Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003


Last Update:
4:51 PM 07/10/2003

Prediction Changed:
9:40 PM 30/09/2003

Political Profile:

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Liberal Party:
Liz Sandals
Progressive Conservative:
Brenda Elliott
New Democratic Party:
James Valcke
Green Party:
Ben Polley

Brenda Elliott

Federal MP:
Brenda Chamberlain

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

26246 51.57%

16595 32.61%

5907 11.61%

1020 2%

733 1.44%

396 0.78%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality15 403
Brenda Chamberlain
26 440 48.2%
Max Layton
11 037 20.1%
Marie Adsett
10 188 18.6%
Edward Pickersgill
5 685 10.4%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation71.20%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born79.16%
Ontario Born70.18%
Visible Minority7.84%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$173736

College/Trade School23400

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01/10/03 Tim Allman
I think it important to note that since Harry Worton's retirement (Harry was Liberal with great personal support. Unlike many others, he survived the Big Blue Machine), Guelph has always coughed up a government member with a popular vote not far from the provincial average. Although I would prefer another outcome, I will be surprised if Sandals does not win this handily.
30/09/03 Lucky 100
If the latest polls had the Liberals leading the Tories by 25 percent, then I would be the first to say that Liz Sandals would beat Brenda Elliott. However, with the Liberal lead somewhere around 15 percent, Elliott will be able to just hang on by a very small percent of the vote. This one will be tight but the Tories will hold.
29/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
Email: gerardjkennedy@hotmail.com
Considering that the province-wide trend suggests that any Tory lead of less than 20% is in danger, this riding is a dead heat on that statistic alone. Local factors push this into the Liberal column as Sandals is a very strong candidate. In addition, Brenda Elliot is an awful MPP and she got much worse press as a result of Walkerton than even Dan Newman.
28/09/03 Tory in Dixie
Email: canadien76@hotmail.com
This is competitive, but the edge goes to Ms. Elliot. The eight point swing polls are showing won't be enough to knock her off. Consider the fact that Harry Worton represented this riding for thirty years as a Liberal, all of it in opposition. This is one of the rural ridings that voted Liberal in the Davis years that will now establish themselves firmly in the Tory mold.
28/09/03 Mercury reader
A poll commissioned by the Guelph Mercury and published on Saturday, Sept. 27 puts Liz Sandals ahead of Brenda Elliott by 55 per cent to 33 per cent. The same poll showed Liberals leading the Tories by similar margins in Kitchener-Waterloo, Kitchener Centre, and Waterloo-Wellington. Only Cambridge was too close to call, with the Tory there a couple of points ahead of the Liberal
28/09/03 Chems
This one should go in the Liberal column. Results from the Guelph Mercury poll released Saturday Sept. 27: Guelph-Wellington PC - 33% (Elliott) Lib - 55% NDP - 9% Oth - 3%
27/09/03 AL
From the Guelph Mercury: Liberals lead in local poll KERRY THOMPSON
The poll, conducted by the Kitchener-based firm, Metroline, shows the Liberals with nearly 55 per cent support from decided voters in both Guelph-Wellington and Waterloo-Wellington. The local Tory candidates are currently sitting with 36 and 33 per cent support in Waterloo-Wellington and Guelph-Wellington respectively.
25/09/03 tpm1245
Liz is my prediction this time. With the desire for change in Ontario and a very credible candidate the liberals should get through. Elliot has been lackluster at best and been unable to deliver for the Guelph area. 47% for libs 40% for the tories. 13% others
24/09/03 All Things Must Pass
I don't think Dalton McGuinty did enough in the debate to lift the Liberals high enough in the polls for Liz Sandals to beat Brenda Elliott. Lucky for Brenda she won so large last time that it will be enough for her to edge out Liz. Guelph-Wellington isn't ready to elect someone like Liz Sandals this time. If Liz hangs around it could be her turn four years from now.
20/09/03 lrs
with latest polls showing LIBS way out front- better candidate this time-a co-worker from Guelph says Tory MPP has taken positions on local issues that hurt Guelph-although welfare issues won't influence vote, she is minister now responsible for much criticized social assistance policies and thus it would be nice to her go down to defeat- should be Liberal gain especially if Liberals heading for substantial majority
20/09/03 Beans
I can understand why the Liberals courted Liz Sandals to run for them in Guelph. She's made a name for herself in the education field and that's an issue that Dalton McGuinty wanted to associate himself with. The problem for the Liberals is that Sandals was well known locally for holding a PC membership for years. When Liz joined the Liberals, it brought the Guelph Conservatives back together as they wanted to make sure Brenda beat Liz to send everyone a message. Had the Liberals gone with a different candidate, the Conservatives might have drifted away and let Brenda go. Instead it's the Elliott campaign that feel like they have something to show everyone and they are running a much better local campaign than the Liberals. No doubt Brenda won't win by ten thousand votes this election but she'll still win and that's all that matters.
20/09/03 Matt L
Why are you guys picking Brenda Elliot? Liz Sandals is a really good candidate for the liberals, and with little NDP support in this riding, she will have a good shot. Besides, the Tories are going down in the polls. Its starting to look like a free-fall.
13/09/03 B.N.
I think people underestimate PC support in this riding. I remember last time, on the 1999 election prediction page, this riding was actually called for the Liberals' Wayne Hyland, yet Brenda Elliott handily defeated him by over 9,600 votes. Hardly a close contest. Guelph is quickly becoming a major suburban centre for those commuting to the GTA, meaning that it is the ideal target demographic for the PCs - middle-class home-owners who respond very favourably to the PC message of tax cuts, less government and focus on economic development. Looking at a comparison of candidates, I believe Brenda Elliott decidedly has the edge over Liberal Liz Sandals. Elliott's profile has significantly increased since 1999, as she is now Minister of Community, Family and Children's Services. More importantly, however, I think people over-rate the degree to which Liz Sandals is a "star candidate". Sandals served as president of the Ontario Public School Board Association; however, her record at home is far from stellar. While a trustee for the Upper Grand District School Board she was roundly critisized in the community for her performance on numerous issues, particularly the Torrance School Affair. She is also viewed as somewhat of a one-issue candidate, and while that issue, education, is clearly important to Ontario voters, she is not on the right side of the fence with education issues as many residents of this riding. For starters, it is well-known that she won the Liberal nomination with the backing of the teachers' unions in Guelph, and hence, is strongly associated with the Liberal objection to banning of teacher strikes. Finally, I make reference to the following study done in Guelph earlier this summer by SRA research: http://www.sraresearch.com/news.pdf. The study indicates PC support in G-W as significantly higher than that of the aggregate province, and a trust level in Elliott that is almost twice that of Sandals - and that was when PC support under Eves was at a record low. It also shows that those in G-W in favour of banning teacher strikes outnumber opponants 51%-31%. So, in summary: I stronly believe that Guelph-Wellington should be called in favour of the PCs at this time.
07/09/03 Tory in Dixie
Email: ericbucholz@hotmail.com
Could be the makings of a trend. It is true that the riding that elected Harry Worton for years and years as an opposition Liberal during the Tory dynasty could now be going to elect Tories more and more. Consider the large margin last time when Ms. Elliot won her seat. She certainly is a strong candidate. Another point to consider is that Guelph, growing and growing more and more, is more in line with the 905 voter trends that favor the Tories. Many more Tory victories in the Royal City.
12/08/03 Frozen Toast
If the Liberals still enjoyed their 18 to 20 point lead in the polls, I might give Liz Sandals a chance. However, the Liberal lead has slipped and it now looks like it's going to be a very close election. That means the Liberals have a chance to win ridings where they were in the game last time but not ridings like Guelph-Wellington where they were not even close. Brenda Elliott has enough personal capital, the party label and a campaign team to help her hold off Liz Sandals. I'll say by 4500 votes.
09/08/03 Paint My Fence
With the NDP coming up in the polls, Brenda Elliott is safer than ever before in Guelph-Wellington. NDP candidate, James Valcke is taking votes right out of Liz Sandals pocket and that leaves Brenda with her solid base and the victory. Vote splits are going to be THE story of campaign, 2003.
24/07/03 MFG
As a native of Guelph, I find it ridiculous that recent comments here have described Brenda Elliott as personally popular - she won in 1995 and in 1999 simply because she was the Mike Harris candidate - no other reason. On a riding level, she is not regarded as having done a spectacular job - she's more seen as a Tory yes-man, or yes-woman, rather. Sure she's in cabinet - but most people know why - not due to her talent handling portfolios. The fact that she was Minister of Environment when all the cuts took place, which led, in part, to Walkerton is not forgotten on voters here. Her "testimony" at the Walkerton inquiry did not go over well here. Plus, now that she's Community & Social Services Minister - hasn't really done her that well either - she's invisible in the media as a Minister - except when scandal breaks out - her pathetic defensiveness when the Children's Advocate criticized her publicly did not make her look good. Liz Sandals is seen as a so! lid alternative to Brenda Elliott. Elliott won this election in 1999 with the same average percentage as Tories in neighbouring ridings - but make no mistake about it - Guelph-Wellington is a swing riding - it votes in the winner. So if the Liberals are set to win the Province, Liz Sandals will win easily here. And the mediocre Brenda Elliott will be gone. Bye bye!
23/07/03 D.F.
"Brenda seems like she's winning by default." That will be her downfall. There is a real sense in the community that everything she has done or left undone has been by default. Her complaicency is her weakness. Brenda will fall like a bowling pin. Liz is weak and already rolling down the gutter withe her attacks. Howard Hampton and the NDP have set themselves up for a strike. If there's a power shortage in the middle of the election guess what'll be the HOT ISSUE? Hydro. Don't count out the NDP. It seems as though they just may take Guelph by default......no wait, that's called good policy at the appropriate time. Public power has got a ring to it.
18/07/03 Ringleader Sally
The big question in Guelph-Wellington is, what ever happened to the Liz Sandals campaign? Liz won a very hot nomination battle and seemed to be picking up steam but then her campaign faded to almost nothing. I'm not sure what happened but there is no Liberal machine out there for Liz. It would have taken a miracle for Liz to pull the rug out from under Brenda Elliott but now I don't think we're even go to see anything like many had hoped for in this campaign. Brenda seems like she's winning by default.
15/07/03 Scooby Doo
Guelph has stopped being a self contained community of people who live and work their. It's now a commuter town where people drive to Mississauga and Toronto every day. This has changed the city so that it has the look and feel of what people call a 905 belt riding. I don't think people took this into consideration when they were so surprised that Brenda Elliott won her seat by so much in 1999. If anything, Guelph is more a commuter town in 2003 than it was four years ago. There's one other issue to consider. For some reason that I have a hard time explaining, Brenda Elliott has a personal popularity in here that will make it impossible to beat her. Liz Sandals is an average candidate, not a great one and she'll finish well behind Brenda.
12/07/03 Hop on Pop
Liz Sandals is nowhere to be found this summer in Guelph-Wellington. Perhaps a bit of over confidance on Liz's part as it looks like she's taking the riding for granted. She shouldn't be making this mistake. Guelph is becoming more conservative these days and it's going to be very difficult to beat Brenda Elliott. I can see Brenda winning by 4000 votes.
12/07/03 BD
Although Brenda did win by such a high margin, I think it is highly probable that she will lose a large part of that vote to Liz. Even though Brenda is popular, I think she will place second by only 3 to 5 % of the vote.
21/06/03 My Little Pony
Brenda Elliot is still very popular in Guelph-Wellington. Liz Sandals on the other hand is seen with some big question marks. Soft Tory voters are not happy with Liz for giving up her membership in their party. Liberals are concerned that Liz switch teams because she thought the Liberals would win this time. I just can't see Brenda losing Guelph-Wellington after winning it so big last time.
09/06/03 Piggly Wiggly
It's former Tory, Liz Sandals against current Tory, Brenda Elliott. I still can't believe Liz bought a Liberal membership card after all these years. Say it aint so, Liz! Guelph-Wellington is still a pretty conservative place. That's why they'll vote for the real thing, Tory Brenda Elliott. Unlike some people,who shall remain nameless, I don't think this will be close.
29/05/03 D.F.
I think I'll go into seclusion for the summer since, like I said, there won't be an election. One last unavoidable point though. The nomination of Liz Sandals to become the candidate for the G-W Liberals was an intense battle. There are a lot of true Liberals that are really upset about this nomination and feel as though there party has been hyjacked by Sandals' suporters. The saying "walk lightly and carry a big stick" has not been the case for Sandals. She has been flexing her muscle way too much. Some would say to the point of being pushy. I was at that nomination meeting. I have been a keen observer of all candidates. I have my finger on the pulse of local Liberals and my ear to what they aren't saying in public and behind backs. Many will never except the fact that Sandals is a Liberal. A vote for the NDP out of speight or no vote at all is what they're saying. I believe Sandals thinks way too much of herself. I'm not alone. The local Lib team might get a real surprise come E-Day when there so-called support fails miserably. One piece of advice for the Lib. team Trust No One. Ya just might be surprised to see the motives of some. Have a good summer all.
27/05/03 Cowboy Bob
I live in Southwestern Ontario and I think this part of the province is going to decide the election. So let's get right to it. Brenda Elliot and Liz Sandals will give us one of the best races in the whole province. Liz was a Conservative for years and she's brought some of the Tories over to her camp. I don't think it will be enough to catch Brenda. She has a good team and lots of money.
23/05/03 Grizz
Though Guelph is a left-leaning city, the NDP are not going to win this. This is a Liberal/PC race and for now I'm withholding a call, though my gutt is telling me close liberal win.
23/05/03 D.F.
Just to be the devils advocate, the National Post isn't exactly the most media neutral outlet in Canada. If you don't believe me.....Ask anyone! Not to pick and choose but Liz and Brenda have some major negative issues they have to work out. James looks, so far, to be taking the high road while Liz and Brenda scrap it out in the trenches. This could overall effect the publics view of the candidates. But, hay, what the hell do I know? Maybe the Greens will be a % factor in Guelph. Maybe the leadership debates, which we all know a major segment of the public makes its decisions from, will be the only factors in public opinion? Maybe Ernie will turn Ontario into a dictatorship and claim hiself Supreme King almighty? I think that's pretty much the only position he hasn't taken so far, eh? Nyuck nyuck nyuck! Good fun:-) No matter what the outcome, this election is turning out to be the one of the most "up-in-the-air" atmospheres to date. I think we can all agree on that.
23/05/03 Crystal Ball
There are some strange posts on the Guelph-Wellington site predicting a NDP victory. Looking at the National Post today and finding the NDP dead last with only 11 per cent of support, it's impossible to believe that James Valke will come in anywhere but third. The Tories seem to have some momentum right now and that should be enough for Brenda Elliot to hold off Liz Sandals. I would think this will be one of the ridings pundits will be keying on during the election campaign season.
13/05/03 D.F.
I believe it plainly clear we will not be expecting an election until this fall. With Elliott starting to back-off from defending her reputation in Guelph suggests that she doesn't want to put the effort into it anymore until the election call or soon before that. Notably as well, Elizabeth Sandals, Lib candidate, has opened and closed her campaign office once already within a 2 month period. I have witnessed some very interesting back-and-forths amoung Libs and PCs and have come to the conclusion that they will literally destroy each other.
16/04/03 ME
Brenda making dumb comment? (Branda simply being stupid?) Hum, you must be kidding me... Who was the first cabinet minister fired by Mike Harris again?
14/04/03 Pay the Rent
People seem to forgetting (or ignoring) an important local issue in this riding that will doom Brenda Elliott. The federal government wants to convert a recently shut down prison into an immigrant/refugee holding centre, restoring many jobs that were lost when the facility shut down. The proposal has the support of CUPE, and all local politicians (federal MP, city council)except Brenda Elliott who has been sabotaging the plan. First she claimed city residents didn't want murderers and criminals staying in Guelph. When she was reminded immigrants aren't muderers and criminals and that her comments were racist, she changed her tune and made up a figure of $6 million to convert the faciliy from a prison to its new use and that the province couldn't afford it. The local newspaper recently reported that the actual cost would be around $200,000. Many residents are questioning why she is so opposed to creating new jobs in their community at a very minimal cost. This will cost her votes and credibility.
21/03/03 El Predicto
More NDP daydreams from DF. The NDP got 11% of the vote and are running around 15% province wide yet for some reason DF smells victory in a riding the Tories won by 10,000 votes last time. DF needs a reality check. Brenda Elliot just has too big a margin to work with this time. She's going to hang on to this seat with the NDP coming third as usual.
18/03/03 D.F.
Panther says that this riding is traditionally a strong Tory riding? Panther couldn't be further from the truth. Elliott has been the only Tory to provincialy represent this riding since....? I only looked as far back as 1959. But before that maybe it was a strong Tory riding (says D.F sarcastically). NDP MPP Derek Fletcher represented this community for a term. liberal, Rick Ferraro, for 2 terms. liberal MPP, Harry Worton, essentially owned this riding for 30 years. But before that....maybe Tory (sarcastically). No offence to Elliott suporters but there is a strong feeling amoung community members that she has a face ready to be rubbed into a puddle of mud. Opinions range from "murderer of 7 in Walkerton" to "Tory consultants puppet". And now that they are clearly having so many problems with this damn budget fiasco, I expect that Elliott will not be gaining any favour from her constituents. She has had 8 years to prove herself and has consistently been a dissapointent to Guelph. I believe that the one thing we do agree on is how weak Lis Sandals actually is. Sandals doesn't seriously expect Guelph voters to believe she's a loveable liberal? But I guess that her flip-flopping between the Tories and the liberals is fairly consisent with the liberal party on all the issues. Dalton has flip-flopped more times than a fish out of water. Even if you don't know Valcke, everyone remembers Howard Hampton.
17/03/03 Puslinch Puma
This may be a first - but I actually agree with the Panther on this one. I may not vote for her (I am a proud independent until election day) but Brenda does get around the riding and works it hard. You cannot argue with a 9,000 vote plurality even if the Liberals do win the province, its tough to eat up 9000 votes and unseat a sitting Cabinet Minister. Sandals association with the School Boards - the least popular part of the entire school system - will hurt her a lot more than people think. All people think of with the school board is the big, fancy board offices. I say Brenda takes it but her margin is cut in half.
17/03/03 SM
I'm switching my vote. It doesn't look like the Liberals can pull it off, though I stand by my criticisms of Elliot. Thus, the logical next place to park your vote is with the NDP. Of course I'm a bit biased in being involved with the NDP, but I've predicted wins for Liberals and Tories too, so I'm really just calling it like I see it.
16/03/03 Panther
Brenda Elliott will win Guelph Wellington. This riding is a traditionally a strong Tory riding, that alone should be enough for a win for Elliott. As well, Elliott's riding organization and campaign team are extremely strong. With Liz Sandals as the Liberal Candidate, people will associate her as the "teachers candidate" and the recent physical assault that the Catholic teachers did to the Education Minister will have a huge negative impact on Sandels. This will push Elliott even further over the top with a plurality greater than 1999.
14/03/03 El Predicto
I think it's pretty clear tht DF is a very optimistic New Democrat. You'd have to be to think that a little known candidate like James Valcke is going to take the NDP from 11% of the vote in 1999 to victory over Brenda Elliott. Even the strongest NDP supporters in organized labour are either backing Liz Sandals or staying out of this riding because they know there's nothing for the NDP here. Sorry DF but your candidate is going to finish a weak third again. I stand by my prediction that Brenda will hold this riding for the Tories.
11/03/03 THE GAMBLER
The Gambler is putting his money on Brenda Elliott to win Guelph-Wellington. Make no mistake, this is a two horse race with Brenda and Liz taking each other on. They both have some baggage to carry in the race but Brenda's will be lighter because she's been in the race before and will know how to handle it. I see this one close at the beginning with Brenda pulling away in the home stretch and winning this one going away.
10/03/03 D.F.
With Earl Manners (former pres. of OSSTF) running for Haliburton-Victoria-Brock riding under the NDP banner along with the NDP's strong education policies, I believe that Liberal candidate Liz Sandals will now be looked at as irrelevant on all issues including education. Further to that she still has to deal with the issue of being a Tory memeber less than a year ago hanging over her head like the sky hangs over the ocean. Again, rumours have it that the Tories are aware of the writing on the wall and will not hold substancial power once the chips fall. Certainly Elliott has got her work cut out for her with much more oposition than she has ever faced. I think that once this campaign gets under way Guelph-Wellington voters will cast their vote for James Valcke and the NDP. At least nothing has yet lead me to think otherwise?
25/02/03 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
In fact, Wayne Hyland did *not* have strong union support last time; this is one of those seats where the NDP sought to be competitive in '99 and effectively split/dampered the left-wing strategic advantage. Thus Brenda Elliott was, like Garry Guzzo and certain others, reelected with a somewhat inflated mandate against the tug-of-war between two bickering opposition candidates. This time...well, Liz Sandals is far more likely to have the strategists firmly in her Liberal camp. Trouble is, the New Democrats still like to flaunt a little bit of college-town pep in here (they cracked 10% federally in *2000*, for heaven's sake). What'll make or break Brenda Elliott again is what threw her over the 50% threshold last time; rural mandates in the 2/3 range a la Tilson or Chudleigh. But given her "weak minister" reputation, topped out by Walkerton, well, expect her to be targeted with a concentrated vengeance...
21/02/03 El Predicto
Brenda Ellioitt, like a number of Tory cabinet ministers has struggled at Queen's Park. Brenda is however an experienced campaigner with a strong local team. She surprised the pundits by winning Guelph-Wellington by 10,000 votes in 1999. Liberal candidate Liz Sandals has not been the type of star candidate the Liberals were hoping for when she won the nomination in a bitter battle. Liz has not attracted any of the union support that 1999 Liberal candidate Wayne Hyland had last time. Liz has also found a lot of parents in this riding see her as being part of the problem in eduction in the last 8 years. Put all these issues together and the Liberals will not be able to really cut into the 10,000 vote Tory majority of 1999. Mark this one down for the Tories.
19/02/03 D.F.
James Valcke and the NDP will take this riding. After reviewing the backgrounds and experiences of the Lib and PC candidates Valcke stands head and shoulders above the rest. Liberal Candidate, Liz Sandals, helped Brenda Elliott get elected in '95 by working on her campaign team and only became a Liberal member a year ago only after Elliott had decided to run again for the PCs. Liz Sandals will be exposed as a flip-flopping politician and will instill no confidence in the voters. Brenda Elliott has so many things against her I can see no reason for her to win again. After Walkerton and her "I didn't do it" plee Guelph-Wellington is a little bit tired of associating with such a reputation. Furthermore the PCs really screwed up on the Hydro? What were they thinking? James Valcke is a fresh face and arrives on the scene with no baggage. The NDP has also proved to the voter that they are on the right side of the latest policy issues (i.e. Hydro, Education, Health Care,...) I believe that if properly maneuvered James Valcke and the NDP could really make their mark here.
03/02/03 AP
The Tories are running their incumbent, Brenda Elliott. Elliott's performance in the legislature has been dismal. Her record as Environment Minister, spanning the time when the conditions leading up to Walkerton were put in place - was terrible. The final Walkerton Report points this out. Her record as Minister of Community, Family and Children's Services is just as bad. She rejecyted out of hand any consideration of implementing the recommendations of the coroner's inquest into the death of Kimberley Rogers.
The Liberal candidate, Liz Sandals, is a long time Tory who worked on Elliott's previous election campaigns. The Liberals want her portrayed as a "star" candidate, but she may not shine quite as brightly as they hope, especially when the Liberal machine steamrollered over long time Party stalwarts in the nomination process.
The NDP is enjoying a boost from Jack Layton's victory federally and the excellent work by Howard Hampton on issues such as Hydro privatization. This can only help the James Valcke, who will be putting up a vigorous fight in his own right.
It'll be an interesting campaign that the NDP can win just as easily as anyone else.
03/02/03 Edward Pickersgill
Email: Lab@assets.net
Evidently the predictions in Guelph Wellington will concentrate on a face off between incumbent Brenda Elliott (PC) and former PC Liz Sandals (Lib). The NDP has a young candidate, James Valcke in place since our nomination meeting in May 2002. James will be worth watching closely in the time up to E-day. He is the only one of the three major candidates who has never worked on a Brenda Elliott campaign. That in itself will be worth consideration by voters as the GWNDP points from time to time to the pair that we refer to as the Tory Sisters.
05/12/02 SM
The Liberals have done enough pretending to make it look like they really care about education, and with a candidate like Sandals, I'd expect local residents to give them a chance. Elliot has also been a general screw-up, and constituents are unlikely to enjoy having such a reputation attached to their region. Also, I doubt many people are thrilled with the reaction of the province to the Romanow commission on Health Care, so perhaps they may be a bit more inclined to vote for a certain party so as to get a government that's a wee bit more co-operative on that front.
12/11/02 Andrew Cox
Too close to call. Reasons. 1) Brenda Elliott. The Walkerton Inquiry was particularly hard on Elliott, casting her as a weak "rubber-stamp" Minister who allowed the Environment Ministry to be destabilized by budget cuts mandated by Harris and Eves. Her testimony was embarassingly inept and she seemed to point fingers at everyone but herself. 2) Elliott's return to cabinet in Community and Family Services, puts her in the sights of unions and interest groups gunning to take out a Minister. Watch for both anti-poverty and environmental groups to focus on Guelph. 3) The Liberals nominated an undeniable star candidate with Liz Sandals, the head of Ontario's public school boards. Her profile and communications skills will boost the Grit ticket. 4) The flip-side of Sandals nomination means NDP support will slide further as strategic voters go with the name candidate to win. 5) Elliott won this riding in 1999 by almost 10,000 votes. 6) Elliott is playing on people's fears by campaigning strongly against the use of a closed local correctional facility as a depot for new immigrants and refuges. That issue could play well for her. This one will be close.

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