Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

Last Update:
4:41 PM 07/10/2003

Prediction Changed:
1:26 AM 2/25/2003

Political Profile:

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Liberal Party:
David Hocking
Progressive Conservative:
Bill Murdoch
New Democratic Party:
Colleen Purdon
Green Party:
Martin Donald

Bill Murdoch

Federal MP:
Ovid Jackson

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

24915 54.47%

16139 35.28%

2776 6.07%

1540 3.37%

373 0.82%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality3 857
Ovid L. Jackson
19 817 44.2%
Murray Peer
15 960 35.6%
Allen Wilford
6 872 15.3%
Karen Gventer
2 166 4.8%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation64.30%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born92.79%
Ontario Born87.53%
Visible Minority1.25%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$132304

College/Trade School22130

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01/10/03 Gerry Kennedy
Email: gerardjkennedy@hotmail.com
Oops. I assumed that the FCP, seeing as this is usually on of their best ridings in the province would field a candidate. The "others" I use to account because rounding can mean a difference of 1% not showing up. Anyway, I haven't been to the riding since a few days after the writ was dropped but I really can't imagine Murdoch losing. The absence of the FCP will only help this. I ask you to go the the streets of Owen Sound and ask people what they think of him. Whether or not that opinion is fair is not what we are supposed to discuss here. Rather, we must consider the fact that the Tories are doing better in rural Ontario than in any other areas in the province. Albeit, "better" is even but they will surely lose Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, Huron-Bruce, Prince Edward-Hastings and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex. Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound will stay Tory. It doesn't matter if the party poisoned the water, the people either have never and will never vote anything but Tory or just love Bill Murdoch. I will concede it will be Murdoch's closest election but that's all. Murdoch=46%/Hocking=42%/Purdon=9%/Donald=3%
30/09/03 Randy Meingast
Email: rmeingast@yahoo.com
My prediction is for a close Liberal win in this riding where I've lived most of my life. The Liberal candidate is from the southern part of the riding and he may well do ok there. In the north, incumbent Tory MPP Bill Murdoch is well known and will probably prevail. Overall, my sympathies lead me to hope beyond hope for a narrow Liberal win, 'though Tory candidate Murdoch may indeed take the riding. Hopefully, if Murdoch wins it'll be a small margin. And even if he does win again, he will probably be stuck in the opposition where he can do no harm and the government (Liberal majority?) can ignore him. Bill's reputation as a "maverick" is a myth that doesn't stand up to close scrutiny of the facts but like most myths, it doesn't matter what the truth is and seems to serve him well in this rural riding.
29/09/03 IBM
Gerry Kennedy had the following prediction: PC=46%/Liberal=37%/NDP=9%/FCP(very strong here)=4%/Green=4%/Others=1%. Doesn't he realize that there is no FCP candidate this time and no "others"? I'm not sure as to who will win this time around, but there could be a backlash by the time voters step into the voting booth and really think about Walkerton. It is going to be a lot closer than people think, with fewer than 3 percentage points separating Murdoch and Hocking. I know that my late great-grandmother (a die-hard Liberal if there ever was one) who lived in Bruce County, would be happy with a Liberal win, but we will have to wait until election night to find out.
28/09/03 Tory in Dixie
Email: candien76@hotmail.com
The Liberals can yell Walkerton all they want, but they may as well be shouting Wiarton or Washington, for all the good that it will do for their electoral hopes in this riding.
26/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
Bill will go back to opposition, which is really where he always was. The clearly Liberal CBC did a report on this riding tonight on the National and they seem to think that this will definately go Tory. Bill is a the type of guy the people will vote for. True, it's not soooooo Tory that they'd vote Mickey Mouse in here but people seem to trust him. Secondly, my family has a cottage here along Lake Huron. I've only been to Walkerton a couple of times but people there there seem to be so Tory that they cannot not vote for Murdoch. The amount of votes lost to Walkerton throughout the province will be much greater than the votes lost here. I wonder who Stan Keobel's voting for... Prediction: PC=46%/Liberal=37%/NDP=9%/FCP(very strong here)=4%/Green=4%/Others=1%
25/09/03 Old Bruce Boy
Email: dsimms@arvotek.net
I have to revise my earlier post and count this as a definite Liberal gain. Hocking is well known and well respected and while Bill is popular most people are just too mad at the government to vote PC.
23/09/03 James Bow
Murdoch will keep this riding even if the Conservatives collapse. He has too much of a personality following in this riding to be hurt by much of anything, even Walkerton. There is talk of the protest vote in this riding heading towards the Greens, but that's all this amounts to: a protest vote. It's not a serious challenge for Murdoch's hold on his seat.
17/09/03 Old Bruce Boy
Email: dsimms@arvotek.net
This one is too close to call. People in the riding are mad about government mismanagement of Hydro, water, meat inspection. These are big issues here with cattle farming being big here, the Bruce Power Plant being a major employer and Walkerton. The Liberal candidate is respected and popular. He would have an easy victory if Bill Murdock weren't such a maverick. He is the most rebellious of all the Tory MPP's and has quite an unsavoury past. This will appeal to a lot of the good ol' boys in the riding and may just save his seat.
13/09/03 J.M.
I say an easy PC victory in this riding, not because of its conservatism but more because of their unabashedly populist incumbent, Bill Murdoch. Populism sells big in this part of Ontario, regardless of party affiliation. Remember, this is the riding that for years elected a Liberal populist named Eddy Sargent. Guys like Bill Murdoch enjoy communicating with ordinary people and talking about ordinary things, this leads to a high vote yield. Murdoch stands up for his riding and always appears as a strong political voice for rural Ontario.
07/09/03 Tory in Dixie
Email: ericbucholz@hotmail.com
The prediction of Tory is dead on. Murdoch is respected, and Walkerton will dent but not puncture Tory hopes of hanging on the seat. This is another area of the province that may have went Liberal during some of the Davis years but is small c conservative and that will show through now in this election.
07/06/03 Grandpa
If this were any other part of the province, Bill Murdoch would be run out of town after Walkerton. This is rural southwest Ontario where folks can't help but vote Tory no matter what happened to them. People still suffering from the effects of Walkerton will leave their sick beds on election day and vote for Bill Murdoch. As the Ripley people would say, believe it or not.
04/06/03 WD
Email: lutherraz@hotmail.com
Murdoch to hold. The PCs are soaking the riding with cash. And 24% for the Greens? No way. They don't even have a candidate here.
27/05/03 Craig
A strong right-wing riding with Walkerton fresh on the minds - that creates a really interesting storyline. The Liberals are probably looking into this riding as a strong opportunity with Walkerton, but if the environment is the storyline, the Green Party will certainly find a lot of votes, at the expense of both the Liberals and Tories. A vote split might happen here, that would be the only hope for the Tories (As well, the NDP will not be a factor, they will almost definitely finish a distant fourth). Still I think the Liberals will win a narrow one. Predicted results: LIB 37%, PC 32%, Green 24% (highest in Ontario due to Walkerton), NDP 4%.
13/04/03 Edgar
People from toronto can't guess about this riding becuase they don't now the issues. They all talk about Walkerton but its already behind us and nobody here wants to blame Bill now anyways. The real problem is that nobody in the tories likes Bill so our area will always get screwed so long as Bill wins. But people still like him at home so I think he'll still win.
03/03/03 Craig
Without Walkerton, this would be a Tory stronghold. However, considerable anger over Walkerton will probably be enough for the Liberals to steal this riding, since they have many mentions of the environment on their platforms. The best hope for the Tories would be for the Green Party (bound to thrive in ridings with environmental protest) to play spoiler here and split votes with the Liberals, since the NDP have no chance here. Still, I think the Liberals will have enough support to take over this riding.
19/02/03 Bill Murdoch on CBC Radio
"Iíve read what they said. Thatís OíConnorís opinionÖ It may be what you think, but Iím telling you what Iím saying, and if you donít like it, thatís too fucking bad."
18/02/03 Quoting the Walkerton Report
A few quotes from Justice OíConnor's Walkerton Report Part I:
Page 24: It is simply wrong to say, as the government has argued at the Inquiry, that Stan Koebel or the Walkerton PUC were solely responsible for the outbreak or that they were the only ones who could have prevented it.
Page 268: At the Inquiry, the government argued that I should find that Stan Koebel was the sole cause of the tragedy in WalkertonÖI reject that argument completely.
Page 30: I am satisfied that if the MOE had adequately fulfilled its regulatory and oversight role, the tragedy in Walkerton would have been prevented (by the installation of continuous monitors) or at least significantly reduced in scope.
Page 406: the budget reductions are connected directly to the events of May 2000.
11/02/03 Owen Sound Sun Times
"What happened here was not the government's fault. It was two people who didn't do their job," said Murdoch in reference to Stan Koebel, the manager of the former Walkerton PUC who admitted to falsifying vital water records, and his brother Frank, the former public utilities' foreman who acknowledged he drank beer while on the job.
27/01/03 SM
I think that the walkerton backlash will, unfortunately enough for the tories and their apologists, be enough to unseat Murdoch. On a personal note- oops! I was wrong, I guess Walkerton isn't in Huron-Bruce after all.
27/01/03 SM
I think that the walkerton backlash will, unfortunately enough for the tories and their apologists, be enough to unseat Murdoch. On a personal note- oops! I was wrong, I guess Walkerton isn't in Huron-Bruce after all.
16/10/02 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
Maybe it's foolhardy to offer a PC prediction for the Walkerton riding. But if any Ontario Tory can withstand the Walkerton backlash, it's a maverick populist like Bill Murdoch. It won't be all that easy, though...

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