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||19 01 06
||A Woman Scorned|
|This former Liberal voter says Steckle is toast.|
This is really a close race, but I think with so many former Liberals like me turned off the social conservative agenda, we aren't going to risk sending one in Liberal cloth.
I expect a squeeker, but it is going to go NDP this time. Grant Robertson has returned Bruce Power workers to the NDP's side because of his strong support of them and farmers are suporting him, including an endorsement in the Sun Times from the Bruce County Federation of Agriculture President in a write up on the Teeswater meeting.
By a hair, but Robertson.
||16 01 06
|Can Paul Steckle hang on to his seat in the face of a blue tide washing over Southern Ontario that will sweep Stephen Harper to 24 Sussex? I'm betting that his personal popularity, social conservatism, and maverick status will carry the day for him, and he'll become a one-man rural S. Ontario Liberal caucus sitting in Opposition. This isn't Rose-Marie Ur or Lynn Myers we're not talking about here. Steckle is known for his independence of thought which has made him a superior vote-getter. He not only beat his Conservative opponent last time, he actually won a majority. Won't be that high this time but a win nonetheless.|
Prediction: Lib 43%, CPC 38%, NDP 14%, Green 2%, CHP 2%
||15 01 06
||The Friendly Farmer|
|This most certainly needs to be changed to too close to call.|
Robertson has made the claim at the 2 all-candidates meetings I was at, and during a third on radio, that this was a Liberal-NDP contest this time. No one refuted it, including Ben Lobb. Other candidates spent their time attacking Steckle and Robertson. Says to me the candidates themselves have figured out who the front runners are.
Steckle's base is now treating Grant Robertson as the conquering hero. In Holmesvile they chatted with him with an ease that I have never seen with an NDP candidate. Ben Lobb has a bright future, but besides strict partisans, few are willing to entrust him to be their MP this time out. He is to untested for a number of people at a crucial juncture for rural Ontario.
I have no idea how this is going to shake out. My gut says Robertson by less than 300 votes, with less than 3000 votes from first to third, but it is still to wide open to really know. The only thing I truly know is that Steckle is in real trouble. His opening and closing statements in Holmesville were described as retirment speeches by people in the audience.
||13 01 06
|If Steckle followed his principals and crossed the floor two years ago, he would be looking at the Agriculture Ministry as a Tory but he'll be hard pressed to be an automatic this time with the Liberals.|
The area is not diehard Liberal, it loves stability and the Libs no longer offer that. Tough ride for the gun-toting redneck Steckle
||10 01 06
|What is happening here in this riding is hard to explain. With 2 right wing candidates in the riding the NDP is picking up alot of the left which is exposed by Steckle. Also the CPC which is the natural choice for most in the riding that want change, is bleeding support away from Steckle. With a 10,000 vote win last time for Steckle and the NDP picking up 3,000-4,000 from his left flank and the CPC picking up the same on the right, this could be a very tight race and should be moved to the TCTC. And this is even before factoring in the shift in the polls to the CPC that we are starting to see. My gut is telling me Lobb 19,000, Steckle 18,500 with Robertson's NDP picking up 10,000. This is a riding to watch.|
||31 12 05
|I see that Nationally its a dead heat between the Liberals and the Conservatives. Huron-Bruce is tightening each day. Robertson is finally making a strong appearance in Huron County as it signs seem to pop overnight. Steckle is stalled. Lobb, while young (30) is relatively well known in some parts of the riding but unknown in the North.|
Roberston may surprise everyone by making it a tight three person race!
Right now it is very close but my bet is still on Lobb despite the fact that his phone line to his house was cut this past week and it is now under investigation!
||30 12 05
|A.S. you might want to do a little fact checking on your punditry. Rebate return level federally is now 10%. |
My personal prediction last election amongst friends was Robertson 11%. (I'll admit I was wrong in thinking Barb might pull it out.) Robertson did a little better, true, but I was pretty close. As someone working on the Fisher campaign we saw his support bleed away in the last week, hurting our campaign. That doesn't seem as likely this time.
This time he is going to do a lot better.
I still expect Steckle to win. No question, but as another poster pointed out his support is soft, unexpectedly soft. Funny how people from the riding can see this.
I am predicting that Robertson will finish stronger than I would have expected possible a year ago, Lobb less so, (people here don't vote for a first-time candidate they don't know no matter the party), but Steckle will win. Hard to understand your rant in the face of that.
||30 12 05
|This one is a no brainer. Liberals in a landslide. The only race here is who will finish second. Although he doesn't stand a chance of winning, Grant Robertson may pull off a miracle by finishing second. |
Ben Lobb, the conservative candidate may say he is knocking on doors, but all I hear is.."Who in the hell is Ben Lobb?" Combine this with the fact that it is obvious that Lobb is so out of his league in this election, Robertson may surprise everyone by finishing second. The way Lobb comes across in the local paper articles is that he has no idea what he is doing. The all candidate debates may just be the final nail in Lobb's polictical career.
So in the end....Steckle 50%, Robertson 25%, Lobb 22% and the others making up the other 3%.
Anyone want to make a bet?
||24 12 05
|Let's get real. We've been through this election-prediction "Grant Robertson is a great guy" thing before. Twice. Provincially in 2003; federally in 2004. And he finished a distant third both times, out of deposit range. There comes a point where it's like crying wolf. Sure, he might, could, perhaps soar into second by being alone on the non-SoCon front, or by Paul Steckle hogging so much of the SoCon demo as to render the Tories superfluous. But there's only so much that "local dynamics" can do--Paul Klopp didn't win provincially in 1990 simply by being Paul Klopp, you know. What Grant Robertson really needs is some big federal-provincial NDP wind in his sails. Some big momentum to consolidate whatever personal advantages he already has. Something like Ed Broadbent c1987, or (of course) Bob Rae in 1990. And interestingly, some might argue that Jack Layton shares Grant Robertson's "great guy" advantages. But then there's the "shame about the party" aspect--and yes, we can blame Bob Rae's regime in part for that. The NDP needs to make significant gains *at large* in rural-route country before we can take these Grant Robertson claims seriously; almost like a pipe-dream of a national Ed Schreyer bandwagon effect. Yeah, as if. Or maybe Tory-populist MPP-next-door Bill Murdoch can "do a Cadman" and endorse Robertson over his opponents--and who knows; maybe he would. But soberly speaking, it still looks like a straightforward 1-2-3, Liberal-Tory-NDP scenario all over again in Huron-Bruce. The only thing unusual about it (for these geographic environs) is that, because it's the invincible Paul Steckle, it's so clearly Liberal-Tory-NDP, as opposed to Tory-Liberal-NDP, or [too close]-NDP, or anything of the sort...|
||23 12 05
|Locally Lobb has to be the hardest working of the candidates as he claims he has knocked on almost 3000 doors so far. If this is true, that is a lot of doors! He also seems to be better organized, despite Miles's claim, as his signs were up 10 days before I spotted a single Liberal sign. Though I read in the paper that Steckle said he didn't put his signs up as he was concerned for the safety of people on the roads. Obviously he is not concerned about the safety of the people in Kincardine as he seems to have Lobb out signed in that area of the riding.. tch tch. If the federal conservatives continue to set the tone for the campaign as they did in the first half, then I am predicting that Lobb's Conservatives will pull off one of the biggest upsets in the country!|
||20 12 05
|I'm starting to believe the party made a mistake thinking, like M. Lunn, that this was a lock for Paul, so we nominated someone with the next election in mind. The Lobb campaign has also made a mistake concentrating on their Reform/Alliance background and supporters for volunteers shoving some of the old people aside. |
Trouble is this is turning into a tighter race than expected. Robertson has the credibility to eat into Steckle's farm base and that's what is happening. I'm surprised by how much, but pretending it isn't happening doesn't change it.
If you just look at global polling numbers you will miss the local dynamics of a race. The NDP shouldn't be strong here, but they are because of the name recognition and credibility Robertson brings. Anyone who meets or hears him knows this is a guy with a future and someone if elected that is going to the front bench even if in opposition. That dynamic is hindering Steckle. As well, a number of small 'l' liberal voters were turned off by Steckle over his gun totin Christmas card last year and the vehemance of his same sex marriage comments. Don't make the mistake of thinking all small town/rural voters are social conservatives particularly along the lakeshore. Robertson has the entire middle-left virtually to himself, but Steckle is fighting with Lobb for the middle-right vote.
Still Steckle's to lose, and I doubt that he will, but the heir apparent here is a dipper, not a Conservative. As much as it galls me to admit it. Steckle's saving grace might be Bruce Power though.
||18 12 05
|It has been very interesting reading the submissions about Huron-Bruce through time but some of the people making submissions are speaking from the late Cretaceous Period. Steckle's support in Huron-Bruce is soft. Both Robertson and Lobb are devouring his support from both sides while the Liberals bask in their assumed superiority. I heard that Steckle did not campaign the first week but went to the Dominican Republic for a week's holiday instead! Is this true? He does look very tanned.|
||14 12 05
|I agree that Paul Steckle will easily win this riding, but I disagree with Miles Whitmore the NDP will finish in a strong second. Except for Northern Ontario, the NDP is quite weak in rural Ontario and if the polls are to believed they will likely do even worse as some NDP voters will switch to the Liberals to block a Conservative win as the Conservatives are gaining in rural Ontario. I don't think the Conservatives stand any chance at winning, but at most Paul Steckle probably only will capture about 25% of Conservative supporters (10% is enough in most rural ridings, and even if two no name candidates ran, the Liberals will still probably narrowly win this), but most Conservative supporters feel the Liberals need to be thrown out of office so won't Liberal no matter what, while most Liberal supporters feel Stephen Harper is too extreme so they won't vote Conservative no matter what and most Liberal supporters will only vote NDP in ridings where they have a decent chance at winning and this is not one of them.|
||13 12 05
|Still think this is Steckle's but this is getting tighter than I would have thought possible and the campaign hasn't even really started yet. This will be all about Steckle and Robertson. |
Robertson put out the best political flyer I've ever seen last week and people are actually talking about it. A political flyer. At work. It's weird to see that happen, and even weirder for it to come from the NDP. It would appear the good will he built up in the last election is serving him well.
It seems so unlikely, but Robertson is getting talked about the same way Paul Klopp was before he won for the NDP. And Steckle is nowhere to be seen. Nothing. Zip. It's like his heart is no longer in it.
The Conservatives are a non-factor. They put up all kinds of signs and it has just turned people off. The first debate is coming up and I expect it will reveal that Steckle and Robertson are the two main rivals.
It's still Steckle's riding, becuase Conservatives will vote for him if the NDP is over taking the CPC, as appears to be happening, but this will be one heck of a dust up in the new year.
I'm going to revise my numbers recognizing that Jan 23 is still well over a month away.
Steckle 40 Robertson 34 Lobb 23 Other 3 (With Christian Heritage placing in front of the Greens)
||12 11 05
|Well Grant Robertson is officially in since I last posted. I've been travelling around for work and what I predicted appears to be becoming true. This will be a fight between Robertson and Steckle, but Steckle is way out in front, but the gap is narrowing more than I would have thought if old farmer coffee shop talk is anything to go by. Last week Robertson pummelled Steckle and an area Conservative MP on a local talk show. You could hear Steckle get agitated the moment they announced he was on the line.|
Robertson has been doing his usual bit in the media and Steckle has started to respond to him, including bringing the health Minister in for a fund-raiser. Robertson has been pushing hard against Steckle's bizzarre support for a tax on food. It's going to be fun if nothing else.
The Conservative candidate is a nice young man, but will not be a factor in terms of winning as people don't even know who the candidate is. The question will be who does he draw support from if there is a bit of a Conservative upswing.
This is still Steckle's seat, even if no rural southwestern Ontario Liberal is left standing, but Robertson is going to give it one hell of a go from the looks of it. It's really hard not to like the guy's determination and smarts and I hear people say all the time, if he was running for any other party I would vote for him. Must eat his insides up.
||15 05 05
||Stunned and Amazed|
|I have deep roots in this riding and still speak regularly to clients and family in the area. I can't figure this out. Paul Steckley is loved by the social conservatives despite carrying the liberal banner. Many have commented in this forum in past and current elections that Paul is voted on for his popularity. It's true and it's nuts. Those who say he is a outspoken member of his party and is really a conservative don't be fooled. He's a liberal and a Martinite. This would have put him on death row in almost any other rural riding in Ontario but he will prevail because of his name even though many I have talked to acknowledge that the man (meaning any man or woman) can't change his party of change Ottawa. Those are exactly the sentiments of many people who STILL support Steckley while opposing many liberal initiatives. I think another angle at least in the Bruce part of the riding background. This is an area where "I have always voted Liberal" will change little Yes the Tories won under Mulroney here and provincially here as well but without a Blue Wave this may not swing.|
The incumbent could be shown to have his own hand in the adscam cookie jar (I am in no way implicating him) and he would be re-elected because we don't know what the other guy might do (he COULD be a thief for all we know) Again I am not implicating anyone beyond the electorate and how they think here.
||11 05 05
|Well the Conservatives missed a chance to at least be competative. They've chosen Ben Lobb who know one seems to have even heard of before.|
At the very least they've made the election less entertaining. Word is Robertson is likley to run, but is waiting for the government to fall before deciding due to his father's health.
Since Craig was giving numbers here are mine;
If Grant Robertson does seek the nomination
Lib 42, NDP 29, Cons, 24, Other's including Green 5
If Robertson does not
Lib 49, Cons 30, NDP 14, Green 5.5, others 1.5
Either way this is a Liberal hold, assuming current polling numbers also hold.
||09 05 05
|Not to beat a dead horse in this riding, but as it is my old home riding, it seems only fitting to toss a few words in...|
In response to M's comment earlier about the possibility of a Blue wave in Ontario knocking Paul out, I'd offer that even a very strong Conservative wave in Ontario wouldn't dent much of Paul's support. He's gruffy, opinionated, and a strong social conservative. He has always fought hard on behalf of his constituents, even if he really should be a Conservative. This will be an easy hold for Paul, the MP who sends out Christmas hards with his family on ATVs holding guns & bows in the middle of a corn field.
||08 05 05
|If Steckle was smart, he would cross the floor to the Conservatives, and win a massive majority here with both his personal supporters + the Conservative voters. That being said, he has far more personal supporters that are natural Conservatives that would win this riding, however the AdScam factor + party policies that differ greatly from his may still lure some voters over to the CPC. Still Paul Steckle should hang on as the lone Liberal seat in rural southwestern Ontario (unless he crosses the floor). Predicted results: LIB 43%, CPC 38%, NDP 12%, GRN 5%, others 2%.|
||06 05 05
|While it's Paul's to loose- it is way, way too early to call this a sure bet yet. Paul is wearing out his welcome in a number of corners focusing on hardcore conservative issues and not responding to Liberal voter's concerns. But that's a big lead to overcome for anyone.|
This riding could be a hilarious one to watch though. If Ralph Krutwiezer wins the Conservative nomination and Grant Robertson throws his hat back in there will be three good ol' boys running against each other. Krutwiezer is a former Liberal trying to run as a Conservative, Steckle running as a Liberal when he is really a Conservative and Robertson, who despite the fact that he is universally well liked, if he decides too will be running for the ne'r do well NDP.
The hayseed runneth over. My money is on Paul, but the others have the base to launch an attack if the Liberals start sliding again.
||02 05 05
|Paul Steckle is very popular here in Huron Bruce, consecutively winning about 50% of the popular vote. This will stay Liberal until either one of two things happen: first Steckle retires or second that there is a massive Conservative sweep leading to a huge Tory majority. The second option will definitely not happen with Quebec consistently voting Bloc. Every indication is that Steckle will run again.|
||01 05 05
|Although this would be a natural constituency for the Conservatives, Paul Steckle is quite well liked and also is really more of a conservative than liberal considering he is pro-life, opposed to the gun registry, and opposed to same-sex marriage. In addition to getting all the liberal vote, his conservative views will win over enough conservative voters to allow him to be re-elected even if he remains the only liberal MP left standing in rural Southwestern Ontario.|