Update/Mise à jour:
12:12 PM 21/01/2006

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2:12 AM 22/01/2006
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London West
London-Ouest

Federal Election - 2006 - élection générale



Constituency Profile
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Candidates/candidats:
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NDP/NPD
Gina Barber
Libearl/libéral
Sue Barnes
Conservative/conservateur
Al Gretzky
Progressive Canadian
Steve Hunter
Green/Vert
Monica Jarabek
Marxist-Leninist
Margaret Villamizar

Incumbent/Député:
Hon. Sue Barnes

2004 Result/Résultats:
Sue Barnes
25061
Mike Menear
17335
Gina Barber
9522
Rebecca Bromwich
2611
Steve Hunter
511
Margaret Villamizar
67

For historical result, please see
2004 Prediction page




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20 01 06 Schooy
As much as I'd like the Conservatives to take this riding, fact is that with a few notable exceptions (Dryden, Stronach) , 'star' candidates such as Gretzky have a tough go...people get too comfortable with a Liberal multi-term incumbent, strong or not. What is unfortunately being discounted is the future prospects of the Green Party this election and beyond - Monica Jarabek has done a great job for the Greens - wonder why public signage is non-exsistent in this riding? It was Monica who got the other candidates together to agree to such a proposal, and with the support of the French and Muslim communities, it's not unreasonable to expect Jarabek to double up the Green vote count - to about 5,000.
18 01 06 JJ
London Free Press called London West to the Liberals. Considering that London-West was the safest seat in the London area in 2004, and they could very well be right.
17 01 06 Aric H
This riding was recently profiled in the National Post by John Ivison. In his article he discussed some of the challaneges Sue Barnes is facing in the emerging Conservative wave going through Ontario and said that the London seats could go Conservative for the first time in many years. Barnes was not written off completely, but things are certainly becoming a challenge for her.
17 01 06 Full Name
Sue has a lot of votes to lose from the last campaign before she is in serious trouble. Also, London West voters do not have a knee-jerk reaction to voting out an incumbent just because the polls are going one way or the other. In the last election, there was a very strong conservative campaign and she still won by over 7000 votes when other ridings in the region went Tory Blue. If the supposed bluest London riding was a STRONG liberal hold in the last campaign, the conservatives' prospects are not as rosey as the polls make it appear. Predictions of a conservative victory in this riding are overblown. Today's London Free Press lists London West and Huron Bruce as the only 2 ridings in the region staying Liberal. I can't speak for Huron Bruce, but know they are spot on in terms of Sue's team being capable of pulling off a victory if it is possibly there for the taking. London North-Centre will go down before this riding does - because Fontana does have the organizational skills in place to deliver his vote. That is one riding that I bet will turn Conservative on election day - despite the prediciton of this site.
17 01 06 resident10
This will be a close race, but the Conservative is going to win. First, part of Liberal support will go to Al Gretzky in view of the general trend against the Liberals, and the strong Tory base will support him as they supported Mike Menear in 2004, although this is not enough to erase the nearly 8,000 victory margin in the last election for incumbent Sue Barnes. More important, many soft Liberal voters in the riding will switch to the NDP which campaigns hard and has many more signs around this time. Barnes will not get many more votes than Barber. Some other soft Liberal-leaning voters will simply stay home unwilling to support anyone. Beyond the Liberal base, only a small number of people will vote Liberal just to prevent a Conservative victory: this is not an ideological riding with many activist groups, but a middle class riding where people like moderates. The vast majority will not vote tactically. Last time Barnes took it in part due to lack of Menear's name recognition and Menear's close association with social conservatives (this does not go well with the 'mushy middle' of the electorate these days). Gretzky has no similar association, yet is conservative enough for the party's loyal supporters, and has a name recognition to sway the last minute hesitating or ill-informed voters (those who do not know whow to vote for until they get their election ballot with the names).
16 01 06 Alan Smithee
London West has always been a bellwether riding. When all three 1993 London-area Liberals are considered in terms of their accomplishments, O'Brien will be remembered for his same-sex stance, Fontana for being Minister of Labour... and Sue Barnes? Perhaps the most anonymous MP in Parliamentary history. Sue will live and die in this election on the strength of the Liberal Party's national campaign, and an 8-10 point lead for the Tories spells a Gretzky in Parliament.
16 01 06 Tory Blue
I am having a tough time understanding how if the same sex marriage issue came to the fore front (which I don't think it really has or will) how it can be a negative for the Conservatives. Does anyone here remember the name Diane Haskett? Our former bible thumping fundamentalist mayor won a landslide re-election based very much on her stand on the issue. There was a credible alternative candidate to her and she won without even campaigning to thumb her nose at the Ontario Human Rights Ruling that ordered her to proclaim a gay pride day.
14 01 06 CORYG33
Quite simply, Al Gretzky is the clear winner in this riding. I agree, Sue Barnes is nowhere to be found (and she would be hard to miss if you know what I mean). Barnes' problem stems from the Liberal party's corruption and daily scandals. But further than that, let's not forget that Ms. Barnes was the Parliamentary Secretary to Indian Affairs and Northern Developement. This is particularly important due to the Kecheshewan (spelling?) Indian reserve that was plagued with filthy water for so long while the Federal government knew but failed to act. London-west does have a modest Native-Canadian population that will most definitely not vote for the incumbant, Ms. Barnes. Although Mr. Gretzky has no political experience, he has his infamous family name and his party is ever-growing in popularity. This is sure to attract the swing votes who love hockey and want to be represented by the winning political party in Ottawa.
12 01 05 J Turner
It really seems like Sue has lost the will to campaign here. She's no where to be found. At the Rogers debate last night the audience was stone-cold to her. She couldn't even manage a few campaign workers to cheer her on. This isn't a good sign. When you can't even whip up your own dedicated workers to attend what is considered the biggest debate of the campaign, what chance do you have?
Contrast what's happened in Sue's campaign with Gina & Al's campaigns. Both of them seem to be energized this time. Their supporters seem to be pumped even though they are putting in long hours (I drive by both thier offices on the way to work & they are always there early in the morning & still up 12 hours later when I go home [shift work]). They seem to genuinely want to win (lots of my friends have had Al & Gina at their doors, but none have had Sue).
I don't think the NDP support is strong enough across the riding to win, but I think they'll have a lot stronger support then they did in 2004. But they will make a respectable showing. These votes will come off Sue.
Al Gretzky will win this riding because of a few big reasons:
1. The national campaign is strong - even in 905 & SW Ontario. London tends to be in between these two for party support.
2. The non-existent campaign of Sue
3. The very strong & energetic Gina Barber campaign
4. A strong Al Gretzky campaign.
05 01 06 MS London
I live in London West, and Al Gretzky, whatever his failings may be, is easily winning the sign war (on private property.) The Sue Barnes campaign is invisible. She's hasn't been in Wortley Village, by far her most fertile ground in the riding. I'm surprised by the strong NDP campaign, which certainly won't benefit Sue Barnes. The race here in my view is over, and Gretzky has it.
03 01 06 Brain Trust
A few simple reasons:
1. The Conservative poll numbers in Ontario are excellent (dead even in the province means down by 5-10 points in T.O. & up by a few points in the other urban centers & up big in rural Ontario).
2. The Gretzky ground-game has continued it's punishing pace. This pace hasn't been matched by Sue Barnes. She's falling behind, and with no national campaign to carry her, she's unable to hold her own.
3. Gina Barber's NDP campaign has surged in the riding, mainly on the back of an effort that wasn't put forth last time. She's running hard throughout the riding, and while it's not enough to overcome the naturally soft level of NDP support, it's enough to pry even more votes away from Sue.
These three facets together indicate that this riding to going to come in Conservative on election day. Unless there is a major change to the polls, I predict Gretzky by 3-5%
21 12 05 A.S.
The most comfortably middle-and-upward-class of the London ridings, London West was traditionally the weakest for the Liberals, and that held (relatively speaking) through Sue Barnes' first three terms. But that's when we still had a Progressive Conservative party to kick around. So what happened in the first post-PC election of 2004? Sue Barnes got the *strongest* Liberal result in London! Now, with a Gretzky in lieu of a kryptonite-religious conservative, the (non-Progressive) Conservatives look a little less scary--albeit perhaps a little more gimmicky--than they did. But given that this is a 99 44/100% urban seat, London Centre will fall only if CPC's headed for a clear overall plurality of seats. Gretzky or no Gretzky.
10 12 05 Moriarty
Too close to call! Imagine that, Sue barnes having to worry about "her seat". Gretzky is going to have a good showing in this riding. He and Barber have been in the riding doing pre-election canvassing since the Spring. Barnes has alot of ground to make up. The Barber sign campaign is impressive so far, and she's managed to connect very well with the local media. Gretzky's campaign will have to compete with the money the Liberals will throw at this riding to make sure it stays Red. Prediction: A vote split and a surprising NDP win.
06 11 05 GB
The Conservatives have had trouble finding a strong candidate in this riding for some time. While Gretzky has name recognition and is a long-time Conservative organizer, he is not very well educated and certainly not qualified to be an MP. He will only slightly improve on Menear's count in the last election.
Sue Barnes is a weak MP, and in the last election she wouldn't talk to me because I wasn't 18. I'm 18 this time 'round and she won't get my vote, but she doesn't particularly need it.
Gina Barber is running again for the NDP. She might improve her numbers slightly, but this riding is far too rich to go NDP. She is, however, very nice, and since she would talk to me when I was 17, she has my vote.
If the Conservative present a socially progressive candidate that is well-educated, coupled with a non-Alliance party leader, they would have this seat in the bag. But they didn't, so its Liberal, no contest.
06 10 05 Bear and Ape
M. Lunn hit the nail on the head. Harper's brand of conservatism just doesn't sell in urban Ontario. Even if the tide turns against the Liberals again (very possible now that an election is probably not till spring), the CPC will not gain in places like London, Kitchener or Guelph. The voters here would vote for an old PC type, so till that day Sue wins by default.
04 10 05 M. Lunn
Al Gretzky maybe a star candidate, but Stephen Harper is very unpopular in urban areas, so Stephen Harper's unpopularity will be enough to ensure Sue Barnes is re-elected, even if it is with a smaller margin. The Conservatives are probably more likely to pick up Middlesex-Kent-Lambton, which is a rural riding where Stephen Harper's conservatism sells better. Al Gretzky would be best to hope the liberals win a minority and then the election after that, I think he has a good shot if someone like Bernard Lord or Peter MacKay takes over as Conservative leader since the conservatism of the old PCs sold well here, but not that of the Reform/Alliance.
20 08 05 Observer
The one riding in the city of London that may go Conservative,
if the national campaign can keep it close in Ontario, (outside of Toronto).
Gretzky is a hard-working, personable candidate who does have that
name recognition edge, is getting mentioned in the local media, and just as importantly, is well-funded.
Barnes is not one of those MPs who is well loved, she is just there.
The NDP would need to run a reasonably good campaign as well to take this from the Liberals.
12 08 05 mr saturday night
I'm not foolish enough to predict an NDP win here, but Layton is sure spending a lot of time in London. Sure, it's mainly for the benefit of London Fanshawe and North Centre, where the NDP probably will win, but Gina Barber is able to reap the benefits also. This helps to raise the NDP profile in London West and they can't help but increase their vote total from last time around.
20 07 05 M. Lunn
Even though Al Gretzky maybe a star candidate and this is the strongest Tory riding of the three ridings entirely within the city of London (Elgin-Middlesex-London is predominately rural, which is why it goes conservative, I believe the conservatives lost most of the urban polls while won most of the rural polls). However, with the Tories being even further behind in Ontario, especially in urban areas, I don't expect them to gain any urban ridings. The may pick up a few rural ridings such as Middlesex-Kent-Lambton and Chatham-Kent-Essex since they are up from last election in the rural areas.
15 05 05 Recovering Liberalholic
It has been 4 federal elections since I last gave in to my addiction.
I read the comments on this riding and I wonder where all the venom spews forth from. "People will soon see through the name and realize this is a guy who worked at Sears his entire life" Since is when is WORKING for one place in a commited fashion a fault? Next "turfing most of Mike Menear's supporters in favor of the Gretzky Reform-Alliance group" I thought the Refomers were the red-neck church going evangelicos? I can't keep the spin straight anymore. Oh yeah and to those comments about Al not being able to hold the team together, seems he won an uncontested nomination last week. Al is a man of integrity and grace he has been a member of the Reform Party, the Canadian Alliance and now the Conservative Party of Canada. WOW! I must nearly be cured from my Liberalholism, I can get the names of the opposition party straight! I can even UNDERSTAND the lineal history!
"Sue Barnes is not a strong MP" These are the truest words in the forum thus far. Preston Manning once called the Ontario Liberal MPs 99 Dalmation Puppy Dogs who just do what they are told. Barnes is this to a T. I would think Barnes had been on the opposition benches all these years as I recollect her appearances on television. I have never seen the offence on her game just the defence. The Tories do this the Tories say that. Like her boss Mr. Dithers she has no game plan other than get re-elected by offending and alienating the oponent and get back to the trough and oh yes vote Yeah when told to and Nay when told too.
11 05 05 S.M.
I expect the Conservatives to win this one. I think this because some people are mad at the Liberals over Gomery and will switch, and other Liberals just won't show up at the polls.
But expect NDP vote to go up...it won't come close to winning in that riding - but I've heard alot of (wealthy/educated) people who voted Liberal the last time out who are going to "vote with their hearts" this time.
Depressed vote + High anger amongst Conservatives = Tory Win
09 05 05 J Adams
Gretzky is a nice guy and has a great name, but people will soon see through the name and realize this is a guy who worked at Sears his entire life. The Conservative camp has again changed their starting line-up and brings a whole new team to the game (turfing most of Mike Menear's supporters in favor of the Gretzky Reform-Alliance group). Rumors of in-fighting prove to be true and Gretzky can't keep the team together. Barnes is a hard-worker and amazing organizer as proven in the last election. NDP candidate was weak last time and will be worse this time around. Look for Barnes to hold on to her seat by 1500 votes or more.
Liberal: 40%
Conservative: 35%
NDP: 20%
Green/other: 5%
09 05 05 M. Lunn
Al Gretzky is now doubt a star candidate and considering last time around they ran an Evangelical, Mike Menear, the Conservatives should do better. With the exception of Elgin-Middlesex-London, which is predominately a rural riding, this is the best chance the Conservatives have in London. However, I still think the liberals will hold this one since conservative support is quite weak in urban areas and with the liberals re-bounding to 2004 levels, it will be tough for the Conservatives to take this. I predict it will be a closer race, but Sue Barnes will still narrowly come out ahead.
08 05 05 Aric H
There will be a small Liberal victory here I suspect. With the Liberal numbers still will ahead of the Conservatives in Ontario these kind of ridings will remain just out of reach for the Cons. However, Sue Barnes is not a high-profile MP as others have said and she will need to work on this if she wants to maintain an advantage.
08 05 05 Brain Trust
London West will be a bell-weather riding for Ontario. Sue Barnes is not a strong MP, neither having the personal following of O'Brien in Fanshawe, or the cabinet position of Fontana in LNC. She is also the weakest debater of the bunch, and had to be defended by the others during joint riding debates last time around.
That said, if the Liberal numbers are high in Ontario and they are on the road to either a repeat of their standing last time or higher (which, while I personally find extremely unlikely, I'll leave the possibility for at this stage) then this will stay Liberal.
The key for the conservatives will be to connect with dis-enfranchised voters in this riding across two different criteria:
1. Opposition to Same-sex marriage -> there is a large muslim population in this riding which has been very vocal in favour of the traditional definition of marriage, which is also the stance of Al Gretzky the Conservative candidate who was acclaimed for this riding.
2. Disgust at Liberal arrogance & waste -> the demographics of this riding are the most conservative in the city of London, but most of this is due to the high rate of "working wealth", people who are working themselves hard to acheive their economic status. This could offer the opening needed on a second front for the conservatives thereby delivering the riding solidly back into the blue column.
Is the Conservative Gretzky Campaign Team astute enough to use these two factors in additonal to the nature affability of their candidate (and he is a nice guy, which normally doesn't equate to many extra votes) to connect with the voters in the riding? Now that is the million dollar question which will decide this riding. At this point, it's too early to tell.
07 05 05 paul
How can anyone say someone named Gretzky and actually is related to Gretzky won't win? Even if the conservative candidate wasn't named Al Gretzky, they would have a good chance of winning it. A candidate like this will solidify a conservative victory in this riding.
06 05 05 John
A tired Liberal candidate in Sue Barnes. An even more tired Conservative camp who couldn't buy their way to victory last time using Al Gretzky running on only his name and famous nephew. An NDP campaign energized by building momentum locally with Gina Barber running again and federally with Layton making several appearances in London. Suddenly this has become a legitimate 3 way race



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