Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003


Last Update:
4:42 PM 07/10/2003

Prediction Changed:
1:41 PM 29/09/2003

Political Profile:

(Links? See sponsorship details.)
Liberal Party:
David Zimmer
Progressive Conservative:
David Young
New Democratic Party:
Yvonne Bobb
Green Party:
Sharolyn Vettese

David Young

Federal MP:
Hon. Jim Peterson

Authorized by the CFO for the Willowdale Provincial Liberal Association

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

22200 50.52%

18579 42.28%

1871 4.26%

409 0.93%

330 0.75%

323 0.74%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality19 627
Jim Peterson
27 038 61.3%
Kevyn Nightingale
7 411 16.8%
Chungsen Leung
7 134 16.2%
Yvonne Bobb
2 404 5.4%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation59.00%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born47.96%
Ontario Born41.02%
Visible Minority38.29%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$295741

College/Trade School19875

Authorized by the CFO for the Willowdale Provincial PC Association
01/10/03 D. Woods
As a long-time Tory in the riding, I can tell you that many people are having second thoughts about David Young. Yes, he is a decent man but he still remained silent when the Harris-Eve government downloaded on Toronto. Willowdale will vote for David Zimmer because they do not want to be left out of the cold when Dalton takes over Queens Park. Driving around the riding, I can see that the sign battle has heated up and Zimmer is defintely picking up momentum. The Grits will win this one. It will be a tight finish but good David Young will be ousted.
01/10/03 Gerry Kennedy
With all due respect to Amanda Araujo, if you actually believe a potential government backbencher will do more for your riding than a potential MPP who will (at the least) be returning to cabinet whenever the voters decide to forgive the Tories and are sick of Dalton and potentially be Premier, you are very naive indeed. I live in Scarborough Southwest. I have had the unfortunate experience of having Tom Wappel as my MP for the last fifteen years. As much as I love Paul Martin, I cannot stand Wappel. He has done absolutely nothing for the riding except go on hypocritical "family values" (aka homophobic) rants and writes letters to constituents who he can't help because they didn't vote for him. I also have had Dan Newman as my MPP for the last eight years. Prior to becoming Long-Term care minister, his riding work was pretty mickey mouse. Now, he is building two new long-term care facilities in the riding as radically upgrading two more when there are four other projects in the other four ridings of Scarborough. Unfortunately, David Zimmer will never make cabinet because there are too many other good MPPs from Toronto. I do not doubt that David Zimmer is a good person. But to get rid of David Young would be a massive mistake for Willowdale voters because it is inevitable that the Tories will return to power and if it's in the next 20 years, David Young will be a major part of that government. I do not deny that the Eves campaign is one the the worst campaigns ever but David Young's excellent track record of integrity and honesty should help him buck the trend (there will be many ridings where the Tories should collapse such as Turnbull's riding and Stockwell's old riding). If there were more politicians like David Young, people would be less cynical about politics in general.
30/09/03 A
JEB claims Young will be Toronto's first premier "in modern times. I wasn't aware that the modern age began in 1995! JEB's grasp of the future is as poor as his grasp on the past. Willowdale will go Liberal in a tight race. WIth less than 10% of the population being Jewish the private school tax credit will be less of an issue here than in Thornhill, York Centre or Eglinton Lawrence which all have larger Jewish populations and are all projected to go Liberal. The only time The Tories won Willowdale (or Armordale and York Mills) without winning the most seats in an election was 1990 and that was because of an unusually high NDP vote which isn't a factor this time.
30/09/03 Michael L
As much as I hate to admit it, David Young seems to have an impressive lead in Willowdale. Even my parents are voting PC! I think it's their promise to ban teacher strikes... The Liberal's Cantonese TV ad on OMNI seriously degrades their own image. Various "citizens" are interviewed, and all basically saying "PC is bad, vote Liberal" without any justification.
30/09/03 JEB
Over 2000 lawn signs, a record as a superb school trustee and outstanding minister, keeping in touch with constituents and the prospect of becoming Toronto's first premier in modern times someday (after the "red tide" goes back out to sea) make this one of the few Tory wins in Toronto.
30/09/03 Over60
Email: mirafourneir@hotmail.com
I would have to predict the trend will carry into this riding. Last time, Young had a very weak Liberal candidate. This time he is up against David Zimmer who is very well connected throughout the city and Ontario. Zimmer is WIllowdale's gain. Bright and energetic - he'll represent that riding very well. Good luck David! As to the Mr. Young, not this time.
30/09/03 Amanda Araujo
I agree with Gerry Kennedy's fourth point (listed below). The voters of Willowdale are quite smart: they'll vote for whichever candidate will give them the loudest voice at Queen's Park. They'd rather have a voice in government that could affect change rather than an opposition member (or leader). Eves' numbers are dropping because of the negative campaign, and Willowdale's PC candidate will not be spared that drop in the polls. My prediction is Zimmer with 52%, Young with 43%, Bobb with 4% and 1% for the rest.
30/09/03 H.A.
Chris et al are right: forget the bloody signs; they mean nothing when a juggernaught has gathered. I predict Young will survive but trail badly all night - until the advance polls report in. Voting in the advance polls has been HEAVY and almost exclusively Tory (votes are over 6,000). Young will survivie what I predict to be a strong Liberal storm (70 seats, 9 NDP and 24 Tories). Young will win by 2.4% of the valid votes cast. You heard it here first....
29/09/03 Ken Purdye
I'm an old geezer and take a daily 6-7km walk around the area. The Sunday after the election was called David Young signs were 3 times those of David Zimmer (not counting those on public property). Last Sunday, on the same walk, it was about equal. It's going to be close. Interestingly, Young's signs are predominantly on old houses, squeezed between infill monsters; the property tax rebate for oldies obviously has resonance here.(Although not for me). Depends on how many of them he can get out to vote. re the post on an all candidates meeting. I also went to one (a different one, on Monday). I walked out after an hour -- it was stacked with Young's workers; the 20 or so local residents in attendance didn't stand a chance to get their questions answered, or learn anything. It would seem that Young's organization is very strong. However, too close to call.
29/09/03 db
The sign war up here is a little deceiving. The Landlord lobby is very organized in this riding and have been sending out videotapes and glossy notices to all tenants. But, this may have backfired against the Tories. In the past, when tenants had above the norm increases, and phoned the MPP, they were blown off. This lost votes for the Tories. The rental vote up here is not huge but it is different. Rental units tend to be on the higher end so the renters are seniors and the middle class with families. Health care and education matter to these people, as it does for this riding with a large percentage of seniors and new Canadians (25% Chinese speaking as a first language). Lower taxes....I'm not sure it has the same resonance as a few years ago. This riding will be very close.
29/09/03 Chris Purdye
The Toronto Star reported on the weekend that the Liberals are supported by 52% of decided voters in 416; the Tories have only 21% support. Support from seniors (province-wide) is running 44%/37% in favour of the Liberals. Many people make an issue of the fact that Willowdale has a high proportion of seniors and that they will flock to the Tories due to the property tax rebate, but that doesn't seem to be happening province wide (caveat: the poll *WAS* commissioned by the Toronto Star). In the last election David Young won by 4000 votes and the Tories won the popular vote. In order for David Young to win this time he will have to do *significantly* better than the party as a whole does in the popular vote. I don't see how he can do it. The sign issue, by the way, is not really relevant. He is a cabinet minister with a well-oiled organization in a traditionally Tory riding. The people who call for signs tend to be party partisans and not the floating voter. I'll grant that the party faithful tend to vote more than floaters, but I don't see how they'll get any floaters with their platform and the generally poor media coverage they've received.
28/09/03 A
Willowdale (and its predecessors) is traditionally a bellweather riding. The exception was 1990 where a high NDP vote (for Willowdale) took enough votes from the Liberal incumbent to elect a Tory. This riding is going Liberal this time.
28/09/03 JP
This one is in play and I would say that its within 1000 votes if not less for either Zimmer or Young. I have noted all the comments about signs. Remember signs dont vote people vote and all you have to do is have a gander at the number who put up not one but two or even three signs since people, unless ardent party members or really pissed off, dont like to say no to a candidate. For those who can remember Jim Petersons loss by 262 votes in 1984, we had Oostrom done like dinner on signs the problem was everybody loved Jim and many failed to vote because they thought he was safe. The fact is that with a 17point lead no Tory is safe and Zimmer will be part of the sweep (my guess 72 Grits, 20-24 Tory's and the balance NDP) I think the big mo is with Zimmer but I am not ready to concede the seat yet but David Young feels Zimmers breathe on the back of his neck if he actually cant seem him running beside him -PHOTO FINISH HERE folks
28/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
This is my final prediction and I am very uneasy about it. But let's just think for a moment. Last time, the Libs beat the Tories by 11% popular vote in Toronto. Now, it's 30%. That's a 19% swing and enough to knock off Young. That said, we must also remember that Don Valley West, Don Valley East, Etobicoke North and Etobicoke Centre (just to name four) will experience much larger swings than that. There have to be ridings to balance this. Craig's approach to this riding is to simplistic. If Young does lose, it will be by MAX 7%. Secondly, as I have stated before, Young's margin of victory last time was deflated because his name recognition was nowhere in the vicinity of what it is now. Thirdly, Young is extremely well respected. Seeing as Ecker and Witmer will likely go down, he is the only person Tory potentially left in caucus I would be comfortable seeing as Premier in four-to-five years. Zimmer acknowledges this widespread respect of Young and is campaigning strictly on hoping to captitalize on a Liberal wave (and he might). Fourthly, the voters of Willowdale are intelligent. What would be the point of sending another government backbencher to Queen's Park when you could have the Opposition leader? Fifthly, Young has a large cabinet staff who will be unemployed if he loses. They are working their asses off here to keep their jobs. Some will continue to be unemployed as an opposition MPP doesn't ahve the staff of a cabinet minister but they have a better chance of employment. Sixthly, Young has not pissed anyone off in his time at Queen's Park. CLement, Ecker, Flaherty, Turnbull and Newman all have. The Tory haters haven't concentrated on this riding like they have on Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge and Whitby-Ajax, two ridings which presumably are more conservative. Seventhtly, I know for a fact that the Tory campaigns in ridings like Davenport, Rosedale, Trinity-Spadina, Parkdale-High Park, York Centre, York West and York South-Weston will all be going to help Young and Gilchrist on e-day. There will be no comparison between the Young and Zimmer staffs of e-day. The Lowdown: Young is in a similar situation to Clement. He is a relatively popular cabinet minister who has to overcome the local trend by about 12%. I have no doubt he will do better than a 12% loss for reasons stated above. Will it be enough? I think so. The Tories do not want to be shut out in Toronto and they have a much larger interest in keeping Young around than Kells so I believe their Get-Out-the-Vote campaign will save David Young. It can't save every riding but if a Tory were to survive Toronto, this would be it. Young=47%/Zimmer=46%/NDP=5%/Others=2%
28/09/03 mw
The situation in Willowdale is now relevant only with respect to the overall outcome of the election. If the Liberals win a small majority, David Young might squeak through. If Thursday night is a blowout, David Young is gone. He may be one of the more decent Tory incumbents, but even he will not survive if the swing is too great.
27/09/03 lrs
I am just basing a Lib gain on polls- Tory will probably get highest percentage in 416 area but I expect anti-tory vote will go liberal- unfortunate that tories will be electing a new leader without Mr.Young as a candidate-only if - will voters consider this in voting and say who needs another liberal backbencher in a massive lib majority- Liberal candidate will not make cabinet
27/09/03 PMF
Email: pmf@sympatico.ca
It might be close but David Young will win Willowdale. If one wants to judge by signs in the area, Young simply has much more signs up. Significantly, David Zimmer is putting up on public spaces (on boulevards beside roads and in front of construction sites where no one lives) the signs he could not get up on lawns where people actually live. Not only do Young's sign seem to predominate over Zimmer signs, but also Zimmer signs put up on public spaces may even outnumber Zimmer signs at people's homes! As to the reason Young is so popular with voters in Willowdale, another indicator may be examined. Just Thursday night there was an all candiates meeting and candidates' interaction with a large number of voters was plainly observable. Even from people that are not supporters of the PC party, judging by their questions, Young seems to know almost everyone asking a question by name and is able to demonstrate a familiarity with people in the riding that none of the other candiates have. The atmosphere was almost like one would expect to find in a small town where everybody knows everybody. Even the NDP candidate, Yvonne Bobb, demonstrates that she is very well disposed towards Young. Tellingly, after the debate when the candidates leave the stage, a crowd immediately surrounds Young a meter form the stage. Most of these people just want to say a personal hello and show him that they turned up for him. It is evident from the nature of the interaction that these are obviously not his campaign workers that see him every day. Zimmer, on the other hand, walks through the crowd trying to meet as many people as he can before they exit. He does not seem to know anyone. He is essentially slowly chasing after people as they head for the exit. He ends up at the exit formally going through the motions of pressing palms and introducing himself to as many people as he can before they beat a retreat to their homes. Young has represented the people of Willowdale for a long time. Before he became our MPP and a Minister (Attorney General and now Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing), he was a school Trustee where he famously donated the $12,000 severance pay he earned directly back to the public schools. As our MPP, he not only was accessible but also was very active in the community. He met a lot of people throughout the years and one thing about Young is that when you meet him you like him despite your own political leanings. He is sincere and capable. People with good sense tend to recognize this in Young immediately after speaking with him. Most people in Willowdale have good sense. Many also realize that we have a responsibility for who we elect. At a time when there are scandals reported involving all parties and levels of government almost on a weekly basis, many of us know we have in Young something that is rare and should be valued. He is a candidate with DEMONSTRATED integrity in political office. Unless there is a Tory platform that disadvantages an individual voter, particularly, the average voter in Willowdale will likely vote for Young because he is someone we know we can trust. Since Young has also obviously been influential in convincing his PC colleagues to adopt policies that benefit Willowdale voters, it seems that it will be unlikely that many Willowdale voters will find it justifiable to remove Young from a job well done.
26/09/03 Mike
Just to show how much David Young is respected in the riding, here is what David Zimmer, his opponent had to say about him in The Toronto Star "We don't hear negative things about David Young personally (when knocking on doors),I think that, by and large, people in Willowdale think well of him, and those undecided voters ... that we talked to would say David Young is a good person. There is no animosity directed towards him." If even Zimmer admits how much Young is well liked, how is he going to win the riding anyways?
25/09/03 J. Lee
I've read in other entries that signs dictate who win. If that's the case, Zimmer has it locked up. Young signs were plentiful in the first days of the campaign, but alot were replaced with Zimmer signs. Also, in the past week, I have received 3 different pieces of literature from Zimmer - so much for money problems! As for the provincial feeling, I think Dalton's performance on the TV debates showed a Premier in waiting. This will definitely be a close election (within 5%) and an exciting riding to watch! Zimmer with 50%, Young with 45%, Bobb with 3% and the rest with the final 2%.
25/09/03 Craig
This outer Toronto riding will simply follow the wave of support that the Liberals are enjoying province-wide and vote for them. This riding is going to play out just like the neighbour across Steeles Avenue (Thornhill) and be decided on the polls and general trends, not with the mentioned wedge issue of private schools, since the vast majority are in the public system. Current prediction: Zimmer 52%, Young 40%, Bobb 5%, others 3%.
24/09/03 Art Williams
Last weekend I got a knock on my door from David Young. Today, I received in the mail a large, colour brouchure from his campaign. If I recall, the brochure is the second or third I've received since late August. I began to think that I've seen nothing from David Zimmer -- no visits; no literature. Now I live in the eastern part of the riding which I understand is a more conservative area, however, I must conclude that David Zimmer is simply a place holder for the Liberal Party slate. Lacking in volunteers and/or money, he can't seem to get one single piece of information out to the entire riding. Based on David Young's organization one can only conclude a PC victory here in Willowdale.
24/09/03 Checkmate
If the Tories end up losing this election, Ernie Eves will resign on election night and the Tory leadership race will start on October 3. David Young will be the frontrunner in this race because he's going to beat David Zimmer on the 2nd. Willowdale would love to have a party leader and the voters there will give Young his shot at the big job. I don't think the Liberals were ever serious about beating Young. Zimmer says nothing but good things about his opponent and there are very few Liberal troops working for Zimmer compared to the rest of the ridings in Toronto. It will be close, but David Young will survive election night and start his leadership campaign as the MPP for Willowdale.
22/09/03 Tom
Conservative without a doubt! All this mumbo jumbo about the Conservatives and the Libs dividing the PC Toronto riding is foolish. Each riding is individual and does not depend on the other. Young is a strong and YOUNG candidate that is likely to be an important politician in future years. He is very popular in Willowdale, where the vote, although wide spread, tends to support the conservatives. Especially when tax cuts for seniors and families are major issues. Weak NDP wont hurt Young's chances. Prediction: PC 51% LIB 42% NDP 5% 2% OTH
21/09/03 RBC
Yesterday I received a drop on my front door in the form of a video tape from the David Young campaign. Its about 10 mins long, and mostly features the candidate talking about various policy issues, including tax cuts for seniors and the mortgage interest deductibility. It' a fairly slick production, reminding me of the 1995 CSR videotapes that were distributed by PC candidates. Has anyone else received it yet? These must be fairly expensive to make...Also wonder if PC candidates in other ridings are using the same tool?
21/09/03 H.A.
A follow-up: Voted yesterday at the advance poll and Tory workers were racking, stacking and packing them in. As the early returns come in Oct. 2 remember that the advance polls take the longest to count and report long after all the others. These will contain a late-breaking gift for David Young. So Zimmer people (not that I've seen any) shouldn't uncork any chyampaign bottles at 190/192 +342 if you get my drift!
20/09/03 Derek L.
It's all over, poll after poll is now showing the Liberals with a 14 to 17 point province-wide lead. There is no way that a marginal Tory seat like Willowdale can withstand a swing like that. I don't care who the local candiadtes are. The fact that the Tories MIGHT have a better candiadte can get than am extra 5 percent MAX, but when you are fighting a 20 point swing away from the Tory party at the macro level - it just won't be enough. This is starting to look like a 1993 type result with the Tories reduced to less than 20 seats in the province - and Willowdale won't be one of them.
20/09/03 50 Cent
I have a lot of respect for David Zimmer but he cannot beat David Young in Willowdale this time. Zimmer has had some serious money problems in his campaign and that has hindered his ability to match up with the full out campaign that David Young has been running since the beginning of this year. No matter what happens over all, Young will still be standing on October 2 and may find himself running for leader of the Conservatives.
As much as I would like to see a liberal win, Young is now looking too strong. He is dominating the sign war along bayview avenue. I counted at least 20 on my commute the other day. There were a couple of Zimmer signs, but not many. I am going to have to retract my previous statement. It looks like Young will easily keep his seat.
19/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
I think (although I am not sure) that Young will join Kells as opposition Tory MPPs from Toronto. Here's why: A) Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Willowdale, Don Valley West and Scarborough East are the four Toronto seats that the Tories could hold. The Liberals and Tories will both put lots of resources into these ridings. So, my guess is a 2-2 split (see other pages for my explanations there). B) Young's margin last time was deflated. He wasn't the incumbant meaning he didn't have the name recognition to get the votes of stupid people who only vote for the name they most recognize on the ballot. Speaking of... C) Name recognition. David Zimmer has least name recognition of any Liberal candidate in Toronto in a winnable riding (not Beaches-East York/Toronto-Danforth). The other 20 have all run for some sort of office before which means... D) Ground team. Zimmer's ground team is nowhere in the league of Caplan's in '99 which overcame a similar deficit to beat a senior cabinet minister. Like that race, both candidate have the same first name. Unlike that race, however, there are no tough-as-nails teacher's unions nor does the Zimmer name mean 25 years of family political experience. However,... E) Young is very ambitious. I was personally speaking to him the other day. He is not taking anything for granted (smart man) and is working his ass off. However, I can tell he has an optimism that can't be said of, say, the Newman or Mushinski camps. Conclusion... Though factors make this a close race, Young's team will prevail by about 1,300 votes. He joins the front benches in the shadow cabinet and runs for leader within the year.
17/09/03 RBC
I am sticking with my prediction on Willowdale. David Young is going back to Queen's Park, even if Ernie is not. David Young has such a lead in this riding that nothing short of an utter collapse in PC votes will help lift the Zimmer ship over the rocks. And in my opinion, the parties will be within 5% of each other on E-Day. (Not guessing who the next premier is yet!!!)
17/09/03 DL
The Eves campaign machine is floundering so badly, you can almost smell it. David Young is one of the stronger incumbents, however his lukewarm popularity may not be enough. The town will be painted red, and Young may very well go. Im sure the private sector will help him out when he loses.
15/09/03 H.A.
First - ignore the signs. The incumbent is a CabMin meaning he's had an army ready to go for ages; a big team of people who's jobs depend on him (and the govt) winning. Had Mr. Zimmer had half the signs the other David did I'd have been shocked. This riding is winnable for the Libs. But they needed three things to do it: a profile candidate with name rec, a big team on the ground and a solid voter ID/GOTV setup. Unfortunately, they're 0/2 with one to come, and the smart money isn't there. David's going back. Too bad it'll be as opposition justice critic....
09/09/03 Art Williams
Email: artwilliams61@yahoo.ca
A day after the election started I was going to get some groceries and noticed almost all the lawn signs were ones for David Young. I saw but one David Zimmer sign and none for the NDP. Now several days later, David Zimmer still appears to be catching up (but appears tp be behind about 2 to 1). To me, this would indicate the strength and preparedness of the Young organization in Willowdale. Signs are but one indicator of the health campaign but from my perspective this is yet another indication that David Young will be re-elected in Willowdale. David Young is extremely popular in the riding and this proves it.
08/09/03 Matt
I totally agree will RBC. On the first day Young had 3 times the signage as Zimmer. As any incumbent should, he used his old sign list and planted signs on the lawns of his old supporters. But I urge you to take a drive through the ward now. One week into the campaign, Zimmer has recuited the members of one of the Carpenters Unions as his sign crew (they did over 100 signs in 3 hours this past Saturday alone) and half the Young signs are down. Seems as if he was a bit quick to assume that all his old support was still there. Willowdale is a riding that was spoiled with the best services in the city pre amalgamation. Since the last vote, North York has lost services and seen property taxes increase. The west end of the riding is crearly Liberal, if Zimmer can swing 15% of the eastern half, he will/and can win the riding.
07/09/03 RBC
Willowdale will stay with David Young, even if the Eves campaign falters. David Young has a formidable campaign machine that is hitting on all cylinders. Take a drive through the riding and count the lawn signs on private properties...the man has personal popularity. Zimmer has a coffee party in my condo pre-writ, and 2 people showed up. He seems like a nice enough fella, but he will be one of the few Liberal road-kills in the 416.
05/09/03 Reality Check
Derek L. and the rest of his like need a reality check real bad. Zimmer has no chance to win this riding and the people running the Liberal campaign centrally know it. Zimmer was never able to come up with the money and the supporters to get any type of campaign going in Willowdale. He's just opening his campaign headquarters this week. You aren't going to see Dalton McGuinty in Willowdale and there won't be any miracle. David Young is positioning himself for a shot at the Tory leadership. People understand this and will re-elect Young and give him a shot if Ernie goes down. The Liberals are going to take Tory seats in Toronto, but Willowdale will stay blue.
05/09/03 S.G.
I live in Willowdale and can confidently say that David Young will be going back to Queens Park regardless of Tory fortunes elsewhere in the province. People here will choose Young more because of the individual and less because of his party, and he is widely seen as a likely candidate to succeed Eves should the Tories lose the election. In these early days of the campaign anyway he seems to be winning the battle of lawn signs hands down. Liberal and NDP dreamers who envision the Tories being shut out of the 416 will be stopped dead in their tracks by Willowdale and Don Walley West.
25/07/03 JP (no not Jim Peterson!!)
Well we are a partisan group arent we! I grew up in Willowdale but have lived outside for years. My first observation is that Jim Peterson has been a fixture since 1980 and his name carries a lot of respect in old Willowdale, however, will it translate to Zimmer whom frankly I dont know other than a friend of his mentioned his name to me who worked at IRB, Jim will deliver old Willowdale I believe. As to the who and who is not Jewish, I think this is insulting frankly to think that Jews vote only for Jews. My experience with Charlie Harnick was not positive but with David Young I found him to be competant. However, that said most people never have dealings with Ministers so I discount that as a fact, I have no doubt that David has worked hard in the riding and the INCUMBENT factor is good for 10% as anyone in politics knows. As to the polls, in Toronto frankly being a Tory is the Kiss of death, I have worked with Rob Ford and despite numerous attempts to woo him to run he said no and I think with good reason. Frankly I do not believe a safe tory seat exists within the boundries of the CIty of Toronto. However, as a life long liberal, born one and still to this day as I share the surname of a liberal PM, I have learned that provincially we seem determined to pick less than stellar leaders of late and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory regularly, I am not sure that Jim can prevent this even in this riding. If it was Jim Peterson V David Young I would suggest that David practise "would you like Fries with that?" However, it clearly is NOT and I don not know Mr. Zimmer or his organization. My feelings for what they are worth is that the election will come down to the following: (1) Closeness of polls, if its within 10 points that will tip it to the PC's (2) Weather on election day (our vote is wide but shallow) bad weather is in the PC's favour (3) Timing of election, these delays could allow the PC's to rebuild, however it may allow other factors to kick in so time is neutral on this (4) Paul Martin may provide a boost to the liberals in Ontario which maybe to his detriment long term-think Fed/Prov voting patterns this is a major plus for the Liberals, note if the two elections are close to each other ie 2004 then it favours the liberals highly (5) Turnout at election time (we are below 60% these days if that goes up its bad news for Young) High turnout will favour the Liberals also if its around the time of the Federal election Martin will carry lots of votes along with him which is to Grit advantage. (6) Election day organisation, if the party can get the votes to the polls -if the grits are forced to support other star candidates (the only reason Jim lost in 1984 is that we pulled our resources to save Kaplan and David Smith, he lost by 262 votes-less than 1 per poll out of 50000+ cast in a Tory landslide. Now with all of that said I can make an arguement either way here boys and girls but will simply say the way the chips fall depends on (1) When it held (2)closeness of polls and need to shore up other candidates (3) forces on the ground on election day. Since these factors are still unknown I dont offer an opinion at this time but ask everyone to instead think logically and not based on their party colours! This is merely hopefull and partisan thinking and often leads to disappointment
23/07/03 Derek L.
Why do people keep wasting time squawking about the personal qualities of the individual candidates?? 99% of people in a big city riding like Willowdale don't give a hoot about who the candidates are. They will vote for the PARTY. This riding went narrowly Tory in 1999 when the Tories won the election. Now the Tories are 13-15 points behind the Liberals. the math is simple. This riding will swing Liberal based on the province wide trend and there is nothing that David Young can do about it. End of story.
24/07/03 IM
This riding is really too close to call, who ever wins will do it by 1000-2000 votes or less. I do not think David Young is as well regarded as many of the recent posting have said. Neither candidate has been active in the riding at least to my eye, paying someone to deliver a leaflet is not the same as campaigning door to door and meeting people. Some people have talked about David Young presence in the riding, Where?? In the four years he has been in office I have not seen him at a single community event in my area of Willowdale. He does not seem to stray outside the prepackaged invitation only media events that Harris and Eves seem so fond of. The people I talk to do not know who David Young is even after four years, his time in cabinet has been quiet and uneventfully, compared with the rest of his error plagued collegues. Many people in Willowdale are tired of the eight years of turmoil under the Tories and even those who like Young personally may vote for a change in government.
24/07/03 WD
PLTB makes a great point. One reason why you may not be seeing a lot of Zimmer literature (and this is true of Liberal candidates across the province) is that they're too poor. The party can't fight an extended pre-writ campaign against the Tories, cuz the PC coffers are much, much deeper. Zimmer is likely keeping his powder dry for the writ drop, but not by choice. Probably doesn't bode well for him -- if Sorbara thought Zimmer had a shot, he'd get central party help. Probably doesn't have much in the way of riding funds, then. When did I say anything about the riding being too close to call? I was just the grumpy guy pointing out that the site isn't called the "party with the most spam posts wins the election" site. Unlike some deluded, misguided and misinformed folks, i'm not posting here to try to change the outcome of the election, just help predict it. If that makes me a whiner, then i'll gladly move into the web site Barbie is creating.
22/07/03 Spindoctor Barbie
Email: barbie@matel-toys.com
David Zimmer was not the first choice to be the Liberal candidate. From what I've heard, Zimmer was more like the fifth choice. David Young is a first class MPP who is not going to lose his job to anyone like Zimmer. As for WD, I'm going to set up a new web site for him. It's going to be, electionwhiner.org, that way WD will feel more at home.
19/07/03 Paint My Fence
The Liberals are dreaming in technicolour if they think the well meaning but out of his league, David Zimmer is any match for a very talented campaigner like David Young. David Young could be the next leader of his party and won't let Zimmer get in the way of that happening. Young will win by 4000 votes at least.
18/07/03 Kippers for Breakfast
Can we please move on from the WD issue. David Young will be the one to win Willowdale again because he's done nothing to upset the people in this riding. Young doesn't have a down side. He's held some major positions in cabinet and done a fine job. He's kept in touch with the riding even though his time was under demand as a cabinet minister. There isn't anything David Zimmer can use against Young. For those reasons, Young will win it.
18/07/03 PLTB
Email: pmacdougald@hotmail.com
Here's a little "informed commentary" for WD. I live in Willowdale. Yesterday I received in my mailbox what has to be about the fifth literature piece in the last two months from David Young. I have yet to see anything at all from the Liberal candidate. David Young's presence at community events and in the media are very obvious and can only help his chances at re-election. Zimmer's presence in Willowdale isn't even on the radar screen, despite bb's earlier post that Zimmer is "a star candidate who is working tirelessly in the riding." I have yet to see any proof of this and can only conclude that David Young will be returned to Queens Park by the people of Willowdale. You can't win elections by sitting on your hands hoping to ride a non-existant Liberal wave like Zimmer appears to be doing.
18/07/03 The Brain
People like WD don't understand the point of this website. A riding like Willowdale is already listed as "too close to call" so when you write in that yeah, this riding is too close to call, you don't contribute anything. The point of this site is to "predict" which candidate will win the riding and give your reasons. To that point, I think there are just too many people making too much money in Willowdale. These people will make sure David Young wins again. Even those not motivated by greed will vote for Young because he's seen as a moderate conservative. I was never in the cards for David Zimmer to win this riding. Young will win by 4000 votes at least.
15/07/03 WD
I'm just suggesting that folks try to stay true to the project methodology. It seems to me that partisan statements of opinion not supported by fact or insight don't very much help if we're trying to create an accurate prediction of an upcoming election. But I agree -- if the review panel wants to give weight to a bunch of baldly partisan opinions about "star candidates working hard for the people of Ontario at Queen's Park," that's their business. But the fact that they allowed my little "tantrum" to stand is their business too. If they didn't think it was an appropriate comment for you to read, you wouldn't be commenting on it. Funny that you don't see the contradiction.
11/07/03 Monkey
It looks like WD needs a time out for his little temper tantrum when he felt that other posts on this site weren't up to his high standards. Hopefully he'll calm down. Getting to Willowdale, I think it's going to be a close race. Both the Tories and the Liberals will be doing everything they can to keep this riding. In the end, I think David Young will be able to win for a second time. Young is more of a moderate Tory and isn't tied so much to the more right wing parts of the Harris agenda. Young is smart enough to distance himself from the more unpopular government positions and that will make it possible for him to beat Zimmer.
11/07/03 Stephanie
The liberal contributors who curiosly describe Zimmer as being a high profile candidate are clearly party insiders since I have met no one else in Willowdale who even knows who he is. My neighbours & I were wondering why he hasn't come to any ratepayer meetings, picnics, charity dinners in the riding, etc. We were wondering what makes him a star candidate in the eyes of your contributors. It isn't his lack of any prior or present involvement in North York. It isn't the fact he has never held public office...even as a Hydro Commissioner. It isn't the fact that he doesn't live in North York. It isn't the fact that he has no media presence. Maybe its his life as an individual whose greatest accomplishments involve surviving off scraps thrown to him from his Federal liberal (Chretien ilk) cronies. Actually now I understand why even Dalton frantically searched for a better candidate (like a Councillor or Trustee) to keep Young occupied in Willowdale through the campaign. All the local "star" candidates said no (2 or 3 times) and then Zimmer's papers were reluctantly accepted when it looked like the election might be called for March. Young is a local boy who has worked the riding, the Pink Palace and recently the national stage effectively and is well liked and respected. He should double his plurality from the last election with Zimmer sharing the ballot with him.
10/07/03 Mayor McCheese
The last time I checked, this wasn't WD's Election Prediction site. I really think WD should let the people who run this site control what's on it. If he doesn't like it, then WD can go somewhere else. As far as Willowdale goes, David Young is working harder on his campaign than David Zimmer this summer. Add to that, Young's position as the incumbant and he wins.
04/07/03 WD
The last two submissions on this riding have been partisan statements of opinion, not arguments of fact. In the end, how hard someone works or how bright their future at the Pink Palace may be has little to do with how they will perform in their constituency on election night. Please restrict your posts to informed commentary.
04/07/03 Trader Vic
David Young wins this campaign on his record at Queen's Park where he's become a cabinet minister who has dealt very well with a number of hot issues. Young also wins this campaign on name recognition. David Zimmer is just not a household name. My belief is that Young will win by over 5000 votes.
02/07/03 Speak Easy
David Zimmer is no star candidate. It's David Young who has been out there working for the people of Ontario for the last four years. Keep your eye on David Young. He's the one with the bright future at Queen's Park.
28/06/03 bb
Email: bbalmoral@yahoo.com
This one is David Zimmer's to win, he's a star candidate who is working tirelessly in the riding. People across the province desire change and Young is going down with the tory ship.
20/06/03 Free Willy
David Young was on national television last night telling Ontario voters that the Federal Liberals are seriously short changing this province when it comes to putting up money to deal with SARS. David Young is a very smart politician and has put himself in the position of being a champion for the city of Toronto in the fight with the federal Liberals over aid for SARS. This type of media coverage is something that money can't even buy. Young is proving to be one of the most capable ministers in the government and without any doubt has a big future in politics. David Zimmer doesn't stand a chance. Anyone who thinks Zimmer is even in this race is kidding themselves.
17/06/03 Mambo King
Email: Everybody Mambo!
This is so simple. David Young is a well respected and well known member of cabinet. Even the Liberals have a hard time attacking him. Nobody knows who David Zimmer is right now and that isn't going to change. Even if the Tories lose the election, David Young will be re-elected easily.
20/06/03 Stephanie
It is important to clarify a couple of facts first. David Young was a North York School Trustee which his term ended in 1997 (he did not run for re-election in the new city of Toronto). After returning to the private sector he ran in Willowdale in 1999 as a first time provincial candidate. Although I don't disagree with IM's figures of the margin David Young won by I do disagree with his assessment. Since his election in 1999 David Young has stood out as exemplary representative of Willowdale. He continues to serve the public whether they voted for him or not. I predict his margin of victory will be much greater than last time.
11/06/03 IM
Email: imacfarl@attcanada.ca
I don't know where Reepo Man is getting his ideas from but they do not add up. In 1999 the Tories were stronger than they are now in the polls and David Young was running against an unknown candidate. And yet he only won by 3600 votes. This time around the Liberal are higher in the polls, which show all of the Tory seats in 416 as being vulerable and they also have a stronger candidate who has been out and active in Willowdale for several months. I think all these factors point to a close race
06/06/03 Reepo Man
There will be a lot of very close races in this provincial election. Willowdale will not be one of them. David Young is just too well established to be beaten by David Zimmer. I think Young could win this riding by over 7,000 votes this fall.
04/06/03 Wardak
So the Tories are scared. It is fact that members of the Tory Caucus have been saying Eves saw the polls at the end of May and didn't call it because of his current standing. He then asked his people to come up with a very good reason to not call it. I know this because there were members of various Liberal campaign teams (including a candidate I know) who have heard this from the mouths of Tory MPPs. This is the start to something that could erupt whenever the election is finally called. Watch David Zimmer at the door and you will see someone who is not at the virginity of his campaign background but as a sound performer who knows the issues and can bring out the support. A campaign worker can get support for a candidate at the door, a candidate can get a vote. This is what Zimmer has been doing in great force right now and will continue to do until Election Day (whenever that may actually be). This is a battle of what is shaping up to a bunch of heavyweights and Zimmer can hold his own. Stay tuned, the battle has only just begun and war will wage on until Zimmer is an MPP at Queen's Park. Oh and one more thing, David Young will not be the last name on the ballot for the first time in his life so when people go right to the bottom to cast their vote, they will be supporting Zimmer. Just a thought I had in light of me always being the last name on any ballot I've ever run on.
03/06/03 Derek L.
The Liberals are a whopping 20 points ahead of the Tories in all the latest polls. I don't give a damn what David Young's personal qualities are. 99% of people vote for the party and not the local candidate - esp. in big cities like Toronto. The PC margin in Willowdale is not all that overwhelming. If the province wide popular vote goes from Tories up by 5 (ie: 1999) to Tories down by 20, then i say a rising tide sinks all ships and this seat will go Liberal in a snap.
16/05/03 Art Williams
Email: ArtWilliams61@yahoo.com
I must say that David Young has a real presence in the riding. I've seen his bus shelter ads and even an ad in the subway. Just last week, he and some of his followers were in my neighbourhood and visited me at the door. Now I don't know much about this Zimmerman fellow but it seems that he has a long way to catch up. We've done alright here in Willowdale by David Young so I really don't know why anyone would want to change.
10/05/03 The Mongoose
One thing interesting about this riding is that David Young has the potential to be the only Tory endorsed by the Toronto Star. His ideology isn't the reason for this...he's far from the reddest Tory out there...but the Star (like the more conservative Sun) has repeatedly praised his competence and pegged him as a future leader. Young has no blemishes on his record, has one of the strongest campaign teams in the province, and faces an opponent no stronger than last time. He, by contrast, is now much higher-profile and will have the ever valuable "re-elect" on his signs. Young will win by a similar margin as last time, even if the Tories go down.
06/05/03 Panther
I think it's time to move this riding into the Tory column. From what I have seen David Young has been out pounding the pavement already; knocking on doors, visiting local businesses, and such. His name recognition throughout the riding is huge and I haven't yet met a person that doesn't think he is a good MPP. This Zimmer fellow I'm embarrassed to say, I have never heard of him and since he's become the Liberal Candidate, he certainly hasn't made any attempts to let people know who he is. It would take a huge Liberal landslide provincewide before this riding votes for a Liberal. Although the point that the early submitter made about undecided voters voting for the first person on the ballot, might not be that far off. In which case, Willowdale could have Yvonne Bobb as MPP!!
23/04/03 Peter the Liberal Beater
Email: pmacdougald@hotmail.com
David Zimmer is an unknown entity who doesn't even live in the riding, or anywhere in the former North York. He is a former Immigration Lawyer, having once served in some capacity or another on the Immigration and Refugee Review Board. He has strong Liberal connections, but no political experience whatsoever. Voters don't know him or what he stands for other than the usual Liberal platform plank of higher taxes. His riding association's website hasn't been updated since October 2002 and doesn't even mention his name as having been nominated as the Liberal Candidate for Willowdale. How all this makes Zimmer a contender in Willowdale, as some earlier posts have suggested, against the incumbent David Young is a mystery to me. David Young is a shoe-in in Willowdale. He has a strong presence in the community and is well respected and liked by the vast majority of his constituents. And since when is being last on the ballot an advantage? The undecided voters are more likely to pick whoever is listed first on the ballot rather than the last candidate.
23/04/03 SS
It is very interesting that Ryan thinks it is important to mention that Zimmer's name is last on the ballot. I hope this is the campaign slogan for the Zimmer campaign, "Vote for me because my last name is on the ballot". Another slogan is , "Vote for me because Jim Peterson thinks I'm great"!. I think Ryan has a very low opinion of the voters of Willowdale and they are alot smarter than he thinks. Ryan also goes out of his way to say Zimmer is not Jewish. Does it really matter? I did not know who the Liberals approached in Willowdale. Was Zimmer the first choice for the Willowdale Liberal Riding Association?
21/04/03 K.A.
As a keen observer of past elections I have noticed a trend in Willowdale. The Liberals often run candidates that aren't anyone's first choice. Zimmer wasn't 1st, 2nd, 3rd or even the 4th choice of the locals. He came after local councillors, trustees and former councillors all turned down the chance to run against Young. Young is a good representative of the people and campaigns well. He is a respected member of the government. Zimmer has no connection to the community and has never been elected to anything, even dog-catcher. Young has served the North York community, in some capacity, for over a decade. The voters will remember.
20/04/03 Ryan W
I'm going to point out to those of you who don't know, David Zimmer is not Jewish. Despite this, he is perceived by many to be Jewish (as can be seen by the posts on this group as it is) and among voters. Why David Zimmer will win here is because he has Jim Peterson and Jim's staff on his side (including his former Campaign Manager running the Zimmer campaign). Zimmer has been avidly working going door to door and with a likely fall (or even spring I'm hearing) election happening, watch Zimmer make things happen. One other interesting tidbit of information, David Young is no longer the last name on the ballot, that's worth a few votes right there for Zimmer!
12/04/03 El Predicto
David Young is seen by most people as having a legitimate shot at being the next leader of the Tory party. Young has spent the last four years raising his profile and building a team that will keep this riding in his hands so he can move up the party ladder. Zimmer is not well known in this riding and that will hurt his chances. Don't forget that the private school tax credit will help David Young and make the campaign difficult for David Zimmer who has to oppose it.
03/04/03 IM
The tax credit for private schools is a non issue in willowdale. The shift to the federal boundries reduced the jewish population of the riding. The election will revolve around the same basic issues health, education, transit, environment, etc... David Young may be viewed as a capable minister but he has been too busy building his reputation at Queen's Park to be an effective representative and has been a non presence in Willowdale. David Zimmer has him scared, but it will be a close fight.
01/04/03 THE GAMBLER
The Gambler is putting his money on David Young to win Willowdale. PC Young has the ring experience over LIB Zimmer in the battle of the Davids. In tough fights like this one, experience is the difference and that's why Young will have his arm raised in victory when this one is over. Take this one to the bank.
30/03/03 Steve
David Zimmer I have never heard of this guy. Is this just another Lawyer hack that the liberal party found. The last time the liberals tried this in Willowdale was some Liberal superstar Les Schineger who is in the "where are they now catagory".
30/03/03 Derek L.
What makes people think that Jewish voters give a hoot whether a candidate is Jewish or not??? I find this to be an offensive assumption. I think Jews are just like any other group, 95% of the time they vote for the candidate of the party that they want to win province-wide. In the 2000 federal election the Canadian Alliance naively thought that they could make major inroads in ridings like Thornhill and Willowdale by running very righwting Jewish candidates who tried to attack the Liberals for not being pro-Israel. Those candidates got so few votes that one wonders if the Alliance could have done any worse if they had run people like Jack Keegstra and Ernst Zundel!!! This is a classic swing riding. Young's margin was not at all insurmountable in 1999. If the Liberals are ahead of the Tories in the province wide popular vote (which I suspect they will), then this riding will fall into their hands like a piece of ripe fruit.
28/03/03 El Predicto
I agree with several earlier posts that David Young is very popular in Willowdale. He's generally recognized as doing a good job in cabinet and most political watchers think he has a bright future. Ernie Eves might not be as popular as Young is but he did David a favour this week by announcing he was going ahead with the private school tax credit. This is a very big issue in Willowdale and will hurt Zimmer who will be against the tax credit. That's why this riding will stay with the Tories.
27/03/03 David S
The Liberals have a strong candidate in David Zimmer. His campaign team is derived from both the Federal and Provincial Riding Associations and he has been pounding the pavement for quite some time. People in general (and especially in Willowdale) are upset with the Tories and Eves' policy flip-flops. They want a change of Government and what better way that to unseat the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (a portfolio that Young is destined to fail in).
25/03/03 IM
David Young is not as safe as many people on here would like to think. He is personally well liked in the area but his government and Ernie Eves certainly are not. This election he is facing a strong liberal campaign team supporting David Zimmer, the Liberal Canadidate who has already hit the ground running. This has forced David Young to spend money to place posters in Bus shelters and on the subway. This is a battle that will be decided on election day. I predict an upset win for the liberals.
18/03/03 AL
Panther says "correct me if I'm wrong." I will. Young's Liberal opponent in 1999 was Fahimeh Mortazavi. With a Jewish opponent this year the Jewish vote will be split, hurting Young.
17/03/03 Panther
I totally disagree with AL. David Young is one of the more popular cabinet ministers in the Eves Cabinet. He has been working extremely hard in his riding since he was first elected in 1999. The Jewish-card that AL tried to play is completely irrelevant. Aside from Young being Jewish himself, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) he ran against a Jewish canididate in 1999. Young will be re-elected based on his hard work, his good representation and his popularity, both in his riding and across the province. Even if the Tories lose government, I'm certain Young will hang on to this riding. Sorry AL, this riding is indeed a Tory lock.
16/03/03 AL
David Young only won by 4000 votes last election so people looking at his 50% vote shouldn't be fooled into thinking this is a lock. With the Tory vote in decline Young is in trouble. Willowdale has a signficant Jewish population which has supported Jewish Tories Harnick and Young in the past. WIth the Liberals running a Jewish candidate this time that community's vote will be divided further hurting Young's margin.
08/03/03 EP
David Young is the second safest Tory incumbent after Chris Stockwell, closely followed by Steve Gilchrist and then David Turnbull. Young used his time in the legislature wisely and established himself as one of the most compentant, respectable, and moderate minister. Of course, jumping onto the Ernie bandwagon didn't hurt.
05/03/03 Andy
Email: andyk8123@hotmail.com
Personally I think the Tories will take this one. David Young has done a whole lot in his first term in office and is already holding a higher post (Municipal Affairs) in cabinet and touted to be one day the future leader of the party. I do not too much about the liberal candidate but I am willing to guess that he will probably do better then the previous candidate. My prediction Young wins with a lesser vote difference.
28/02/03 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
Willowdale is not "naturally" as "safe" a PC riding as it may appear; more to the point, it's had the luck of splendid Tory candidates (like David Young, and Charles Harnick before him) and mediocre Liberal ones. Thus I'll still stop strategically short, momentarily, of an out-and-out prediction--however, the cabinet boost and "new deal" for the cities appears as Young's manna from the electoral heavens. Another factor: a condo boom and an increasing upscale Asian constituency which is particularly thankful for Tory policy. It'll be strange if David Young wins and David Turnbull loses...
27/02/03 Michael
Al, your comment about Sandra Pupatello is ridiculous. I could list off the numerous screw ups and mis-managements completed by our Tory friends in office. Do I need to bring up Doug Galt reading the names of young offenders during a speech in the house. Or Jim Wilson's spending ministry money on a suite at the Sutton for an un named friend. If you're suggesting that we shouldn't vote the Liberal's into office because the member from Windsor West sent her personal mail through the legislative system, that's ridiculous. Let's use arguements that actually have weight to them.
The Liberals have nominated an excellent candidate in Willowdale and I think he's going to give Dave a run for his money. Will he win? It's too close to call. And there isn't a riding in the province that doesn't have the potential of a flip.
And as to your riding, Ted McMeekin is going to do what he did when he won in the by-election that put him into office - crush the other candidates. They love Ted in ADFA.
25/12/02 AL
Andrew, Thanks for the reply! It appears that you know your politics quite well. However despite the numbers I Have a few things I would like to let u in on. I cant speak for the voters of WIllodale, but I can speak for my own area. I live in a town called Ancaster outside Hamilton. I was a Liberal leaner until I heard about the Liberal Fiasco in Windsor West. Sandra Pupatello has already tried to misappropiate government funds and use them for her own private purposes. Liberals arent even in government and their mismanaging gov't funds. What will this lead to when they are elected (If). Thats why I turned to PC. My friends and neighbors all agree and Liberals have lost alot of support here. In Willodale this may not be the case as the Mail fiasco was well swept under the rug. However I have also heard taht the PC's have invested alot of money into Toronto, and have made Willodale one of their fortress seats, one they will try to win with $$$$$$. (May be you can verify that). Therefore while its clear the tories will lose some TO seats I believe that Willodale should hold. Andrew Cox I would like to hear your prediction for my home seat (Ancaster Dundas flamborough Aldershot)! Thanks~!
16/12/02 Andrew Cox
AL, thanks for your input. I'd like to reply to your entry.
You appear to be refering mostly to point 5 of my argument about why Willowdale is too close to call, and my general argument that the PC vote in Toronto is declining. My statement was based on the regional breakdowns in the latest Ipsos Reid polling. They show support for Eves Tories down to 31% in Toronto, the Grits at 43% and the NDP at 17%. You can view that table at http://www.ipsos-reid.com/pdf/media/mr021025-1tb.pdf
The poll is part of a long-standing series or surveys by several public firms showing a major problem in the City of Toronto for the PCs. That would be of concern to PC incumbents, including David Young in Willowdale.
Second, my wide use of the BEY by-election to predict Eastern Toronto seats is because its an actual election result. Unlike the broad statement "Willowdale will be Tory!" which appears to be based on simple speculation, the BEY election is a measurable fact; in it, the PC vote collapsed from 30% to 10%.
However, if you prefer another comparitor for Willowdale, we can use the Vaughn-King-Aurora by-election. That also saw a steep decline in voter preference for the PCs, but in a Northern GTA seat with a number of similarites to Willowdale. The PC vote there fell from 54% to 33%.
Third, AL argues that the Beaches-East York by-election occured at at time when PC support was "down". A quick check of the Ipsos-Reid archives shows that PC support in August 2001 - at the time of the BEY election - was 34%, one percent higher than it is in Ipsos-Reid's latest survey of October 2002.
Fourth, AL's statement that "the MP of BEY was not very high-profile or anything else, he just rode in on the party name" is untrue. Michael Prue was a very high-profile candidate as the former mayor of East York and the city councilor at the time. The NDP actually saw a sharp decline in the "Beaches" part of the riding, their traditional stronghold. But Prue's candidacy sharply improved their vote in the "East York" areas, where he was councilor. If ever a person wanted proof of a candidate's profile winning a by-election, it was the NDP win in Beaches-East York.
Granted, it was a by-election, and by-elections are much more dominated by local candidates, especially in Toronto. Which leads to my next point.
Fifth, the supposition that "every riding is different and represented differently" is not as clean cut in Toronto as it is in smaller communities. I would argue that the impact of individual MPPs in a general election is much lower in Toronto than elsewhere. There is little localized media coverage of local politicians as individuals. The local MPP is rarely the main media spokesperson on the major issues for Toronto residents, especially during an election. Unless they are on your doorstep asking for your vote, you probably won't see much of your local candidate.
Rather, cross-city trends matter. John Parker and David Johnson and Isabel Basset all lost for the same reasons in 1999: a majority of people in central Toronto were mad at Mike Harris. Tory incumbents held in Scarborough and Etobicoke and North York also for one reason: a plurality of people in the Toronto suburbs were pretty happy with Mike Harris.
BEY and VKA are part of a significant trend: PC vote has fallen both in the traditional stronghold of the 905 suburbs and the traditional second-place ridings of the inner suburbs. They were by-elections, but still provide insight into the political situation at the time. The Ipsos-Reid polls shows the trend is still in place. As a result, PC incumbents across the city should be worried. These signs point to a much tougher fight this time around.
To conclude, David Young's reelection is uncertain.
I appreciate your concern and the opportunity to expand on the methodology behind my assertions.
17/11/02 AL
I'm very surprised at how Andrew Cox consistently compared every Toronto riding thats PC held to the Beaches East York Byelection. It occured at a time when Tory support was down, and mr. Cox must remember that every riding is different, and represented differently. Furthermore the MP of BEY was not high profile or anything else, he just rode inon the party name, while in Willodale this is not the case.. Therefore I must clearly say that Willodale will be Tory~~!
12/11/02 Andrew Cox
Too close to call. Reasons. 1) I'm surprised at the first three writers confidence in the PCs. The PC margin of victory in the last election was just 8.2%, or a 4% swing. Considering the Liberals nominated an Iranian woman in a heavily Jewish riding last time, and probably won't this time, that margin doesn't look very safe to me. 2) David Young is high-profile and well respected. He will have some support on his own, which may help him buck at city-wide Tory purge with local-issue and -personality voters. 3) The riding includes large Chinese population that has not been properly courted in the past. 4) There are rumblings about heavy-weights running for the Liberals next time, including City of Toronto budget chief David Shiner. 5) The PC vote is sharply declining across Toronto, which will hurt Young with low-information swing voters who cast their ballots on provincial trends. 6) The private school tax credit is yet to be election tested. It might galvanitize! Jewish and Muslim moderates and conservatives behind Young without a backlash, or polarize the election into majority (public) and minority (private), or even be cancelled.
04/11/02 Geneva
Email: geneva-24@eudoramail.com
Unless the Liberals nominate a star candidate, this riding will stay PC. Maybe the only PC hold in Toronto. too early to call.
26/10/02 AL
This is the only riding in Toronto that I can say will almost certainly go Tory. I have heard that the incubent represents the moderate of the more 'relaxed' PC party and in Toronto he might be the only Tory to survive!
23/10/02 Burke
David Young should be able to hang onto this riding. The Tories have held this riding since 1995 and won with a plurality in the last election. David's profile has been increased since his appointment as Attorney General and he represents the moderate of the party. I think the Tories will be able to hang on to Willowdale.
Editor's Note: This seat was held by the Tories since 1990, with former AG Charles Harnick

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