Election Prediction Project
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Federal Election - 2004 - élection générale

Update/Mise à jour:
8:57 PM 6/25/2004

Prediction Changed
La prévision a changé
1:29 PM 21/03/2004

Constituency Profile
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Christian Héritage Chrétien:
Steven Elgersma
Diane Finley
Green Party/Parti Vert:
Colin Jones
Carrie Sinkowski
Liberal Party/Parti libéral:
Bob Speller

Population 2001
Number of electors 2000
Nombre d'électeurs

Incumbents/Les députés:
Erie-Lincoln (12.0%)
John Maloney
Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant (88.0%)
Hon. Bob Speller

2000 Result/Résultats:
20,658 46.03%
15,820 35.25%
5,901 13.15%
2,055 4.58%
446 0.99%

(26/197 polls, 8799/66231 voters)
2000 Prediction/Complete Results

(185/214 polls, 64714/72165 voters)
2000 Prediction/Complete Results

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Email: youngreformers@yahoo.ca
I thought Bob Speller wasn't running, especially after his failed visit to Washington, where George W. Bush gave the Liberals what they were giving right back, no solution to the Mad Cow crisis so I guess the Tories were smoking something bad in Tobacco Country when they picked Diane Finley. That said Haldimand-Norfolk is only going Tory because of redistribution as Liberal Brant is now only Liberal Brant plus the anti-smoking campaign the Mulroney Tories started, Chretien Grits continued and Harper Tories will finish has left a bad taste in these constitutents mouths. Ontario PC MPP Toby Barrett's call for elected senators from Ontario is a great first step towards a full Reform agenda by the Tories to but the Grits beat them to it with the fixed election date, kudos Dalton.
21/06/04 Arzie Chant
Email: achant@uwo.ca
If the Conservative brain trust is done weighing in on the issue of Haldimand-Norfolk, it is probably time to discuss those things they ignored in their postings: the facts.
First, lets debunk the "rural means conservative" myth. As an elector in the former Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant riding, I am proud to say that I did not vote Tory. This is the case for the majority of people in the riding. We may not live in Toronto, but it doesn't mean we are backwater hicks, either. We didn't all complain about the gun-registry. This is still Ontario afterall, not Alberta. There was some opposition, but it wasn't the majority. Keep in mind, to be heard it is not necessary to be the majority, one only needs for all others to be silent. Further to this, we do leave the fields and cattle long enough read the papers, watch the news, etc. We aren't ignorant. We aren't all huge social conservatives either. Many of us have friends and family who are not white, Christian, heterosexual, etc. What's more, some of us are even non-white, non-Christian, homosexual, etc. ourselves. Shocking, I know, but stay with me. Furthermore, while yours truly spent his youth cutting hay and herding cows on a farm, Haldimand-Norfolk does have a series of decent sized communities that aren't exactly rural. They include Simcoe, Port Dover, Waterford, Delhi, etc. I could go on and on, but I think the point is clear. We aren't all Cletus from the Simpsons, he-yuk.
To speak to the incumbent, the Honourable Bob Speller, I have to say that he is the main reason this riding will stay Liberal. Aside from his immense personal popularity (who doesn't love Bob's smile and rosy cheeks?), Speller's dedication and cabinet posting will indeed help him here. First, Bob has a record as a family man who is always looking out for the area. Mailings almost always present a picture of Bob smiling away with his family and a list of his accomplishments. Add to this his recent reward of becoming Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Foods and you can almost hear a collective sigh from the electorate, "Oh, that Bob...he makes me woozy!"
As to the two comments about his posting, Bob will indeed either be back as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Foods, or at least in another Cabinet posting. He has worked too hard to not get something after having been a Minister for a while now and with fewer Liberals coming through the election, the pickings for Ministers is going to be slim, particularly from our west where people were thinking Ag. would go. What's more, H-N is indeed an important riding in terms of Agriculture. One need only ask a U Guelph Ag student to learn that much, my apologies to the boys in blue. Agriculture here is also not limited to tobacco and ginseng as suggested. It does include a strong beef and dairy component. This does not hurt Bob though. All the local papers covered his meeting with Bush, which really just bolstered Bob's appearance as a man working for farmers and families.
Looking next at Bob's competition, all I have to say is "what competition?" Fringe parties are of no concern, the NDP is pretty small here and then there is Diane Finley for the CPC. Well, I'm afraid Diane just isn't going to make it. Compared to Bob, she smacks of "outsider" and her being so closely tied to Harper and not the community doesn't win her votes, it loses them. She comes off smelling like a city girl trying to win a country seat. And shucks, we don't rightly like that.
Add it all up, and I predict Speller will be smiling on election night as he gets Haldimand-Norfolk once again. Considering everything, Conservatives like Brad are wrong in their prediction, as usual.
08/06/04 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
Bob Speller owes his initial razor-thin 1988 victory to a split in the right one full election before Reform hit Ontario; a particularly large CHP vote put a big dent in what ought to have been a dependable SW Ontario PC seat. Agreed that the ceded part of Brant is of little import to the stats. Cabinet competency does Speller well; however, it is true that the provincial "Toby Barrett" factor should buoy the opposition, more so than ever before--Barrett's 2003 reelection revealed the actual populist clout behind what seemed to be just another PC backbencher. Were it not for the accidental fact of Speller first being elected in 1988 rather than 1993, Hald-Norf should look as vulnerable as its Elgin/Oxford/Niagara neighbours...
08/06/04 Justin
Email: [hidden]
Just some food for thought...Speller actually had the benefit of a divided right before 1993....in 1988 the Christian Heritage Party AND the Progressive Conservatives tallied more votes than did Speller....whether all those CHP votes would have gone Tory is another question (I remember a lot of Libs and even NDPs who went over to the CHP in 1988 - eg voters who believe in strong social programs to help others but believe abortion is wrong)....but I suspect that Speller benefitted from this split.
02/06/04 David D.
Email: [hidden]
With the redistribution of Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant, mainly moving that section of Brant to the Brant riding, many think Haldimand-Norfolk will return to it blue roots. However, I think this is unfounded, for a few reasons. Primarily, yes this riding is hugely rural which would usually push for a Conservative sway, but not so here. This is because the majority of farmers in Norfolk are Tobacco or Ginseng (Former Tobacco) farmers, who have been promised financial help from the federal government for moving out of the tobacco industry, therefore a reason to keep the Liberals in power. Also, Bob Speller is known and well-liked in Haldimand-Norfolk, whereas Diane Finley, although strong support is largely unknown. And finally to top off the cake - Speller is the Minister of Agriculture and Agrifoods, thus a cabinet post. This will deliver the Liberals another riding, perhaps a closer than usual race but more than likely a Liberal win. Those that believe the Speller will lose due to the Mad Cow scare are incorrect – farmers in this area are not as concerned with cattle farming as they are with Tobacco and Ginseng.
02/06/04 Mikey
Email: [hidden]
This riding has all the clear indicators of a "swing". To say that Speller's cabinet position will sway the vote is only valid if the Liberals win and he is reappointed. Don't count on either. H-N is too small and too unimportant in the grand scheme of agriculture things. The next Ag Minister will undoubably be from out West. Too many undecided voters here to make any prediction other than UNSURE.
26/05/04 Richard Robillard
Email: roby@genzel.ca
Although Mr. Speller currently is a cabinet minister, I remember in 2000, this riding was not as easy of a win as the results look. The vote spliting played a factor, and keep in mind, this is a rural riding. There were a lot of gun owners rallying against Speller in 2000, and with the $2 billion wasted on gun control, as well as adscam, and a general dissatisfaction with Liberals in this area (one only needs to be reminded of the Ontario Liberals' budget just recently) and this one looks very winable by the Conservatives.
25/05/04 Bear and Ape
Email: Thebigape2000@hotmail.com
Another riding that we feel should be in the too close to call column (along with many others in southern Ontario that are now listed as Liberal keeps). This was a vote splitting riding and granted it's not a simple "add up all right wing votes and you get the new conservative party's votes", but the Liberals are polling substantially below what they did in 2000. Speller may be popular and a cabinet minister and this could help him out. We honestly don't know just how popular he is compaired to the other candidates, so we feel it's a too close to call.
23/05/04 Brad
Email: [hidden]
Haldimand-Norfolk is one of those ridings where I felt that the prediction of a Liberal hold was justified only so long as Liberal support continued to hover around its 2000 levels, or even a bit lower. However, if the tides were to turn in Ontario, it's one of the first Southwestern seats I'd toss into play. What seats would be tossed into play through such a shift? I'd argue the first to eye would be those who elected a provincial Tory, despite the PCs disasterous showing in 2003. This riding, with Toby Barrett, is one of those. If the CP is going to win 20+ ridings in Ontario, I'd wager this will be one of them.
01/05/04 Nick
Email: [hidden]
With Diane Finley running here look for a big upset. Diane, wife of one of Harpers top aides is going to draw resources like never befre seen in Haldimand Norfolk. Her campaign team is without a doubt the best of any Conservatve Candidate in the area. Throw in the vote splitting and adscam and this riding is going blue in a big way.
29/03/04 Arzie Chant
Email: achant@uwo.ca
BMS should just shorten his name to BS. Bob Speller is my current MP, but with the redistribution, the section of Brant County that I live in that was part of Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant is being moved into the larger Brant riding. He won't lose. That's just Conservative wishful thinking. First of all, some facts about the H-N-B and Brant ridings.
Brant County is not "Liberal Heartland" as suggested. While Brantford City is certainly a Liberal stronghold (largely because of respectable politicians like Stewart and Levac), the same cannot be said of the County of Brant (which is a seperate, surrounding municipality). Brant County is divided into areas that vote in almost total opposition to one another. Burford area, the area that is finally joining the Brant riding, has traditionally voted Conservative, not Liberal or NDP. However, even Burford has had enough of the Conservatives after the wrongs on the Harris/Eves government. Anyway, the point is that contrary to what has been said, the movement of Burford into the larger Brant riding will not hurt Bob at all. And H-N-B only went Tory again in the last provincial election due to Toby Barrett's staff's incessant spin-doctoring of facts in the local papers. Anyone who has actually talked to the man for five minutes will realize that he is as big a nobody t! o other PCs as he is to the rest of the world.
As for Haldimand-Norfolk, it isn't Liberal, that's true. But Bob will win. Why? Because he is Bob Speller and his trademark smile, rosy cheeks, and family man image has been handing him election win after election win for a number of years now. Everyone loves him and the fact that he is now Minister of Agriculture and Agrifoods just sweetens the deal. People don't vote Liberal in Haldimand-Norfolk, they vote Bob. Expect fewer votes for the CPC this time around as Haldimand-Norfolk voters smile on Bob Speller yet again while telling the newest version of the ultra-right Reform Party to go back to Preston Manning. People can say it's "one to watch election night" and that is true, provided you enjoy watching Liberal incumbents stroll to victory.
26/03/04 BMS
Email: [hidden]
This is one riding to keep a look out for on Election Night. This was a vote-splitting riding in previous elections, which lead to Bob Speller's victory only by default. The vote-split total was only by a few hundred votes; however that was when the riding consisted of part of Brant county. Brant is typically a Liberal-NDP heartland, which probably helped contribute to Speller's showing. On the provincial level, this riding stayed PC in the Liberal sweep (and the provincial boundaries consist of Brant). With that said, Bob Speller's only prayer is that his Agriculture Cabinet post saves him from defeat. Seeing how this is a rural riding, if farmers are not satisfied with the Liberals' tardy mad cow compensation, it will only make Speller more of a prime target because his defeat would be symbolic.
19/03/04 Christopher J. Currie
Email: 8cjc1@qlink.queensu.ca

A likely Conservative target, but I suspect that voters in tobacco country will prefer having Cabinet representation to being represented by an opposition backbencher.

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