Prediction Changed
2:34 PM 08/10/2008

Election Prediction Project

Central Nova
Federal Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

Canadian Action
Kemp, Paul
New Democratic
Lorefice, Mary Louise
Christian Heritage
MacKay, Michael Harris
MacKay, Peter Gordon
May, Elizabeth

Hon. Peter G. MacKay

2006 Result:
Peter G. MacKay **
Alexis MacDonald
Dan Walsh
David Orton
Allan H. Bezanson

Previous Prediction/result
06 Prediction/04 Result
04 Prediction/00 Result

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08 10 12 King of Kensington
I have yet to see any poll released by the Green Party that can be taken seriously (i.e. see their ‘polls’ released prior to the byelections in Quadra, Churchill River and Willowdale). Peter McKay will be re-elected by a wide margin - in fact his vote should go up in fact as at least some disgruntled Liberals will go his way (and others will go NDP). As for May's nonsense about all these former ‘Progressive Conservatives’ being so upset with McKay for the merger - if that were the case why was he re-elected handily in 2004 and 2006? There is no compelling evidence that May is the strongest anti-Harper candidate - and she is very likely to end up in third place.
08 10 13 Can-eh-dian Redhead
I can't believe the prediction here. May is going to win here:
-The Cons decline in popularity due to, among other things, their disrespect for the Atlantic Accord, and what could be termed the Bill Casey affect.
-May has spent a huge amount of time campaigning locally ever since she declared Central Nova her riding.
-May's national exposure has been nothing but positive.
-Strategic voting sites are pointing to May as the choice to keep the Cons out in CN.
-The NDP +Liberal+Green vote from 2006 exceeded McKay's vote by more than 7700 votes. With no Liberal candidate, a far less well known NDP candidate (as apposed to their ‘star candidate’ in 2004 and 2006), and May's ‘star candidate’ status, all equals a win for May.
08 10 14 Tyler
This riding has JOE CLARK written all over it. Remember Calgary centre! All of the anti-Mackay vote is going to directly to Elisabeth May, and she will be the first ELECTED green MP.
08 10 12 MP
Two things to note with two days to go:
#1 In her closing remarks at the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce debate Elizabeth May made the following comments:
‘I want to appeal to all of you who are true Progressive Conservatives’
‘Any real Tory in this audience knows that Mr. Harper's brand of conservatism comes right out of the republican party of the USA and has nothing to do with Nova Scotian values’
THIS WAS MET WITH LOUD APPLAUSE(for a good 20 seconds)
Something that many predictions have assumed is that the Green Party is a left wing party and can only take votes from the Liberals and NDP. What if Ms. May does cut into Mr. MacKay's vote? Does that change things?
Also to consider is that the Green Party often draws votes from people who have never voted before. Or people who are drawn to voting for say, the leader of a major national party? Again, the majority of predictions have assumed that only the previous votes can be divided up.
#2 The Green Party has released a poll of Central Nova with the following results:
MacKay 36.7%
May 29.3%
Lorefice 20.7%
Undecided 13.3%
The poll was taken October 8/9, had 300 respondents and is accurate to within +/- 5% 19 times out of 20.
Now partisan polls done right before an election are not always the best of sources. But perhaps we can draw some conclusions:
First, this is a two horse race, May-MacKay.
Second, if MacKay does win, it will be in a squeaker, not in a blow out as some have suggested here.
Third, undecideds could tip this race either way.
I look forward to the results of this very exciting race.
08 10 12 Moriarty
A few last thoughts before you make the fianl overall prediction.
On May's electability:
Just to remind you, the London-North centre by-election was a fluke.
The NDP campaign was a bust from the word go. Maynard dropping out in such a public way did not play well in the media. Neither did Walker's outrageous accusations.
Glen Pearson is well respected in London labour circles. He's a former (current?)member of the London District Labour Council and as a result of the strategic voting schism that came out of the Mike Harris years he benefited from the Labour and Social Justice support a Liberal candidate wouldn't normally have.
Dianne Haskett was a dead candidate walking. She's a disgraced former mayor who was virtually parachuted in from her home in th US to run for the Conservatives. Her fundamentalist Christian views polarized the NDP/Liberal Strategic vote and didn't wash with Londoners on voting day.
With less at stake than there is during a GE, the stars aligned for May. She was a home for progressive voters from the left and frightened conservatives from the right/centre.
Her strong finish in LNC can not be used (if it is at all) by your panel to call this seat for Mackay. The two situations are dramatically different.
08 10 12 Loftus
Yeah so I always thought this site was pretty fair and waited to see the whole picture before making a prediction. Guess I was wrong.
The Greens have done their own polling and are about 6% back. That might be enough to call the election for MacKay if people would actually look at a couple things.
1) The high number of undecided voters. I live here, MacKay has no momentum. There's no new support for Harper's Conservatives at all.
2) No one living in residence at St FX gets called for these polls. I don't have to tell you which way they lean.
I say that this riding is tctc, it's going to come down to who get their votes out.
08 10 10 prognosticator15
Well... Many things have happened nationally since my submission last week, but does economic turbulence affect the outcome in this most interesting and unusual riding (unusual due to the presence of May, a surrogate Liberal, instead of an 'official' Liberal)? Due to volatility of opinion at the time of of stock market crash, I cannot be sure, but it seems the less stable Cons. supporters are returning to Cons. camp after several days of doubt, as captured by some national opinion polls on Thursday. Maybe it is in part since Dion has no economic plan other than a shallow promise to meet with the leading economists after he gets to power. Clearly, no Cons. majority is in the making, but Tory minority will be in place. This means Peter McKay in the Cabinet, and few reasons to vote for anyone else. And (I have to agree with JaneyC)this is the LAST riding in Nova Scotia the Conservative keep even in case of total Cons. collapse in the Maritimes (which is unlikely to happen) due to its demographics, McKay name, and other factors many authors mentioned here.
Lots of partisan activity and lots of interest in this riding indeed, even judging by postings here. Dion this week asked his supporters to help May (is this a benefit or a curse to May's campaign?) I cannot agree May performed well in the leaders' debates: some polls clearly showed her well behind both Harper and Layton in impressions on viewers, so E.L.Smerl's assertion on how she impressed people in the riding is a pure partisan rhetoric. It is not enough 'not to make a fool' of oneself in the debates (as someone said on this site), and often repeating a couple of soundbites like 'fraud' (when attacking Harper's policies) was terrible. Yet the exposure in the debates, even with a poor performance, definitely makes her marketable, so it was an unfair advantage for her indeed to be allowed to participate as a second 'surrogate' Liberal. As a result of mistaken lack of insistence on the past of Harper and Layton to exclude her from the debates (a major error for both leaders!), opportunity has been created for the only truly competitive riding for the Greens in these elections (note to Stray: leaders' debate participation is much more important for publicity than spending the time in the riding; Harper or Layton, or even as weak a debater as Dion, could hardly have been better off spending the debate time in their own ridings).
NDP will keep its base in the riding, but I have no doubt May will be ahead. As I said in the previous submission, it may get close, but, after some consideration, I stay with my prediction.
Other factors from just the past week of importance to the riding: 1) the National Post has endorsed the Conservatives, as did the respectable Economist magazine. The National Post's excellent article in support of Conservative majority government (which they will surely not get in these elections!) should still be on its web site; these endorsements will affect Antigonish and the better educated part of the electorate; 2) Dion keeps insisting on his 'Green Shift' (possibly missing the opportunity for electoral breakthrough in the past few days due to his stubborness on this issue); this program is VERY unpopular (and Nova Scotia Premier Rodney McDonald has been attacking it consistently); it's too late to change the program now, and (correctly!) the Cons use it as a major weapon against the opposition. This affects May at least as much as Dion as her program is so similar; 3) a bunch of politicized scientists from the much criticized IPCC have yet again come out against the Cons (predictably!) in the last week of the campaign thinking that they can affect the outcome by supporting extreme environmental solutions of academic orthodoxy; this move has unexpectedly highlighted Harper's great advantage: by moving strategically to the center on this issue a couple of years ago (to address the concerns of the majority believing in man-made global warming and similar stuff), Harper successfully, in my view, presented such scientists as being on the extreme side of the issue, and himself in the middle, while keeping on board most, if not all environmental 'sceptics'. It is highly likely he will surrender completely on this issue eventually to all these academic prize winners, but at least for the time being the opposition is presented as extreme, uncaring and dogmatic, while his government is seen as addressing the real interests of ordinary Canadians concerned with the balance between the environment and the economy, and this formula works (!); I wonder whether this intervention into elections will backfire by contributing to REDUCTION in anti-conservative feelings among the moderate left; 4) back on the economy, on Thursday, Canadian banking system has been declared the best in the world and the best positioned to survive the worldwide stock market crash by international observers; McKay will surely take credit for the government on this issue.
Each of these four new factors may affect just a small group of voters as many have made up their minds or taken positions on these issues already, but altogether many factors work in Conservative favor to make sure that even if the NDP vote shifts to the Greens in a major way, May will not likely have enough support.
Note to Fox: polls for one riding only have very high margins of error, I would not rely on those. We can only argue how the NATIONAL trends affect the outcome based on NATIONAL polls.
08 10 09 binriso
As far as future CPC leaders go, It is true Mackay is high on the list but I kinda figured theyll choose someone from Ontario or Quebec to shore up support from Central Canada but frankly no one really stands out there recently. Flaherty would lose without a doubt, Could you honestly see him getting much support in Ontario beyond the rightwing base(ie only 25-30%)? None of the Quebec caucus other than Cannon is even a remote possibility since Ive barely heard of anyone of them except Bernier and his potential leadership aspirations are probably destroyed now. John Baird would be an interesting choice, since he is a red tory and represents a somewhat Urban Ontario seat. But discounting the Harrisites(including Clement), its hard to tell who could be a CPC leader from Ontario. Certainly it wont be John Tory. So maybe Mackay would be a good successor and that does give him profile, and I do agree he has the adavantage and the smart money is on Peter Mackay in Central Nova, but it could be pretty close.
08 10 09 Fox
This poll was just completed:
‘MacKay has 39 per cent support. The battle for second place is tight, with May at 22 per cent and NDP candidate Louise Lorefice just behind at 19. ‘
- Among decided voters, Peter MacKay is going to take 50% or more of the vote on election night.
08 10 09 JaneyC
I may have said this was tctc (can't recall, lol) but I do know the polls show what I have thought for some time - the real competition is from the NDP. Still, it will take much to knock off Peter and I doubt it can be accomplished. Plus, th real fight here will be between Elizabeth and the NDP for second place. I really do not get why she ran here!! I know she wanted to run in NS but this riding is easily the safest Cons (of the two they night win - South Shore is iffy still) seat in Nova Scotia. If the current trend of losing votes continues for the Cons, Central Nova may be their only seat!
08 10 09 E. L. Smerl
Ignore NDP delusions and false reports circulated by MacKay's own cronies. The only opponent they are worried about is May, and for very good reason.
First, she's got more national exposure this year than any other Atlantic politician of any party, even more than Danny Williams or any Premier. No person in the country wouldn't recognize her name and if anyone has any relatives in Central Nova, you can bet they've discussed Elizabeth May.
Second, her English performance in the TV leaders' debates was exceptional. She repeatedly makes mention of constituents and their concerns and issues and achievements. She has actually made Central Nova proud of itself, and willing to stand up for itself, no matter how they decide.
Third, the strategic voting services like all recommend May over the NDP. There are a lot of people doing this. Along with that, Greens all over the country are desperate to find someone in Central Nova to vote-swap with. There's no shortages of Greens willing to vote NDP and Liberal elsewhere to get May elected. But you won't find a single NDPer whose top priority is to try to get Lorefice in over May. Not one. They may talk like they care, but in fact only her bunker does.
Fourth, the NDP ran a very strong candidate in the last election who wanted to run in Halifax to succeed Alexa. She was passed over despite her heroic performance against MacKay and many in Halifax object to that.
Fifth, Layton alienated literally all his supporters with any integrity when he tried to keep May out of the debates. That was his worst mistake in this campaign. Women especially will trend more to May on this alone.
Given all these factors, and the fact that MacKay could not keep defense contracts even for minor things like jump knives in Central Nova, it's May in a squeaker.
Never mind that the Green Party of Canada is spending more money on this riding than any other party is spending on it, if you count the national expenditures that have been bent into local ones for this election.
08 10 09 Balon
ATV news last night claimed to have poll results for this riding showing the Green party in third place, just behind the NDP, with both well behind MacKay and the Conservatives. I didn't see the exact numbers, though. Maybe someone else saw it?
08 10 09 Method Man
I have been doing polling in this riding since a few weeks before writ drop and can say with a good degree of confidence that this should not be in the Conservative column. My numbers show MacKay in third place in the 'urban' centres of this riding, with the Antigonish (StFX) population behind Elizabeth May and the New Glasgow metropolitan behind Louise Lorefice, though both areas are closely contested (it breaks down as something like 38, 33, and 28 for Peter Mackay in these areas). Meanwhile west of New Glasgow as well as the rural areas are firmly behind MacKay who has a majority of voters in these areas much like in the past. It appears so close that it could come down to who gets their vote out on election day, and which way the roughly 20% of still undecided voters go (mostly former Libs who are leaning Lorefice or May). In my estimation it will take an even split of those voters to call this one for Mackay. Let's keep in mind that the Lib+NDP tally from last time was close to 60%. MacKay had better hope that this divides more-or-less evenly or he will not win. All things considered this riding is still too close to call, though I give MacKay the incumbent's advantage. He definitely lost this campaign though; if he wins it will be more of an escape than anything.
08 10 08 Moriarty
Respectfully, Admin and panel. I think this one may be one of the 9% or so that you get wrong. The margin of votes between the NDP and Conservatives in '06 makes this riding at the very least TCTC. I predict Libearl vote bleed to the NDP. The increase in Green support would have to be historically significant (ie Never Seen Before)to put Mackay over the top. Remember this isn't London North-Centre, it's the Maritimes. NDP gain.
08 10 08 sunny12
There was some memo out from the Tories saying that their concern is the NDP not the Greens. I think alot of disgruntled Liberals are voting NDP not Green, and the given the NDP is polling quite high in the Atlantic anyway, this could be a surprise pick up for the NDP.
08 10 08 Boy Waffle
Binriso makes some good points, but I have an even better counter-point: MacKay simply oozes with the qualities that say ?future PM? to Canadians.
[Hypothetically speaking, if Harper actually lost this election, would he stay on as leader, and who would replace him if he did not? MacKay has got to be top of the list, and what if he won the election after that...]
Who would ditch a future PM for the leader of a fifth party? I, for one, was very disappointed when May chose this riding instead of the neighbouring Cape Breton-Canso, where the rumours had been claiming she would run. Oh well.
08 10 08 Mr. Mac
While I would never vote Green, it is clear things are starting to become much closer. The NDP vote will collapse and many Liberals who were angry at the beginning have now regained their strong distaste for Mr. MacKay. Also, two MacKays on the ballot could lead to a controversy on election night. Can you say MP May?
08 10 07 binriso
So no one actually expects Mackay to lose any support? Let me see....
1)Theres a Christian Heritage Party candidate this time, drawing directly from far-right CPCers(possibly as much as 1000 votes versus the moderate Mackay, not to mention he also has the last name Mackay).
2)Elizabeth May is stronger than any other candidate he has faced(being that she is the leader of a recognized national party now) some people who voted Mackay will vote for here because she is of higher profile then him nationally(I sure havent heard a whole lot from him since the merger).
3)Last time the CPC were almost certainly on their way to victory, increased their vote by 7% nationally, had all the momentum, yet Mackay lost 2% of his votes(I know the NDP candidate was strong but still its odd).
4)Media Exposure: May is mentioned much more often in the media than Mackay is nationally at least, and people might notice this and being that they see her all the time they might end up voting Green.
5)CPC are polling below their level in Atlantic Canada since last election(only a few % but still could have an impact).
This one will probably be pretty close and frankly I can see the NDP vote collapsing here to put May over the top. Tough to tell
08 10 07 M
Today on CBC the mentioned something that convinced me that McKay will win this riding. They said that for Ms.May to win she'll need all the liberal votes from the last election and half the NDP vote. Now how possible is that? plus i think at least third of the liberal voters will either vote conservative, NDP or not vote at all. Looks to me that the conservatives have this riding, and there is no way the green can win it.
08 10 06 Andrew S
Despite the Conservative Partisan rhetoric here, the reality is that when May appeared in the debates and didn't make a fool of herself, the Green Party went from idealist pipe dream with no chance of seats to real (if minor) party. Notice the movement upwards in the polls for the Greens post-debates.
This significantly rebalances a riding with a party leader. Apart from the real core of NDP support, expect most every who doesn't vote for Peter to mark Elizabeth off on their ballot. It's close - probably too close to call now - but both the McKay and Green will tally ~40% of the vote in this riding. I'd put my money on May, but that's me.
08 10 05
The MacKay name goes very far. Love him or hate him... his profile in this riding is to huge. May might come in 2nd.... if lucky.
08 10 05 Big Dan
Outsiders making absurd predictions are continuing to amuse locals who know Peter will win with close to 50% of the vote. May has about 3 signs in Pictou County . . .where all the votes are people. Aside from Frank Dimont, virtually no Liberals have followed May. Lorefice will receive the same support Alexis MacDonald received in '04 and '06 and MacKay will capture close to 50% based on his work these past 10 years and frankly, he'll pick up a few percent based on the national campaign Harper is running. For all those fantasizing that May or Lorefice can mount an upset, do us all a favour and walk down Provost Street for the real deal.
08 10 04 JLB
First time posting in this riding, and I don't expect Elizabeth May to even come close to winning here. I respect her for trying to play the giant-slayer role, but I just can't see Nova Scotians booting such a high-profile incumbent who has a strong voice within the inner-workings of cabinet.
I'd love nothing more than to see MacKay lose, but vote-splitting amongst the NDP and Greens will ultimately result in his return to Ottawa.
08 10 04 MP
National Post also had this story running:
Seems like Mackay is feeling the need to shore up his support. He must feel like there is a real challenge for this riding. The TCTC label is still valid.
08 10 03 Newcomer
I see the NDP vote evaporating here. Loriface isn't the superior candidate that Alexis MacDonald was. With the Liberals backing May in this riding, Conservative support dropping in Atlantic Canada and Peter MacKay's invisibility cloak, I think May will take this riding although not by many votes.
Atlantic Canadians have largely been ignored by previous governments. This might be the election where Central Nova demands change rather than sticking to their loyalties.
08 10 03 Floydo
I've waited to make my prediction and submission for this riding until after the debate. Quite frankly, Ms. May did not deliver the knock out performance needed to win in Central Nova. She is very intelligent and personable, which will win her votes, but that is not enough. Peter Mackay won with 16000+ votes in 2004 and 17000+ votes in 2006. Mr. Layton's performance on behalf of the NDP will give his candidate in Central Nova a core vote (polling at 24% in Atlantic Canada according to the Globe and Mail as of Oct. 3) that can not be ignored. Mackay will, more or less, keep his core support and that, combined with vote splitting between Ms. May and the NDP candidate, will make for a Conservative win.
08 10 03 Stray
Question to prognosticator15: If Elizabeth May has an unfair advantage in being in the debates, does she not also have an unfair disadvantage in that she cannot spend all of her time campaigning in the riding? She has the same advantages/disadvantages as any leader of a political party. Best post-debate comment I read: ‘She proved that she belonged.’
I think she can pull this one off. But whoever wins, it will probably be subject to at least one recount.
08 10 03 Mad scientist
The fact that the NDP candidate is a women they might lose some votes to Elizabeth May. And if you add to that most liberal voters will vote for the Greens we might see the Greens taking this. Especially that the debate outcome gave her more coverage.
08 10 03 prognosticator15
The Conservatives will hold this riding narrowly.
Debate participation certainly gave May an unfair advantage in this election as she is essentially a Liberal and has been helping rather than criticizing Dion in the debates. She was clearly trying to attract the Liberal vote as her base. She showed some knowledge of selected facts in the English debate (although certainly not in the French debate), and the populist inclination of many female voters to vote for a woman just because it is a woman may help her. The NDP candidate is not strong, and the tendency to vote left to prevent a conservative win may also benefit May who, in my opinion, positioned herself as the top competitor of Peter MacKay due to her visibility through national debate participation, even though she did not say anything new or different from the other left-wing leaders. In addition, the presence of a candidate from an unelectable Christian Heritage party with the same last name as a Conservative (MacKay) may confuse some people at the ballot box.
In spite of all the 'conspiracies' to bring in a new leftist party into the Parliament, the factors that are more important here than all the issues above are loyalty to the incumbents and a support for the small 'c' conservatism (on this later issue, whatever the attitudes towards the current Conservatives, MacKay is the only viable option). Popular Nova Scotia Premier's support and lack of opposition from the former fellow Conservative Bill Casey (who remains by far closer to the Conservatives than to any other party) will help him as well. May is an untried quality, without any meaningful impact in the Parliament similar to MacKay's (on distribution of resources to the riding, etc.). Even if some people may buy her populist appeal based on environmental statements, the popularity of the incumbent trumps this factor. The utopian nature of Green program has anyway been criticized, and rather few people would vote for an 'environmental' candidate at the expense of others. And if MacKay is not bashed due to some controversial statement etc. (which his opponents will obviously try to find), even the potential decline in Conservative fortunes in the last week of the campaign would not hurt him. Not all Liberal votes or even NDP votes will go to May. Endorsement of May by Dion and a fairly good campaign by Jack Layton for the NDP so far are not the important factors here. Close however it may be, the loyalty by the vast majority of the conservatives will be combined with the split vote by former Liberal and a few of the NDP voters to give MacKay the decisive margin. My prediction: MacKay first, with at least the same percentage vote as last time, May second, NDP a distant third.
08 09 29 Gone Fishing
NDP support last time was strong with a candidate who is not running this time.
Seems that some polls beg to differ on the Atlantic vote. Nanos for example shows the CPC ahead today. Though the margin of error is high, the rolling average does not support a Liberal route in Alantic Canada. This poll has shown the Libs and Cons taking over the 'lead' six times since the writ was dropped.
With no liberal in the riding, one has to think this might just be a riding to look at for quote traditional party supporters to have only one choice. There are still a lot of us around who would only look at two parties to vote for. That is a fair assumption whether people like it or not. Just look at the PC popular vote when Mulroney old team was swept out of power.
To be fair there is strong green support in this poll that I am not naive enough to believe is elsewhere, it is probably for Ms. May.
Ekos polls seem to support Tory support and 21 seats in the east whereas Harris Decima support the notion the Liberals are the strongest brand. So simply saying Tory support is not that great doesn't sell me.
Now, a 4000 vote spread delivered McKay 42.5% of the vote. he is the incumbent which usually counts for something and one of the main opponents is not playing ball this time. Yes there are fewer votes to move but also fewer to worry about losing. It can sway as I have argued elsewhere but factors have to be at play that I don't see. In my home riding a 4000 vote sway is 5% of the vote but in CN it would mean 10% of the vote moving and that to me is a remarkable number.
One thing I do agree with is that the NDP should not be ruled out. WIth all that said for the reasons I have brought up I still say this is a win not TCTC
08 09 28 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
Like to respond to Gone Fishing's post (and several others). The TCTC is not for Ms May's benefit, certainly if she were to be going down in flames then the official prediction would be changed. There are sufficient conditions in which a certain victory for MacKay is in doubt. First, the comment about the Liberal vote being insignificant; 25% of the riding voted Liberal in 2006. That is compared to 41% for MacKay; less than a 7000 vote spread. Conservative supporters have posted on 905 boards (such as Thornhill) that these ridings should be TCTC or even CPC when there was an even bigger spread in the vote! Next, CPC support is not that great in the Atlantic provences. They are expected to have a net loss in seats. Now MacKay is very popular and he should maintain his vote from last time despite the erosion of CPC support. Having said that, the ones that should be watched, yet have been paid little heed to in this riding is the NDP. They got 33% of the vote last time and a 4000 vote spread from MacKay. They are polling very well and their leader is popular. They have a great chance of taking enough of those wayward Liberal votes to close the gap. Now on to Ms May, she is an untested quantity. We should all wait to see how she does in the debate before making any quick decisions. Her campaign launch was very well recieved and if she does debate very well, she may be able to siphen off enough votes to make it very interesting. As for Dion needing the 1800 green votes in his riding, such a comment smacks of electionpredictions novice who didn't bother to check the stats. Dion is well liked in his home riding, taking 60% of the vote in 2006...his nearest rival, BQ with a pitiful 14.6%. Incidently, just to make our beliefs clear, we think MacKay will win in a squeeker (less than 1000 votes), but we are holding off on an official prediction until we get ALL of the data and that will take some time, at least until after the debates).
08 09 28 Siobhan
I had to add that Alexis (with Louise) and Elizabeth are both in Antigonish today and that tells me that the NDP thinks they have a chance here. You never know- with the wild ride this area is having politically, it could be a three way race tho I do think at the moment it is Peter, Elizabeth and then Louise.
And just because the Green Party did so poorly here the last time in no way means that will affect how people will vote for Elizabeth. Voters here like to have party leaders - it was even loaned to Mr. Mulroney for a time in 1983. He had roots here too - St. FX - and Elizabeth's roots are much deeper!
08 09 28 Frank Hanley
Someone said that Dion will pick up the 1,810 Green votes. Don't you mean 671? That's how much the GPC got here last time. In any case, E-May will probably get a few thousand Libs voting for her, no more. I'm saying this is TCTC and could remain in Tory hands but may also go NDP. It's hard to say where those Lib votes will go, if they don't stay at home. And I agree that Alexis MacDonald should have remained the NDP candidate, at least for continuity's sake and at best for momentum from the last two elections. I'll call it for the NDP.
08 09 28 Siobhan
I have done my own survey of the riding and many people- some Tories even (many former Progressive Conservatives, those who rather liked that adjective)- are undecided. Possibly that is one reason Peter M, one of the few Red Tories who remains in this new party, has not been able to do, as he did in previous elections, campaign in other ridings where he was needed. Now HE needs to stay home and work. This may well pay off for him since Elizabeth as a party leader has to campaign across the country.
That said, the fact she is a Party Leader - and will be in both debates and obtain massive media exposure as a result - will help her and there are voters who rather like having a party leader in their riding. I am in total disagreement with the writer who suggested she just moved here. With all due respect, Elizabeth is by no means considered a ?come from away? in this riding. She grew up in Cape Breton which was once part of the old boundaries of the former riding.
Both have huge name recognition but the ABC campaign is working in some places in the Maritimes, especially Nova Scotia and Nfld. There are voters throughout NS who will not vote Cons (I too am loathe to term that party Tory, as a former Riding President of the PC Party!) and this is one of them. I also agree the NDP would have done much better with Alexis but the fact is there is a new candidate who will take substantial support (Recall that Pictou County elected NDPers here in the most recent provincial election). This may - no pun intended - not make it a three way race but it will take votes from both prominent candidates.
The Young Liberals are actively campaigning for Elizabeth (and yes, I do know her well enough to call her that) and some of their parents also plan to vote for her. Some will vote for the NDP and the few angry with M. Dion's decision may vote NDP as a protest vote though if Elizabeth scores some major hits in the debate, all bets are off there.
I think the advantage goes to Peter MacKay - who I have campaigned for myself in the past - (to be honest here) - but it is still too close to call!
08 09 27 Gone Fishing
No really, seriously, why is this one still TCTC?
The Liberal vote has not been here in any measurable way since McKay first won here in 1997 with the exception of 1993 Chretien landslide this riding has been owned by the Conservatives since the 1960s if not earlier.
The Liberal vote will not ALL drift to May in fact the bigger benefactor of the deal may be Dion who will get the 1810 Green votes in his riding.
The NDP is not going to give up without a fight either and May is not gaining traction in any meaningful way in the national fight.
The only plausible reason that this as not yet being called for McKay is respect for the leader of a major party. In fact the Greens are not a major party but a blip.
Beaches East York did not get called for the Liberals in 2006 until the end of the campaign. I thought is was because the NDP was a strong second, I guess no, it was being held TCTC because the green party leader Jim Harris was running?
08 09 27 Maritimer
Notwithstanding the fact that Peter MacKay has proven himself to be a turncoat, May and the Greens will not win this seat. I don't think the Greens actually set out to win it, truth be told, if they were serious about winning, May would have ran elsewhere. May has a very valid point when she says that the current Conservatives are not ‘Tories’, that they are in fact a Reform hybrid of sorts. While I would like to see MacKay defeated, I don't think he will be. I think it would have been more interesting with MacDonald as the NDP candidate, given her previous vote count. And even with a good number of ‘Tory’ votes going anywhere but with MacKay, it won't be enough to defeat to him.
08 09 26 Calev
I would like to point out that in all of Nova Scotia, this was where the Green party did the worst.
Central Nova- 1.6%
West Nova- 2.3%
South Shore-St. Margaret's- 2.9%
King-Hants- 2.2%
Halifax West- 3.2
Halifax- 3.9
Sackville-East Shore- 2.2
Dartmouth-Cole Harbour- 2.2
Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodobiot Valley- 2.1
Cape Breton-Canso- 2.5
Sydney-Victoria- 3.3
08 09 25 Big Dan
This riding is not too close to call. The too close to call spin is a manufactured political crisis.
Peter MacKay losing to Elizabeth May is as likely as John Baird losing to David Pratt. Not going to happen. For those spinning from outside Central Nova keep doing it if it makes you feel better, but you have no credibility. Remember this is a community that still calls neighbours who moved to town 15 years ago ‘new’. Elizabeth May has about 14 years less than that.
Prediction: MacKay hold with 45% or better, NDP's Lorefice second with strength from Trenton and Antigonish votes and Elizabeth May third. As always, west side of New Glasgow and Stellarton, the most populated parts of the riding, will vote heavy blue.
08 09 25 The Dude Abides
I am gobsmacked that this is still too close to call. Simple common sense and mathematics ought to be convincing enough that no party is going to go from fourth place with less than 1000 votes to first place and take the seat. Yeah, the Greens' leader is in the debate, but that is not going to win this riding for her. If anything, it'll draw votes away from the Libs and NDippers and prevent either of them from taking this seat from the Tories. Green supporters must enjoy having their bubbles burst.
08 09 23 Siobhan C
Too Close to Call!
I think there is a reason Peter MacKay, who I actually like, is staying close to home. I do believe that Elizabeth May, who is obtaining more exposure than him and recall that voters have short memories - or long one sometimes - is giving him a genuine run for his money. Alexis M did will here the last time and there is a significant NDP base so given no Liberal candidate, this is a riding to watch and cleanly, many are! I know some Tories vey concerned about the outcome here, and in the vein of Tip O-Neill's famous or is that infamous dictum that ‘all politics is local’, the fact the knives are out for Peter according to this article in th Chronicle Harald should give Mr. MacKay pause.
08 09 22 Bernard von Schulmann
I am not sure where the 3% from the Greens is coming from, that certainly is not what I see in the polls.
The three tracking polls in this election do not indidate 3% in Atlantic Canada.
Ekos today had them at 14% in Atlantic Canada - sample size of 226
Harris/Decima has than at 10%, and yes they have a very small sample, though I do not know how big but I suspect at about 85.
Nanos has then at 1%, though a sample size of 73. Error of +-10% is claimed for the Atlantic results.
There support for the Greens out there. Do not pretend it is not out there.
Let us look on the ground, who can tell us how many volunteers each campaign has?
How are the signs looking?
Who is out knocking on doors?
Why were people voting NDP in the past? If was a protest against the status quo, then May is better home for those voters.
I do not know the answers to these questions, but it is foolhardy to count out the leader of the party making the biggest gain in support in this election and with the strongest momentum.
The arguments against her remind me of the sort of stuff one heard in 1993 against the Reform party.
To make any prediction, we need an accurate picture of the ground campaign.
In 1984 the Mulroney juggernaut did lose a seat to the Liberals, Vancouver Quadra which was core Tory heartland in Vancouver elected John Turner.
08 09 22 Calev
You make me dizzy Miss Lizzie The way you rock and roll (Beatles song) I really do not understand why she is running here Green is not as strong in the Maritime as they are in other provinces, yes she got 26% in an open seat in a by election, but this is a federal election and she is facing off against a popular incumbent and a powerful NDP that is determined to keep it a Conservative-NDP race. even with the added benefit of not having a Liberal run, that vote is going to split 3 probably a majority going to the Greens but not nearly enough. There is one thing that MacKay has against him, there is a Christian Heritage whose candidates last name is also MacKay, so there could be some confusion at the polling booth and some mistaken candidate identity if you do not look close enough, but it probably wont be a major issue.
08 09 22 G-C-H
Regarding the previous post, it depends which polling data you use. Nanos registered the Greens at 3% (+/-10%) in the Atlantic. The Ekos polling (about 3 times the sample size) which was released this morning gave the Greens 14% (+/-6.5%) in the Atlantic. Decima has them at around 10%, which seems like a reasonable compromise between the other two polls. Also, keep in mind, Nova Scotia represents about 1/3 of the Atlantic population, so any changes from intensive campaigning in one area are only going to make modest increase in the Atlantic numbers.
I still think it's going to be close. A year ago, local polling had May around 20%. As her reputation grows, and with exposure from the national debates, it's possible she could capture the 40% or so needed for an upset. (Assuming a 40-40-20 split with NDP in third place).
08 09 22 MP
I assume the post below refers to the Nanos poll of September 21st. (check out poll of polls at )
Indeed the GP did poll at 3% in that poll. However the last 4 polls have them at 11,13,11,and 14%. The average for the 5 polls is 11%
Basing predictions on the outcome of 1 poll is a VERY weak methodology.
To put this in context, the GP has no presence in Newfoundland, only recently ran a full slate in the NS provincial election, and just formed a NB party. And yet they are polling at 11%. All in all that's not bad.
08 09 21 Al R
Greens are polling at only 3% in atlantic canada. May is toast. Sorry all. I thought it would be close, but the real battle will likely be NDP vs. Conservative.
08 09 21 MP
I could understand some of the confusion about Elizabeth May running in this riding, if this discussion was taking place a year and a half ago when she decided to run in Central Nova. That amount of time, however, has given her some time to set up two campaign offices(Antigonish and New Glasgow), develop a presence in the riding, and meet many potential supporters. The GP is also placing emphasis on this riding(for example the National Convention was to be held here before the election was called). Little has been said here about Ms. May's personal charisma and ability to connect with people. One need only look at London North-Centre to see how this worked. Now the basic GP support there was 3,300(vs. 700 in the last federal election in CN), but I think this can be made up with time. Add to that media exposure over the debate issue(and what she will be able to do in that debate) and some things seem to be going in her favour.
Perhaps a good example that we could look at is how Jack Layton was able to build a base in Toronto-Danforth. When he was elected leader of the NDP he had no seat in parliament but had about a year to build a public profile and eventually unseat a Liberal with a 10,000 vote advantage. I think the battle is a little tougher in CN, but it just goes to show that being the leader of a major national party does count for something. (As well as a top minister in the potential ruling party).
An interesting note is that Ms. May will be campaigning exclusively in CN for the last 10 days of the campaign
(see: ) This may be just the strategy to tip things towards her.
In the end I think this riding is being defined as a race between Peter McKay and Elizabeth May. Should be interesting to see the results of this very CLOSE race.
08 09 21 Patrick
Even though Elizabeth May and the Greens are getting more attention this time around, i don't think that suddenly, green voters of Central Nova will go from 700 to 17000 against Peter MacKay, the NDP and the Liberals. It's quite a task!
08 09 20 H
I am still a little bit confused as to why May would run in Peter MacKay's riding. And I say it is his riding because he owns this riding. This makes me think that May doesn't even care. Residents of this riding like MacKay, and I don't think they will stop liking him. MAy has thrown away her potential seat in the house of commons
08 09 20 MadCaper
The N.D.P.candidate in this riding has been making inroads into all parties support and is going to be the sleeper in this race will all the attention Elizabeth May has been getting.THe N.D.P. has built a strong base in this riding over the last 10 years,especially in the Pictou area of the riding,which will not vote Green and should also pick up a large chunk of the Liberal vote which seems to be mostly unhappy with the Green/Liberal agreement.She will make a great the House of Commons.May be a N.D.P.steal.
08 09 19 RP
Are you kidding me? This riding is showing as in play? The Green Party had not even 700 votes last time around, and now with Elizabeth May she's going to eclipse McKay??
08 09 19 A
At the present time, Conservative support in Atlantic Canada is certainly not formidable. The fact that Elizabeth May is taking part in the televised debates will also work in her favour. Combine this with the absence of a Liberal candidate, and May has a chance at pulling this one off. The only caveat is that the NDP seems to be a rising force in Nova Scotia. Close race, but my bet is with the Greens.
08 09 17 Stray
One thing Elisabeth May has learned since becoming Party Leader, is how to campaign in a riding. No one gave her any chance at all in the London by-election, but she still took in 26 percent of the vote.
While taking on MacKay is a challenge, he is not invulnerable. Losses of government contracts (especially defence contracts) make his re-election not a sure thing. If May continues her efforts in this riding, she could pull off the upset.
08 09 16 R.O.
May seems to be spending a lot of time in this riding at the expense of touring other areas of Canada. During the first week of the campaign she has yet to visit any provinces other than Ontario and Nova Scotia. That could be a sign she thinks the riding is close or maybe she is worried that she does not get off to a strong start here that it could be very hard for her to come back from behind. But either way I think she picked the wrong riding to run in and she should of ran somewhere else in an area of stronger green support historically. Like a left wing riding in an urban centre might be a place where she could actually win. But I suspect her chances are slim in central nova realistically.
08 09 16 Torontonian537
Elizabeth May got it wrong. End of story. If she thought making a deal with the Liberals and running here would get her a seat, she miscalculated very badly. While I agree that simple vote adding is not guaranteed to work, it is interesting reading. Assuming EVERY Liberal voter in Central Nova backed May (impossible in any case, and many want to support a real Liberal candidate), she would still fall nearly 3000 short of the NDP. To be fair, the NDP vote will drop, since their new candidate is weaker than last time, and May shares a lot of ideological common ground. No one has offered a remotely convincing argument for Peter MacKay losing ground; he will likely gain votes since he has been a high-profile and competent minister.
To summarize, we can't rely solely on the math, but we can't ignore it either - MacKay will win by at least 3000.
08 09 16 Joel
May should have run in Halafax. Peter will hold his seat easily...half the Liberals will vote for him.
08 09 15 Jack Russell
While I would personally love to see Elizabeth May win this seat I think realistically we have to call it for MacKay. I would not be surprised to see a spike in the Green vote, even enough to potentially place her in 2nd place in the riding. But with the trend of the nation going Conservative, I think voters are going to choose to be represented by a cabinet minister instead of the leader of the 5th party.
08 09 15 anon
If May was running out West she'd have had more of a chance, but in Nova Scotia? The Atlantic only voted for Libs or Tories for a long time, the NDP have only broken through recently. It will take a long time for the Greens to establish in the Atlantic, the West has always been better for new parties. I see angry Libs in the riding staying home or voting either Con or NDP, MacKay should keep the seat relatively easily.
08 09 14 Calev
I just cant see May winning here. I think if she had run on Vancouver Island she would have had a better shot but hmmm, I just don't see her beating a high profile Cabinet minister (and possible future leader) like MacKay.
08 09 14 BB in T.O
With the CPC at 40%+ nationally, there is NO chance that MacKay will lose his seat. Keep in mind he holds a prominent post in Harper's gov't and will definitley get another high level post in the next gov't.
MacKay will increase his margin of victory from last time. Elizabeth May picked the wrong riding to run in.
08 09 12
There's more to a race like this than adding numbers together. Party Leaders draw lots of votes in their ridings and their provinces. Look at Alexa McDonough, or Joe Clark making his last stand in Calgary-Center. Yes some Mackay voters will vote for May. Not everyone idetifies on a right-left spectrum; in fact most voters don't understand the concept. Lots of people vote for Mackay because he's a good MP or because his father was a good MP, or because they think he's a good representative for the riding. Most of these voters will probably stick with Mackay, but not all. Lots of Liberals will gote Tory or NDP, but how many. Personally I thought May should have run in South-Shore, where it would have been a slam dunk. Halifax, post-McDonough, would have also been a good bet. Oh well, Looks like we'll have to count the votes.
08 09 12 Paul Tremblay
Sorry guys but there is no way that Elizabeth May can win her riding.
She would have to get all of the Liberal vote plus a sizeable portion of the NDP vote (since I can't see Conservative supporters voting Green in any significant numbers).
The idea that diehard Liberals will vote Green is ludicrous. Many of them are mad as hell that Stephane Dion deprived them of a local candidate and I'd go as far as to say that if they don't stay home chances are they will vote Conservative or NDP instead of voting Green.
Now some of the NDP voters might consider switching to the Green Party this time but frankly it is not in the NDP's interest to see a Green MP elected and those NDP supporters who have a brain (and I believe most of them have one... even though I strongly disagree with their party's policies...) will certainly NOT vote Green. They will remain with NDP, or even in some cases vote Conservative just to block the Green Party.
Peter Mackay will win by at least 5,000 votes.
08 09 12 VanToria
I'm not a Tory supporter at all, but they will keep this one. Out here in BC during the last provincial election, BC's Green Party Leader (Adrianne Carr who is now the federal Deputy Leader) got a spot in the Debates, got lots of media attention, ran in a lefty/greeny seat and still came in a distant third. The hype never turned into votes.
08 09 12 RC
Just a question. If Peter Mackay is so popular, why did he only get 40% of the vote when the conservatives were clearly going to form a government? It seems like a lot of people vote against him, and that they split between the NDP and the Liberals. That might not happen this time.
08 09 11 seasaw
This riding is Peter McKay's and this time he's running against the leader of the Green Party. With no Liberals, even if every last Liberal voter were to vote for May, plus 40% NDP voters, and McKay did not gain a single vote, it would still leave May 1,000 votes short of winning. We all know that's highly unlikely, remember this is Nova Scotia, Liberal traditions go back 140 years, with no candidate many will stay home. So, in short, McKay hold.
08 09 11 Nick J Boragina
Liz May is now in the debates. She's on all the media's websites as a big-party leader. She is considered a big-party leader and that's important. The Greens can now say that either you can vote Green and beat Peter MacKay, or, vote NDP and split the vote. Since May is the leader this argument will carry more weight then the NDP trying to make the opposite argument. So long as the media continues to treat May as the leader of a serious party, then she will have a huge edge in her own seat. Green win, but likely the only win for them.
08 09 11 Gone Fishing
seriously folks, does anyone here really believe that the maritimes most likely case for a cabinet post is going to lose this riding? If all the Liberal supporters last time went to the Greens it would leave them 7000 votes short of McKay this time, 3000 short of second place.
No way McKay loses here given the national trend.
08 09 11 E. L. Smerl
Three factors have recently swung this one over to May, not even counting her national profile which the debate inclusion only enhances:
1. May's endorsement of Bill Casey, an independent Harper threw out of the CPC, in a neighbouring riding, will be immensely popular with all Nova Scotians and especially with Conservatives who thought him unfairly treated by Rodney MacDonald (who specifically asked NS MPs to vote against Harper's budget) and Peter MacKay (who assured Casey that he would not be tossed from caucus if he did). Neither had much to say after Harper kicked Casey out.
This move also distanced her appropriately from the Liberal Party which is running against Casey - in fact running the former leader of Progressive Canadian party, a rump that existed for two elections to protest Harper. So the Dion deal is now no reason for Conservative or NDP leaning voters to avoid her.
2. Harper and Layton lost the biggest political gamble of this campaign so far by (a) being fingered by the media for trying to keep May out of the TV leaders' debate (b) being forced to reverse themselves after Joe Clark, Andrew Coyne, Chantal Hebert, Allan Greg and 2/3 of all Canadians spoke their mind. Including many NDP members who sent Jack their resignations. Maritime Noon, the CBC call-in show, said they got more email and more calls on this than on any other issue in the entire history of the show.
Nova Scotians are currently being bombarded with propaganda regarding the 250th anniversary of democracy/legislatures in North America, which started in 1758 in NS. Democracy and fairness are easy electoral cards to play in NS generally, no one wants to be perceived as the big bad bully.
3. Alexis MacDonald, the former NDP candidate in this riding, will run to replace Alexa McDonough in Halifax. She's abandoned the riding and will be relatively busy with her own campaign, removing a major risk factor to May since they both appeal to the same Moses Coady / Antigonish movement crowd. The current NDP candidate Lorefice just doesn't have the profile or personality and also now cannot play the ‘lack of democracy’ card given what happened to Jack - if she tries to complain about the Dion-May deal she'll probably be reminded of Jack's position on the debate. Fair game.
Against that we have:
4. Peter MacKay is one of only three (Prentice, Strahl, MacKay) Cabinet Ministers who can deal with the press without a script and not reveal utter incompetence or insane views. Emerson and Sohlberg could do but...
5. MacKay got to announce $500 billion in defence spending or whatever and if Insane McCain gets in, there'll be lots of war and defence contracts to go around. MacKay would probably get to spend much of that in his riding.
Against that, May can only offer less casualties by ending not starting wars. We'll see if Central Nova cares about its children or prefers jobs making killing machines and coffins.
08 09 11 Andrew
While it would be interesting to see May win this riding, it is most likely going to stay Conservative. I highly doubt May expected to win the riding, but did this for the media exposure and making some moral point by running against Peter MacKay.
08 09 11 rlb
Peter MacKay is immensely popular in this region. Elizabeth May made a massive mistake in running here. She doesn't stand a chance. It's too bad that her lack of foresight will cost the Greens a shot at a seat. She could have run pretty much anywhere else and had a decent shot at victory.
08 09 10 Michael
The reversal on the leaders' debate, with May now being included, will have a tremendous impact on the race, this riding in particular. This will be seen by many Canadians as the determining factor in moving the Greens from a protest vote to an actual contender. And no riding will benefit more from that change than May's own riding. This doesn't sew it up for her, to be sure. McKay is a very strong candidate, and if May was working to ensure her own place in the House, she likely would have chosen a different riding. But, it will give May a great deal of additional attention, both nationally and locally, and I don't think it's ridiculous at this point to assume that the Green Party will elect at least one member, if not more.
In general though (beyond this riding), May's inclusion should be good news for the Conservative Party. The Greens are more likely to steal votes from the Liberals and NDP than the Tories. Perhaps Harper just didn't want to appear eager to have May in, since then he would be accused of trying to split the left vote (although he's right to point out that May has effectively endorsed Dion for Prime Minister, at least over Harper). Depending on how this goes, we could either see Conservative majorities while a ?unite the left? movement emerges, or this could ensure continued minority rule in Canada. But it will certainly have a significant impact on this election.
08 09 10 Howard
This a close race between the CPC and the NDP with the Greens a distant 3rd. I believe MacKay will pull it out based on the strength of the national CPC campaign. The NDP holds several provincial seats within the federal riding and came close last time but with a stronger candidate. However this time they will get a plurality of what would have been the Liberal vote so it will be a nail biter but not because of the Greens. The NDP could very well score an upset.
08 09 09 Stray
With Elizabeth May shut out of the national debates, she will make sure she is heard at every candidates debate in the riding. MacKay didn't run away with the vote in 2006 and without a Liberal candidate to worry about, May will win one of the closest contests in the election.
08 09 08 Mr. Nova
This is a great ploy by the Liberal Party. The intent here is not to ensure the election of the first Green Party candidate. Rather the purpose is to bump off one of the strongest conservative cabinet ministers in peter MacKay. Losing MacKay, seen as one of the more moderate voices in cabinet, would be a huge blow to the optics of the party. Depending on how the votes split, and I'm not saying it's a done deal, I suspect this riding will go N.D.P.
Regardless, this will be one of the most interesting ridings to watch.
08 09 07 TB
Expect a close election with the win going to the Greens. Alexis MacDonald's move to Halifax and the lack of a Liberal candidate, combined with May's visibility and work on the ground have made this race a two-way between the Greens and Conservatives. May will benefit from strategic voting and the novelty of voting for the GPC leader.
08 09 04 The Dude Abides
I feel bad for the Greens, who are entering yet another general election living the fantasy. It'll be a few elections still before they elect a member of parliament. The addition of a washed-up West Van MP to their fold, who will never set foot in the HoC as a member of the Greens, does nothing but add to the Green's delusions of grandeur. Final result will be MacKay re-elected, May in fourth place.
08 09 02 E. L. Smerl
If Elizabeth May gets into the federal TV leader debate, she could be elected. If not, not. At the moment, with a single MP and only the Conservatives very strongly opposed to her participating, it seems her chances have improved, but the PM boycotting would torpedo the debates. Lawsuits won't get her in.
Alexis MacDonald is now a prominent Halifax NDP candidate and the party will want her campaigning in Central Nova too. She might agree to do that but it is just as likely she'll focus on retaining Alexa's seat and sidestep this sideshow in Central Nova. If she did campaign aggressively against May it would cause MacKay to win also.
So this is presently still MacKay's to lose. He can thank the NDP for his seat. As with many other seats across Canada the NDP handed to Harper.
08 09 02 Al R
Why I think MacKay will win:
I've heard local Liberals aren't all pleased with this choice. so I figure that the Liberal vote split this way: the 349 to some independent liberal candidate, 2,000 sit on their hands and stay home, 1,500 go NDP, 500 go Con, and 6,000 go green.
I figure that the NDP loose 6,000 to the Greens and the Cons 1,000.
That leaves about 16500 for MacKay, 9,500 or so for the NDP and 13,000 for May.
May won't make a big enough splash because the Green Shift is a hard sell in Nova Scotia and May advocates a TOUGHER Carbon tax. The Cons have kept silent in hope of a left wing vote split, but in Central Nova, don't expect MacKay to pull punches.
May I don't think stands a good shot also as she couldn't win London North-Centre, in a byelection against little serious opposition (albeit she got 25%).
08 09 01 John
I agree this one is too close to call.
Peter McKay is a prominent conservative. Deputy PM.
Elizabeth May is a prominent party leader and getting a lot of press coverage nationally.
The thing that will swing this riding, in my opinion, is who people think will form the next government. If people think the Conservatives will form the next government, the seat will go to McKay. There is a big plus to having an MP on the government side of the house. If it looks like someone else will form the government, the riding could go to May.
08 09 01 binriso
Looks like Ellie May is going to get into the debates this time.
Lots of exposure nationally + locally as well= a better chance at winning.
08 03 01 Pierre from Qu?bec
The winning margins of Peter MacKay in 2004 amd 2006 show that people in Central Nova don't love him. With the federal and provincial Conservative governments displaying low support numbers, I think the Leader of the Green Party has a great chance of winning here.
08 08 22 Mad Max
Elizabeth May couldn't defeat a washed up & defeated no name Liberal in a London By Election. The environment was the #1 issue at the time, and May was in GP friendly Ontario,yet she only received 25% of the casted votes. The NDP were insignificant in this riding. With May able to exploit the LPC voters 2006, they will have to determine if they want May or if they want to vote CPC, NDP or None of the above. Any blaming of the GP Leaders inability to defeat a cabinet minister because of the NDP is propoganda. Those comments are out of the LPC campaign strategy playbook.
It would be unrealistic to believe that 10,000 people who voted for the LPC in 2006 are automatically voting for May. This riding isn't too close to call.
May is no Alexis, and the LPC handout won't be enough. Chatty Kathy loses.
It stays Conservative.
08 08 21 ASD
I agree with Hannah Montana below. The NDP will ensure that MacKay wins the seat. Lorefice is no Alexis MacDonald and she has very little chance at winning here. Even if she's big on the Antigonish end (and I doubt that) but she seems non-existent in Pictou County and that's where most people live. In Pictou County, at the moment it seems like a MacKay vs. May race and you never hear anything from or about Lorefice. I think May is going to do better than most people ever imagined she would when she first got in the race. At this point (and this could change) I think she will finish a relatively strong second. If they can't win, NDPers would rather see Peter win than May because if the Green Party gets a foothold in Parliament, it's possibly very bad news for them.
08 08 15 MadCaper
The is little doubt that Peter MacKay is still the frontrunner in this race,but,this race is far from over. Having talked to relatives in the Antigonish area in the last week they tell me that the word on the street is that the New Democrats and their candidate Louise Loriface have started to regain some of the support that they had lost to Elizabeth May. They believe that May's support has possibly peaked a bit too soon and she has been on a slow but steady decline in the past couple of months. When you couple this with the fact that the Conservatives popularity is on the decline in the entire Atlantic Region and the possibility that the N.D.P. will bring in Alexis MacDonald for some canvassing with Loriface to help solidify some of the support that she had managed to build in the previous two campaigns,if Loriface can continue to build on the momentum that she has apparently established in the last little while she may just gain enough support to upset MacKay whenever the next election is called.Regardless this will be an interesting 3 way race to the end.
08 05 12 Hannah Montana
With the Green Party digging in hard to their support and getting closer to passing them by, the last thing in the world the NDP want is Liz May to win Central Nova and take as seat in the parliament of Canada. That kind of breakthrough could mean the end of the NDP. So look for the New Democrats to shut down all their other campaigns in this part of the province and send every last worker and dollar they have to Central Nova.
Luckily for Peter Mac this NDP strategy is going to make sure he beats May and keeps his seat. The NDP will finish a lame third but successfully split the anti-MacKay vote in Central Nova to the point where May can't win. Look for a very happy group of NDPers celebrating in their headquarters in Central Nova and they keep May out of parliament.
08 04 18 RLW
The tories arent doing anything. May has people in from all over that draw huge crowds. Antigonish is virulently in May's camp. No NDP/LIB splitting there wit people voting ABC. It will go to May.
08 04 01 Mad Max
This seat is McKays to Lose. The Liberal/Green Deal is not going to pay off enough to win. Elizabeth May has had a free ride, but the more she talks the more she has to backtrack and it isn't going over well. I think her chances were better last year when the announcement was made then they are today. The Dark horse in this is Lorifice and the NDP. Should May continue to babble, then Lorifice will have a shot as the only legitimate Challenge to McKay, but I still see this as a Conservative hold if an election were held today.
08 02 06 A. Lewis
The NDP will elect Peter MacKay. May will come second. The federal Greens will put all their money and energy into this one riding, and MacKay will be left flapping in the wind by the Conservatives due to division over the Atlantic Accord mess and Bill Casey's departure.
But, as they always do, the NDP will spoil the best chance they have to get rid of the lying Conservative whose lies gave us Harper's Reformative party in the first place. The NDP likes keeping Conservatives in power because it makes more people poor and thus builds up their base vote. The provincial NDP which is the same organization as the federal will pile in to ensure May loses, because they are terrified that the Green rise is their own fall. There's no provincial Green Party to speak of and it's a separate organization anyway so there'd be no additional help from there. This makes it a from-away urban party against a locally based one, and the end result will be MacKay winning even though he doesn't deserve to win.
Alexis MacDonald's base WILL vote for Elizabeth May, she comes from the same Moses Coady tradition, but the NDP is a vindictive organization that lies to get what it wants, as surely as MacKay does.
In Central Nova, lies work, obviously, or MacKay could never get elected in the first place. He'll be the last Conservative standing in Nova Scotia after Keddy goes down to Gordon Earle.
08 01 23 Adam H.
I don't think the previous analysis lends itself to very much actual social science as it does Green Party wishful thinking. I agree with you that Alexis was a very strong candidate, and that she was a big factor in the NDP being able to grow its support in the riding from single digits to more than thirty percent.
However, I think that you're overlooking the reality that the NDP vote in general, both federally and especially provincially, has grown exponentially in the last ten years in Nova Scotia. The NDP took two ridings in one of the most small 'c' conservative areas in the country in the 2006 provincial election (this area), meaning there's more than Alexis MacDonald at work here. I would say that it's more two parts party to one part candidate in that regard.
MacKay will likely hang on to the riding, he's viewed as a strong cabinet minister and like a previous poster said, the riding has gone Conservative every time for 40 years, safe 1993.
I work in the polling industry, and May and the Greens are consistenty in third place in this riding according to our evaluations. To assert that the Greens would go from under two percent of the vote to 44 percent is a pipe dream. May does have a fighting chance because of the splintering of the Liberal vote, but again our data shows that most of that vote expresses a desire to either stay away or vote NDP in this riding.
Again, MacKay takes it with the NDP in second, with May getting no more than 15-20 percent of the vote.
08 01 17 Dave Campbell
Give me a break, Elizabeth May may be popular, charismatic, have good policy etc, but Central Nova is not gong to be where the Greens break through. Peter Mackay is a strong candidate whose election results are deceiving. As well a large % of the Liberal vote is Red Tory and will either vote Tory or stay home.
Central Nova is a rural riding and as about as Tory as Atlantic Canada gets. The Greens will win a seat in this election but probably in a Vancouver riding.
08 01 16 Political Junkie
I cannot speak to the evolving political dynamics of Central Nova in any meaningful way, as I currently live about 400 km from the riding and know no one who lives there, but I would like to offer a cautionary note in response to those posters who are claiming that NDP voters will never switch to the Greens. I think they are making the mistake of imposing the opinions of die hard, card-carrying New Democrats, who do depise the Greens and would never touch them, upon all of the NDP voters in Central Nova. This surely cannot be the case and thus it would be folly to assume that all of the 32% or so who voted NDP here in 2006 will never consider voting Green.
07 12 26 Berk
A three way race... You've got to be kidding me. The only reason the NDP ever even made a mark last time around was because, who had taken the party from 6.5% to 32.9%. With an alliance like May has, she would have won easily. Alexis had taken the riding as far as she could take it and she has set Elizabeth May up for an easy victory. The NDP as a party may not like the Liberals and the Greens, but thats only because the NDP are much more interested in getting more votes and playing partisan politics then they are trying to get things done. NDP voters on the other hand see both the Liberals and the Greens as a great alternative, and with the Liberals not running a candidate and endorsing Elizabeth as Green candidate, the NDP voters that had switched to Alexis will go to the Greens, plus atleast half the Liberal vote and also alittleof Peters PC vote (he can keep his reform/Canadian alliance vote)
With that said, my prediction is:
Greens- 44% (15 from NDP - 16 from Liberal - 10 from Conservative plus what they had)
Conservative- 32 (He can have a few Liberal protest votes)
NDP- 22 (They can also have a few more Liberal protest votes)
Other- 2% (I know the Canadian action party is running, and I can imagine a strong liberal running as a candidate- no one yet, and with the exception to Casey, Independents running under another party platform never do well.)
Even with a high margin of error I think Elizabeth has the riding.
07 12 17 Jonathan
There are a number of things people must remember
1.The fact that the Green Party Candidate received 1.56 percent of the vote in the last election.
2.This riding has been Conservative for all but once in the past 40 plus years.
3.Elizabeth May has never lived in this riding until she decided to run here.
4.This is a rural riding, that doesn’t put environmental issues at the top of their list.
5.Peter Mackay is an important Cabinet Minister that has brought a lot of resources and funding to this area.
6.The NDP will never vote for Elizabeth May.
7.The Liberals of Central Nova will not move on mass to one party, some will vote Conservative , some will vote NDP, some will vote Green and many will stay home. Elizabeth May will not attract a huge amount of Liberals as they feel that she has taken away their right to run a candidate.
8.The more Elizabeth May talks the more people in this rural riding realize she isn’t serious about winning here.
This riding is as safe or safer for Peter Mackay then any past election that he has run in. I find it funny when people who have never lived here in Central Nova, try to predict what will happen here.
07 12 09 CM
HA! Loftus sounds like a Green/Liberal who is caught up in all the hype. Remember, the NDP hate the greens for splitting the vote for so many years, there is no way that there will be NDP supporters joining the Green/Liberal camp. This is definitely a TCTC 3 way race as it stands now, and likely will be on e-day unless something drastic happens. By drastic I mean sex scandal or murder charges would be the only thing that would make this easy to predict.
07 12 08 Loftus
May will win this seat, The Liberals will come out and vote for her and the NDP are starting to show up at Green events. I'm from here and I can tell you a mixture of Harpers Atlantic policy+10 years of MacKay+Pretty much united left means May wins. Everyone should SEE the turn out she has at events. I couldn't believe it myself. E MAY wins with around what PMAC got last time.
07 11 20 A.S.
An even closer case in point re said cautionary note about family (or party, for that matter) dynasties: Dominic LeBlanc's initial loss to the NDP's Angela Vautour in Beausejour in 1997.
As for Central Nova, I wouldn't bet the farm on or against eMay; however, if the recent ‘electable Green’ pattern holds (eMay in London NC; Shane Jolley provincially in BGOS), I'll have to conclude that the only ones who thinks the NDP will win under the present conditions are chip-on-the-shoulder partisans. And because this might genuinely have been TCTC on the NDP's behalf if not for eMay, I empathize...
07 11 13 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
A cautionary note to Johnny No-Name below, about family dynasties. True they help children get elected after their parent have retired from politics, but it doesn't always help they fend off angry voters or significant changes in voting habits. Case in point, Sue Whelan in Essex. We're not saying MacKay is going to lose. We're saying that he is going to have to face voter anger for the Atlantic accord and the family dynasty may not hold.
07 11 12
I think MacKay will win...the Greens may win more votes as Dion's Liberals are so called backing up May, but what can I say, this is MacKay territory.... and family names, especially incumbent ones with a minister's post, often gets reelected (Peter is the current minister of defence and his father Elmer was the incumbent until he retire in 1993 and the riding was abolished until recreation in 2003, before then Peter was elected in 1997 in Pictou?Antigonish?Guysborough which is basically the same geographical location as Central Nova). Look at the recent Ontario Elections, Don Valley East - Caplan territory (David is the Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal and his mother was the incumbent before she moved to Federal Politics in 1999), Ottawa South - McGuinty territory (Dalton is the Premier and his father was the imcumbent before retiring in 1990)...Peter will win this riding
07 11 08 Buck
Here's the thing that is in Peter's favor. Liberal Party members and activists, might actively support Elizabeth May. Liberal Party voters might take a very different view. Take my wife (for example), she is a Liberal Party voter, who would hold her nose and vote for Peter MacKay because she thinks that voting NDP or Green would be a complete mistake. There are lots of center and center-right Liberals who will likely do the same thing. I think MacKay's margin will be a lot bigger than many people think.
07 09 24 GFW
To close to call. If McKay gets re-elected, it'll be by a whisker. I don't see this as going Green. There simply aren't enough Liberal votes to give the Greens that critical mass they need to vault from 4th to 1st place. While Ms May has been campaigning in Central Nova for awhile now, I hear that the NDP is also going full throttle in pre-campaign mode. I've also heard that the local Libs are royally PO'd over not being able to run one of their own this time. The NDP is in a good position to take Central Nova, but this is a conservative riding, so it'll be close no matter who wins. The person who predicted that Central Nova will go Green with 30%+ obviously cannot count.
07 09 19 Adam H.
I would really like to see the NDP win this riding, and there is no doubt they would have a fighting chance if Alexis MacDonald was running again, but she isn't.
Peter MacKay will pull this out again, I have no doubt, and it will be about as close with the NDP as it was in 2006 (40% to 33%)
People are putting way too much stock in Elizabeth May and the Green Party in this riding. This is one of the most small 'c' conservative areas in the country. If Elizabeth May wanted to get elected, she would have tried a riding in B.C. where the Greens have an actual chance of winning. May is running here for publicity reasons - MacKay is the most prominent Atlantic Canadian MP (along with McDonough and Brison), and the Conservatives are the most anti-environment party on the ticket.
In rural Atlantic Canada, party politics are less ideological and more like a game of root for your favorite team. Some Liberal supporters are simply going to stay away from the polls, but most that do vote will back the NDP, just because they simply will not vote Conservative.
We have to remember that the Liberals are the third-place party in this riding, and that the NDP picked up a seat from the Tories in the 2006 Provincial Election. The NDP benefits the most from the Liberals being absent.
The Greens biggest draw here is their tax policy - not their environmental policy. Problem is, anyone in this riding who is going to the polls for lower taxes is already voting for MacKay and the Conservatives.
Yes, the Greens are polling at 9% in N.S., but that sure as hell isn't in Pictou and Antigonish counties, it's in Halifax, where nearly 50% of Nova Scotians live. Don't be fooled by the provincial numbers.
Above all, people in Central Nova are a socially conservative bunch who federally have always voted Tory. The NDP picks up some support because of the older population (health care), and the old union vote, as well as the students at St. Francis Xavier University. I just don't see how the Greens fit in here, even with May running. I expect them to get no more than 15% of the vote.
07 08 22 J.Mc.
I think this is TCTC between Conservative and NDP, with the Greens taking a strong third, with neither party breaking the 40% mark. While a few Liberals will back their party's 'de facto' candidate, May, I would predict that most would go to the established alternative party of the left - the NDP, while the right wing Liberals would vote Tory. Of course, Liberal anger may be enough that one of their members could run as an independent, who could carry much of the former Liberal vote, leaving the centre-left split 3 ways, and allowing MacKay to come up the middle and re-take his riding. Definitely a riding to watch.
07 07 12 binriso
A new poll released gives the Liberals a solid lead in the Atlantic region and the CPC falling fast and almost tied with the NDP in third. LIB 40% CPC 27% NDP 24% GRN 9%. Now i know this is only one poll but others have shown the CPC down this far. Also the GRN at 9% is a very good sign for them. No doubt most of that support is in NS and probably centralized in this riding. Most other polls show them at 6-7% in the Atlantic so theres no doubt of them making gains in ridings and probably doubling their total vote from 06 in the region. They better capitalize on their slight successes when the environment is one of the top national issues or they will lose much of their support base. The Dion-May deal will also lead to a few more Green's voting strategically Liberal which could impact various other ridings in Canada and could prove decisive in the election to determine the winner or if it is a majority/minority government situation.
May's got a viable chance to unseat Mackay now and it wouldnt overly surprise me if she did. I guess well see how rock-solid the Mackay support really is now.
07 06 22 Tom
After some hesitancy to call this, I'm going to say Central Nova will be the first riding to go Green. Interestingly, it's certainly not one we would have expected to go Green or even be close in 2004 or 2006, so how much this portends a good future for the Greens is up in the air.
However, the Conservatives have absolutely plummeted in popularity in Nova Scotia since the budget vote, and I cannot fathom how either of their Nova Scotia MPs could be returned. The Greens, for their relatively centrist positions, stand to benefit from this mass former-PC exodus (Reform/Alliance types are rare, to say the least, in NS) far more than the NDP. Of course, they will also pick up angry Liberal voters whose party has endorsed May and probably a lot of NDP voters who want MacKay out and see May as the best vote against him.
I am willing to call this one for May with slightly over 40% of the vote. Ane stimate is below.
Elizabeth May (GRN) - 41.5% (+39.9)
Peter MacKay (CON) - 31.7% (-8.9)
Louise Lorefice (NDP) - 26.8% (-6.1)
No Candidate (LIB) - 0% (-24.6)
07 06 17 Matt
Elizabeth May opened her campaign office earlier this month and plans on opening a second campaign office when the election draws near. Bill Casey may have just rolled out the red carpet for Elizabeth May as far as winning a seat in Central Nova. Bill Casey, by himself proved that Peter Mackay will not stand up for Atlantic Canada as long as his job is at stake. I don't blame him personally, he gets paid alot of money. However makes him look even more greedy and power hungry then your average politician.
07 06 16 binriso
OK well now its TCTC because of the budget although i still give the advantage to Mackay. The CPC better hope they don’t have an election soon or their Atlantic caucus will be decimated. They’d probably only re-elect half of them.
07 06 09 JC
MacKay has recently lost his credibility by stating that no one would be kicked out of the party for their votes on the budget, It turned out MacKay lied and Bill Casey got Booted. Couple that with his broken promise to David Orchard, MacKay is going down in flames in the next election if the parties can portray him as a liar.
07 06 06 Tom
Bill Casey's vote against the budget and subsequent expulsion from the Conservatives have changed things in this riding as much as in his. There will be a great deal of anger with the Conservatives for breaching the trust of Atlantic Canada, and I expect that will come down hardest on Conservative ministers there and the prominent MacKay most of all.
Will the anger that only Casey stood up to the government on the issue be enough to topple MacKay in Central Nova? I think the Greens have a better shot at it than the NDP does or the Liberals would; there are simply too many Conservatives who refuse point blank to vote NDP or Liberal. You can be certain that May will be campaigning hard on her Atlantic Canada credentials. Right now, it's too early to say how strong May will end up being, but things did just get a lot more dangerous for Peter MacKay.
07 06 06 binriso
Since everyone seems to be weighing in on the Central Nova race...
Mackay is certainly able to be defeated, he didn?t win by that much last time so if he loses I wont be too surprised.
Of course the deal here between the Liberals and Greens changes things quite a bit. I don?t really see too many Liberals going over to Mackay and the NDP is quite strong here too. I?d expect the NDP to hold most of their vote from last election with some going Green. Another thing that could happen would be an independant Liberal Candidate that would draw off the votes from last election. This is certainly a 3 way race albeit not an extremely close one like some ridings in BC. All 3 parties NDP Green and Conservative could potentially win.
For now im pretty sure Mackay will be reelected with a similar % to last election perhaps a bit higher margin of victory because of the left vote splitting. Things will definitely change though as we move closer to the election.
CON 42
GRN 29
NDP 29
Maybe the other parties can convince some right wing fringe candidates to run for the Christian Heritage party or the Libertarians? That might pull off a few votes from Mackay. the CHP polled 3.4% in South Shore in 06 and I figure they?d have somewhat similar support in this rural riding as well if they ran. Of course all of their votes would come from Mackay helping the 2 other parties.
Seeing how this race has changed since the deal between Dion and May, The NDP probably have a better chance in the South Shore riding as opposed to this one.
It is true that the Liberals have little chance of winning here and i agree that the Dion May deal is probably a bit more positive than negative for both parties.
It?ll be interesting to see what the Liberal riding association will do now. Also it will be interesting to see where their votes go.
Polls are pretty much stagnant since the election with similar numbers for all major parties with the exception of the Greens being up a bit. Some polls give the Liberals a 20 point lead in the Atlantic region while others say it?s within the margin of error.
The Nova Scotia government has been somewhat unpopular and that could have an effect on the incumbent Mackay. The budget also shafted a lot of the regions including Nova Scotia in favor of giving more money to Quebec which could also play a role in the vote.
07 05 08 Michael Mulroney
Stéphane Dion’s decision not to run a Liberal against May in Central Nova was a brilliant strategic move.
May doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the riding, and she probably has no aspirations to win. The Liberals came third last time, and the combined Liberal-Green vote is still less than the NDP vote from last election. She couldn't possibly expect to actually win the riding unless the Liberals dropped out and endorsed her and then NDP followed suit. But the NDP refused to withdraw, and just like that, Dion and May's brilliant plan to finally get a Green MP elected went down the tubes.
Obviously they aren't that stupid.
The NDP of course won't drop out because their odds of unseating MacKay have improved dramatically in the absence of a Liberal candidate. Despite the fact that MacKay is a cabinet minister and a popular candidate, he only won in 2006 by 3,273 votes. And now the Liberals have left 10,349 up for grabs. MacKay is no longer safe.
The NDP are going to pour tons of resources into his riding to try to unseat Harper’s abominable conservative lapdog. And the Conservatives are going to fight tooth and nail to hold the riding. Who knows what the dynamic of this election will be like in the absence of a Liberal candidate? The Conservatives can’t take this for granted, and the NDP would love to pull off such a sweet upset. Both are going to pour tons of valuable resources into the riding, and the Liberals won’t waste any.
Meanwhile, May is free to either campaign in Central Nova to try to win a half-respectable vote share, or campaign across the country and ignore her riding. It doesn’t matter; the damage has been done.
May would have to have been very naïve to think that the NDP would step aside for her. Perhaps May recognizes that the Green Party, after many failed attempts at ever gaining ground in Canadian politics, will unlikely elect one this election. The Green Party has tried for too long to elect members, and environmental issues such as climate change are becoming increasingly urgent. Unlike the Green Party, the Liberal party is a viable and legitimate candidate for government. And as long as Dion is leader of the Liberals, his party will cover much of the same ground and emphasize many of the same issues as the Green Party. May clearly recognizes that her greatest hope of promoting the important issues of her party is by helping the Liberals defeat the Conservatives instead of splitting votes. The Green Party loses, but environmental issues are more important than political gains.
The Liberals also have much to gain from this alliance with the Green Party. By collaborating with May, Dion gains credibility for his party’s environmental platform. In Central Nova specifically, Dion’s gesture confirms his sincerity and commitment to environmental issues. Layton’s failure to do match Dion’s move in the riding detracts from his party’s position as the primary alternative to the Green Party. The Liberals stepped aside in Central Nova, the NDP obviously took the bait; they couldn’t resist the opportunity to unseat MacKay, but it will cost them environmental votes across the country, especially since this race will get lots of media attention. Central Nova is one less lost cause for Dion to worry about, and the May deal is a perfect excuse not to waste valuable resources.
This whole Central Nova deal is just a charade, a diversion tactic and an attempt to make something from nothing. The Liberals never had a shot in this riding and the Greens don't have much of a shot in any riding, let alone this one. The Liberals disappoint a few die-hard Liberals in the riding who have traditionally been outnumbered by die-hard Tories anyhow. The Green Party, yet again, fails to elect its leader. May's concession of Dion’s landslide riding in Montreal is, of course, completely irrelevant. Thus, neither the Greens nor the Liberals lose anything of considerable value.
It was a brilliant tactical manoeuvre for both May and Dion.
As far as the prediction for the riding, I think that MacKay will hold but it will be a close race. I am not sure how many Liberals will vote NDP, Conservative, Green, or vote at all, and I don’t think anyone knows. This is rural Nova Scotia, where families have been voting the same way for generations. Liberals are beside themselves and their ancestors are rolling over in their graves six feet under. The only sure thing is that the Green’s won’t win; the absence of a Liberal candidate will sooner produce riots than a Green Party victory. The NDP needs about 35% of the 2006 Liberal vote to beat MacKay, and I am sure they will very hard to get it, but I’m not sure they can pull it off against an incumbent cabinet minister.
07 05 02 Joe
That Angus Reid poll did do a break out of Atlantic Canadians and showed the Greens running third.
07 04 30 D. Alexander
I should add that the poll mentioned below surveyed 1009 Canadians, not residents of Central Nova. The question asked was ‘If you were a voter residing in Nova Scotia’s Central Nova riding, which of these candidates would you support in the next federal election?’
Peter MacKay (Con.) - 35%
Elizabeth May (Grn.) - 22%
Louise Loriface (NDP) - 16%
None of these - 27%

So the numbers do not reflect the sentiment in the Central Nova riding, but rather of Canadians if they had the chance to vote in Central Nova.
07 04 30 D. Alexander
I live in Central Nova. Peter MacKay will win this riding again. He will not go below 40%. A majority of Liberals will either not be voting, will be spoiling their ballot (writing in a Liberal candidate), or voting for anyone but Elizabeth May. Liberals in this riding are not pleased with the Dion-May deal and are not planning to support the Greens simply because the Liberal leader has endorsed her. This is the word on the street -- in community centres, restaurants and hockey rinks.
07 04 26 R J Anderson
Immediately after her deal with Dion, May stated repeatedly, even under extreme pressure from former NDP leader Ed Broadbent, that she was open to a similar deal with the NDP.
However, May also permitted John Chenery, her Director of Communications, Sara Giovannone, seeking the St. Catharines nomination, and several others, to undermine her authority to make such a deal by repeating over and over again that the Green Party of Canada ?will be running 307? in the next election. Given that this is allowed to continue with no discipline or contradiction from May, Jack Layton is correct to interpret May as weak and refuse to deal with her to remove the NDP candidate in Central Nova.
Given that there is now no chance of that, Peter MacKay will win easily.
Once again the Green Party of Canada is undone by its own lack of internal discipline.
07 04 26 Calev
Angus Reid came out with a poll for Central Nova this week which showed 35% would support Peter MacKay while only 22 for the Greens and 18 for the NDP and 27% for other parties. Well it looks like (at least for now) MacKay should win and humiliate May and Dion.
07 04 24 polistudent
Peter may be able to hold this riding, it's a definite possibility. However, I would NOT count the NDP out of this race. It'll depend on the candidate of course. The NDP is doing well provincially, and I think they might get a good enough chunk of the liberal vote to get by McKay. May will be third for sure.
07 04 22 Hagarty Dressler
The NDP are not running Alexis MacDonald. With a nobody for a candidate Elizabeth should be able to take atleast 10% from the NDP as she did in LNC. Lets toy with the numbers shall we?
NDP to Green = 11-13% Liberal to Green 15-17% Conservative to Green 5-6% (10% +/-) giving the Greens anywhere from 31-36%. The NDP 21-23%. The Conservatives 35-36% and then theres that 10% of people who'll switch parties. If the Conservatives come into the election unpopular, Elizabeth has it. If they come in popular She doesn't. Chances are the conservatives will come in as a very unpopular party so i'll give this one to the Greens, FOR NOW.
07 04 18 alberta liberal
Given that the NDP is the real threat to McKay in this riding, i just dont see how May wins it based on the absence of a liberal candidate.
07 04 18 Stephen Sheppard
I would call Central Nova for Peter MacKay and the Conservatives. Simply put, I don't think that the Liberal supporters in this riding will be very happy with the Liberal Party and Stephane Dion's decision to not run a candidate in order to make a deal with the Green Party. This, coupled with MacKay's high profile as Foreign Affairs Minister, gives Central Nova to the Conservatives.
07 04 16 Pat
I'm not sure I can believe in a prediction of the Greens winning Central Nova based on mass amnesia amongst Liberal supporters. I'm pretty sure the lack of a Liberal candidate on the ballot might remind them.
It's not as though Liberals have no other choice. By the time some have moved their support to the NDP, some to the Conservatives and others are disillusioned enough to just stay home, I think the Greens will be lucky to pick up half of the Liberal votes.
If anything, I'd say the Dion/May arrangement improves the chances of the NDP winning this riding (coupled with the steady increase of NDP popularity in Nova Scotia as a whole). However I can see any gains the NDP make from Liberals being neutralised by NDP members supporting the Greens.
In all, I'd say tactical and protest voting on all sides will balance out and see Peter MacKay reelected.
07 04 16 Cameron W
I'm with the general agreement over at
Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, could win in this riding. Mackay and the Harper government have not been doing a very good job with the East Coast in many people’s opinions, the federal spring budget was not popular, and we will likely see this affect the results in Central Nova.
07 04 15 Ian
It will be close but as Elizabeth May's campaign grows and more disgruntled Liberals forget about Dion and May's deal, May could take this riding with a lead of up to 5%! Mackay is not doing a good enough job for Central Nova and I'm assuming that i'll be sticking with the Greens as I have in the two previous elections. :D
07 04 14 DMD
Well, so far as I can see, Mr MacKay is the biggest winner out of recent events. Honestly, how do you think the 10 300 + Liberal voters of Central Nova, not to mention the drivers, scrutineers, doorknockers, donors, sign crews, lunch runners, etc. are going to react to being told 1) you can't win; and 2) your labours count for so little we aren't even going to allow you to be loyal Liberals in the next election? Instead, you should all, because the great leader says so, support the team that mustered fewer than 620 votes last time out, that couldn't convince anyone to doorknock, donate, cold call, GOTV, etc.
Without even getting into the disservice this does to ALL Central Nova electors--whose ballot will now sport only one name that might be part of a government--I feel that such extraordinary disrespect will have powerful consequences that extend beyond Central Nova and the next election. An arrogant gesture by a man (M Dion, who was first appointed, unelected to Cabinet, after the near disaster of the 1995 referendum) who has never had to work on the ground for his own riding will, I predict, 1) lead to the biggest MacKay margin ever, with the plurality of the LPC vote going blue rather than Green; 2) produce a 3rd place finish for Ms May (and I wonder how her grassroots feel now ... but that big middle finger to the sincerely motivated rank and file is fodder for another posting altogether); 3) negatively impact LPC vote in other Nova Scotia ridings (e.g. Dartmouth-Cole Harbour and West Nova, where Thibault was a near thing last time out); and 4) seriously compromise LPC efforts to find credible candidates and requisite volunteer pools in this riding in elections to come.
To my mind, this was a monumental mistake and bespeaks a leader who just doesn't understand how elections work and whose labour wins them.
07 04 14 R.D.
Well, the NDP needs only skim off a third of former Liberal supporters to squeak ahead of McKay, and I think that is very much achievable in light of May's lack of ties to the riding and the limited time she will be able to spend here as Green leader while also touring for the national campaign. Of course some former Liberals will go to McKay, too, and the NDP will have to hold its own vote from last time with a new candidate, but I am feeling pretty good about the NDP's chances here now.
07 04 13 GM
As a long-time PCer who had many conventions and handshakes with Peter McKay, I really don't think he's in as much trouble as people think.
First of all, the Greens are not as popular in Atlantic Canada as other sections of the country. Despite hate of the Federal Budget, this isn't Flaherty's riding - Peter is a moderate, a local, and has a fantastic campaign team that could win an election almost on their own. Finally, from all those years as a PC I know that 1 + 1 does not equal 2 - in short, not all of the Liberal and NDP votes will flock to May as GB posted earlier.
Besides, let's make up a scenario where 70% of the Liberals from 2006 and 50% of the NDP flock to the Green Party. (impossible as it seems, this is only a scenario!) 70% of the 2006 Liberal votes are 7244 and 50% of the 2006 NDP votes are 6931. Combine the 1.5% that the Green Party got in 2006 and we're talking about 14,846 votes, or about 1000 votes more than Alexis McDonald got for the NDP in 2006. Note that in this instance you're STILL almost 2500 votes behind McKay! Besides, the least amount of votes that Peter has ever gotten in an election is 16,376; in fact, the least amount either Peter or his dad Elmer EVER got in this riding since 1971 is 15,359 (Elmer in 1980).
The bottom line is that Peter McKay has the rock-hard support of 40%, and it would take something absolutely beyond staggering for a Conservative loss here now.
07 04 13
There is nothing to indicate that Central Nova is fertile ground for a Green win. Even though the environment is the top issue in the country right now, it is not the only issue. Even if every single person in Central Nova who named the environment as the top issue voted Green, which obviously will not happen as the Greens are still clearly a minor protest party, May would not win. Many Liberals will migrate to the Conservatives and NDP, giving MacKay another easy win. Although some NDP voters will ultimately go to May, it seems irrational for a large number of Conservatives in an election where they may win a majority to switch to a fifth party candidate supported by the Liberal party.
07 04 13 Brian Appel
With the official announcement of Dion not running a candidate against May and endorsing her candidacy against MacKay, and with Jack Layton condemning the decision out in the open, but ‘conveniently’ deciding to pull the strong Alexis MacDonald out of the running for Central Nova in exchange for a much weaker, mostly unknown candidate, the common understanding, at this point, is that this is going to be a two-way race. With no Liberal candidate, and a nobody NDP candidate, it'll be very interesting to see where the votes go. The Liberal votes are being, basically, instructed to all go to May by Dion, which I would tend to think will happen, as those who don't want to vote for May are more likely to simply stay home than vote for MacKay. A few may vote for the NDP out of protest, but not many I would think. The NDP voters are being told by Jack, without any actual words, to open the door for May. Many will still vote for the NDP, but quite a few will see the benefit in May getting elected and vote for May. And as for the Conservatives, nearly all will do what they can to shore up support for Peter, but it's possible a few may vote for May. All signs point to a very close race, but with the Liberals openly supporting May and the NDP taking steps to reduce their strength in the riding, it looks promising for May to pull it off. To look at it from another perspective, if May doesn't win this seat, her days as leader are likely numbered and she will, likely, emerge next time around as a Liberal candidate somewhere.
07 04 13 NovaSucka
May will campaign hard in the riding starting immediately and raise her profile dramatically. She'll get most of the Liberal and a good portion of the NDP votes. Keep in the mind that the Liberal voters in the last election will not go to McKay no matter how pissed they are about not having a candidate. I also think May will eventually hammer out a deal with the NDP. Sadly, McKay is done. Maybe he can get himself a job at Magna.....
07 04 13 Justin
Why would the NDP strike a deal with the Greens?
It made sense for the Liberals to not field a candidate. Not just because the Greens sit somewhere between the liberals and conservatives ideologically, but because the Liberals were likely to come in third (not second). The NDP, however, was the party that suffered from vote splitting in the last election. With the Liberals not fielding a candidate, this could easily become an NDP riding.
Also, it is easy to see that this is the Liberal's attempting to greenwash their image across the country. I think the voters will make that clear in Central Nova.
Finally, even if the Greens took all of the Liberals votes (unlikely), it still isn't even clear if May could beat the NDP candidate, and she has to do that to beat McKay. Instead, I think we will see disgruntled voters going to the NDP.
07 04 13 M. Lunn
I am going to move this back to TCTC with the Liberals not running a candidate. Although I still think it is very unlikely Elizabeth May will win here considering she has no local roots and the Greens only got 2%, with no Liberal candidate I could see enough going over to the NDP to potentially knock off MacKay. Likewise I could see MacKay picking up some Blue Liberal votes, although considering that the Tories aren't particularly popular in Nova Scotia, I would be surprised if he surpasses the 50% mark.
07 04 12 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
So a deal between the liberals and the greens is hogwash you say? We're all aware now that this is not hogwash at all but a reality. What does this mean? It mean's MacKay is vulnerable. Not just that he has one less opponent to split the vote, but also with the budget fiasco that may well be lingering on voters minds come election day. We feel that MacKay is likely to keep his riding, but he will be in for a fight. Lets see if the NDP can come up with a deal with the Greens as well.
07 04 12 PY
Well, the rumour has come true and the Liberals won't be running a candidate in Central Nova. Stéphane Dion's taking a calculated risk here and there's no guarantee that local Liberals will simply switch allegiances towards May and the Greens so easily.
But if ever there was a place to park one's anti-MacKay vote, she might be it. Just how many of them she'll get will be crucial if she is to defeat him.
MacKay would be well advised to take May seriously as his chief opponent because he doesn't have this one sewn up yet. TCTC.
07 04 12 GB
With all due respect for Zack, I think his intelligence is much more reliable in regard to the Conservatives as it is for the Liberals. With the Liberals running no candidate and in effect endorsing the Green, and the NDP running a weaker candidate than the previous election, this race just got much more interesting. NDP votes will shift Green, as well as 60-70% of Liberal votes. I think it's unfortunate the ‘Gritty Greens’ choose to pick on Peter McKay so much, as I consider him a worthy MP and Cabinet Minister. The question is now whether Central Nova voters want to vote for a powerful cabinet minister or a powerful independent. I'm guessing Green by a hair, but this has just become a two-way race.
07 04 12 Christian Conservative
Dion just announced that the Liberals WILL NOT run a candidate against Ms. May.I'm banking that this will help MacKay. Not all the Lib votes will go Green, and that means the Greens will have to bleed almost half of the NDP vote to even have a shot at this riding. Since they came so close to beating MacKay last time, you bet they're going to fight for this one. Plus, if even some of the Lib vote bleeds to MacKay... it's all over for May.
07 04 12 Nick J Boragina
There is likely already someone who posted about this here, but the grits wont run against May
as I said earlier, this really wont make much of a difference. It's already a race between MacKay and May. Anyone who would vote for a Liberal over May only does so because they quite simply don’t want to vote for MacKay or May; or in other words, without a liberal candidate, these people will just stay home.
07 04 09 Zack
With all due respect to that last post I think is very much off the mark. The N.D.P and Green Party leaders don’t speak, let alone make a deal to run weak candidates in ridings. The better the Green party does the worse off it is for the N.D.P so they are not going to assist the Green Party in any way. The N.D.P have picked a former teacher from Antigonish County that by all accounts will not be as strong as Alexis Macdonald was but still a worthy opponent. As a person who sits on Peter MacKay’s reelection Campaign I can tell you that the logic in the last post by is very much of the mark. Peter Mackay is going to win because he is working hard to get re-elected, the Green party is not a factor here and is being made out to be much stronger in this area then she really is. It is also worthy to note the Liberals in Central Nova plan to run a Candidate, so all this talk about a deal is just hogwash. The liberals in the last two elections have done very badly so the talk that the liberals will just vote Green is untrue, the people that voted liberal the last two elections are the diehards that will only vote liberal and nothing else, so there wont be much movement from the Liberals to the Green party. Also may I point out that the Green Party gat 1.5 percent of the Vote in Central Nova the last election, the media seems to always forget to mention that when they are talking about Ms. May giving Peter Mackay a run for his money.
07 04 07 Nick J Boragina
what I'm hearing from the higher-up's in the conservative party (I am a party member) is that the ?plan? is for the Greens to run their leader, while both the NDP and Liberals run nobody candidates. The idea is to knock off MacKay (rumour is it was Dion's idea) to damage the moderate wing of the Conservative Party. Ideally, the voters will line up, MacKay VS May, with the Liberals and NDP not posing any real threat. The problem with the plan is that the Conservative have taken a moderate governing stance, and many of the voters would be more willing to choose a government cabinet minister over an opposition party leader. This one will be close. The logic of May running here is this: MacKay is a giant. Running against a nobody means that all other parties will run serious candidates, since the other person is just a nodoby. Running against a giant means that people will desire to line up behind the giant, and behind his main opponent. Just look at the Joe Clark riding win in the year 2000 to see what I mean.
07 04 03 Ryan N
The Green Party leader chose one of the WORST possible ridings anywhere across the country!

She's going to split the left Liberal/NDP vote, thus allowing the Conservatives to win up the middle.
No contest whatsoever!
07 03 30 Joe J.
Greens are dreaming.
May's choice to run in this riding is not designed to win. It's designed to peel away enough votes from the NDP to prevent them from taking the riding. May couldn't run against a Liberal MP and keep her buddy Stephane Dion on side. So she let the Liberals talk her into a riding that the NDP stood to make gains in.
I suspect the NDP will still put up a good fight and come a strong second (May will come third), but MacKay is safe - thanks to bad deal making by May.
07 03 30 CGD
Talk of a Liberal-Green deal is interesting. Perhaps the Liberals will not field a candidate here, allowing May to take a legitimate run at beating Mackay. Even without such a deal, May has a fighting chance.
07 03 29 Geoff C.
As much as I'd love to see Elizabeth May win this (not to mention see MacKay lose...), I don't think it has much of a hope. Against a weaker candidate in a different riding, perhaps, but I just can't see MacKay losing. The battle here will be for second place.
07 03 28 King of Kensington
The Greens have fared poorly in this riding and in Atlantic Canada generally. No matter what nice things Dion says about Elizabeth May and no matter how low profile their candidate is here, plenty of people will vote Liberal anyway. Peter Mackay will easily be reelected.
07 03 27 Nick J Boragina
I'm going to have to put this one down as too close to call. MacKay should be able to take it, but with the greens splitting the vote, you never know. Frankly, a Liberal or NDP win is not outside of the realm of possibility. I really can’t see May winning for the greens, even though she is leader, but that still is also possible. This is going to be a riding to watch, my brain tells me it's going to be a nail biter, but my gut says Tory.
07 03 26 Smok Wawelski
So much for EMay's reputed political savvy.... She'd have been better off running in London North Center where she got considerable exposure, and did extremely well. It would have demonstrated her commitment to the community, but instead she flew east... With Dion's flagging fortunes, London may have borne fruit for her this time. But instead she goes and challeneges the foreign minister. Mark up another notch for the MacKay dynasty.
07 03 25 Austin
Mackay is a very well known MP both locally and federally, probably would have been one of the safest conservative seats in the country. However, May is a strong candidate and with the amount of media attention I think she will get this riding may turn green
07 03 25 JG
Elizabeth May has no roots in the riding and the Green Party in Nova Scotia is a shell with almost no organization. In 2006, the Greens won a mere 1.6 percent of the vote, and will be starting effectively from scratch. While not to detract from former NDP candidate Alexis MacDonald's strengths, the provincial NDP is very strong in this area and holds two of the five provincial seats with significant strength in the others. With the federal budget being called a betrayal of N.S. in the newspapers, MacKay will be vulnerable, and the party best positioned to take him out is the NDP. At most, May act as a spoiler, but even she absorbs much of the Liberal support, that won't give her anything better than third place.
07 03 25 MichaelM
Peter MacKay is not well liked in his riding these days, and this should allow for Elizabeth May to emerge as the first Green MP in Canada. While I don't support the Greens, Peter is headed for a crushing defeat as all the forces align against him this election. My best guess: May 40%, MacKay 35%, NDP 15%, Liberal 10%.
07 03 25 Ancastarian
Mackay should hold on. In the past the NDP has made inroads into his support, but with their numbers low, he should be alright. Elizabeth May, Green party leader also plans to run here. While she will try to insinuate that Mackay has forgotten Atlantic Canada, this message will fall onto deaf ears. Mackay is Harper's number two, high-profile, and there is now way the opposition leader of the 5th party can offer more to the people of this riding than he can. While May might make it close, Mackay should hold on, if only be a few thousand votes.
07 03 24 GM
If Elizabeth May was smart, she would have run in Halifax, where social activism runs higher and the Green Party candidate can pull in 2000 votes with a nobody important running. As it goes, the protest vote was in 2006 and Peter McKay survived it. With 40% of the vote, Peter McKay will win again.
07 03 24 M. Lunn
This is not a Green Party type riding at all. If Peter MacKay were to be taken down, it would be the Liberals or NDP and with the Greens now running here, we've just got a three way split so as much as the recent budget may very well hurt MacKay's chances here, he should win due to the split on the left.
07 03 24 Zack
As a person who lives in this riding I can say with some confidence that this riding is a lock for Peter Mackay. With Word that Alexis MacDonald is not running makes it even easier for Peter Mackay to be re-elected. Much of the N.D.P vote in the last election in Central Nova was not N.D.P Voters but was attracted to Alexis as she was a very creditable candidate and now those votes are up for grabs for all parties in the riding.
Elizabeth May has never worked nor lived in this riding. She has no ties to this area and the people are not going to vote for a person that does not have Central Nova roots. Elizabeth May in the last number of days has attacked the Industries in Pictou County including Trenton Works, The Trenton Power Generating Facility, Neenah Paper and Maritime Steel. If Elizabeth May was serious about getting elected she would stand up for thousands of hard working people that are employed directly or indirectly at those Industries. In one foul swoop she has announced that she wants to shut down the Industries in Pictou County leaving thousands without work, this in itself has taken her out of any sort of position to threaten Peter Mackay in an election.
The liberals in fact have announced they are going to run a candidate in the election. All the talk about running a shadow campaign and helping Elizabeth May out will only boost Peter MacKay’s vote total if that turns out to be the case, if it looks like the liberals are helping the green party or the N.D.P party in the election Peter Mackay will benefit because tagging up to beat someone is not going to wash with the people of Central Nova.
With Peter Mackay now being a Cabinet Minister, now being on the side of a popular government that is seen doing good things, this in it self will boost Peters vote total on Election Day. Since becoming a Cabinet Minister Peter has been able to bring a lot of money to this riding and the people of this riding are taking notice. It is also worthy to note Peters re-election campaign in 2006 was his weakest organized campaign to date. I think Peter now realizes that and watch out for an organized disciplined proactive re- election campaign when the writ is dropped.
I believe that on election day in Central Nova , Peter Mackay will not only be re-elected but with a much larger Victory Margin the last 2 election campaigns and Elizabeth May will only be a foot note .
07 03 24 L. Nino
Alexis MacDonald will not be running for the NDP. Since the last two elections proved that the anti-MacKay vote wants to coalesce under one candidate, and since the Liberals are dragging their feet, it seems very likely that Elizabeth May can now take this. If the Liberals run David Orchard, as is rumoured, then it's a lock, since the voters here will understand this as a signal to take down MacKay.
07 03 23 G. Kennedy (not that one)
Elizabeth May is a fine person and her reasons for running here are principled indeed. But let's be honest - MacKay is a giant in this riding and the Liberals and NDP will be taking their fair share of the vote to prevent him from losing to anyone.
07 03 20 JFBreton
J'aimerais croire à une victoire des Verts et de son chef ici, mais le vote vert ne fera que diviser le vote de gauche. J'opte plutôt pour une victoire des Conservateurs.
07 03 20 L. Nino
The Liberals have announced that they will not pull their candidate, and will nominate in this riding. The Liberals will lose here no matter what and this is the biggest strategic error Stephane Dion has ever made. If they nominate anyone other than David Orchard (who IS a Liberal and has NO chance of winning in Saskatoon) they will lose, and will spoil Alexis MacDonald's shot at this riding (she came second twice). Elizabeth May also has no chance in a four-way race but in a three-way race between herself and a weak Liberal and MacKay, with the NDP dropping out (hah! they are too stupid to do that no matter how much they could gain) she could win. Or with herself and Orchard and MacDonald, she could come second and make sure MacKay is humiliated (similar to her results in London North).
07 03 19 Brian Appel
Call me crazy, but I can see May taking this riding. We all know MacKay is running again, and the NDP are determined to field a candidate in the riding, but Dion is still considering whether to do so, or to put Liberal support in the riding toward getting May elected. I'm not a Green supporter, but I do believe they have a role to play in Canadian politics and it's time they had a seat. Yeah, it might have been better for May to seek a seat that would be more winnable for her, but she's a smart lady and if SHE thinks that she can beat Peter MacKay, then I think she can too.

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