Prediction Changed
6:04 PM 11/10/2008

Election Prediction Project

Thunder Bay-Rainy River
Federal Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

Aegard, Russ
Boshcoff, Ken
Neumann, Richard
New Democratic
Rafferty, John

Ken Boshcoff

2006 Result:
Ken Boshcoff **
John Rafferty
David Leskowski
Russ Aegard
Doug MacKay

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

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08 09 27 NJam101
I really don't want to say it but this is likely to be an NDP pick-up. It will probably be very close. There was surprisingly strong CPC support here in the last election for a Northern Ontario riding. The trend in Northern Ontario seems to be NDP and with the economy the way it is, people are not really inclined to support the current government. If the Liberals don't win government it often gives people here all the more reason to vote NDP.
08 09 26 Fozzy
Though it is by no means an accurate or scientific theory, quick, non-official sign count in the Atikokan area has the Liberals in front by a pretty wide margin, at least 3:2, maybe even 2:1. Areas of the town seem divided; Don Park is almost entirely NDP, while Hemlock is almost unanimously Liberal. I have counted 2 Conservative signs, with a few others placed on public property. I have yet to encounter a Green Party sign, though I expect to see a few before election day.
The local newspaper will provide a more accurate sign count (though I have a feeling 'For Sale' will no doubt hold the biggest lead) closer to election time.
As well, I have encountered both the NDP and the Liberal candidate on numerous occasions - Rafferty, who has his usual spot in front of the post office, and Boshcoff, who actually was going door-to-door with his campaign team. I have yet to meet the other candidates in my daily travels.
08 09 25 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
No Pete, you did not say ‘areas of this province where the per capita income is low like Hamilton etc., tend to favour the NDP’ you said, ‘The NDP are strong in Ontario cities like Windsor, Hamilton, Sudbury and the Soo. These are run down cities where angry and frustrated people cast their protest votes for the NDP.’ This insinuates that these cities are dumps and people who live here and so angry that they can not clearly choose someone whom they think is the best candidate for them. Someone calls you on it and you soften your stance. What you said is just insulting to people who live in these cities. Have you been to Sudbury? Hardly run colar yes, but not run down. And though neither of us are experts on Sault Ste Marie, the parts we have seen aren't in bad shape. Have you been to places like Forest Glade in Windsor? What about Hamilton Mountain? These aren't run down areas but they voted NDP. Explain why some argue that Westmount, richest area in Montreal and Yuppy-Condo-Land of Vancouver Centre are competetive for the NDP? Maybe it's because you don't have to be poor, angry or frustrated to vote NDP but actually agree with their policies. Thing is, northern Ontarians have found the NDP to be attractive. Why else are the NDP competetive in seven of the ten northern ridings? In this riding they got 33% vs 35% for the Liberals in 2006. The Liberals are looking worse and worse these days, yet the NDP are polling at or above what they got in '06. All that's needed is a slight pull of the Grit vote towards the CPC and the NDP will take it. Fair enough, your reasons for a Liberal win are legitimate, however the insinuation of the earlier post is insulting. Expect harsh comments to get a harsh criticism.
08 09 25 Peg Leg Pete
Now the paranoid Ape and Bear guy thinks he's going to be attacked by the heads of a political hydra(?)! All I said was that areas of this province where the per capita income is low like Hamilton etc., tend to favour the NDP, just like area where the per capita is high like Oakville and Burlington tend the favour the Liberals or Conservatives. So, with Thunder Bay being the most prosperous part of northern Ontario, a NDP win is unlikely. I also said that there is no great dislike for Liberal MP Ken Boshcoff who is generally seen as an honest, hard working representative for Thunder Bay-Rainy River. These are legitimate reasons for predicting the Liberals win this riding and I DO NOT deserve the continuing personal attacks from Prof Ape and Doc Bear that keep going on and on.
08 09 25 Time to Pay the Piper
I think it's perfectly reasonable to point out that NDP tend to do better in economically depressed areas whether it's Windsor or downtown Toronto. Dealing with Thunder Bay-Rainy River, the stumbling block for the NDP is how well the Green Party has done. I know the Libs have lost some support to the Greens but not to the same extent the NDP do. Why do you think Jack Layton attacks the Greens so much and wanted Liz May kept out of the debate? Sitting MP Boshcoff still has the best political machine in Thunder Bay and will do a much better job getting his vote out. Libs win this one
08 09 25 Shotgun Willie
I find the anger in the previous prediction quite confusing and unprofessional and wonder what that's really all about but clearly there are both Liberals and New Democrats who feel quite heated about Thunder Bay-Rainy River. Getting back to what I believe will happen here. Looking at the history of elections in Northern Ontario, there isn't another region where being the incumbent is more important. For candidates challenging the incumbent it is difficult in a large riding to gain name recognition. This results in very little turnover in ridings in this region both at the provincial and federal levels. I am not saying there is no chance of the NDP winning this riding but their chances would have improved if they had chosen a new more dynamic candidate than John Rafferty. In the end I see the Liberal incumbent Boshcoff holding off Rafferty win a very close victory.
08 09 25 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
So one of the heads of the resident political hydra is recycling its old insulting talking points that only Canada's version of the third world could and would ever vote NDP. Guess places like Toronto, Ottawa and London should also be included on the list of run down cities filled with angry, desperate people. How else could that explain the competitiveness of the NDP in these cities? Well here's a news flash, the NDP are doing very well across northern Ontario (exception being Nip-Timisk) and still have much support in mining and forestry. The green shift is not resonating with folks here and the Liberals are perceived as weak. The NDP were very competitive here in '06 and it's looking like they will do better. The talking points that Green votes are mostly taken from the NDP are nonsense as many polls show a shift from all parties and some even show the largest shift coming from the Conservatives. Suppose we can expect now the other hydra heads to start spamming this page in a vain hope that this would somehow shift the final outcome of the vote....
08 09 23 Peg Leg Pete
The NDP are strong in Ontario cities like Windsor, Hamilton, Sudbury and the Soo. These are run down cities where angry and frustrated people cast their protest votes for the NDP. Having spent 3 months in T-Bay this year I can report the city is nowhere near run down and desperate enough to vote NDP. The downtown core is alive with people and stores remain open. There aren't the slum-like conditions you see in Hamilton or the Soo. Without an economic colapse, Ken Boskcof is well liked. The NDP continue to have that problem of having their voter base sliding over to the Green Party as a flashier protest vote. This will still be a Liberal riding when they finish counting the votes on October 14.
08 09 13 Jeff R.
I'd love to say the Liberals hold but I've got to agree we're looking at a probable SLIM victory for the NDP here.
Dion is seen as a lackluster leader at best, and his recent personal visit to Thunder Bay did little to change that. The morning drive radio show I listened to the next morning got quite some mileage out of making fun of him. If the Liberals can pull out this win it will all be thanks to Boschoff and in spite of Dione's leadership - he is not very popular here.
Although he's been a perennial loser, Rafferty is well liked and respected and has a very high profile considering he's never held a seat as an MP or MPP (as far as I know, though he has run several times).
Rafferty's loss in the provincials was RAZOR thin (someone said 50 votes though I think it was more), and I think there's a general air of wanting a bit of change from the Liberals. The Conservatives are a non-starter in this riding (I don't think they'd have much of a chance even if they hadn't handicapped themselves with a newbie candidate), and like most ridings the Greens are no threat at all. That leaves the NDP and their high-profile candidate who just seems 'due' for a win. The NDP will also benefit from the recent re-jigging (Gerrymandering?) of the riding's borders, it now includes a big chunk of 'Howard Hampton Country' which will help the NDP and hurt the Liberals, and Jack Layton is making this riding a priority pick-up, he's already visited and will be back - probably more than once.
I don't think the expulsion of Joe Comuzzi from the Liberals is as big a deal in THIS riding as some others seem to believe, but it is an issue that will definitely have a SMALL effect on the outcome - unfortunately a small effect might be enough to tip the scales in what it looks like we're all suspecting will be incredibly close. Ditto on the carbon tax - not a big deal but maybe big enough.
A bigger issue, I think, is that the recent mill closings will be pinned on who the voters know - the Conservative Government (fair to blame) and their Liberal MP (not fair to blame) which will hurt both those candidates. Jobs is obviously a big issue here, and since the NDP is making that message a priority and they haven't been in power for so long - therefore how can they be blamed? - they'll probably win some points here.
What the Liberals have on their side:
1) Again, a well known candidate in Boschoff who could easily pull this out.
2) A long, long, long, long, long history of voting Liberal in this riding, which every other poster here has seemed to touch on.
3) The Liberals probably still hold the advantage with voters in Thunder Bay, which is a lot of voters in this small northern riding... on the other hand, they really can't afford to finish THIRD outside of Thunder Bay again... how was that allowed to happen?
This adds up to a small edge for the NDP. Boschoff probably has a slight personal lead over Rafferty but the Liberals simply face a lot of negatives here (both fair and unfair). But I will not be surprised if the Liberals still pull it out, and nobody should be. The Conservatives and Greens have NO hope here.
This will be one of the most exciting races to watch as it could go either way and will definitely be close, close, close!
08 09 12 northbynorthwest
I agree that a razor-thin NDP victory is most likely this time, almost a long, long evening in reverse from 2006 when Boschoff pulled even and ahead. Both Dion and Layton have visited Thunder Bay in the first week of the campaign. I suspect both will be back at least a second time if not more. Rafferty should win by a significant amount -- NDP has been mailing literature into the riding for the entire Parliament; Liberals are getting hit hard for all their abstentions in Parliament and not standing up for the north; Rafferty's personal work and name out there for all of his second-place finishes federally and provincially. However, Boschoff has personal, popular appeal and there is that Northern Ontario Liberal entitlement to votes, what their grandfathers and grandmothers put in their DNA. Hard to break.
08 09 11 J.B.
My reasonings behind a VERY SLIM NDP win:
1. The NDP's John Rafferty is the perennial loser, BUT he's dramatically increased his presence at both the federal and provincial level. He's well-known throughout the riding.
2. Stephane Dion's expulsion of ex-Liberal Joe Comuzzi monopolized the local Thunder Bay media, and it completely overshadowed Ken Boshcoff. The current Liberal leader pales in comparison to his predecessors!
3. The Conservatives will definitely lose support because they're running a new candidate.
Jack Layton is definitely going to make this region a priority.
08 09 11 Swift
PY, if this is a big enough issue to get the Liberals back in the race (which I doubt,) it will also get the Conservatives back in.
08 09 10 PY
I was watching CPAC's highlights from the leaders' tours last night when I immediately noticed that Jack Layton was being given grief in Thunder Bay by a few people attending a rally there for preparing the questions and questioners well in advance and for apparently fooling some just laid-off millworkers into attending the rally, which they were told was a union meeting to discuss what their next steps were.
I'm not surprised about having seen all that unfold, including Layton's poor attempts to defend himself, but certainly there are people who are going to repulsed by this if they haven't become wise to these kinds of tactics already. Whether this debacle will come to haunt John Rafferty remains to be seen, but I can see Ken Boshcoff riding this to victory here.
08 09 05 Swift
Boshcoff is going to have to overcome three things: the backlash from the Comuzzi expulsion, the carbon tax, and Dion's ivory tower intellectual image which is not going to go over well in blue collar ridings. I don't think he will be successful. With a new candidate the Conservatives have handicapped themselves enough to give the NDP the win in a close race.
08 09 05 Goats
This is apparently Rafferty's last kick at the electoral can, and I think he'll take it this time. He came within 50 votes of winning the riding provincially last year, after leading until the last couple of polls. He has campaigned hard for years, has a solid grassroots team, and has good name recognition despite being perennially unsuccessful. Despite all the mill closures and other job losses in the traditional blue-collar industries, Thunder Bay is still a big-time union town - definitely an advantage for Rafferty. Boshcoff hasn't had any visibility for the last couple of years, aside from making some weird comments about China's human rights record (hardly a top-of-mind issue for T. Bay and region voters). Boshcoff also got a boost after Paul Martin appeared in Thunder Bay in the last election - whereas Dion is the antithesis of what most Northwestern Ontario voters are looking for (a nerdish and weak academic who doesn't speak English well, and with a general lack of charisma and common touch). The Green Shift will also not be a good sell in a region already economically devastated by high energy prices. I would be surprised if Dion goes within 500 km of this riding in the next election - if he does, it'll be to make a quick speech to the Chamber of Commerce before jetting down to the GTA to try to hold on to whatever seats the Liberals still hold in the 905 area.
That said, I think this will still be close, given the region's long-standing history of voting Liberal federally - but I'd still give it to Rafferty by 750-1000 votes.
08 04 14 C B
Yeah, good old Peg Leg should get his facts straight before spewing his partisan rant. After studying the results of the last elections poll-by-poll, the party that didn't do well in the rural areas was NOT the NDP but the Liberals. Boshcoff won this riding in Thunder Bay, while both the Cons and NDP ran ahead of him outside the city. This could be a tight three way race next time if the Liberals bleed more support to the Tories. I would be inclined to tilt it to the NDP, but then again in Kenora, the NDP actually fell behind the Conservatives last time out. Wait and see, but I don't believe the Libs have this one in the bag.
08 04 11 R.O.
Former ndp candidate John Raffery has secured the ndp nomination after beating Betty Kennedy a thunder bay city councilor. He had to run for the nomination again after he gave it up to run provincially. he will be running against liberal mp Ken Boshcoff again but facing a new conservative candidate Richard Neumann as previous candidate David Leskowski decided to not run again. It is a large riding with a several towns that seem to lean towards various parties. Well mean some are very ndp/ conservative friendly yet others tend to not be so its likely to be an interesting race. The liberal mp has strong support in the city of thunder bay yet did not do that good in rural portions of this riding where the other 2 candidates won a lot of the polls.
08 02 27 A.S.
‘The NDP will get their fair share of the votes in the urban part of this riding but as soon as you leave the city limits, their vote dries up.’
Well, maybe it's the case if your definition of ‘the urban part of this riding’ includes Atikokan and Fort Frances. But in fact, outside of Thunder Bay's city limits, not only did the NDP poll first, the Liberals polled *third*. In both 2004 and 2006.
08 02 26 Peg Leg Pete
While I'm willing to say there will be some good news for Jack Layton on election night, it won't be in Thunder Bay - Rainy River. The NDP will get their fair share of the votes in the urban part of this riding but as soon as you leave the city limits, their vote dries up. Ken Boshcoff caught a big break when blowhard former Liberal MP Joe Commuzi got thrown out of the Liberal caucus. Commuzi monopolized the local media and now Boshcoff gets much more of a local spotlight. While it's true Layton will make at least 3 to 4 visits to Thunder Bay, it won't be enough to knock off Boshcoff. There's no big breakthrough in Thunder Bay for the NDP, again. I predict Boshcoff wins by 2000 votes this time.
07 11 11 binriso
Rafferty lost by 36 votes in the provincial election in Thunder Bay Atikokan, which does comprise a significant part of this riding. Not to mention, adding in a little of Hampton?s provincial riding has to help a bit. I?m assuming he?s running here and if so he will win by a close margin. If he doesn?t run it?ll be TCTC.
07 10 17 J.B.
Both Thunder Bay ridings are Jack Layton's for the taking, and he knows that!

Dion's expulsion of Joe Comuzzi from next-door TB-SN will have a ripple effect in TB-RR, and it's going to cost the Liberals this seat as well. The city has not been nearly as accepting towards Stephane Dion as they have been to Paul Martin and Jean Chretien previously. They view him as 'the guy who threw one of his own under the bus for voting his conscience!'
Like TB-SN, the NDP support here is solid. John Rafferty is probably the only NDP candidate who stands a legitimate shot at beating Boshcoff in a general election.
07 10 14 King of Kensington
John Rafferty came within a few votes of taking this in the provincial election - as Maxwell Smart would have said, ‘missed it by THAT much.’
With the federal Liberals in much worse shape than their provincial counterparts, this is just about the most likely NDP pickup in Ontario.
07 07 01 A.S.
TBRR's representation turns TBSN inside out; rather than a Liberal that jumped to the Conservatives, it's an ex-PC that jumped to the Liberals. And not only is Boshcoff more likely to be reelected than a CPC Comuzzi, even the Comuzziless Tories might have a better chance here than under Comuzzi next door--remember: this seat was the closest thing to an Alliance gain in Northern Ontario in '00, and that was *before* Rainy River (which would have brought the result closer still) was tacked on. So the statement ‘the Conservatives have never been a concern in this region’ doesn't quite convey the present situation, particularly in light of the surprising Western-Canada-marches-eastward Kenora result last time out. But re Boshcoff, ‘more likely’ is relatively speaking, it's become advantage NDP under Layton and all the more top-target after the last result, and besides, TBRR encompasses Howie Hampton's home turf--still, Kenora proves that even the Dippers oughtn't gloat. NB: Boshcoff sits on the second lowest winning share in Ontario (after Irene Mathyssen in London-Fanshawe).
07 03 29 Geoff C.
Rafferty's been trying for years both on the provincial and federal levels, but I believe this is the year he'll finally break through and get elected. His popularity has been slowly increasing while that of the Liberals continues to wane. As hard a worker as Boshcoff is, the riding hasn't seen that many results in the oft-neglected region. It's time for some new blood as I predict both Thunder Bay ridings to go NDP this year.
07 03 23 Ryan N.
It's hard to predict how the federal Liberal reaction to expelling neighbouring Joe Commuzzi will affect this riding, as Mr. Commuzzi is a popular politician throughout this close-knit, blue-collar city.
Ken Boshcoff barely won this riding in '06 by defeating a well-known NDP candidate. As a whole, Thunder Bay might now feel out of touch with Dion's Liberals.
Jack Layton and the NDP will continue focusing a lot of attention in this region during the next election. The Conservatives have never been a concern in this region.

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