Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003

London West

Last Update:
5:29 PM 28/09/2003

Prediction Changed:
5:07 PM 21/09/2003

Political Profile:

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Liberal Party:
Chris Bentley
Progressive Conservative:
Bob Wood
New Democratic Party:
Patricia Dalton
Green Party:
Bronagh Morgan

Bob Wood

Federal MP:
Sue Barnes

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

22761 44.92%

22467 44.34%

4628 9.13%

308 0.61%

236 0.47%

133 0.26%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality13 632
Sue Barnes
23 794 49.4%
Salim Mansur
10 162 21.1%
Jeff Lang
9 788 20.3%
George Goodlet
3 596 7.5%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation67.10%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born80.21%
Ontario Born70.50%
Visible Minority7.26%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$165724

College/Trade School24745

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28/09/03 Andrew Cox
Liberal gain. The latest London Free Press survey shows all four London area seats going Liberal. Ipsos-Reid has the Grits up by 16% in the Southwest, with the NDP stuck at 13%. Chris Bentley is London West's next MPP.
20/09/03 M.S.
I think it's time to call this one for the Liberals. I was willing to give Bob Wood the benefit of the doubt, but with 11 days left in this campaign, the Eves campaign is self destructing and McGuinty and the Liberals haven't faltered like they did in 1999. If you compare the conditions of 1999 - when the Tories had a strong leader, a strong campaign, and a platform that was resonating - to those of 2003 - when the Liberals have a strong leader, a strong campaign, and a platform that is resonating - you have to move this one to Liberal red. Bob Wood barely hung on when things were going well for his party. They are dropping like a brick in the polls, there is non way he can hold on. Bentley will come in on his own name recognition, with a boost from the McGuinty coattails. Bob Wood cannot overcome a 17 point gap in the polls. Period.
20/09/03 lrs
if any seat should change hands- this has to be seat- seems polls indicating a federal type vote level for Liberals- type of seat where NDP vote weak- lib gain
18/09/03 AlanSmithee
If Bob Wood wins this riding it will be on the strength of Ernie Eves and the wealthy Tories in the London suburbs. Bob did beat Darrel Skidmore in 1999, remember, and Skidmore was a much higher profile candidate than is Bentley. You can tell the Liberals want this one bad though, Dalton's already been through three times and the campaign is only half over! I call this one too close to call but if the Liberals are going to win anything in the London area, it's going to be here.
14/09/03 GK
Email: gerardjkennedy@Hotmail.com
This is probably Number 1 on the Liberal hit list for the following reasons: 1) Tiny victory for Wood last time. 2) Bentley is just as good if not a better candidate than Skidmore. 3) Wood is a bizarre right-wing hick who belongs in the Family Coalition Party. Even the Tories don't like him. 4) Even if they "only" close the gap to a tie in popular vote, the Liberals will have to gain SOMEWHERE! Conclusion: Easy victory for Bentley.
10/09/03 Kristin K
Chris Bentley has had his campaign office open for months, at a very visible location near a major grocery store and Tim Hortons. TV cameras from CTV (Kitchener) and The New PL (London) were at his office yesterday covering (live) a speech there by Dalton McGuinty. Coverage showed lots of lively supporters cheering him on. Apparently many other candidates from around southwestern Ontario attended as well. If campaign organization and visibility are important factors, I think Chris Bentley is ahead. I haven't seen much from the NDP candidate in this area. The only think I've heard about Bob Wood is that he's very anti-gay marriage. I'm sorry to say this could win him a few votes in London, but hopefully not enough. I don't see many sign out so far.
05/09/03 Jackson
Bob Wood and his team have not had a good week. It seems everybody knew an election was coming but forgot to tell Bob. 4 days into the campaign and they still don't have a campaign headquarters!! Apparently the location they had fell through and they are scrambling to find an alternative. Bob's sign team is so far behind they will spend the remainder of the campaign trying to catch up to Bentley - who had the riding covered in 24 hours. Even the NDP candidate has been running circles around Wood's team.
06/06/03 AC
Email: acameron@canada.com
Read the numbers, all you zany spinners! This razo thin margin says obvious swing to Liberals. This guy Bob Wood eked out an extremely narrow victory in (relatively) right wing London in 1999 under the strength of an as yet not-too-tainted Harris reputation. He is clearly showing signs of fear and desperation (eg the writing is on the wall) by pulling a Guzzo and attacking his own government over the Magna Budget. Liberal Chris Bentley will have been nominated for, what, a year by the time the election finally rolls around in fall 2003. He has been working, smartly, the whole time, and struck me as a smart one the one time I met him. There is written evidence here that he is working the doors in the community and has assembled a great campaign committee. I also have heard some good people in Ottawa will go down there and work for him based on academic loyalties. Harris: gone. Eves: wishy washy. McGuinty: much stronger than 1999. Liberal polls: high. Appetite for change question: 57-63% (and probably still climbing). Summer: won't make the problems go away for Eves Tories. Prediction: Liberal. I admire the zeal with which spinners attempt to defend their preferences, but it doesn't take Michael Marzolini or John Wright to read the numbers from last election, the current polls, the poor review of the incumbent, and the pundit comments on the hard work of the Liberal nominee to see it.
30/05/03 Beanie Baby
Unfortunately, this will probably be one of the seats the Tories actual do lose in the upcoming election. Bob Wood is an enigma, even to his own party. A smart guy,but lacks a certain je ne c'est quoi. His limited plurality last time, in the onset of a Tory sweep, places him very much at risk.
27/05/03 Cowboy Bob
I guess I'm telling everyone what they already know. Chris Bentley will beat Bob Wood and it won't be pretty. Most people see Bentley as being a cabinet minister if the Liberals win government.
23/05/03 Craig
Liberals will pick this one up - the Tory margin of victory last time was in decimals, almost as close as the margin of victory as in the American Idol finale. It won't be nearly as close this time, with Chris Bentley taking the seat from a sleeping Bob Wood easily. The NDP won't be a factor, unlike in 2 neighbouring ridings. If 'Reality Check' comes here to suggest that the Tories will hold based on 1999 results, then he needs a reality check - one protest group will be enough to overtake the Tories. Predicted results: LIB 50%, PC 31%, NDP 13%, Green 5%.
15/05/03 Grizz
Good Lord people! Look at the writting on the wall! The Liberals lead in the polls. It was incredebly close last election. Bob Wood seems to be little more than Dead Wood for the party (claims by other pundits to be a lazy backbencher who broke ranks with the party). Please! Its going to take a miracle for the PC to keep this one. ANY "knee-jerk protest vote" by ANY group is enough to give this to the Liberals.
14/05/03 J.S.
Liberal gain. Very close last time, and might have been close this time, but with a majority of less than 1%, and the Grits on 50% nationaly, Wood looks very shaky.
29/04/03 bishopheadly
This one won't even be close. Bob Wood is incredible unpopular locally and has a reputation for being lazy. Last time around he won soley on the coat tails of Mike Harris. This time he has prove that he is a worthy candidate, which his is incapable of doing. Chris Bentley is a shift from the controversial Darrel Skidmore and should win over the constituents of London West with his modern approach to politics. He has set up a dream team campaign committee that will give him the organization to defeat Mr. Wood. Prediction, Bob Wood declared first defeated incumbent on election night.
10/04/03 TheLurker
I live in London West and this week had never heard of Mr. Bentley (he was campaining in my neighbourhood. While I did not speak to him directly, I had one of his workers at my door handing out literature. I read his material and there was nothing of substance. There was nothing there that would make me want to find out more about him or the Liberal platform in general. That said, I've supported Liberals - and PCs - in the past and have no particular axe to grind. I will say that Dalton McGuinty leaves me pretty cold (bit of an ambulance chaser on the issues...).
I don't know who I will vote for at this point; other than the NDP ain't it. However, I have neighbours who will definitely vote Liberal based on the fact they are teachers and nurses. These votes are more-or-less knee-jerk protest votes. Bob Wood is doing nothing in this riding that I can see and I'm not aware of anything in his record that warms the heart.
So, we have 2 unknown candidates; one because he's new and one because he's apparently too busy playing 'politician' to spend time in his riding. This one is too close to call right now. Skidmore was higher profile and could not pull it off. Bentley is trying to raise his profile and could benefit from the protest vote (disgruntled PC supporters). Provincially, there ain't much to choose from this time 'round; although I hope the PCs hang onto power with a bit of rough ride to put the fear of the elorate into them.
All that aside, I will call this one Liberal for now.
31/03/03 B.N.
In response to the claims made by previous posters... to suggest that Bob Wood's seat is threatened merely because he has broken ranks with the party on some recent issues is simply foolish. It is a well known fact that Bob Wood has historically shown a tendency to go against the party on some issues. Any recent comments he may have made against the decision to hold the budget outside the legislature are not uncharacteristic, and certainly not a sign of panic, as some posters seem to be suggesting. Furthermore, claims that the Freedom Party or CHP will steal enough votes to cost Wood his seat are pure unsupported speculation, and are probably less accurate than claims that the NDP will steal a significantly higher number of votes from the Liberals than last time. I do not doubt that London West will be a good fight, but silly claims about Wood "panicing" do not lend any insight to who will win London West.
24/03/03 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
Put it this way; if the Freedom Party hasn't been able to gain significant ground or profile over the past 20 years, it ain't gonna do so now--at least, no more than other right-wing pretenders like FCP, Libertarian, etc. Even against Slippery Eves. And though it doesn't render Bob Wood any less threatened, in raw terms, London West remains the the most Tory-friendly London seat; Westmount, Byron, Oakridge is where the suburban money and prosperity is. Conversely, it may be London's weakest seat for the NDP; but not by as much as the 1999 results indicate (remember--this is the only London seat where 1999's anti-Tory strategists bunched up en masse in the Liberal camp). They won't win, but NDP (plus the Greens, for that matter) is still guaranteed to pilfer more left-wing vote than FCP, FP et al will take from the right. And the frightening thing for the Tories; even an augmented NDP vote might not be enough to save London West. Maybe if it were Diane Cunningham running here--but not Bob Wood.
21/03/03 El Predicto
I have to agree with Rob D. Bob Wood is starting to panic so he's trying to take shots at his own party. The strategy won't work for Wood. He's finished. Bently will win this seat for the Liberals. Time to move this one into the Liberal column.
19/03/03 RWA
I'm from London West, and I can honestly say I'd never heard of Chris Bentley before this campaign. I've been less than impressed with him so far, but if he can't win this riding, the Liberals cannot win the election. We've got a backbench Tory with no real record, who won by a tiny margin last time and a riding where the NDP always fares poorly. If Bentley doesn't screw up, he should take this one. One additional note that may earn me some ridicule. This was a close riding last time, which means small changes in vote can affect the outcome. The Freedom Party, which garnered something like 255 votes last time without much campaigning, is running hard in this election. It's particularly running hard to go after former Harris supporters who have been turned off by Eves. I know some of these people and have not yet ruled out lodging a protest vote with FP myself. If FP can increase it's share of the vote by a few hundred, that may make the difference in a close vote in London West and in other close ridings. But I don't expect it to be that close.
17/03/03 Rob D
Email: robbie_dee@yahoo.com
It looks like Bob Wood is worried enough about the budget brouhaha to start distancing himself from his party. This could bode well for the Libs or NDs chances here. London Free Press 03/17/03
11/03/03 THE GAMBLER
The Gambler is putting his money on Chris Bentley to win London West. PC Bob Wood looks like he's fought one fight to many while Bentley looks like a hungry, young fighter who'd ready to take this riding. Bentley wins this one easy.
14/02/03 El Predicto
It's less than 12 weeks until election day and there's still 34 ridings listed as too close. Time to get off the fence and call some of these ridings. There are at least 13 that can be called and London West is one of them. Tory Bob Wood only managed to hang on by less than 300 votes last time because the Liberal candidate, Skidmore was awful. This time the Liberals have go out and lined up a much stronger candidate. Chris Bently who is a high profile person in London. He will be able to highlight the fact that Bob Wood has done nothing at Queen's Park in 8 years. Mark this one down for the Liberals.
30/01/03 jm
Email: jpmccullagh@rogers.com
How can you say the NDP vote is irrelevant? Last time they were 10% of the votes but this time the Central NDP Campaign will be very strong. Hampton is pushing strong on pocketbok issues--hydro, minimum wage, privatization--he'll have a lot of support and a lot of NDPers will ride along with him. Bob Wood is such a non-entity, yet the voters in this riding are strong Tory supporters--no matter who is running for them, and they don't come much worse than Wood. Bentley? Who knows him? Skidmore was much more high profile and still couln't eke out a win.The riding is too close too call.
25/01/03 M.S.
Bentley will take this for the Liberals. Wood is a door knocker, but he also will be wearing the cuts to the London Health Sciences Centre, all the crises in education (including school closures), double cohort parents afraid their kids won't get in to university etc. And when you look at how hard Bentley is working already, he's surpassing Skidmore's popularity. Add to that a stronger Liberal central campaign, the continued collapse of the NDP vote in this riding, and it's hard to see how Wood's razor thin margin of victory can hold this time around. It will be relatively tight again, but the Liberals will pull this one out in the end.
12/01/03 RWA
Email: radams2@uwo.ca
Wood doesn't have a personal record to stand on, and this was a close riding last time. He'll have a tough fight to keep it.
05/12/02 SM
This will be one of a few Liberal gains. The tories have bungled enough for the people (at least in London) to lose faith in them, and I'd expect this riding to swing Liberal in response. The Liberals have had weak performances in the media, and showings in the polls, but it won't stop at least a couple once-tory ridings from jumping ship.
07/11/02 Andrew Cox
Reasons 1) Narrowest of margins in 1999. 2) Bob Wood is about as low profile as they come and doesn't have much of a record to run on. That said, he does work the doors hard come election time. 3) Wood was really dumb and started pushing for his gold-plated pension back and was one of the guys behind the pay increase. Third-party interest groups will demolish him on these two things, ranging from the Taxpayers Federation on the right to the labour unions on the left. 4) The NDP vote here is basically gone, so no hope of vote splitting. 5) Chris Bentley is a reasonably strong candidate, although he will need to work hard if he is going to top Wood on effort. Past Grit standard carrier Skidmore was not much of a worker. 6) The London Health Sciences Centre controversy hurt local PCs by making them look out of touch with their community. The PCs broke their promise not to close children's surgery programs, and a broken promise is a powerful election we! apon.
London West is an interesting riding. Bob Wood is not well known in the riding and those who know him hold little respect for him. This riding was strongly Liberal federally, if the Bentley campaign can capitalize on that, then the Liberals have a good shot a taking this one. Bob Wood can't capitalize on Cunningham's name this time around.
26/10/02 AL
The Tory MPP is the most honest Tory in the party and deserves to be elected! People in London Realize this and he'll win by a mile! Easy Tory win

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