||17 01 06
|Is the big blue wave coming? Or is it the little blue wave? Or with the polls tightening in Ontario at the eleventh hour can the Liberals pull the rabbit out of the hat? Lambton Kent Middlesex might be a barometer of that feeling. The agricultural safety net issue I said would shape the campaign was very real in this riding. The Conservatives promised a "whole farm insurance" program, harkening back to the day of GRIP, MRI and NISA. The Liberals have promised to work toward a long term program much like the RMP proposed by Ontario farm groups. The NDP have promised $1 billion in short term assistance to grains and oilseed producers. Farmers fresh from the higly successful Wallaceburg Farm Rally which jump started the agricultural push in this riding are still on the move. How they interpret the agricultural campaign promises will surely shape their vote. With polls tightening as we go into the weekend, nobody in the local campaign should feel secure.|
||09 01 06
|This is an obvious Conservative pick-up. The riding is mostly rural including some small towns in it. Rose-Marie Ur, a blue Liberal has retired and therefore this becomes an open seat. The CPAC report on the riding shows the Conservative candidate (who was also their candidate in 2004) at ease with the constituency and able to relate to people's needs. Not only Shipley is a worthy candidate, it is also a typical rural Ontarian riding and with the numbers Conservatives have as of right now it's quite obvious Liberals won't retain this seat. There's no doubt it'll go Conservative in the next election.|
||05 01 06
|Bev Shipley is going to win this riding. And it will be a bigger win than most (liberals) expect.|
The Shipley campaign has been working ever since it lost to Ur to be ready for this election. That level of prep = no rookie mistakes by the campaign team = at least an extra 1,000 votes in terms of mechanics.
||31 12 05
|With Liberal MP Rose-Marie Ur retiring, this is a sure win for the Conservatives. She won this riding last time by a little over 100 votes. Well respected ex-Liberal MP Rex Crawford campaigning with Shipley should give the Conservatives a comfortable win. Like the Chatham-Kent-Essex riding, most people are socially and fiscally conservative...but parked their vote with Rose-Marie Ur since she too was a social/fiscal conservative running for the Liberal party. I'd suggest people voted for Ur, not the Liberals. Now that she's gone, voter loyalty will switch to the political party that best represents the constituents' collective views - the Conservative Party of Canada. Bev Shipley by a few thousand votes this time. Can't see it being close.|
||02 01 06
|Proof of how it takes more than trend-bucking social conservatism to keep a rural Grit pumpin' in Ontario: maybe Paul Steckle and RMUr are kindred spirits, but the former's an outspoken maverick and the latter was just another Ontario Grit, notable mainly for having the shortest surname in Commons. Thus, in '04, the former outperformed and the latter squeaked--but keep in mind that pre-93, it was *Steckle's* seat that was solid Tory and *Ur's* that was the swinger! Although that was when the parties were less polar--and remember that Garnet Bloomfield, who represented the far-Middlesex end of the present riding as a Liberal in the 80s, ran for *Reform/Alliance* in '97 and '00. So, LKM and CKE are now open-seat ripe-for-the-Tory-taking kissing cousins, and in both cases the Liberals have made predictably astute candidate choices; though for Wesley, that strange kamikaze way that the NDP won--yes, not just did best in, but *won*--Wallaceburg while bombing everywhere else in the riding in '04 must loom kinda weird...|
||30 12 05
|Shipley missed one all candidates meeting and has announced he plans on attending seven (7) others. He has also announced a series of townhall meetings throughout the EDA in an effort to be accessable and reachable by anyone who might be interested. I don't think he's hiding from anyone and I don't think his campaign staff is forcing him to do so either. High priced, everyone I know on the Shipley team is volunteering - not sure where that comment came from???|
Wesley doesn't even have an office open in Strathroy the capital of the EDA. Blake takes Wesley for a run in Wallaceburg where Wesley has angered as many as he's impressed and Shipley coasts up the middle to win by 7%.
||29 12 05
|I spent a couple hours driving through this riding over Christmas. I didn't go into any of the towns, but in the country I noticed that on private land Conservative signs outnumber Liberal signs by about 7.5:1. (I saw about 100 signs on private land in total) I didn't see a single NDP sign on private property but saw a couple of Green Party signs.|
On publicly owned land it was closer to 2:1 for the Conservatives, with a handful of NDP signs (no Green Party ones).
Hardly scientific, but that experience and my gut feeling tells me this riding will be a cakewalk for the Conservatives now that the popular anti-SSM Liberal incumbent is now out of the picture. I'd be surprised if they won this by less than 3000 votes.
||23 12 05
|now things get interesting! Rex Murphy of CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup wanted to highlight this riding on his show, but the Conservative said he couldn't schedule so far in advance. This famous show has been running for decades, but Shipley bailed out. He also failed to show for a debate in Wallaceburg early in the campaign. Are his high-priced handlers trying to keep their candidate in a bubble, feeling he already has victory sewed up?|
||21 12 05
|This going to be extremely close, but Wesley is likely to due much better then Ur in Wallaceburg because he was the mayor there and he has done a good job representing people. I think had Ur run she might have lost again, I still think this is going to be very close possibly by at least 50 or 80 votes in this riding.|
||10 12 05
|I must make some comments here in regards to Philip Shaws remarks. First of all, the Liberals were not the ones who put the death blow to the Market Revenue Insurance Program, rather it was the provincial conservatives that did this. They could have committed themselves to keeping the MRI, but instead decided to hold out on signing onto the APF in 2003. They had every opportunity to sign onto the APF and fund the MRI entirely out of the provincial coffers. I agree that this election in rural Ontario will be decided entirely on the new Risk Management Program proposed by the Grains and Oilseeds groups. I can confirm that regardless, the Province of Ontario and its Ag Minister, Leona Dombrowsky has indeed stepped up to the plate and has committed themselves to the RMP if the feds would contribute their 60% share.|
||07 12 05
|The Liberal candidate will be well represented in the riding supported mainly by the Liberal team of Mrs Ur. However, Kevin Blake NDP who lives in the same community as Westly will steal any momentum that Westly might hope to gain. |
Shipley is a strong candidate for the Conservatives and continued support of those who voted for him previously will glide him to Ottawa. There is a strong feeling in this riding that Martins Liberals need to be replaced, not because the Liberal ideology isn't good but that Martin cannot be trusted any more than his predicessor.
||03 12 05
|The issue that will decide the outcome of this riding will be the agricultural safety net issue. With LKM being one of the largest farm ridings in the province, the farm vote here is important. The Liberals since 1993 have effectively taken away any farm income stabilization policies, which helped farmers. They put the death knell on Market Revenue Insurance in Ontario and brought in the CAIS program, which doesn't work. Effectively that change of policy took millions of dollar out of the LKM's agricultural economy over the last two years. With farm prices currently very poor, the farm community is looking for a new policy, which will restore that terrible mistake.|
On December 15th, we'll learn how much countervailing duty will be slapped on cheap, subsidized US corn coming into Canada. This is a huge issue on LKM rural concessions. All parties need to be aware of this and take a stand one-way or the other. All that US corn coming into LKM hasn't made farmers happy.
The question is which party will answer the agricultural call? The Liberals have a track record widely panned in agricultural circles in LKM, witness Ur's close call in 2004. So far the Conservatives haven't said what they would do with CAIS. As the campaign goes on, we'll see who blinks in the farmyard first.
||02 12 05
|Shipley lost by just 100 last time, and with an open seat to go for, he'll win this time. His team already has signs up and his opponents are not to be found. Shipley has big name ID advantage, the right policies for LKM and is a likeable guy. He wins fairly easily and is a solid pick-up for the CPC.|
||01 12 05
|This one is going to be too close to call.|
In working in (Strathroy) this riding I have been able to guage alot of the feelings towards the parties. It looks like it will be a battle of the urban and rural mindsets once again. Shipley has a lot of support, without a doubt, just from being a conservative conservative candidate. I think that it will be more of a challenge for the liberals too pull this one out...it will come down to their ability to co-ordinate their efforts wisely in this enormous riding. Beating Shipley without having a better campaigning strategy will be impossible.
||30 11 05
|Ur will not be seeking re-election. This is a rural and socially conservative riding, so expect return candidate Bev Shipley to make significant gains. Shipley is also the Mayor of Middlesex Centre, and has proven popular with local residents.|
||29 11 05
|With the election being called today I am now ready to make my inaugural prediction, and I might as well start with my home riding - Lambton-Kent-Middlesex. |
There are a lot of ridings that will be a repeat of the 2004 race. This is not one of them. Rose Marie Ur will not carry the Liberal banner this time around. Make no mistake, this was not a Liberal riding, it was an UR riding - she was the one reason the grits held on here for so many years. She was an astoundingly popular MP, and we would do well to take note of the source of this popularity. Aside from being a charming lady, she was not afraid to stand up for her constituents and repeatedly voted against her own party on some of its most controversial issues - including same-sex marriage and the firearms registry - issues that are strongly opposed in LKM. In other words, as far as policy goes, she was essentially a Conservative, or at least a Blue Grit. Harper and the policies of the new Conservatives sell well in this riding, and Ur knew it. Her depature almost ensures a Conservative victory. Shipley came within a few hundred last time, and without Ur's personal following to hold the fort for the Grits, he will win this time. The Mayor of Wallaceburg (running for the Libs) may be well-known in the southwest corner of the riding, but he can't compete with Shipley's name recognition from last time around and, when it comes to holding back the conservative tide in LKM, simply stated, he's no Ur.
||17 09 05
|The Choice of a former mayor of Wallaceburg will help the liberals in Wallaceburg, but I am not sure that it will have much impact beyond Wallaceburg. Rose-Marie Ur was generally to the right of her party on many issues such as the gun registry, gay marriage, and abortion so I suspect many of her votes were personal votes as opposed to liberal votes. Add to the fact she won by only 0.4% while the Christian Heritage Party got 2.5% so if the CHP choses not to run a candidate this time around, this should help the Conservatives. It is too early to tell at this point, but I am currently leaning towards the Conservatives since they almost won it last time around when the liberals had an incumbent and this time there is no liberal incumbent.|
||10 08 05
|Rose Marie Ur is a well liked and hard working MP but the close results from the last election do not necessarily predict what will happen this time around for a number of reasons: 1)the conservatives dumped a lot of cash into this riding and they still came up short 2) there was quite a move to nominate someone other than Shipley (some prominent people were asked to run) 3) no matter how you look at it the majority of voters still do not trust Stephen Harper - he remains a very real concern in the minds of voters and in the minds of real true progressive conservatives 4)what type of campaign and how hard will the new liberal candidate work? 5)expect to see PM deal with Gomery results in a way that majority of voters will agree with.|
No doubt this riding will be one of the exciting close races to watch - but still see the liberals retaining it.
||10 08 05
|New candidate in the Liberal's Jeff Wesley puts this riding in play. Tory Shipley spent big bucks in the last campaign against a non-existent local Liberal campaign by Rose-Marie Ur. Wesley is out at every event, while Shipley already looks tired. Will be an interesting race.|
||04 08 05
|On June 26th the Liberals nominated Jeff Wesley, a 15 year elected rep. and former Mayor of Wallaceburg who is hard working, articulate and aggressive. Because of his past work as Mayor ($2.5 million tax rebate, turning a fiscal mess around etc)he will garner support across the politcial spectrum. After the Shipley nomination many who were there came over to the Wesley team becasue of the far right wing leanings enunciated durung the nomination process.A Conservative reporter said this - "Mr.Wesley has enjoyed enourmous politcial success becasue he just flat out works everybody. He is bright, aggressive and articulate." In elections nothing can be taken for granted but the Liberals will be a force to be reckoned with in LKM. While he may not be as well known in the Middlesex part of the riding that will change very soon. Close election - Liberals retain seat.|
||16 05 05
|Shipley easily won the nomination and has a good campaign team in place. For those of us in attendance we saw some hired guns from the party waiting in the wings to assist Shipley. He almost won last time with no campaign team, he'll win easily this go 'round.|
||16 05 05
|With the now known departure of Liberal incumbent Rose-Marie Ur, this seat will likely go Conservative because of the close vote last time and the loss of the Liberal incumbency advantage. It also appears that this seat was able to stay Liberal because she was a right-leaning Liberal. However, for the Conservatives to guarantee pickups in Ontario they will have to improve their numbers, which are still not stable in Ontario and once again show the Liberals ahead again today in the Leger poll for Ontario.|
||16 05 05
|Rose-Marie Ur (with her fairly conservative positions on social issues) COULD have kept this a close race, and may have had a shot at re-election in this right-leaning rural riding if the Conservatives picked a bad candidate. However, Ur is not running, so that should give the Conservatives their easiest pickup in all of Ontario in this open seat. It probably does not matter who they choose, although a strong, socially conservative candidate would increase the margin of victory even more. Predicted results: CPC 43%, LIB 32%, NDP 19%, GRN 4%, others 2%.|
||11 05 05
||Bear and Ape|
|One of several southern Ontario ridings that went Liberal by a hair in the last election. Now that Mrs. Ur is calling it quits, voter loyalty is not a factor (which saved her last year). Conservative pick up.|
||10 05 05
|As a Liberal-inclined voter living here, I must acknowledge that even with Ur as a Liberal on the right of the party (being against the gun registry etc), she barely won this riding the last time around. The Liberals may have lost the election this time even if she had stayed on, but I cant see in this particular riding how they win without a superstar of a candidate to replace her, and even then I'm not sure it would help.|
I believe that Adscam, a bleeding of votes to the NDP in the Wallaceburg area, and the fact its a fairly conservative rural area elsewhere in the riding means the Conservatives win this riding by a few thousand votes.
||08 05 05
|This riding has gone Liberal almost solely due to the personal popularity of maverick MP Ur. Since she isn't running again, the Conservatives should definitely pick this seat up.|
||07 05 05
|Another Liberal incumbent that would have gone down. Ur knows this & so is following the easier route and retiring. Put this one securely in the Blue column come election day.|
||06 05 05
|Rose-Marie Ur barely pulled a win out of this riding for the Grits last campaign - she's not running again, however, so we run into a similar situation as in Chatham-Kent--Essex. An experienced Liberal MP who barely won re-election stepping down and a popular CPC candidate. Unless an amazing Liberal candidate is selected, I imagine that if Shipley runs again (and maybe even if he doesn't), this will probably go for the Tories.|
||06 05 05
|Rose-Marie Ur is bowing out this time around. She's been elected time and again on closet-Conservative values and name recognition, and without her, the Grits don't have a chance in this riding.|
That, coupled with the New Democratic tendencies in pockets of the riding (Wallaceburg and area went NDP last time around), and the Liberals will have to field a superstar candidate to even make it a race.
This is a fickle, economically troubled riding. They don't like to see government money wasted when many of them are struggling to put food on the table. AdScam will bury the Liberals here.
||05 05 05
|This is probably one of the best ridings for the Conservatives to pick up. The Conservatives almost won it last time despite Rose-Marie Ur being one of the more right-leaning liberals, so with her out, there are probably some conservatives who voted liberal simply because they liked Rose-Marie Ur, not the party and will go Conservative this time around. Also had the Christian Heritage Party not ran a candidate, this likely would have gone conservative since the Conservatives lost by 0.4% while the CHP got 2.5%. Unless the liberals make a full rebound, this will go Conservative, and even with a 15 point lead, the Conservatives might still win this since they will put a lot more resources into ridings they have a good chance at winning, versus ones they are unlikely to win.|
||02 05 05
|Middlesex-Kent-Lambton will be the first Ontario riding to fall to the Conservatives. Liberal MP Rose-Marie Ur won by a squeaker 150 votes last time. That kind of support just won't be there for her this time.|