Prediction Changed
11:18 AM 02/04/2007

Election Prediction Project

Federal Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

Canadian Action
Arlow, Will
Burgon, Noel
New Democratic
Dolby, Ryan
Christian Heritage
Hiemstra, Carl
Preston, Joe
van Bommel, Suzanne
van Holst, Michael

Joe Preston

2006 Result:
Joe Preston **
Crispin Colvin
Tim McCallum
Jonathan Martyn
Ken DeVries
Phill Borm
Will Arlow

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

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08 09 25 AV
I'm surprised anyone is calling this Liberal. The Conservatives are very much in control of rural south western Ontario at the moment. With a new candidate the Liberals just don't stand a chance.
08 09 22 Mike R
I especially like the comment about upset Tobbaco Farmers in the riding. Did you actually count the amount of them left in this riding? I do feel sorry for them but it will make absolutely NO difference. Anyone on the ground in this riding knows that this is gonna be a landslide once again for Joe. The Libs have no chance in this riding at all and look for Joe to increase the vote count over the last election.
08 09 12 R.O.
Lets look at this one realistically first off there is no star liberal candidate here as the popular mpp did not make the move and new liberal candidate is well not one. Secondly a vote gap the size of Joe Prestons previous victory is not easy to overcome and the liberals have not made increases in the polls in Ontario. Third I admit this riding has seen some job loses but harper and the conservatives are still seen as the best party to manage the economy according to the polls. So there is not as much to gain on that issue as the liberals think in ridings like these. As voters are unlikely to view dions green shift carbon tax and huge spending promises as the solution to our economic problems.
08 09 09 burpnrun
Joe Preston of the CPC is a shoe-in. An incumbent, he's served his constituents well. There's been no buzz at all from the other parties, who are obviously off to a slow start. A few generic Green signs are already up though.
08 09 09 Jordan Enns
Preston took the riding by 10 000 votes in the last election. Let's not kid ourselves here, Elgin-Middlesex never bucks the national trend(the provincial anomaly of Peter North aside). Van Bommel is a solid candidate but enough to overcome 10 000 votes and one of the worst Liberal leaders in history? People vote federally, that won't change this time around.
08 09 06 Andrew Cox
Liberal pick up.
1) This riding is very very odd. Its stuck between the bedrock of old Grit Ontario in Kent and Essex and the Western edge of the Blue belt in Norfolk-Haldiman. And the voters are neither rural Grit populists or Tory farmers. It is an anti-establishment riding, pure and simple.
2) My gut keeps telling me that if Suzanne Van Bommel can project the same maverick spirit that her long-time boss Steve Peters has, she can win this one no matter how the national race goes.
3) Joe Preston is a place-holder as the Tory. No one hates him. No one loves him. He's just the blue candidate: a non-descript fast food franchisee and backbencher.
4) My guess is it is going to come down to who the population blame for the layoffs in the auto sector. If its McGuinty, the Liberals are cooked. But I think the last minute money announced in Windsor is in response to a growing understanding that the feds have badly misplayed the ‘no assistance to the auto sector’ position.
08 09 02 Jason B
There are several reasons that the Liberals will win this riding:
(1) Tobacco farmers in this region are extremely unhappy with the lack of federal funding to help them out of farming or to transition to other crops. It wasn't that long ago when the Aylmer Express showed pictures of Joe Preston's campaign signs being set on fire. It was a top news story in the region. It conveys the idea that Preston doesn't care about his riding as much as he cares about this job and his position in the Conservative Party.
(2) In my experience, rural voters are far more likely to be frustrated with an unnecessary election and its associated ‘waste of tax money’. Is Preston going to be able to explain to his constituents why Harper needed to call an election?
(3) The Liberal candidate, Suzanne van Bommel, is a very strong candidate.
08 09 02 J.E.
Expect another strong win for Joe Preston in the coming election. While not a rising star of the Conservative team, he's served his constituents well and there has been no negative press on him. Elgin-Middlesex will do what it usually does: vote Conservative unless the national tide swings Liberal.
08 02 19 R.O.
Well i think we must remember a few things here, first when Joe Preston first got elected Steve Peters was mpp and when he got re-elected in 06 Peters was still mpp. So I’m not convinced that the provincial results or who the mpp is makes much difference. The race here is between federal parties and fought over federal issues and think some are forgetting that federal conservatives do better in rural ridings than the Ontario pc’s have in last 2 elections. The Ontario liberal mpp’s popularity isn’t really any different now then it was in previous elections when Joe Preston easily won the riding as a conservative. And in 2004 he beat Gar Knutson liberal mp who was also a cabinet minister at the time and then in last election liberal vote went down when Crispin Colvin was there candidate. It is possible liberal vote goes up here but not enough at this time for them to gain this seat.
08 02 18 A.S.
And a point re Steve Peters provincially: it's populist appeal, not Liberal appeal, that's buoyed his victories--indeed, his independent outlook helps explain why he's Speaker of the Legislature now. And on top of that, go pack in EPP time to the 2000 election and you'll see a murmur that Peters helped the near-victorious Alliance campaign behind the scenes! Now, I can't vouch for that, but you can see that just because you wear the Liberal label, it doesn't mean that...
08 02 16 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
So you would like some additional evidence as to why a Liberal win in this riding is borderline ridiculous, despite the fact that it was held by the grits in the 90's only due to vote splitting on the right and as soon as that was gone this riding immediately went CPC? Very well then, how about this: poll numbers. CPC supports on many discussion boards love to ignore the polls in liue of making (what we consider) foolish and/or grandiose predictions. We've been beating them over the head with poll numbers, suppose we now have to do that to some Liberal supporters. The bottom line in the polls is that the Liberals have not gained anything since last election. Ergo they will likely win about the same amount of votes. Now the CPC have been up and down in the polls but never enough to make ridings where the split was 10K votes and 20 percentage points the least bit competitive! Don't trust polls, want more evidence how about this: Dion is perceived to be a weak leader with an urban-centric view of governing...not something that bodes well in a mostly rural riding. Want more evidence? Okay then: Harper & friends are perceived to have done an okay job with most of the things they set out to do, people who voted for them are generally content, thus will likely vote for them again. Think about it, in order for the Liberals to take this one, 5000 voters or approximately 25% of the people who voted for Preston have to say, ‘Golly Gee, I don't like this guy, I'm going to vote Liberal’. Notice, we said ‘vote Liberal’, not vote NDP, not vote Green, not stay home but MUST vote Liberal. It's not going to happen unless the Liberals were looking at majority territory (do we hear snickering?). In a close race (less than 1000 votes separated the two candidates in '06) we'd accept the arguments presented as being plausible, yes seeing as this is not even remotely close, the Liberals don't have a chance (thing is, we've heard similar arguments in previous electionprediction-go-rounds...check out Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound's discussion board from '06)
08 02 16 CM
What the previous predictions seem to be lacking is any clear reasoning why Preston will win this riding aside from sighting past results. van Bommel is easily the biggest challenge Preston has faced from the Grits. With an ailing manufacturing sector, no presence in the riding and a lackluster track record don't be surprised to see EML choose change. Are the numbers there? If you take a look at Steve Peters' recent election numbers there are clearly some soft conservative votes in this riding (7293 by my count).
07 12 02 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
So we have two Liberal predictions, submitted on the same date, in a riding where the first EPP post in 2004 called the Liberal incumbent ‘Dead Liberal Walking #6’ (for those unfamiliar with this, it is in reference to Liberal incumbents who kept winning their ridings based only on vote splitting between the PC and CA). Normally we would be jumping up and down, shouting ‘Shenanigans!’ had these two posts not contradicted each other somewhat. One says that Preston only is interested in being local MP while the other says he hasn't been dealing with local issues. Which is it? In any case, there is a 10K vote split for the Grits to over come and it would require at least 2 of 3 of the following criterion for it to happen: 1. Liberals start doing much better in the polls (we're not holding our breath waiting) 2. Van Bommel pulls off an absolutly stellar campaign 3. Preston pulls off an absolutly abyssmal campaign. The evidence that we have would suggest only #2 MAY occur, that still remains to be seen.
07 11 30 CM
There is a growing sentiment that Preston is lacking the ability to handle constituency issues in the riding. This is crucial in EML as the riding has even elected an independent (Peter North) in the past based on his perceived ability to help constituents. I predict a much closer race than anticipated with van Bommel walking away with a mandate for local action.
07 11 30 Brad
Joe Preston faces a much more connected and dynamic Liberal candidate in the next election in Suzanne van Bommel. The former Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant to MPP Steve Peters when he was an Opposition member and Minister of Agriculture and Food. van Bommel has been a political insider in both provincial and federal Liberal circles for many years and she knows her stuff. While the incumbent MP is seen as a nice guy, he has no ambition to do more than just being the local MP.
07 11 11 R.O.
Conservative hold , Joe Preston the local mp as this is a largely rural riding and type federal tories do well in. the provincial loss was likely due to Steve Peters high profile as mpp/former mayor in this riding and federal issues are different anyways. and back in 04 Preston beat long time mp and cabinet minister Gar Knutson to get elected here.
07 07 16 A.S.
Despite incumbency and party momentum, Joe Preston added less than 2 share points to his '04 total; however, the NDP's Tim McCallum added almost 5 points--blame election-day cutbacks announced for Ford's St. Thomas plant? (Plus, no Grit incumbent to lend a Buzz Hargrove vote to.) Preston's still got one of the sturdier Tory foundations in Southern Ontario; unless the Grits rediscover economic populism (and/or MPP Steve Peters runs federally), he's in no real trouble--though the magic 50% mark might still elude him...
07 04 13 HRH
Joe Preston won handily here in the last two elections. Although the Conservatives are seemingly in good shape in Ontario, there is a bit of unrest in the rural areas of this riding due to the perceived lack of help from Ottawa for the tobacco farmers that are being forced by economics to transition to other, less profitable, crops. Joe should win again, but it may not be as easily as he may wish.
07 03 29 M. Lunn
If Joe Preston could win by 9 points in 2004 when the Tories were in much worse shape in Ontario, he can certainly hold it now.

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