/09/03 Craig
Solid Tory riding, and this will likely remain in the Conservative column as long as they have a showing in Ontario. No opposition resources appear to be heading to Barrie or south Simcoe as they know the Tories have this riding in the bag. It will likely be one of the largest Tory pluralities in Ontario (as usual). Current prediction: Tascona 62%, Ramsay 24%, Predie 8%, Thomson 4%, others 2%.
21/05/03 Grizz
I was once driving through the Barrie area and I saw bumper stickers being sold at a gas station that read, "Proud to be a Red Neck". If that doesn't conjure up images of good ol boys driving to the polling stations in an old pick up truck and voting for the most right-wing candidate on the ballot, then i don't know will. Just look at the election results from last time and see just how well the Liberals or NDP did...
27/03/03 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
If all of Ontario were like BSB, Ontario's Tories would be seeing Alberta-scale mandates; this is the living embodiment of Common Sense Revolution country, and it took Barrie's dramatic 90s explosion into outer-outer-GTA exurbia-nirvana to drive that point home and home again. And it had never been so boldly politically distinct before; in fact, Barrie's vestigial small-urban-Ontarioisms and blue-collar job base led it to be the only Simcoe zone to do the Liberal-NDP 1987/90 two-step rather than sticking to the Tories. But then the epochal federal election of Reformer Ed Harper in 1993 marked the way, and Tascona performed his provincial coup de grace in 1995. However, things may not be so clear-cut; remember that the federal Grits have increased their advantage over Reform/Alliance in each subsequent election, with the momentum favouring "Martin Liberalism" as Barrie/Innisfil gets dragged into the GTA orbit. And Dalton's provincials have a standard-bearer with a fair local profile, for what it's worth--in the unlikely event of a steal, that's a good thing. But a steal *is* unlikely. And if the Tories lose the whole election, BSB itself shall live on as a memorial to what made the Common Sense Revolution so, well, commonsensical...
05/12/02 SM
Hell will freeze over before Simcoe leaves the conservative column. The region is generally socially conservative, economically libertarians, and couldn't be any more in tune with Conservative ideology, unless another flood of Bay St. executives decided to build new summer home's in the area. And whoever decided to put Simcoe in "North" should look at a map of the province. Northerners often refer to Muskoka as "wannabe North". Simcoe isn't, and doesn't even want to be North.
22/10/02 Craig
This will not even be a contest. The demographics and location favour the Tories big time and they will win this in a cakewalk, possibly one of the largest Tory majorities in the province.
20/10/02 PB
I am surprised you have not already predicted Barrie Simcoe Bradford. This should be an easy pick for you. I imagine the PC's will win by more than 23,000 votes again this time. Their victory has increased in each of the last two elections. The current MPP is widely popular within the riding. Barrie was the secondest largest PC victory in the province last time around. The Reform won this seat in 1993 with Ed Harper. The current Liberal candidate is well known municipally for having voted for two straight municipal tax increases. Not a popular position to take in a City that is sick of politicans that waste their money.

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