Prediction Changed
11:15 AM 02/04/2007

Election Prediction Project

Richmond Hill
Federal Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

New Democratic
Dowsett, Wess
Leung, Chungsen
Marando, Dylan
Wilfert, Bryon

Hon. Bryon Wilfert

2006 Result:
Bryon Wilfert **
Joe Di Paola
Wess Dowsett
Tim Rudkins

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

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08 09 20 R.O.
As part of my tour I passed thru Richmond Hill but did not get to see as many residential areas as I would of liked to. But still did notice a lot. From what I saw the signs were somewhat telling. The liberal mp from what I saw was using many signs from the previously election as they looked like they had older liberal logo and I though a couple other liberal mps in nearby ridings were doing the same. The conservative Chungsen Leung had up a lot of signs but only small signs did not see any large ones like in other ridings could be a sign this riding is not yet a top conservative prospect. Also saw some small ndp signs along main road as well. The riding is also changing a lot many new condos are going up and demographics becoming much more ethnic. Those may be a factor in the final outcome here.
08 09 14 Frank Fraccaro
Wilfert has done a good job for this riding, but let's face it even if he had not the Italian/Iranian/Chinese residents of Richmond Hill are not going to cast a vote for any other part anyway. There is some old time conservative support here, but so is NDP in the northern parts of the town. Liberal guaranteed win here...
08 09 04 PY
I have relatives up in this riding too. Now, while Harper's apology for the head tax was well received as a sign of goodwill from the Conservatives, the government's constant antagonizing of Chinese officials has shattered that completely as they're not likely to talk with us anytime soon.
The fact that David Emerson has decided to call it quits certainly won't help matters and there's no guarantee that Senator Fortier will be in a position to step up to try and salvage our relationship with China.
Thus, for the most part, the local Chinese community will have no incentive or reason whatsoever to dare think about the Conservatives and won't be afraid to punish Cheungsen Leung.
08 08 17 seasaw
Don't be so quick to count the CPC out in this riding. Yes, a 12,000 vote gap is very large, however, old voting blocks don't matter anymore. If one looks at the results of previous ( both federal and provincial ) elections in the GTA, they'll find ridings that even voted 70% for one candidate, only to turf them out next time around. To make the correct prediction in a riding like this, one has to wait until the campaign starts and see which direction it is going. In the next election it could go either Liberal or CPC.
08 04 15 The Jackal
The gap which Mr.Wilfert will win will likely be narrowed especially if CPC hovers around majority terrority. But the fact he was won handily since his first election in 1997 and that he is a strong Dion loyalist will give him the resources he needs( not that he will really need them.)
08 02 29 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
Would someone please give the starry-eyed conservative supporters a clue?! It discredits all the other reasonable, well though out CPC predictions made by rational conservative and non-conservative supporters! It's a fair statement to say the CPC is more competitive in the farther-flung burbs than say...oh...Etobicoke (wait a minute...some think Etobicoke Centre will fall to the CPC), but an 11K gap is a HUGE gap. Yes it was narrower than the win in previous elections but that was because the Liberals support went down nationally. No big secret or surprises there! Now let's talk ‘ethnic conservative candidate’. That card was played in previous electionprdiction-go-rounds. It didn't help the CPC in other 905 ridings (Mississauga, Brampton to name just two cities where it was tried). Conservatives appealing to Italians? PLEASE! If that were the case then ridings like Eglington-Lawrence in Toronto or NDG-Lachine and StLeonard-St Micheal in Montreal would be going Conservative. They aren't, not even remotely close. Same can be said for the Jewish community, and that horse has been beaten to death on the discussion boards for Thornhill, Willowdale and even Mount Royal. Most in the Jewish community like Harper's pro-Israel stance, but it is NOT a ballot question. Had you said that they like Harper's economic stance or something more practical and more Canada-oriented, then we may buy into that argument. Quite frankly, Jews are not running to the CPC as predictors like to pretend. Oh, maybe perhaps there is a trend of ethnic voters away from the Liberals and in 10 years things will be different. Hate to break it to you but the election is going to be much sooner than 10 years! Let's try to predict THIS election, not the third or fourth one from now. Then there is the poll numbers, that despite one poll (which was proven to be an outlier as three other polls were released within 36 hours of this first one that disagreed with it) still has the CPC at or below how they did in the last federal election. Which means they will not make up 11K votes unless something spectacular happens in this riding (or the 905 itself). Besides, every electionprediction-go-round the discussion board is peppered with those starry-eyed conservative supporters who think Wilfert will be taken down by some miracle or spectacular circumstances. We point to the 2006 election, where a one Lisa Calabrese said, ‘His (conservative candidate Joe DiPaola) victory will be studied as a blueprint by the Party as to how Conservatives can win traditional Liberal seats’. We almost stood up and saluted at that statement. Needless to say it was proven ridiculous.
08 02 25
I really don't buy predictions that this riding is slam dunk for the Liberals - it's not. First, this riding is farther away from the central Toronto Liberal heartland, so the CPC is more competitive here. Throughout 2004 and 2006, Liberal MP Wilfert garnered a consistent 27 000 vote, but note that in 2006, the CPC actually gained 5000 votes. That's a solid vote increase that closed the gap substantially. A strong ethnic Conservative candidate in Chungsen Leung has a strong chance of wiggling this riding loose from the Liberals.
There was a poster who pointed out that Jewish, Italian, and Chinese communities were die-hard Liberal voters. That is true to some extent - these communities have had a long tradition in supporting the Liberals. However, I believe a slow but sure shift is happening in the favour of the Conservatives. The Conservatives appeal to the Chinese and Italians because both cultures actually lean right-ish with emphasis on strong family ties. The Chinese Headtax Redress definitely increased the Conservative profile with Chinese-Canadians. With respects to the Jewish community, Harper's strong stance in support of Israel has appealed to many Jewish voters. I believe that in 10 years, the whole political spectrum will be changed with the ethnic vote being an open field between the Liberals and Conservatives. (as opposed to being monopolized for the Liberals).
08 01 30 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
Conservatives being a real challenge here? Not buying it! The Liberal brand name still holds much sway amongst ethnic voters. Granted not as much sway as it did back in the day, but still enough to matter. That coupled with Wilfert's excellent record will keep it Liberal. Eleven thousand votes is A LOT of votes that the CPC need to overcome. Not happening unless the consistently poll within majority numbers (they are now at 29% compared to 36% last election).
08 01 22 seasaw
Byron Wilfert has represented this riding well, however, this is a typical suburban GTA riding, lots of Canadians of Chinese, Iranian, Jewish and Italian descent. That alone, should make this a very safe liberal seat, right ? Wrong!!! The brand name Liberal no longer guarantees ethnic votes, like it did 40 years ago. Most people living in suburban areas were not drawn to Mr Wilfert because he was a liberal, they were drawn to his leaders Chretien and Martin. Dion, sadly, has not positioned himself as another Chretien or Martin. Harper has shown strong leadership. Dion still has time to turn this around. But as of right now, it's a battle of Wilfert's good record vs Harper's leadership. Interesting
07 07 29 A.S.
In a Mulroney-era past life, Richmond Hill would have been solid Tory; but that's when it was a fraction of its present size and ethno-racial diversity--more like Peter Van Loan country than Bryon Wilfert country. (As such, it might also have been sorta-competitive for the NDP into the 60s and 70s, and definitely in Bob Rae's golden provincial year of 1990.) Today, the Jewish-Asian GTA Liberal calipers have apparently clasped it but good--*how* good, who knows, even if RH lacks the ultra-orthodox ?Asper Tory? Jewish enclaves of Thornhill or York Centre or Eglinton-Lawrence. But it's only likely to fall in the event of a clear Mulroney '88-style Tory majority--even a decent municipal-pol CPC candidate barely dented the Liberal advantage last time.
07 04 03 St. Paul's Progressive
This should easily stay Liberal. It only be competitive if the Conservatives ran someone like Frank Klees here and instead they've nominated a low profile candidate. Unlike some 905 ridings which are heavily WASP where the Conservatives are more competitive, Richmond Hill has large Chinese, Italian and Jewish communities which are solidly Liberal.
07 03 29 M. Lunn
Of the 905 belt ridings that do not border Toronto, this is probably the safest Liberal one so even if the Tories gain in the 905, this won't be one. Besides Bryon Wilfert was one of the first supporters of Dion so he will almost certainly get a cabinet post if the Liberals win the next election.

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