Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003


Last Update:
9:46 PM 30/09/2003

Prediction Changed:
4:15 PM 28/09/2003

Political Profile:

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Liberal Party:
Steve Peters
Progressive Conservative:
Bruce Smith
New Democratic Party:
Brian Bakker
Green Party:
John Fisher

Steve Peters

Federal MP:
Hon. Gar Knutson

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

20417 46.19%

19246 43.54%

3455 7.82%

405 0.92%

391 0.88%

284 0.64%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality1 706
Gar Knutson
17 202 41%
Bill Walters
15 496 37%
Delia Reiche
6 080 14.5%
Tim McCallum
2 319 5.5%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation68.40%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born84.99%
Ontario Born78.51%
Visible Minority2.63%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$148738

College/Trade School23350

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30/09/03 Stephen Best
Email: sbest@sympatico.ca
DPWG is not a safe Tory seat. Prior to David Tilson, it was held by Mavis Wilson, a cabinet minister in the Peterson government. Eves did not do particularly well against a token Liberal candidate from an environmental group in the by-election. With a massive Liberal majority being predicated, it is very possible that the voters in DPWG, me included, would rather have an MPP on the government side of the legislature than be represented by the Leader of the Opposition. Moreover, many of newspapers here are carrying negative stories about how effective Eves was as the MPP. Eves' seat is not safe, and local Mount Forest boy Dan Yakes could take it.
28/09/03 AlanSmithee
With only a few days until the election, it's time to call this one Liberal. Steve Peters is phenomenally popular in St. Thomas and is running a good campaign. If Bruce Smith couldn't beat Peters with Mike Harris's help in 1999 then he's not going to win against the tide in 2003. Watch for Peters to be a cabinet minister.
28/09/03 Andrew Cox
Liberal Hold. The London Free Press survey Saturday shows the Liberals completely dominating London. The poll shows the Liberals with 54%, PCs 29% and NDP at 17% across the 4 seats. Clearly, the Grits are going to grab all four London seats. (The survey supports regional numbers in Ipsos-Reid that show the Grits with a 16% lead in the Southwest.)
27/09/03 JW Bennett
Email: jbennett@execulink.com
New Poll out this morning in the London Free Press shows Conservative Bruce Smith 26 points behind incumbent Peters, with a margin of error of +/- 9%, meaning Peter's lead could be as great as 35 points or as little as 17 points. Smith couldn't win in 1999 when the Tories were being retured to government province wide, and he certainly isn't going to be able to tack against a Liberal Wave. This is truly turning out to be Red October. Liberal Hold. Link to aforementioned poll: http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/LondonFreePress/News/2003/09/27/210362.html
27/09/03 Momma W
Email: aldotomato@hotmail.com
I was overwhelmed with the response to Steve Peters and Dalton McGuinty at the rally at Memorial Arena here in St. Thomas this past Thursday evening. Personally I feel that Steve will sweep the riding as Dalton will the province here in Ontario based on their performance that night.
25/09/03 Christopher J. Currie
Email: 8cjc1@qlink.queensu.ca
It's hard to believe that this riding didn't go for the Tories in *either* '95 or '99. It's equally hard to imagine them winning it now. Steve Peters has been a good representative; given that Dalton didn't ruin things for his party in the debate, he's pretty much a shoo-in.
25/09/03 The Big Ape
Email: thebigape2000@hotmail.com
Eves had his chance during the debate to make or break the Liberal leader. The lack of a "knock out blow" by Eves has almost clinched it for the Liberals. Now unless Dalton really turns out to be a reptillian kitten eater from another planet, the Liberals are heading for a big win. Having said that, no sitting Liberal is going to lose his or her seat. Here we have Steve Peters, who won last time when the Torys were ahead in the polls. Now Peter's party is ahead, so how would it make any sense that he will be elected out? Some may argue merrits of the particular candidate and this could be a factor. However what I think will be a bigger factor is that people want a peice of the pie, and unless they are staunchly anti-Liberal (obviously they are not, they have a Liberal incumbant), they will gravitate towards the Grits.
23/09/03 Herbert Hildebrandt
This will be a close, close riding. I believe that Bruce Smith will prevail in the end, especially because of the many socially conservative people in the riding. The private school tax credit is also a big issue with over 20 private schools located in the riding. Steve Peters is totally against private schools and that is alienating voters slowly but surely.
23/09/03 Pelee Island Pete
Steve Peters is a very smart guy who knows his voters. Peters is against same sex marriage, against the federal gun laws and wants to give farmers more money. He sounds more like a Tory than a Liberal but that's what voters want to hear. That's why Steve will slaughter Bruce Smith at the polls on election day.
22/09/03 Andrew Cox
Email: andrewcox101@hotmail.com
Liberal hold: reasons. The latest survey of this and 6 other neighbouring urban/rural mix ridings in the extreme southwest of southern Ontario show a wide margin for the Liberals of more than 10%. Liberals 48%, PC 38%, NDP 14%. Desire for a change is higher than anywhere else in the province. Undecideds are low, lessing the number of swing voters available to the PCs. There is no traction for PC issues, like banning teacher's strikes, gun control or immigration, but extremely high support for health care and education (Liberals platform pluses). Combined with the replay of 1999 in the candidates and Peters sure seat at a cabinet table under Mcguinty, this is a Liberal lock.
21/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
Liberal hold: A) Though not a Liberal seat, this is strongly Steve Peters' seat. B) With the Tories in free-fall, they have chance to pick up basically no ridings. The only possible exceptions are Stormont-Dundas and the Hastings ridings. C) Bruce Smith is not bringing anything now that he did not have in 1999. D) Peters has been very vocal in the legislature. He'll be The Honourable Steve Peters in three weeks.
20/09/03 M.S.
In ridings like this, you have to ask yourself: what has changed since 1999? You've got the same two candidates going head to head. All that has changed is Peters has a higher name recognition in more parts of the riding and a track record as an advocate for agriculture and rural schools. On the other hand, Smith has a fading track record from the first Harris mandate. This was relatively close last time, but Peters pulled through even though his party lost overall. This time, McGuinty is leading by 17 points and Smith has to wear the albatross that is Ernie Eves. Now, Smith is exploiting the same sex marriage issue in an atrociously hateful way, but in the end, I think people in this riding are going to see through the desperate tactics and re-elect the man that has been doing a good, consistent job for them - especially since he's got a shot at sitting at the cabinet table. So again, when you look at all the variables compared to the last time these two went head to head, most of them tip even further in Peters' direction, which is why he'll have a higher plurality in this campaign. Let's get off the fence and call this one.
17/09/03 RWA
I've been helping a friend in the riding who is campaigning for Freedom Party candidate Ray Monteith. I've been many places in the riding and everywhere Peters is dominating the sign war, and quite often there is Peters literature already in the mailbox. We've not seen many signs of life from Bruce Smith. Also, the NDP doesn't have a single sign up in the riding from what I've seen, so the vote split is no issue here. With the PCs trying desperately just to keep the seats they have, you can call it now, Peters in a cakewalk. guess is Peters 53%, Smith 38%, NDP 5%, Monteith 2% and Fisher 1%
12/09/03 Kangaroo Court
If the Liberals win this election, Steve Peters is going to be sitting at the cabinet table as the minister of agriculture. The farm community isn't stupid and they understand that Peters could be the next minister. That's why the agriculture community is firmly behind Peters and why he won't lose.
29/08/03 Craig
The latest agricultural issues (the Aylmer meat packing plant controversy), while not directly the fault of the government, will still be mentioned, along with agricultural and environmental policies. All that has solidified Steve Peters' hold on this riding, which was already strong. The Liberal platform mentions agriculture strongly, and that should win even more voters here, increasing the margin over 1999. Current prediction: Peters 55%, Smith 33%, Bakker 7%, Fisher 4%, others 1%.
18/07/03 Kippers For Breakfast
Steve Peters is a very talented politician. He's developed the support of the farmers because he regularly goes after the federal Liberals for not doing anything for agriculture. Steve has managed to get the support of the auto workers who see him as a regular guy who doesn't want to get in office and spend their tax dollars. Finally Steve worked to keep the long term Liberals in the riding behind him. Put this all together and Peters has developed a winning formula that guarentees him another term at Queen's Park.
12/07/03 Hop on Pop
This is not a Liberal riding, it's a Steve Peters riding. Steve is now like Sean Conway or Peter Kormos. He's going to keep this riding for a very long time, no matter what party is in power. Bruce Smith from the Tories is not going to be any sort of challenge to Steve.
06/07/03 Sluggo
I don't know what Beanie Baby is talking about. Steve Peters is way to popular to lose this riding no matter what happens with the central campaigns. Peters upset the Tories last time and this time he'll widen the margin he wins by.
31/05/03 Beanie Baby
Steve Peters is a solid guy. I have had a chance to work with him at the Park. He did knock off an incumbent last time, but not by much. If Tory futures rise over the summer, he'll be in tough. Too close to call.
27/05/03 Cowboy Bob
Coming from this part of the province, I can tell you that Steve Peters cannot be beaten even if the Liberals don't win the government. Nobody works harder in his riding than Steve does. He shows up at all the right events and does more than make a quick stop by. Steve stays around and talks to everyone in the room. That kind of old fashioned, hard working politician still means something down here. Steve will be around for many years to come.
23/05/03 Harinder Singh
Email: Harindersingh1972@hotmail.com
Steve Peters should have no problem with this riding. As mayor of St. Thomas, Peters was remarkably popular by helping turn the local economy around and land some major manufacturing plants. He beat Tory candidate Bruce Smith in 1999, despite being mostly unknown in the rural parts of the riding. Peters has done a good job of building bridges to the rural conservatives he needs to widen his base. As a couple people alluded to below, his campaign manager is tight with the past CA candidate Bill Walters. Alliance backers are sitting on their hands, both because they like Peters personally and because they don't like Smith personally. The Ken Monteith-Joe Preston faction of the executive really don't like Smith either (Monteith backed Witmer in the leadership and is said to find Ernie's waffling too much), so they seem to be backing him in name only (Monteith is Smith's "campaign co-chair"). Also, former NDP, then independent MPP, then almost PC candidate in 1995, then CA backer in 2000 Peter North is tight with Peters and is staying out of the PC tent for the campaign. He's probably still smarting about being pushed out as PC candidate in 1995. One interesting point is that Dave Thrasher is running Smith's campaign, who is from the Middlesex part of the riding and isn't well known to the rest of the party people in Elgin County. Overall, Smith is going to have a really tough time. He couldn't beat Peters in 1999, and really, there is no reason to think he can do it this time.
26/03/03 RWA
If, as one poster said, Peters and his team have Alliance links, that could doom the Tory efforts to reclaim this riding. With so many Alliance-leaning voters disappointed with Ernie Eves, Peters can use this connection to lure them his way or at least into staying home. Also, as I mentioned in London West, a stronger than usual push by the Freedom party campaign could make a difference if the vote is razor-thin. Even though the Freedom Party candidate is nuts, he could bring in something like 700 or so votes. This will only hurt Smith, if anyone. The Tories will not sweep to victory on election day, which is what it would take to do Peters in.
20/03/03 ARL
Tory plumpers were putting their hopes on Peter North being the Tory nominee. He's not.
20/03/03 Jumbo
With Peter North deciding to sit this one out, and Bruce Smith in the PC drivers seat, this riding will in all likelihood return popular MPP Steve Peters to the legislature. Smith's opening 'salvo' in the local press, in which he predicts a PC majority win in the upcoming election, reads like someone who is curiously out of touch with current poll results and popular sentiment in this riding. Steve Peters will be returned with increased support from both urban and rural voters.
09/03/03 KS
This will be a very close riding and if Peter North is the PC candidate, I predict he will win. He is the only candidate that is able to beat the popular former Mayor Steve Peters. This is sure to be the toughest battle in Ontario! I look forward to it.
05/03/03 THE GAMBLER
The Gambler is putting his money on Steve Peters to win Elgin-Middlesex-London. You can bet the farm on Peters winning this riding. He's still remembered as a great mayor of St.Thomas and that will be enough to get Steve into the winner's circle.
26/02/03 El Predicto
Does anyone remember Peter North? He won this riding twice in the 90's. One time as a New Democrat in 1990 and as an independant in 1995. After that North took an appointment from the Tories who hoped to take the riding in 1999. Things didn't turn out for the Tories as Steve Peters ended up winning the seat. This time the Tories are doing all they can to talk Peter North into making a political comeback as their candidate. If North comes back he'll be too strong for Peters. North is still personally popular in the riding and will have all the advantages a rural Tory candidate would have. That means the tobacco farmers and the anti gun registration people will back North all the way. I think this offer will be too good for North to turn down and you'll see him running for the Tories and winning. Mark this one down for the Tories.
25/01/03 M.S.
Peters will hold on to this seat for the Liberals. His high profile and ability to work hard are what won him this riding the first time. Add to that the Liberal ethanol plan (a real winner with farmers), and a stronger performance by Dalton McGuinty will only add to Peters' own base vote. Since Peters was named Agriculture critic, he's has been all over the industry magazines. And as the sole opposition voice in London, he gets a lot of exposure in the local mainstream media. It would be very hard for the Tories to overcome all of these obsticles, and that's why Peters will win again.
21/11/02 RA
Peters is a very visible MPP, and that should carry him to victory. If the Liberals lose this seat, there's not a chance they'll win the election.
16/11/02 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
As though the ghost of Mitch Hepburn was clanking its chains, sleepy Elgin has lately been a zone of provincial electoral turbulence, what with a 1987 Liberal upset, a 1990 NDP upset, Peter North's epochal independent victory in 1995, and finally the chaos of 1999, when Peter North chose not to stand again, the Liberals scored a star candidate in the mayor of St. Thomas, and the Tories bumbled into an underage-drinking campaign boo-boo. It's a measure of the Harris machine's clout that "sure bet" Steve Peters, who virtually swept the St. Thomas polls, was still held to only a tiny victory margin; thank god for strategic voting. And federally, this was a conspicuous 2000 Ontario CA close call, thanks to the critical support of Peter North and some of the Steve Peters team as well. Incumbency, and wind in the McGuinty sails, favours Peters--but don't think the Tories won't try their darndest here.
15/11/02 Andrew Cox
1) Steve Peters is the high-profile former mayor of St. Thomas. His base in St. Thomas is quite strong. 2) The rural areas of the riding are more conservative, and are where PC Bruce Smith did well last time. However, Peters is his party's agriculture critic, works the farm media and has spent lots of time focusing on the rural areas of his riding. 3) The suburbs of London in the North of the riding were a swing area last time. But the PCs in London look to be in trouble (especially Wood and Mazzilli). Peters should improve in support here. 4) Bruce Smith is the likely PC candidate. Smith is like Dave Boushy in Sarnia: elected on Harris' 1995 coattails, low-profile backbencher, defeated in 1999, hasn't done much since, wants another shot at it. Basically, he doesn't bring anything new to the table. 5) The main local paper is the St. Thomas Times-Journal, which has been a Peters booster since his time as mayor. Peters also does well in the London Free Press, which serves the North end of the riding. 6) The federal election was a squeaker here, but left an interesting local stain. Bruce Smith was an avid Alliance supporter, offending local federal PCs. Peters has been sharply critical of the federal Liberals, winning him praise from those same federal PCs. Local dynamics may leave Smith with just an Alliance base, while the federal PCs are leaving the station for Queen's Park with Peters. All in all, unless the Liberals tank completely, there is no reason to think Peters won't win another here.

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