Prediction Changed
5:01 PM 27/09/2008

Election Prediction Project

Ottawa Centre
Federal Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

Akpata, John Andrew
Collenette, Penny
New Democratic
Dewar, Paul
Hunter, Jen
McGarry, Brian
Soublière, Pierre

Paul Dewar

2006 Result:
Paul Dewar
Richard Mahoney
Keith Fountain
David Chernushenko
John Andrew Akpata
Anwar Syed
Stuart Ryan
Christian Legeais

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

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08 10 13 Bernard Manning
The Ottawa Citizen begrudgingly endorsed Paul Dewar today Mon. 13th but not the NDP or its leader Jack Layton. An odd combination.
08 10 11 pipson
The last debate at Glebe High School clearly went to Collenette, and she was applauded and supported by a crowd that is normally either Conservative or NDP. It might be that Tories are moving to her because they know that McGarry does not have a chance. Green votes are moving too, as Hunter is now pleading for support to keep the subsidy.
Although the riding has very sophisticated voters, the number of new Canadians, students, public servants (who hate Harper) and traditional Liberal voters (70 per cent normally vote on the national campaign) could make for a major upset here. Look for Westboro, Glebe and downtown to go red.
08 10 06 Bernard Manning
The Ottawa Citizen published a Compass poll today Mon 6th Oct that puts Dewar well ahead at 44%, the Libs at 28%, CPC at 19% and Grn at 9%. (Smallpoll/large %error) In Ontario the Libs are being squashed between the jaws of the CPC and NDP. Seems in Ottawa Centre that the Liberals aren't moving up or down from their baseline 30%, the Tories are tanking and the Dippers are the beneficiaries.
08 10 06 Rebel
Today's Compas poll, published in the Ottawa Citizen shows a strong NDP lead of 44% to the Liberals 28%, Conservatives 19% and Greens 9%. Given national and Ontario polls, I would have thought both Conservatives and Greens would be stronger but the ratio between NDP and Liberals seems about right.
An interesting question when you see three Compas polls, all showing incumbents leading, is whether the election is going to favour incumbents and hence, another minority government.
08 10 05 DL
There is a poll of this riding in today's Ottawa Sun. Dewar of the NDP leads Collenette of the Liberals 44% to 28% - end of story.
According to the poll it would actually be a tossup if people were just voting for a party, but once you name the local candidates - its Dewar in a landslide. The guy is very impressive and attractive - I could see him as a future NDP leader.
BTW: The Greens are only at 9% in the poll which is lower than what they got here in 2006 when it was one of their strongest ridings - if they are only in single digits in Ottawa Centre then I suspect that they will end up with far fewer votes than some national polls indicate.
08 10 05 rebel
Dear Marco...In 2006, the NDP carried the Glebe 39% to 28% Liberal to 20% Conservative (14% for the Greens). The Glebe is affluent, but is also thoroughly gentrified amd has not voted Conservative since a 1978 by-election. For the Conservatives to run second, they will need to run well, very well, in Carleton Heights in the south and Island Park/Richmond in the west end of the riding. Both are possible.
08 10 04 Marco Ricci
Well I will now predict this riding for the NDP. In order for the Liberals to take it they needed to at least maintain their numbers in Ontario from last time and they have not done that. I would say that the NDP will be first, the Liberals 2nd, the Conservatives 3rd and the Green Party 4th based on signs in the Glebe where I work.
Supposedly some polls of this riding put the Conservatives in 2nd place but I'm not sure if that will happen since they seem to be behind the Liberals in the Glebe and if they are behind the Liberals in a wealthy area like the Glebe I'm not sure how they can finish 2nd, but who knows.
The Green Party candidate seems weaker to me than Churneshenko was and so I don't think she will do as well.
08 09 30 Close Observer
It looks like Dewar is well ahead -- even though I'm still voting Liberal. During two hour-long walks through the constiuency, I counted election signs (only the ones actually on people's lawns) and Dewar was ahead 68 to 39 for Collonette. McGarry trailed badly with only 14. There were 4 Green party signs. Not scientific but indicitive.
08 09 29 Y
Penny Collenette may eat up some votes from the business community from the conseravtives, and of course strategic votes from those who like Paul Dewar but do not want a Harper majority at 35% of the vote. The green party and will again suprise everyone at the polls, eating away conservative, NDP, and Liberal votes. Die-hard conservatives disappointed at the income trust scandal voted and supported the green party in droves last election though income trust was federal issue and they were not concerned about Tory's religious school funding that drove middle of the road voters to the Liberals. The income trust scandal will split some of McGarry's vote between Collenette and Hunter. Finally, Ottawa has one of the strongest green votes in the country, and the Green party appeals to more and more of these voters. Any party can add green to their logo or the corner of their sign, but only the Green party is the Green party. Now they are a more viable alternative, especially with Elizabeth May in the leadership debate. Before, many greens would not vote green because they believed that they were a wasted vote, which is no longer the case. Some strategists predict Hunter to poll as high as 32%. The grassroots policy, the newness, the protest vote appeal, the marketing, the well thought out intelligent approach to policymaking made a suprising number of households support this year that wasn't the case last year. Among young professionals, the largest demographic of Ottawa Center, they seem to be the most popular. In the last provincial election, Greens came second place in some of the polling stations. Unreal.
08 09 29 Bernard Manning
Well. Quite an eventful weekend in Ottawa Centre. On Friday the Citizen reported that McGarry had offered to pull out due to a sudden and serious downturn in the health of his wife. Harper insisted he stay on and do the best he can under the circumstances. The rumor over the weekend is that both the Dippers and the Tories doing their own internal polling had the CPC in 2nd place. Clearly they are on a roll and the Grits are sliding. So against this backdrop it was off to the first All Candidates debate on Sun. (Kadey O'Malley did a live Blog @ Dewar was clearly the winner. Being a sitting MP he was well on top of the issues. I guess with the NDP you get thrown in real quick regardless because of their lack of numbers in the House. I have to say how under whelmed I was at the unpreparedness of both Collenette and McGarry. At times they could barely reply to questions asked. The Green candidate was poor in a riding used to Churneshenko. However, the star of the show was John Akpata of the Marijuana Party who had the crowd rolling in the aisles with his quips and observations.
08 09 28
dls - my mistake, my post below should have said U of Ottawa, not Carleton. Penny Collenette is an adjunct prof at UofO.
08 09 28 dls
J.L. ... um Carleton doesn't have a law school, although they do offer B.A. in law. So, at the age of 37 Penny got a B.A.? or did you mean she went to Ottawa U?
08 09 27 Ken
Comfortable NDP victory in Ottawa Centre. Watch out for an increased Green Party vote though as this is one of their best ridings in the country. I predict Liberal voters will either stay at home or vote Green. Slight rise in Tory support as well-off condo dwellers could be favourable to a Tory message.
08 09 26 J. L.
Just want to correct some misinformation from Jason M. below...
Penny Collenette is not a parachute candidate, and has lived in the riding for 28 years, and has been active in many local and international organisations during that time as well as obtaining a law degree at age 37 from Carleton University, which is in the riding.
Indeed, we are lucky to have three very strong local candidates running for the three major parties in this election. To call any of them parachute candidates is a misinformed insult.
08 09 26 John A.
This should be moved solidly into the NDP column. Dewar has been a highly visible MP and shouldn't be seriously threatened. The passing of his immensely popular mother makes this riding even more certain.
08 09 24 Jason M.
Dewar, last time, won by 5000 votes. By all accounts he's been a good MP, as most NDP MPs tend to be - tending to problems in his constituency, neither making jokes about food-borne bacterial epidemics nor doing drugs on Youtube. He would have been a tough one to beat in the first place if he had just spent the last two years in his basement (which he didn't).
The Conservatives, who are running a good candidate and are high in the polls, came third in 2006, losing by 9500 votes - about 15% of the total vote. Since the Conservatives have gained, at maximum, 10% since 2006 and those gains have been made largely at the expense of the Liberal party not the NDP, they likely won't touch the incumbent here.
Our number 2, Penny Collenette, is very much unlikely to peel 2500 votes off the NDP or the 5000 from the Greens and Conservatives. As hard working as she and her staff may be, they are 1) Parachutists - the lady doesn't have the network of someone who has lived here all their life like McGarry and Dewar. 2) Dead in the polls - the Liberal Brand is riding about 24% at this moment and unlikely to see the 30%s anytime soon. 3) Broke - the Liberals are out of cash and they are not going to waste it on a long shot at the NDP.
What of the Black Knights of progressive politics - the Greens? I find it highly unlikely that the green are going to make the difference here. The greens got 6700 - about 10% of the total vote. They are up to about 11% in the polls (but they always poll higher than the actual vote - conscience making cowards of us all). If Collenette held the same vote tally that the Liberals did in 2006 (she won't), then the greens would still have to increase their vote to about 18% of the total vote. They simply are not doing that well. That said, it is the most likely scenario for an NDP defeat.
Barring any serious changes, this is an NDP hold.
08 09 23 Rebel
In the context of Ottawa Centre, the Conservative candidate is a strong one, Brian McGarry, but up to a point his strength and that of the national party will only draw Liberal votes to himself and widen the NDP lead. Only if the Tories really take off (a big debate win, for example) can the Conservatives begin to get close-enough to the NDP for an upset.
Absent that possibility, I could see the NDP winning by 7,000 votes with the Conservative and Liberal candidates bunched together and the Greens getting 8,000+.
08 09 23 dls
The NDP are up in the latest polls. Dewar won by 5,000 votes last time and generally well-respected in the riding. He will also likely benefit from the tragic death of his mother the former mayor. The Liberals do not seem to be as energetic here as in O-Van or O-South. I think its safe to put this one in NDP now.
08 09 22 JJE
I think the NDP will win this one, probably by a larger margin than last time. Everything is going for them: the party is much stronger across the country, Layton is very popular in cities, Dewar is the incumbent and has name recognition beyond that fact as well, McGarry is well known and will take votes away from Collenette, the Greens are not running their charismatic candidate of the last few elections (and they take more Liberal votes than they do NDP votes, anyway - especially in a riding where an NDP vote is not a protest vote).
08 09 21 J L
Mr. Stanton's comments that Penny Collenette has been invisible or thinks she has this riding in the bag for the Liberals are completely off base with reality. Penny has been canvassing this riding for the past 2 years, even before she had the nomination, trying to shore up her support. She now has an extremely large team of volunteers that are working very hard, every day, to get to everyone in Ottawa centre...if there are some people who haven't gotten a flyer and/or been canvassed, it is only a matter of time. Penny meanwhile, continues to appear at every community function she can possibly be at. That said, I have no doubt that Paul Dewar and Brian McGarry's people have been doing all of that as well.
As for my prediction.. I can't really make one. There are so many issues at play in this riding...
1. Penny Collenette is a much stronger and more appealing candidate than the previous Liberal candidate, and has a larger team doing a lot more work. Many Liberals who might have gone NDP/Green in the last election will likely come back. If it weren't for #4 below, I would make her the clear favourite.
2. Brian McGarry is also a much stronger candidate for the Conservatives - he may be able to get some of the softer Liberal votes (I doubt that is very many though - there is strong anti-Harper sentiment here).
3. The Green party is running a much stronger national campaign than in previous years. I think in this riding, they are more likely to take votes from the NDP...but it's an unkwown.
4. Paul Dewar's name has been all over the news in the last week with his mom's death and funeral. The Dewar name has gotten more local coverage in the last week than it has in years, and it's all because of Marion Dewar. This extra publicity could be the difference for him...politics can be cruel.
08 09 20 PB
Mr. Stanton's insistence that this is a LIBERAL riding betrays the attitude that got the party sent to the woodshed in the first place. Everybody thought that Dewar had no chance against the vaunted Liberal machine in 2006, and Dewar still won by over 5,000 votes. What's different this time? Yes, the Liberal candidate is no longer a ‘Martinite’, but I don't know how much extra profile Collennette has in this riding on her own. Bottom line for now - Ontario polling has the Liberals down a few points, leaking to the Greens and Conservatives, with the NDP holding its own support from last time. Add Dewar's incumbency advantage, and I don't see this one flipping back. Maybe in the future, when the Liberals are poised to win the country, this may return to the Liberal column. But for now, reasonably safe NDP hold.
08 09 19 John Stanton
What a snooze this election has been in Ottawa Centre. The proof is surely in the ubiquitous comments about lawn signs. Can't talk about the candidates because they are invisible, so all we have left is what IS visible - the lawn signs.
And Mr. Dewar is way, way ahead. Due in no small part to his victory against the Paul Martin cabal, where Liberals, (including myself), voted for him in droves. All those signs left lying around, and a huge, well-developed database of anti-Martinites, with lawns to exploit.
But this is a LIBERAL riding. Mac Harb's career in the house is proof of that. Sure, he is a terrific guy, who's professional and competent staff served constituents admirably while he was an MP, but Mr. Harb is no firecracker.
Remember, the riding only went NDP because Saint Ed of Oshawa was parachuted in for the by-election after Mr. Harb's ascendency to the Senate, which Saint Ed won without contest. Heck, we voted for him across party lines because he was one of only 3 politicians in the country we felt we could trust. The other two were wishful thinking. When he quit, for the right reasons, we were happy to vote for Mr. Dewar, again across party lines, because St. Ed asked us to... and because we couldn't stomach the odious Martinite cabal running against him.
But that's all done now. Mr. Dewar has kept the seat warm for a Liberal candidate, and we thank him for it. Evidently, he hasn't done much else - Mr. Dewar is no firecracker, and that's what we need. Is Ms. Collentte? Who knows; she's been pretty much invisible herself.
Yup. She's had this nomination in the bag for a year, and yet she is still invisible. An election has been around the corner for 2 years, and yet, week two of the campaign, and nothing.
I can only imagine what's going on. She has already capitulated because Mr. Dewar is unbeatable. She is so convinced it's in the bag for the Liberals, there's no point in spending the money. Who the heck knows.
One thing for sure; if she doesn't win this seat, it's another nail in Mr. Dion's coffin, and she will share the blame for whatever Mr. Harper has in store for us.
08 09 16 Bernard Manning
...Getting back to the point, and to make it clear, the Ottawa Centre Green candidate is Jen Hunter. One thing is certain. The Greens are going to poll high in this riding. Let's do the math:
In 06 about 66,000 people voted
Let us say the Greens again poll 10%
That leaves about 60,000
In a tight 3 way race you need to get at least 30.1% of the remaining votes which is about 20,000.
Could the CPC pick up 5,000 votes? Who knows. They have a much better candidate and Harper is on a roll.
The Liberals already just about have it. Can they get more? Mac Harb got in in 1988 with just 18,000 votes, in 93-97-00 anywhere between 23-25,000
The NDP could still lose 3-4,000 votes and win as long as they split up and don't go en bloc elsewhere and certainly not the Liberals.
08 09 15 Angela
I wouldn't be surprised to see similar results to 2006 - NDP maybe gaining a little but still around 40%, Tories and Liberals between 20 and 30%, and the Green around 10%.
But I do think many individual voters will change their minds between the three left-wing parties - Green voters from 2006 who were swayed by the Citizen endorsement will go NDP or Liberal, the ABC/strategic voters who went Liberal last time will go NDP, some NDP voters from 2006 might start to consider the Green party a viable party since May will be in the debates.
Most of the lawn signs I've seen are for Dewar, with a few Liberal ones, but I've mostly been fairly close to downtown.
08 09 15 Marco Ricci
Moving into Week 2 Penny Collenette now has quite a few signs up in the Glebe whereas she did not in Week 1. I have also seen a few Green signs and of course there are still quite a few Paul Dewar signs but it looks like it is now more competitive between Collenette and Dewar than it was last week.
Although some people on this page have predicted that they think the Conservatives will do well here this year, it does not appear that way so far as I have yet to see a Conservative lawn sign in the Glebe. Considering that McGarry's business is very close to the Glebe it does not bode well that he is not even doing very well in his own backyard.
Who will having a weak Conservative candidate help? Could it help the Liberals? Last time the Conservatives got quite a few votes here, and a lot of those were probably Liberals. This time perhaps the Conservative vote will go down and the Liberal vote up?
08 09 15 E. L. Smerl
NDP hold. While the Green vote apparently pulls more from the Liberals than anyone else, and only slightly less from the NDP, it does actually come from all three parties and often attracts people who didn't use to vote at all. So the NDP concern about vote-splitting is actually somewhat misplaced and over-reaction to it (such as Jack's absurd and hypocritical attempt to keep Elizabeth May out of the TV debate, and his ongoing refusal to even talk to her about a deal to keep Harper out of power) has done nothing but backfire.
In this riding, the Green vote rose as high as it's going to rise with the almost-competent David Chernushenko, who ran second to Elizabeth May in that party's 2006 leadership race. However, he's no longer a leading figure in the party due mostly to his association with discredited figures like Jim Harris, Wayne Crookes, Debbie Hartley and Dermod Travis, all of whom figured prominently in the party's internal turmoil in 2005 and 2006. One of the ugly aspects of that turmoil was the filing of several S.L.A.P.P. suits against critics of the party, threats to do so again came from the Director of Communications John Bennett in this (2008) election. All of these discredited figures either threatened or filed such lawsuits. It's fair to say the Green Party of Canada is outgrowing these people and their tactics, as it recently swore not to repeat such fiascos.
Greens are dreaming if they think they will ever do better than David Chernushenko in this riding in the forseeable future. He was endorsed by the Citizen over Ed Broadbent (!) but still managed to come fourth in the 2006 election. This is a star candidate? Sorry folks, definite NDP hold, these other no-names will not get The Citizen's endorsement and they will not threaten a popular NDP incumbent in an election where Liberals are on the decline in an ABC riding.
08 09 15 Bernard Manning
Former Major Marion Dewar has passed away today and that is going to get a great deal of local press coverage. Hate to say it that way, but this is politics, and them's the breaks.
08 09 14 ChrisB
Looking at signs in the Glebe/Centretown, I notice many signs for all parties on public property, but Dewar signs on private property already outnumbering the combined opposition 5-1. I have yet to see a single McGarry sign on somebody’s front lawn.
08 09 14 Bernard Manning
Its a 'Tale of two Ridings.' The Dippers poll very strongly in the centre, east and south. This diminishes west of Bronson Avenue, where it is not unusual to see all parties signs up on the same side of the street and no two neighbors agreeing.
08 09 14 Jay Fitzsimmons
Some people are assuming Green Party votes will decrease from the 10.2% received in the 2006 election since David Chernushenko is no longer the candidate. I completely disagree with that assumption. First of all the new candidate, Jen Hunter, is quite good. Second of all, in the 2007 provincial election Ottawa Centre's Green candidate, Greg Laxton, received 12.3% of the vote. This suggests that Green popularity has increased in Ottawa Centre since 2006. ie- even without David Chernushenko there are plenty of people in Ottawa Centre voting Green. I predict an increase in Green Party vote percentage in Ottawa Centre this election. The Greens are pulling a lot of former PROGRESSIVE conservatives, as well as NDPers and Liberals. It's going to be difficult to predict just how well they'll do, but that they'll do even better than they did in 2006 should be assumed in my opinion.
08 09 14 Stray
Another day, another walk-about. This time I strolled along the eastern part of Ottawa Centre (between Main and Bank Streets), a portion of the riding that tends more towards the Liberals and Green in lawn sign support. That being said, the NDP have their signs out and there are more of than any of the other parties. The Liberals have a fair number out, as well and there were almost as many Green signs out as in previous elections. However, there is nothing here that suggests that the NDP won't win this riding. Again, I did not go in a very large portion of the riding, but things are shaping up as they did in 2006. Therefore, I am looking for the same result.
08 09 14 northbynorthwest
I don't follow the strategy cited here to vote Liberal in this riding to stop a Harper majority when there already is a NDP incumbent who does that.
In other ridings, as Layton challenges Dion for the mantle of Opposition Leader (Toronto Star, Sept. 14, Grits, NDP Pulling Even), strategic voting so often the curse of the NDP may well work in their favour this time. I mean Liberals voting NDP to increase the odds of a minority government, a down payment on having another run at government in a few years, with a new leader.
08 09 12 Marco Ricci
I don't know about other areas of Ottawa Centre yet, but the NDP appear to have the lead in the Glebe so far. I work in the Glebe and I have noticed that only Paul Dewar seems to have lawn signs out yet. This may be because as the incumbent you have the advantage of knowing where the voters from last time are, but it may also mean that the other parties are behind so far.
Penny Collenette of the Liberals has a chance to win this riding, but it doesn't look like she is making the impact she needs to yet. Whether the Liberals can win back this riding will also depend on the national numbers too and those don't look too good yet. Still, it's only week 1 - we'll see where the other parties are in a few weeks from now.
08 09 13 Bernard Manning
You have a point. If you compare 04 to 06 (comparatively) the NDP went down a bit (-1K), the CPC went up a bit (+2K) the Greens went up a lot (+2K) and the Liberals despite all their perceived Martin/Mahoney woes remained rock solid at about 19K but still (-5K) behind the Dippers instead of (-6K). What to make of this? Ottawa Centre was one of the few Ontario ridings where more people voted, so that is a good thing and indicates they like a good fight! Like a lot of urban centre ridings we have become Condoland - I believe there have been 6,000+ units constructed in the last few years. They are expensive and have brought in the empty nester who go CPC to protect their last investment should the 24/7 security fail at the gate. If McGarry vaults to 2nd place he will be nicely positioned next go around in say Carleton-Mississippi Mills to replace a wingnut like Gord o'Connor. The green NDP went to the Greens who had a very agreeable candidate Churneshenko. New immigrants come from a scattering of countries and are finding a home with the NDP as their Canadian dream falls apart. Our taxi drivers have more degrees than a box of thermometers. It is early days, but I just can't see it budging much.
08 09 13 Amy M.
I can feel a change in Ottawa Centre.
While a lot of people voted NDP here because of Dewar's last name, and running off the coattails of Ed Broadbent, I think the riding is too scared of a Tory majority that they will strategically vote for Penny Colennette, the Liberal candidate.
Plus, the streets are filled with Liberal signs - no NDP signs to be seen.
08 09 12 King of Kensington
The Conservatives have no chance of taking this riding. They couldn't take the seat during the 1970s and 1980s, except bizarrely in a 1978 byelection. Ottawa Center is a very progressive and urban riding where the Conservatives do not fare well. I expect the NDP to hold that they won by a comfortable margin last time and the Liberals are in very poor shape right now. Having a strong red Tory type run will just result in a few Liberal votes going Conservative and an increase in the NDP margin of victory.
08 09 11 B.A.S.
I agree that McGarry is a brilliant strategic chice for the Conservatives. He appeals to centrist voters who are turned off by the strong shift to the left by the Liberals under Dion. He will also benefit from vote splitting given an expected surge in Green support as a result of Lizzie May's high profile. McGarry will build on the solid Conservative base of around 25 percent of the vote and come up the middle.
08 09 08 Bernard Manning
Yes. Brian McGarry is a very good tactical pick for the CPC, almost a throwback to a different era. He's as Red Tory as they come and a perception that he is really a Blue Liberal at heart will bleed votes away from an already crowded Left. That can only be good for the NDP and bad for the Liberals.
08 09 06 Mark Bourrie
I think Dewar will hold this riding. The Tories are running Brian McGarry, someone who actually has some name recognition and some cred with the local business community. This should draw down some of the Liberal vote. As well, the 8,000 votes that went to the Greens last time are very much in play. The Greens will still poll fairly high, but at least half of their 2006 voters will either stay home or go to the NDP and, somewhat, to the Liberals.
Expect a big ground war here, which favors the NDP's get-the-vote-out tactics. People in the riding will see far more NDP people at their door than Liberals.
08 09 04 Bernard Manning
I can't see Penny Collenette having much of any effect. Eastern Ontario has swung very Blue and Dewar seems safe enough right now because all he has to do is sit back and watch PC-Lib tear each other apart. He even gets a bit of help by everyone beating up on John Baird next door in Ottawa West-Nepean. There are 9 seats in the National Capital Region and the Tories got 6, the Grits 2 and the Dippers 1. In the 8 rural ridings the Tories got 7 and the Liberals 1. It won't come down to a popularity contest for the third time! Ottawa Centre is very unusual in that all four parties can garner a fair chunk of the vote. Last time it was roughly;
NDP 37%
LIB 29%
PC 23%
GRN 10%
In a big win the candidate gets 50+%, a solid win 40+%, even a recount is neck-and-neck at 40%/40% (Parry Sound-Muskoka) So Dewar and the Dippers got in with what was very probably the lowest % of votes in any seat in Ontario (and maybe the country?) by not having to be super popular. I can't really see this changing, other than the Liberals swapping places with the Tories and coming in third.
08 09 03 rebel
I cannot agree to any description of Penny Collenette being a strong candidate. So she was the head of Chretien's patronage appointments section in the PMO for many years. That carries a lot of baggage as far as I can see. This should be a good three way race that I wouldn't want to call at present, except to say that the NDP is favoured.
08 09 03 JP Bouchard
I think it will go Liberal, only because the candidate herself is so strong.
This has been a usually-Liberal riding - only to change when Broadbent was elected. The current MP, god bless his soul, was only elected on Broadbent's coattails and his mother's name.
As an MP the only thing he seems to talk about is making downtown Ottawa a bike path.
08 09 01 Stray
One of the things that needs to be watched is whether the Green Party can keep the 6800 votes they got in the last election. David Chernushenko had run in five elections, both federally and provincially and was a familiar name. If there is a loss of any votes, it would be interesting to see where they end up. But even if all of the drifting green votes go Liberal, it is still too wide a gap to make up. While it may be a smaller margin of victory this time, the NDP will retain this seat.
08 03 15 Curley, Larry and Moe
In a close race like Ottawa Centre, the local candidate can make a big difference. In this case, Paul Dewar is simply going to out work Penny Collette at the doors. All three of us have seen both candidates in action. Collette thinks she's already taken the seat and isn't working like it's actually an NDP riding. Dewar, may not be the second coming of Ed Broadbent but he knows in order to hold his seat, he needs to show up at every event in the riding and knock on every door. That's why Dewar beats Collette. This riding stays with the NDP.
08 02 29 Doug The Slug
Penny will prove the Collonettes are a spent force in federal politics when she fails to take this seat for the Liberals. Paul Dewar proved to be a strong campaigner in 2006 when most people wrote him off in the race against Richard Mahoney. The NDP are going to sin any other seat in this section of Ontario but they'll keep this one without a doubt.
08 02 26 Peg Leg Pete
Paul Dewar vs Penny Collenette is going to be one of those races to watch on election night. Ottawa Centre is the only riding the NDP hold in eastern Ontario and they'll pull volunteers from every riding from Kingston eastward into Ottawa Centre to try to hold on. You'll know how well Dewar is doing by how many times the NDP drag poor old Ed Broadbent out to campaign here. The more you see Ed, the more trouble Dewar has.
Penny Collenette on the other side has the backing of all the old Chretien Liberals who want to see her do well. Right now, I don't see any sitting Liberals in Ottawa in trouble so the party will be sending in a lot of volunteers from the rest of the national capital area to help Collenette.
This means the streets of Ottawa Centre will be filled with NDP and Liberal armies who will knock on every door and pull every vote they can.
I have to give a slight edge to Dewar as the sitting MP and because the NDP will have more soldiers on the streets because this riding is all they have the eastern region. Jack Layton will make a weekly stop in Ottawa Centre during the writ period because there are so few ridings the NDP are competative in. Collenette needs help from the leader to win and Dion is going to take such a horrible beating from the media and Conservative attack ads that he won't be able to make a positive difference for Collenette. I predict Dewar wins by 900 votes.
08 01 08 Bernard Manning
You are getting it mixed up. Ottawa Centre is not a ‘by-election’ The Martin Liberals maneuvered the riding out of that dilemma two elections ago and they still lost both on the bounce to the NDP! Yes, the Liberals will win the TO Centre and Willowdale by-elections in a cake walk, but what bearing does that have on Ottawa Centre? There is and NDP Broadbent/Dewar incumbent. Maybe a better strategy for the Liberals would have been to move one of Rae, Hall Findlay or Kennedy to Ottawa Centre and trade Collenette to one of the TO ridings. That would also have broken up the Fortress Toronto mentality. We have a hung Parliament and are supposed to be looking for a clear winner, after all.
08 01 07
A lot of Liberals sat on their hands last election because they didn't really want to support Richard Mahoney who was a very polarizing figure in the Chretien-Martin wars. With a new candidate, even one who is lower-profile, the Liberal vote would likely go up. Unfortunately, Penny Collenette is caught up in the very same intra-party strife as Mahoney.
07 12 19 binriso
So according to seasaw the Liberals are going to win Ottawa Centre and Trinity Spadina, but probably lose Parkdale High Park? I know Kennedy was the one who put Dion into the leadership, but it was a pretty logical choice, theyre both on the left of the party, Dion was kind of a compromise candidate like McGuinty in 1996. Any backlash from that for Kennedy should be negated by the fact that he is a super-star candidate. And of course he is on the left, held the riding provincially by landslide margins twice. The NDP margin is also only 2000 votes there. As for here, Liberals might increase their votes a bit since they have a good candidate, but they had Richard Mahoney here twice with good support from Martin and he lost by more than 5000 each time. Greens will probably bleed a lot of votes, a few to each other party but more to the NDP from the left-wing greens and a few moderates.
07 12 10 seasaw
Liberal Gain. The prospects of having a majority CPC government, will take many NDP votes to the Liberals. Also the Liberals are losing a lot of their right of centre voters to the Tories, so they'll be gunning for the soft NDP votes. I'd say the Liberals'll take this one by less than 1,000.
07 11 12 Bernard Manning
You have a point. The Conservatives have been universally awful in this riding and never do much more than parachute in a Candidate from somewhere, anywhere, in Eastern Ontario and wait for the miracle that never happens. That's 10-15k votes regardless and it never moves. The Greens are a presence that cannot be denied and that is 5k-8k votes. So, in this riding you have 15k-23k voters who vote regardless of the fact that their Candidate can never win. It all comes down to NDP vs. Liberal. I don't think that Dewar is a very strong MP, quite the opposite. I do agree that he is a very popular MP and there are obviously many in this riding who identify strongly with him based on his prior pre-political life as someone who had a real job, went to work and is raising his young family. That is particularly appealing to female/family/senior voters of which there is that strange mixture of demographic in this riding. The Liberals know this and now we have Penny Collenette, but she seems too little and all too late for their cause. She is a bit 'old' in a political sense for this riding, and I do not wish to be unkind. In hindsight she would have been a much better Candidate than Mahoney in the last two. Dewar is going to be very difficult to dislodge.
07 11 10 binriso
Also the person who said that this was the highest vote share for the Greens is incorrect, since that went to Shane Jolley in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound in 2006 and Andrew Lewis in 2004 in Saanich Gulf Islands. This time we might even see a 2nd place CPC finish but if that happened the NDP would probably be up by about 8-10000 votes here. Easy win.
07 11 02 Adam H.
Yes, Haqvi pulled it off, but I think it had more to do with factors outside of the NDP's control than anything else. Even though the Greens were expected to do well, they took 12% of the vote in Ottawa Centre, pulling votes from all parties, especially the NDP in this riding. More importantly, the poorly run PC campaign (see religious school funding) drew many of the centrist Glebe area votes strongly into the Liberal camp. (This is not to mention that Trina Morrisette was a weak candidate for the Tories)Thirdly, it certainly helps the Liberals that Mr. McGuinty is right next door in Ottawa South.
Federally, this riding will stay NDP in the next election barring a Liberal resurgence and an NDP collapse, which are both unlikely at this point. Dewar is a very strong MP, and will benefit from incumbency as well as the federal NDP's position as the party that best represents urban issues. Also, the Conservatives are bound to run a strong campaign that will draw voters from the Glebe away from the Liberals. Finally, Chernushenko isn't running again for the Greens, so a few of those votes will bleed back to the NDP, as well as the other parties. The Liberals would need a star candidate in a potential Liberal-election year to get this one back.
07 10 17 Bernard Manning
Well, spoke too soon! Haqvi pulled it off for the Provincial Liberals by about 2,000 down from the outgoing incumbents 9,000 but still solid enough. So now we have NDP-Federal and Liberal-Provincial as before. What this tells us is there are enough Liberals in Ottawa Centre to win it Federally but they are not voting for the Federal Liberals. They stopped pulling themselves apart publicly for the Provincial Election but now they are back at it again.
07 10 05 Bernard Manning
You're right. Unless the Liberal Party had decided to put in a definately Left leaning Liberal heavyweight such as a Bob Rae or Gerard Kennedy you are not gong to get this one back. Paul Dewar has taken up the mantle for Ed Broadbent and at his age looks set to take his seat for a long time as all the demographics slide slowly but surely his way. It is settling into NDP Federally and Liberal Provincially.
07 10 01 binriso
The NDP will win here pretty comfortably again. I dont think the CPC or the Liberals will be too far apart in vote totals probably 25ish each with the NDP up at around 35-40. You know Bob Rae(who is originally from Ottawa) might have given the Liberals a chance here but honestly without any stars, anyone else will be hard pressed to beat Paul Dewar.
07 08 06 A.S.
Chernushenko's departure certainly appears to help the NDP, though a lot of Ellie May-hating Dippers might sarcastically claim it'll benefit Liberals and Tories instead--then again, Ottawa Centre's been so traditionally Green-strong, it's difficult to imagine Ellie May will simply ‘throw’ the Chernushenko-less seat. But right now, if Liberal/Tory/Green opponents here form such a comedy of riches, that'll more likely work to cancel each other out on behalf of the incumbent. Ottawa Centre-ites are now pretty much used to the NDP, and Paul Dewar's high on the ‘likely successor to Layton’ list--maybe what we should be keeping our eyes out for isn't Dewar's defeat, but both sides of the Chaudiere painted orange...
07 07 17 Porter
This one just became a lot more solid for the NDP!
David Chernushenko has resigned his position as deputy leader of the Green Party and will not be running in Ottawa against NDP incumbent Paul Dewar.
Chernushenko was very popular in several areas of the riding, greatly increasing the GPC tallies 2004 and 2006 and having the highest vote count of any Green Party candidate in the 2006 election at 10.2%. He was endorsed by the Ottawa Citizen in both 2004 and 2006 elections.
07 04 17 R.D.
The Ottawa Citizen reports that Mahoney abandoned this riding to take a shot at the Liberal nomination in Pontiac, PQ instead:
If Mahoney was ready to throw in the towel in Ottawa Centre to try and unseat a Quebec Tory instead, I think that the NDP has this riding locked up. By the way, Mahoney lost the Pontiac Liberal nomination, too.
07 04 08 Joe
Another election, another round of predictions that the NDP can't win this seat.
First many predicted Broadbent couldn't overcome the Liberal support in the riding. Then more predicted the NDP couldn't win it without Broadbent.
When will it end. If Dewar won it last time, he'll win it again this time. The NDP has started to again poll around the same range of votes it recieved in the last election, with the Liberals starting to drop.
This is a pretty easy seat to predict. NDP.
07 04 08 Brian Appel
The numbers for the NDP in Canada, and in Ontario in particular, are grisly indeed. Latest poll by the ever-reliable SES put the NDP at 15% in Ontario, down 4% since the election. The Conservatives, whose fortunes are rising in Canada's largest province, have no chance here, but should take enough votes to let the Liberal candidate take the seat. I call a Liberal gain.
07 04 05 Rob C
Former Regional Councilor and ‘Funeral Director to the Prime Ministers’ Brian McGarry is the CPC candidate. Frequent candidate David Chernushenko is running for the Greens. 3 Liberals have declared interest or are considering seeking the nomination: Gerard Kennedy organizer Scott Bradley, U of O Professor / Lawyer Penny Collenette (Yes the wife of former MP and Chrétien loyalist David Collenette), and the Liberal candidate last two times around Martin confidante Richard Mahoney. Current media speculation suggests Mahoney may opt out or run in another riding.
At this time, I believe this riding will remain in the hands of the NDP regardless of who the Liberal nominee is. The Conservatives may fair slightly better with the better known McGarry this time around, but there is no evidence to suggest a three-way race is developing.
Consideration: @ 10% in the last election, this was one of the best performing Green ridings. The Green Party is the only party to see its vote consistently rise in this riding over the last 5 federal elections. IF the Greens target this district in the next election, it could move this riding into more competitive territory especially if Layton's NDP continues to cede environmental support to both the Liberals and the Greens.
07 04 04 W.B.
Dewar as a relative unknown won this seat comfortably last election, and he has since done a very credible job as MP. It seems the Liberal candidate will be Penny Collenette. She has extensive party connections, but as a former Chretien backroom operative will have the same aura of corruption that hurt Mahoney. The Conservatives, while running a strong candidate, have no hope in this riding. McGarry will only help Dewar by drawing more Liberal votes.
07 04 02 free_thinker
Im calling this for the Conservatives for two reasons. One, a very well known candidate who has been campaigning for quite some time. Two, a proper vote split will put him right over the top. I seriously think this riding is a three-way race.
07 03 25 King of Kensington
This riding should stay NDP. Some had claimed it only went NDP because Ed Broadbent was running (and indeed it helped) but in the last election Paul Dewar won by quite a comfortable margin.

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