Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003


Last Update:
4:01 PM 01/10/2003

Prediction Changed:
4:01 PM 01/10/2003

Political Profile:

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Liberal Party:
Carol Mitchell
Progressive Conservative:
Helen Johns
New Democratic Party:
Grant Robertson
Green Party:
Shelley Hannah

Helen Johns

Federal MP:
Paul Steckle

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

20772 45.75%

18993 41.83%

4142 9.12%

1494 3.29%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality11 204
Paul Steckle
21 547 49.9%
Mark Beaven
10 343 24%
Ken Kelly
8 138 18.9%
Christine Kemp
2 669 6.2%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation65.90%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born91.46%
Ontario Born86.36%
Visible Minority1.05%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$122814

College/Trade School23350

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01/10/03 The Sauce
Back in 1999 everyone said that Helen Johns would never beat Ross Lamont but she managed to pull it out. The same thing is happening this time. All the experts are writing Johns off and handing the riding to Carol Mitchell. Helen will shock everyone on election night by keeping her seat and nobody will know how she did it again. The truth is that the more the Toronto media attacks Helen, the more protective of her the people in this riding feel and they'll give Johns a victory.
01/10/03 RPW
Too close to call? Only because there are a bunch of early PC posts. The following will doom Helen Johns to the world of infomercials: meat packing scandal, absence at debates and failure to pick up the phone when the curioius come calling. Add to that the really meaty issue - a 1999 victory with <4% cushion, and you see the real story here. If you look at the numbers from last time, this is clearly a two-horse race. And as I'm sure The Gambler knows, if one horse ain't runnin', the other horse wins.
30/09/03 Mike
I thought that I had better make another post here to correct a lot of mis-informed people about Huron-Bruce. The history of this riding is simple. The Huron portion of this riding was held from 1973 to 1990 by former Liberal Agriculture Minister Jack Riddell. The Bruce portion of this riding was also held by the Liberals, under Murray Gaunt and then Murray Elston. Both Jack and Murray Elston were extremely popular. Only after these two individuals retired, has this riding been held by other parties. In 1990, Huron went with the NDP and Murray Elston was reelected in 1990. After Murray retired in 1995, the Bruce portion went Tory for the first time in a long time as did Huron as well. Taking into account the history of this riding, it is indeed more of a liberal riding then any hardcore Tory would like to admit. After 1995, many people in the south end of the riding felt and still feel that Helen was a parachute candidate and better suited for an urban riding rather than Huron Bruce. To this day, Helen has never once cared for this riding nor has she ever cared for the people. The only person t! hat she has cared for is herself. There was a time in the last few years that Helen would NEVER APPEAR AT ANY EVENT, even for participating in a parade at a local fair. What was Helen afraid of? To this day, no one knows the answer to that question. Except that we now know that Helen sure can't take the pressure or the heat for all her mistakes and the mistakes of her party. Good riddence Helen.
27/09/03 TM
Email: thomasmackay@cogeco.ca
Liberal Win. The tainted meat fiasco has made Johns look like she doesn't care about public safety. Her silence reminded voters here of her silence during the Walkerton saga.
27/09/03 H.G.
Helen Johns is headed for a big-time defeat here. For someone who says she represents the farmers of this community, Helen is spending a lot of time in the towns - Kincardine, Southampton, Port Elgin, and Goderich. Now, while that could be interpreted as trying to gain the more "urban" vote in this rural riding (who have traditionally voted more Liberal), my guess is that she wants to avoid confrontations with the very farmers she claims to represent - who are more than a little upset with her - especially in the Seaforth and Wingham areas.
26/09/03 The Big Ape
Email: thebigape2000@hotmail.com
With all the formentioned problems/scandals/fiascos associated with Helen and the PC's in general, and with the red tide sweeping the provence, this one will fall to the Liberals. Enough said on this.
25/09/03 Jake
WELL, "Call me Shades", you can't be any farther away from being correct. I know nothing about rural Ontario? Have you been to any of the debates lately? Helen sure does not have the support of Rural Ontario. Of course the cattle producers write nice things aobut Helen - THAT IS HOW THEY GET MONEY!!! Same sex issue? What same sex issue? That is a Federal issue, not a provincial one. This has NOTHING to do with the provincial election. Sorry "Call me Shades", but Helen is going back to her old job. As I said before, this is a swing riding, and with the polls even worse for Ernie than last I worte, this is going to swing with the liberals, who will win the election easily.
23/09/03 Senior Adviser
Huron Bruce is going to vote Liberal this election. Carol Mitchell is a strong local candidate with a good profile in the Huron part of the riding. She has been mayor and warden of the county of Huron for two terms. This was PC territory last time. The Liberal vote will remain strong in the Bruce part of the riding. The Bruce part of this riding borders on Walkerton and includes a part of Brockton. The Bruce Power workers are solidly behind Carol Mitchell. Helen Johns will lose votes in the south part of the riding - Huron. With a stronger Liberal vote in towns such as Clinton and Goderich this will easily overcome the relatively close result last time. The Osprey Media poll published on Monday for central Ontario ridings included Huron Bruce as one of the ridings covered. This poll reported a dramatic increase in the Liberal vote in ridings that were all Tory in '99. The poll showed that the Liberal vote is now 46% compared to 34% in '99. The Tory vote has dropped 16% in these ridings to 40%. Helen Johns has been hiding from the media over the meat inspection issue. Remember when SARS was the hot issue? Tony Clement was out front on the issue. When it comes to Aylmer it is obvious that the Premier's office has told her to keep out of sight because she can't handle her portfolio. She has avoided the media at each opportunity. At the International Plowing Match she refused to talk to the media and walked away. All she would say was , "I agree with the premier." Global News spent two weeks trying to track her down. Then she was less than forthcoming as to where she was that day, saying that she had spent the day in Kincardine when clearly she had spent time at the Seaforth Fair. When she does say something, she flubs it. When asked by the media why she hasn't been heard from on the meat inspection issue, she said she was too busy trying to get elected to pay attention to issues in her portfolio. Incredible! This led to Opposition demands that she resign if she can't do her job. By contrast, her cabinet colleague on the meat inspection issue, Jerry Ouellete, said he was afraid he might lose his riding because of the pressures of his cabinet job and he hasn't had as much time to campaign. At the all-candidates' debate last week sponsored by the Federation of Agriculture Carol Mitchell was the clear audience favorite. That was quite telling in the Agriculture minister's own riding! Audience questions centred on agriculture issues, rural school closures and the lack of local health care services. The central PC campaign is clearly worried about this riding. Eves spent half a day in the Goderich area about ten days ago doing two events and holding private meetings. Many people in the Goderich area were ticked off by making the Goderich BBQ with Eves an "invitation-only" event. No doubt - Huron Bruce is going Liberal.
22/09/03 Mike
Goodbye Helen. I must give Helen a little credit for how she has performed as ag minister. However, recent events indicate that Helen is in for a signicant defeat this time. She has a number of issues running against her this time: rural school closures north of Highway 8, Walkerton, Aylmer Tainted Meat (especially her comments that she was too busy campaigning then to worry about tainted meat), BSE crisis (inability to secure additional funding), an intense dislike of Helen in the northernmost reaches of the riding, failure to show up at community functions, failure to discuss issues or listen to constituants, complete failure to return calls to constituants, among many others. Putting Helen in as ag minister was seen as an attempt to try to shore up Tory support in rural Ontario.
20/09/03 lrs
this one should be close- she is minister and that has to count for some votes- will criticism from press for her absence from the issues that have arisen in agriculture be seen as picking unfairly on a local girl - still of polls correct- libs should gain seat due to small plurality- old Lib base from 1970-1980's
20/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
Goodbye Helen: A) You nailed your own coffin with your Aylmer meat comments. Very irresposible. It won't affect the rest of the province but you're going down. B) Tiny margin of victory in 1999 in what should have been a safe riding. C) Cabinet, sure but by no means has her performance in agriculture been phenomenal. D) Tories are going down and the part of the cabinet always goes with the government. Say goodbye Newman, Turnbull, Molinari and Johns.
20/09/03 C.W.
If the Libs can't take this seat, they won't form the government. Baird is a laughing stock across the province. He and Helen Johns are "third string" material. His abysmal performance in the Energy portfolio should make it difficult for him to retain this seat.
17/09/03 DL
So "Helen Johns knows more about agriculture and rural Ontario than Dalton McGuinty will if he lives to be 1200." This comment pretty much sums up the silly and childish campaign the conservatives are running. In reality, Helen Johns is in real trouble here. The meat scandal is going to take her down. I don't think there are many people in Ontario who would vote for someone who hides away from such a serious issue like meat contamination. Its her job to address the issue, and she hasn't done it.
14/09/03 Meat Inspector
Carol Mitchell the Liberal Candiate will triumpt over Helen Johns, Tory incumbent and Minister of Agriculture and Food. Unfortunately, the Minister will pay the price for falling asleep at the switch over the growing Meat Inspection scandal in her ministry, and for not acting on her own ministry officals reccommendations regarding the provincial meat inspection program. Perhaps the Minister should have responded to the July 17, 2003 letter and subsequent phone calls from the Ontario Contract Meat Inspectors Group.
13/09/03 Craig
Helen Johns 'defeated herself' over the handling of the tainted meat scandal here. It was already a marginal Tory seat, and Walkerton added more problems (which seem to have gone away now in the minds of the electorate), but this most recent issue has placed Carol Mitchell over the top. Voters are going to think that she is not capable of running the agricultural ministry with the tainted meat issue. Current prediction: Mitchell 52%, Johns 36%, Hannah 8%, Robertson 3%, others 1%.
12/09/03 Old Bruce Boy
Email: dsimms@arvotek.net
This is cattle country and Johns' poor performance in Aylmer deadstock scandal has really hurt her and the Conservative Party. She isn't a likable person. She is arrogant any whiney. Voters will drop her like a hot potato. Lots of non-farm people in the riding are also mad at the Conservatives for closing Bruce A and the subsequent sale of the Bruce Power plant. The NDP candidate is a good man but I give this race to the Liberals. People here just want the Conservatives out.
10/09/03 Call Me Shades
There's no way Jake knows anything about rural Ontario. He's way off on everything he said. First of all saying the Liberals are going to win this seat because they're going to form a government is very premature. It's the Tories that have moved up in the polls and this election is very much in doubt. Whoever wins the province will do it with a razor thin victory. Secondly, Helen Johns has been pretty successful as the Agriculture Minister but don't take my word for it. Have a look at the Federation of Agriculture newsletters and check out some of the material from the cattle producers. They all write very nice things about Helen. Carol Mitchell will not even begin to be taken seriously as a candidate until the September 26 deadline for filing for the municipal election comes and goes. Mitchell is still being dogged by rumours that she's going to run for re-election as mayor. One more issue that puts this riding in the hands of Helen Johns. It's the same sex marriage issue that is not going to go away. Sorry Jake but Helen Johns is going to be re-elected.
08/09/03 A.J.
Although a number of valid points about Helen Johns popularity and lack of media exposure in a positive light. For the most part it was a smart move to place her in charge of Agriculture when the premier did and obviously counts highly in this mostly rural riding. As a politician I've always felt she's had lackluster success and now stakes a claim to "supposedly" ending the agricultural waste issue. Even if her input was minimal generally it's about time. Education is almost a secondary issue here as the AvonMaitland School Board has more than demonstrated their prowess. If someone wants to leap ahead of the pack here deal with Agriculture, Tax cuts, and job creation.
07/09/03 Jake
Obviously "Kippers for Breakfast" does not know a whole lot about his riding either. Helen is in alot of trouble. This riding has been well-known for voting for the party who gets into power, NOT the individual. The only way Helen will win is if Eves remains Premier. If anything, Helen has a bad name in this rural riding (No BSE support, the Aylmer situation just to name two.) Her name NEVER appears in the papers unless she is in trouble. I think Eves is in trouble, which puts Helen in trouble. People will vote Liberal.
03/09/03 Kippers For Breakfast
E-mails like the last one from WD happen when the person knows nothing about the riding they're talking about. Helen Johns is going to be re-elected in Huron-Bruce for the following reasons. This is a big riding where communities at one end don't have any contact with ones at the other end. This is always a problem for the Liberals. Last time they ran Ross Lamont who was very popular in his end of the riding but was a nobody in the south. This time the Liberals are running Carol Mitchell who is high profile in her community but unknown in the north. This leaves Helen Johns as the only candidate who is known throughout the riding. Another problem for Mitchell is she won't be getting the support from the power workers at the Bruce like Ross Lamont did. Lamont turned the generally Tory Bruce workers into Liberals last election. Carol can't do that. For these reasons and many more like the same sex issue, Helen Johns wins again.
28/08/03 WD
Helen Johns is a good person. A nice person. She is, however, a poor minister and a terrible politician who makes mistakes nearly every time she opens her mouth. Witness her gaffe with the Alberta mad cow question -- she very nearly made the Eves government the enemy of Ralph Klein. You'll also notice that since then, the Tories haven't allowed her to take any profile on any issues - including the Aylmer meat fiasco, which falls under her jurisdiction as Agriculture Minister and is an issue that directly affects her riding! Instead, they let James Young take the lead. If I were Helen, I'd be dusting off the old resume.
18/07/03 Lizard
Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals have no agriculture policy. Helen Johns is a very popular agriculture minister who's worked hard for Ontario's farmers. That's why Johns is going to be re-elected whether Carol Mitchell stays in the election or not.
21/06/03 Slim Shady
With the provincial election delayed until the fall, Carol Mitchell, the municipal politician may well be dropping out of the provincial race. Mitchell knows that it's going to take a lot of luck to beat Helen Johns. That's why she's leaning towards returning to a safe municipal election in November that she can't lose. With so many municipal politicians running for the Liberals this time, a fall election is going to cost them some candidates. Mitchell is at the top of that list. Either way, Helen Johns is not going to lose her seat.
20/06/03 Free Willy
What people don't understand about this riding is that Helen Johns has earned the respect of Ontario farmers by working very hard as the Minister of Agriculture. The farmers in her home riding think she's done a good job representing them and will be voting for Helen again this time. Carol Mithchell just doesn't have any type of base of support to compete with what Helen Johns has put together.
30/05/03 Crystal Ball
I for one must honestly say that I will not miss the strange posts that J.Smythe has been making. I really don't know where he gets his ideas about what rural Ontario is like in 2003? I will say that rural Ontario has elected a lot of Conservatives and is likely to do so again. That's why I originally thought Helen Johns would defeat Carol Mitchell with Grant Robertson battling the Green Party to see who would finish third.
27/05/03 J Smythe
Iím going away so this will be my last time I write. It is very amusing reading things from people that have no clue about rural Ontario or this area. You make it sound as if farmers only vote based on hunting season. We see what is happening with the decline of farm families, health care, hydro and education. We vote based on many of the same issues as you urbanites and we want change. In many ways Robertsonís appeal is not about partisan politics, it is about someone giving voice to what people have been talking about around their kitchen tables. As for the Green Party- is there even a candidate? Grant Robertson lives in Brockton, which includes Walkerton. Robertson has been an outspoken critic of large corporate agriculture taking over farming, and what it is doing to farm families, the environment and communities. I was at a farm meeting awhile ago where a neighbouring Liberal candidate quoted him extensively to get support. Robertson hasnít just been talking about environmental issues, he has been doing things. The Greens poll ahead, please. Just this past week Robertson was in just about every weekly paper I picked up, speaking about education, pensions and other issues. He is setting the agenda whether you want to admit it or not. People like and respect Grant, they are listening. They are responding to what he is saying. I was never an NDP supporter, until I heard him speak. I am not alone. All I wanted to do was report what I see happening here, but you donít listen. Come election day you clever urbanites can admit to this simple country girl that I was right. A close, up the middle, Robertson win, but a win. For now Iím signing off.
27/05/03 Cowboy Bob
Coming from the southwest as I do, I can tell you that the best chance the Liberals had to win this riding was in 1999 with Ross Lamont. I don't know why Ross didn't run again but he would have given the Liberals a real shot at beating Helen Johns. Carol Mitchell is well liked in her region, but most people in the other end of the riding have never heard of her. People like to know the candidate they're voting for down here and that gives Helen a leg up on Carol. Helen has handed out a lot of cheques in the riding this last year and it may be old style politics but it still works.
23/05/03 Craig
Sounds like a Tory stronghold 'Reality Check'? The margin of victory in 1999 was 1800 votes, and that was without Walkerton and with much better Tory fortunes. If the Liberals stay where they are in the polls, look for Carol Mitchell to easily take the seat. If the Tories can eat into the lead, they might be able to contend. The NDP are NOT going to be a factor here, in fact they will likely finish fourth behind the Green Party. As a result all the anti-Tory vote is going into one place. Predicted results: LIB 40%, PC 35%, Green 14% (mainly due to Walkerton), NDP 6%.
23/05/03 Crystal Ball
I have to say the strange posts on this riding site caught my eye. How could anyone think the NDP would challenge for this riding? Looking at the National Post today and seeing the NDP dead last with 11 per cent, I would think anyone with a lick of sense would stop posting anything saying their party was still challenging for this riding. I would think with the Tories up in the polls that Helen Johns will beat Carol Mitchell.
21/05/03 Reality Check
Looks like J.Smythe and Grizz really need a reality check. The NDP just don't have a base in Huron-Bruce. It's too rural. Don't take my word for it. Ask the unions who are involved in the election. They are putting money into the NDP candidates in ridings like Etobicoke-Lakeshore and Scarborough South West. There isn't a single union PAC that is putting a dime into Huron Bruce. The unions have done their research and figured out Grant Robertson doesn't have a prayer. Look for the NDP to stay in single digits in their percentage of the vote. If the election doesn't happen until the fall, Grizz will be back in school in Quebec and have to get a proxy vote.
20/05/03 J Smythe
I must say I agree with Grizz to an extent. I think this riding is a complete toss up. However, I think it is a 3 way toss up. Voter appeal in this part of Ontario is not so much partisan as populist. This has been the successful route for a number of area politicians. Look at Paul Stekle federally and Bill Murdoch provincially. They are but the latest examples of winning populist politicians from this area. Grant Robertson is very much a populist with very broad appeal, looking at provincial polling numbers or past elections will not help very much. His appeal will be based on his draw not party labels. And he is very well known, liked and respected family farm and education advocate locally. Helen Johns seems to disagree with Reality Check. My local paper carried a letter to the editor this past week in which Helen Johns went out of her way to attack Robertson. It was not very successful from what people around here have said in conversations, but the fact she did it all tells me she is very worried about his campaign. Liberal friends tell me they are really worried about a Robertson-Johns fight because they will be forgotten. This race is just to close to call, but it is a three way one, not a Liberal-Conservative one. People outside the riding will not be able to get it any more than they can get Bill Murdoch's continued appeal next door. If the not very strong Liberal candidate becomes the 3rd banana I predict it will be a Robertson win.
16/05/03 Grizz
I'm putting this in the "I don't really know" column as of yet. Helen Johns is popular with some circles in this riding and worn out her welcome with others. The numbers were close last time and the Liberals are ahead in the polls. This is one to keep watching. As for the NDP, I think J. Smythe is right on it being a long shot, but its going to be a very long shot. One that I think is a no-chancer.
13/05/03 Reality Check
J.Smythe really needs a reality check. The NDP got 9 per cent of the vote in Huron Bruce last time. Now maybe if the NDP were topping the polls you could hope that they'd have a chance in this riding but we all know where the NDP stand in the polls. This is one of about 75 ridings in this province where the NDP come in with other fringe parties like the Greens. The reality here is a tight race between the Tories and the Liberals with Helen Johns winning it thanks to the farmer and hunter vote.
23/04/03 J. Smythe
I think this riding should go into the three way race category. The NDP has gotten lucky, or smart and nominated Grant Robertson. He is a very well-spoken, widely known locally advocate for family farmers and community values. As well, he is the Librarian in Ripley and Lucknow and his wife is apparently a well-liked teacher. I am a frequent user of the Ripley Library and have seen him interact with people regularily, in fact I'm writing this listening to him helping some seniors look up family history. As usual he has them laughing and enjoying themselves. He is a very sincere, helpful person, that people respond to. Grant is widely known, liked and respected as a hard working, community oriented person. It was a suprise to many that he decided to run, but people are becoming very excited about his campaign. People who would normally have never dreamt of voting NDP are seriuosly talking about not just voting, but getting involved. It's maybe still a long shot that the NDP can win this riding, but Grant Robertson is going to have a major impact, becuase of the issues he represents so articulately. He has the potential to pull votes from both the Conservatives, (how my family has always voted) and Liberals. I think this riding is even more up for grabs than it was before. People around here are tired of Helen Johns and looking for someone else, even old Conservatives like my dad. I stumbled across this site and I just wanted to make sure he was given his due as nothing has been said about him.
26/03/03 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
The proximity of Walkerton will surely factor in here. Generally, Huron-Bruce is like Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant; not so much Tory-to-the-bone, as an old Nixon-Liberal farm/small-town stronghold that's tended to swim with the electoral current. And Johns does have that Tory "weak woman minister" aura--on the other hand, the federal Grit rep, Paul Steckle, is the kind of caucus rebel that pleases conservative-leaning voters, so appearances are deceptive. Still, it'll depend on where, and how, the provincial Liberals will carry their strength in the riding--1999's surprising Grit result came through Bruce County Elston-emissary means, if anything.
18/03/03 El Predicto
Good to hear from an actual resident of the riding on the previous post. I'm surprised that an "actual resident" wouldn't understand that Carol Mitchell is a total unknown in two-thirds of the Huron-Bruce riding. I wonder if this "actual resident" of the riding is one of the thousands of hunters who've signed petitions against the federal Liberal gun law and will take their anger out on the provincial Liberals. Sorry to tell this person that their riding is as safe a Tory seat as there is in Ontario these days.
17/03/03 Actual Riding Resident
The Last couple of submission from obvious partisans are so inaccurate it is laughable. Helen Johns is not a popular Minister of Agriculture. On the provincial level she is strongly disliked, have you not heard of the Nutrient Management Act. Some senior people in the OFA are giving her partisan support, but that is causing disarray within the OFA itself. Our family, for the first time, has sent our provincially required membership to the NFU. We know a great many other farmers doing simular things. Locally, both within and outside the farm community, she is strongly disliked. She has been terriable for the riding. When people affected by the actions of her government have gone to her to help she has been dismissive and arrogant. Who knows what will happen in this riding, but THIS IS NOT A SAFE CONSERVATIVE SEAT!
16/03/03 Panther
There is no way that one of the most popular Agriculture Ministers in recent history will lose this riding, which is virtually 100% rural. The agriculture community across the province loves Johns as their Minister. She's even more popular in her own riding. Johns will beat the unknown liberal candidate with a bigger plurality than in 1999.
11/03/03 THE GAMBLER
The Gambler is putting his money on Heleln Johns to win Huron-Bruce. Helen Johns is a heavyweight cabinet minister and Carol Mitchell is a middleweight at best. Carol is in over her head and in the end Helen will come out on top.
21/02/03 El Predicto
Helen Johns will be running again for the Tories no matter what you hear in the news. That give the Tories a big advantage in Huraon-Bruce where Helen is much better thought of than in the rest of the province. The problem Liberal Carol Mitchell is going to have is that this riding is just too small town and rural to elect a Liberal MPP. The Liberal candidate in 1999, Ross Lamont came as close as the Liberals are going to get. Lamont had the advantage of his close ties to former Liberal cabinet minister, Murray Elston. Ross also works at the Bruce Power plant and was able to get the support of the union not only there but other unions. Carol Mitchell will not have any of those advantages this time. Once again, the federal Liberal gun registry will hurt the provincial Liberals as there are a lot of hunters in Huron-Bruce who are very unhappy with the gun law. Put this all together and Helen Johns will hang on in Huron-Bruce. Mark this one down for the Tories.
19/01/03 M.S.
I have to agree with Andrew Cox. The Liberals have a very strong candidate, and the Tories, while they're desperately trying to prop up Helen Johns, must admit she's pretty weak. She's been abysmal in any Ministry she touches, and couldn't win by much last time even with Harris' help. If the Liberals have even an ounce of momentum at the end of the campaign, this riding will swing Liberal.
16/01/03 Ivan
Should be interesting....Helen Johns won last time but it was very close. With rumours persisting that she does not wish to seek re-election, the benefit of incumbancy is not there. Add Walkerton to the mix and you have a recipe for change. Right now it is too close to call, but Liberal fortunes are increasing here by the day.
16/12/02 Andrew Cox
Liberal gain. Reasons: 1) While Walkerton isn't in Huron-Bruce, it is in neighbouring Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound. The tainted water scandal deeply damaged public support for the Conservatives. 2) Helen Johns had a difficult run through cabinet. She replaced a defeated Isabel Bassett in cabinet in 1999, and seems to be positioned as the Bassett of 2003. She's an exposed, low-hanging junior cabinet minister who will probably be bumped off. 3) The riding was close, close, close last time, just an 1800 vote margin. 4) Carol Mitchell is a strong candidate. The former Reeve of Clinton and then the amalgamated Central Huron, she is well known across much of the riding. 5) Problems at the Bruce Nuclear generating station threaten jobs at the main employer in Kincardine. That will hurt the Tories. 6) This was old Murray Eslton's stomping ground for years. The Liberals owned this riding not seven years ago.
05/12/02 SM
Walkerton isn't "close by", it's IN this riding. I sincerely doubt residents will be so quick to forgive, but if they are, I have to wonder if they every really fixed the water problem, since there's got to be something just shy of natural that's making them forget so soon. It is rural, and south, so the NDP have little to no chance, which leaves the Liberals.
26/10/02 AL
This Rural area is bnound to go Tory!! Despite the fact that Walkerton is close by!

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