Prediction Changed
6:05 PM 11/10/2008

Election Prediction Project

Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River
Federal Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

First Peoples National
Ballantyne, Rob
Clarke, Rob
New Democratic
Morin, Brian
Morin, George
Orchard, David

Rob Clarke

2006 Result:
Gary Merasty
Jeremy Harrison **
Anita Jackson
John A. McDonald

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

Put your political/campaign ad here! See sponsorship details.

08 10 11 R.O.
This riding went conservative in a by-election and more than likely Robert Clarke will hold this riding. The riding is somewhat different than the other Saskatchewan ridings as it has a much larger first nation population. David Orchard might come in a strong second here depending on voter turnout. But I think current mp Robert Clarke has the advantage here for a number of reasons.
08 10 07 I'mParticipating
Nearly all agree this is a very close two horse race. I am now predicting a David Orchard win partly in light of today's news about a uniformed RCMP member delivering Rob Clarke campaign signs, in an RCMP vehicle - to the La Ronge campaign office. This peer-based support is perhaps not a surprise given the Conservative candidate's long career in policing, but a disturbing conflict of interest nonetheless. Mr. Clarke is (as the photos in his brochures showing him in front of Parliament posing with an RCMP cruiser exhibit) using his image as a police officer as the cornerstone of his election effort. And whether he knew about this or not, Mr. Clarke is tainted by association.
08 10 06 Billy
Take this one out of the ‘Too close’ category. I correctly predicted the Liberal win here in the last election and the PC win in the byelection was a no-brainer. This one will remain PC as the Liberals have the candidate that nobody wants - David Orchard.
08 10 04 BB
The information provided by SJ (08 09 29) needs to be corrected. David Orchard’s farm’s in the riding, he has deep family roots there and is well known throughout the North for his connection with the First Nations community as an environmental activist over several decades.
Furthermore, the Liberal Party put in no such work to make him a nominee. Orchard won fair and square based on hard work, principles and a much respected personal and political reputation. He will win.
08 09 29 SJ
This is a riding, like many rural Saskatchewan ridings, where roots in the riding matter a great deal. David Orchard is widely seen as a Person From Away, and the well-known jigs and reels the Liberals went through to make him the nominee just highlight that fact. Tory hold.
08 09 28 Siobhan C
This is too close to call. I do not live here but I have witnessed the Orchard team in action (helped them on a few occasions) and I firmly believe this makes this race too close to call. If Ms. Beatty did not know what hit her, the same could happen to the Liberals. I just hope they have a scrutineer in EVERY poll!!!!!
08 09 27 John
I notice a familiar name running for the Liberals. That might count for a few votes here.
08 09 26 Chriswpg
I highly doubt the same voters(some of whom voted for the first time for Gary Merasty)will have incentive to vote for David Orchard this time around. I expect this seat to remain Conservative.
08 09 17 Not so gone
How did the Liberals steal this election last time? If you have evidence of election fraud you should report it to the police and elections Canada instead of making false accusations.
08 09 11 Gone Fishing
I can see a few of the others being too close to call in Saskatchewan but this one????
The libs stole it last time and managed to play drop the soap in the last byelection. That was not so long ago. If the Conservatives won on the record in midterm this tells me this is a safe seat.
08 09 11 Swift
Dion lost this riding for the Liberals in the by-election when he appointed Beatty. He may have also lost it in this election as being the incumbent will give Clarke a few extra votes that could put him over the top. Give Orchard a slight advantage in a close race for now.
08 09 09 Adrena Lynn
I think Orchard has a solid chance to edge out in the winning vote against Rob Clarke this time. He's got solid organization (look how he defeated the hapless Joan Beatty for the nomination, and she was backed by the party hierarchy). And yes, Orchard is eccentric but that only plays to his strengths. He's got an ability to actually be able to convey honestly against a no name Tory backbencher. I predict Orchard will take this riding therefore by 200 votes.
08 08 30 R.O.
The liberals really missed there chance here and it appears unlikely the riding will return to them. The by-election was there big chance as they usually go against the government and vote for opposition parties. And the liberal candidate controversy caused by dion in this riding did not help either. As for David Orchard he has to campaign in Saskatchewan in support of Stephane Dion who is not very popular out west and explain why he wanted him to be liberal leader so bad. Also the carbon tax green shift plan is not going to be very popular either and sure to be a vote loser. The plan has also been harshly critised by the premier of Saskatchewan as it will not benefit this province. Rob Clarke the new conservative mp is also a good fit for this riding and a hard working candidate as well which he demonstrated during the recent by-election.
08 08 17 T.V.
David Orchard got the nomination and this riding just became too close to call. He's popular and high profile, and he will run a far more effective campaign than Joan Beatty. It all depends on whether he is able to pull the aboriginal vote like Merasty did.
08 08 16 Leakycanoe
Orchard may be a tad eccentric, but the one thing he definitely has is an organization; this is what truly wins elections. Though the Liberals are lukewarm in the riding at best - in a part of the country that could be, under certain circumstances, a 3-party race - David Orchard brings a ‘fire in the belly’ grassroots kind of momentum to his candidacy. The Liberals will win this on e-night, but it will be a team-Orchard win, more so than a Party win, that is unless he does or says something incredibly stupid against the main constituency he will be wooing.
Although the recent by-election was won by 'Canada's new' (now nearing, three year-old) government, unless there is a turn of events heading towards a majority, Rob Clarke will be a half-term piece of the past. It will be close, but not as close as the last general election.
08 08 16 R.D.
I don't think a low turnout byelection with a controversial, appointed Liberal candidate is a very good indicator of how this riding will turn out in a general election. David Orchard is now the Liberal nominee and I think his high profile will improve the Liberals' chances. Although the Conservatives are strong in the West, this riding is more ‘North’ in its orientation and hasn't enjoyed the same resource boom as the southern part of the province. If Orchard splits the non-aboriginal vote in the southern part of the riding with the Conservatives, the NDP may even have a chance to come up the middle in this unique constituency. Of course the Conservatives do now have the benefit of incumbency, though. All in all, I say too close to call.
08 07 20 John
This riding will be one to watch if David Orchard is the nominated candidate for the Liberals. He brings with him a large campaign organization which Rob Clarke may not be able to beat. However, if Rob does have a strong organization he may hold on. So this is a race to watch.
08 06 17 JCM
Rob Clarke will have to campaign hard, since this riding has a history of close races, but the Conservatives should retain this seat next time, especially if David Orchard is the Liberal candidate.
08 03 18 binriso
Would be interesting to see where the turnout was highest and lowest in the riding(the CPC backing southern part of the riding or the reserves in the North), which probably makes a big difference in the federal election campaign but it looks the the CPC will probably win it anyways, a bit closer percentage wise because of higer turnout but probably ~2500 votes different, or maybe even more than that if the same candidates run. Liberals would need David Orchard, plus better organization/campaign to win here.
08 03 18 Don't Tase Me, Bro!
You know what I think happened? Dion got pressured by Ralph Goodale to appoint someone to run here in order to stop David Orchard from getting the nomination and possibly getting elected. Why? Because Orchard would be able to challenge Goodale's position as the political King of Saskatchewan if elected! No wonder why King Ralph hadn't said anything about the botched nomination.

By-election Prediction
Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River

08 03 17 EP
Polling in a riding is a waste of time, and that?s why you don't see any major media outlet paying polling firm to do it. (Or maybe they did, but no sensible polling firm would do it.) A good chunk of the voters in this riding live on reserve, many of them share satellite phones or use phones in the reserve office. Even when they have phones, their numbers are not listed neatly with their postal code on canada411 because there isn't a single cluster of population in this riding with more than 2500 people and they all have alternative delivery addresses. A poll done on phone will simply not be accurate.
What will make or break his riding is whether native leaders take the effort to whip votes. Remember this is where there are reserves with 90%+ and 90%+ vote for one party or the other.
08 03 16 prognosticator15
The Green Party surveys presented for this and other ridings by Matt are not reliable, and everyone should be vary of partisan surveys. First, Green Party identification makes it likelier fro Green supporters to respond. Second, partisan surveys always include bias in that the respondents tend to answer questions the way the interviewer wants, i.e. in this case, show support for the Greens which would not translate into a vote. And thirdly, provided the survey is valid in its methodology (and Matt does not talk of the methodology for this survey), it would indicate the LIBERAL vote is likely substantially higher than the Green survey indicates, since research in other elections has shown the Liberals are more likely to vote for Greens than supporters of other parties, thus they are the ones most likely to show sympathy to the Greens in such a partisan survey. I predict Conservative win for the reasons already mentioned by others here, in particular the poor Liberal nomination process, but the Greens would be likely to get half of the percentage votes that their internal surveys indicate. Overall, one should not put much trust in party surveys; Decima and similar surveys without a party label attached are much better in predictions, although still not as good as this web site.
08 03 15 Don't Tase Me, Bro!
If only Dion hadn't screwed up the nomination process, David Orchard could have run away with the win on Monday. Oh well, Dion wanted more women in the House, and looks like he's doing whatever it takes to get it done.
08 03 15
Here is a survey done for the by-election in DMC:
The phone survey was conducted by the Green Party over the weekend of March 8 to 10, 2008. The voice message asked ?which political party are you planning to vote for on March 17th?. Of the 237 voters who responded, their voting preferences were:
26.6% Conservative
13.9% Green
13.1% Liberal
11.0% NDP
35.4% Undecided
08 03 13 R.O.
Well my final prediction before by-election on Monday, Rob Clarke conservative candidate will likely win but not by as much as some have expected. Maybe only by 500 or so votes over Joan Beatty. Dion’s handpicked liberal candidate, I simply don’t see Saskatchewan voting for an mp handpicked by a liberal leader from Quebec. But she will still win polls in the area where she is well known as an mla. As to what she does next maybe she’ll run in the by-election in her old provincial riding.
08 02 27 John D
Joean Beatty is a pretty weak candidate to run in such an important riding for the Liberals. If you live in the riding you notice a lack of support in the riding and only in small pockets. Also, many of her campaign workers are from outside the riding and province. The Conservatives have a decent candidate who is working hard and should be able to take this riding by a few hundred votes.
08 02 24 R.O.
Noticed dion recently visited this riding with his hand picked candidate Joan Beatty, I’m skeptical as to how much good that will do and if it will be enough to save the seat. As Saskatchewan really hasn’t been a liberal friendly area in recent elections and even when this seat has gone liberal they barely won and the liberals only originally got this seat because the ndp mp defected to them prior to the 2000 election. I’m kind of surprised the ndp is doing so little in this by-election, have finally found a candidate Brian Dorin but don’t appear to be doing much. That leaves the conservatives which have been competitive in this riding for years, the alliance even came close back in the days. But the riding is somewhat different from the southern Saskatchewan ones where the cpc has done well. But with all the liberal controversy here it will be very hard for this seat to stay red and not return to the cpc where it was before the last election.
08 02 09 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
Yeah, that whole Orchard nomination mess is gonna give it to the CPC. The only way we see this possibly becoming competetive gain is if the byelections are cancelled on account of a full election and issues like the Kelowna Accords and the Canadian Wheat Board are pressed hard by the Liberals (or NDP for that matter).
08 02 07 Rebel
This is a crazy situation where a by-election will be held and the government may fall in the next day or so.
In these circumstances, there is a lot of motivation for ordinarily Liberal voters to vote Conservative on the assumption that a different candidate may present for the Liberals a month or two later...I think...if the by-election is held - that the Conservatives will win.
08 02 06 A. Lewis
The nomination mess will hand it to the Conservatives. Orchard could have won it, but Beatty can't pull enough of the too-slim NDP vote to win. The NDP also hates people it sees as ‘traitors’ and make no distinction at all between federal and provincial politics, in fact their party merges their memberships and forces anyone in either branch to join the other party - and lets either branch kick the member out as happened to Buzz Hargrove.
The people that Orchard sold memberships too know he was betrayed and will sit on their hands.
The fact is, Dion was trapped by his own promise to run at least 1/3 female candidates. The temptation to pick up a player from the defeated Saskatchewan NDP and a native to boot, lets him brag about his credentials recruiting natives, women, NDPers, and keeps him free of Orchard who Goodale hates. But that comes at the cost of a chance to win this riding.
08 02 04
My prediction right now:
The CPC has a good chance of winning this as it is a traditionally Reform/CA/Conservative seat and the CPC have nominated a strong profile candidate of Aboriginal origin (Rob Clarke). Plus, the Liberals only won by the skin of their teeth in 2006, and since Liberal support has generally weakened nation-wide the CPC has a good chance here.
Why I am calling this riding competitive is that the Liberals have also nominated a high profile candidate - Joanne Beatty. However, the internal war between Dion and the riding association/Orchard will absolutely hurt the Liberals' chances here. In fact, it may be deciding factor that may give the CPC the win.
08 01 28 Riley W
With the chaos with Orchard/Goodale/Dion/Beatty its a conservative riding for sure.
08 01 09
Orchard, kook that he is, is a master organizer in this area, hence the problem Dion now faces. Think about it: if he can sweep delegate meetings from this part of the country, I'm sure he alone will have no problem overcoming a 67 vote deficit -- and that's not to mention the anger that Native and Metis leaders now have and how that will play out!
08 01 04 R.O.
No luck for David Orchard here, liberals have appointed someone else to run. that being ndp mla Joan Beatty who was just elected this fall during provincial election . think this might have annoyed some liberals that there was no nomination meeting and orchard not allowed to run. The conservatives also have a new candidate Robert Clarke as Jeremy Harrison was elected in provincial vote after a few recounts . and ndp still have no candidate as they were also trying to get Joan Beatty to run for them. Have to say to close to call for now until it takes shape and all nominations are decided.
08 01 04 BJ
The Liberals have nominated a sitting provincial New Democrat, Joan Beatty, who is also aboriginal in this plurality aboriginal-based riding, also previously held by a Liberal.
Beatty will likely also gain votes from New Democrats from a strategic voting perspective.
Nationally, the Conservatives and Liberals are virtually dead-locked in the polls so no momentum exists for either party.
Another close race with the Conservatives, with the NDP again relegated to a distant third place.
08 12 30 Laurence Putnam
If Orchard does indeed have the Liberal nomination, he will surely lose.
His views (do your own research online, look particularly at his well-documented adamant defence of Slobodan Milosevic) will only serve to embarrass the party nationally, and thus from the beginning, Orchard will get little support from a party HQ which knows from the outset it will have to distance itself from Orchard's comments at some point in the campaign.
For all those PC-turned-Lib Orchard believers who really think that his cult will get him elected - look at his whopping 7% showing in Prince Albert in 2000 and try telling me that nonsense again with a straight face.
Thus, the Tories win by default - 50% of the vote...65% if Orchard embarasses the party badly enough that his candidacy is revoked before election day.
08 12 30 A.S.
It's only since 1997 that Saskatchewan's northernmost tier's constituted a riding all its own; and its politics have been as confoundingly complicated as its name. It starts with Rick Laliberte winning for the recovery-mode NDP in '97 (and perhaps in spite of his party label, given his indy run in '93); then Laliberte winning for the supposedly hapless Grits in '00 (ditto); then Laliberte back to losing as an indy in '04 and Jeremy Harrison capping a Tory sweep of non-Wascana Sask; and then--zoinks!--totally against the grain of '06's Prairie electoral dynamics, Harrison losing by a disputed hair to Gary Merasty. And now Merasty's bugged off, and with David Orchard in the mix + an NDP MLA courted by two parties, who knows what, or who's gonna draw from whom, anymore. Amidst it all, the byelection (assuming it isn't preempted by a general election) is probably just as well a sleeper litmus for the Tories, like whether CPC agricultural policy's hurt its Sask base and there's populist bleeding to some Orchard/Green faction--or conversely, if there's a provincial Sask Party honeymoon effect. Not that I'm actually *picking* this for the Tories; more that as it now stands, it's safer to speculate on how they'll do...
07 12 28
King of Kensington's dreaming if he thinks that the NDP will win here. It's a Tory-Liberal battle, and with a new Tory candidate they lose some of the advantage they might have had. In a by-election, it should favour the opposition, so the Liberals will likely take it. David Orchard's machine should only help their result. Dion would be crazy to dump a guy who gave him 150 delegates for a woman who hasn't even made up her mind if she's a Liberal yet.
07 12 27 Mark
There's rumors that the People's Political Power of Canada (PPP), are nominating a popular local aboriginal leader. If it's true, he might not win running for a fringe party, but could play spoiler.
07 12 22
The Conservatives have nominated Rob Clarke, an Aboriginal Canadian with a high profile, working for the Royal Mounted Police and winning numerous awards for his service. If all other by-election ridings go Liberal, this one will be the one to go Conservative, seeing that the Liberals only won by 100 votes in 2006 and this riding is traditionally right-leaning.
07 11 22 King of Kensington
David Orchard and his personality cult are seeking the Liberal nomination. The Conservatives don't have the same candidate who almost took it last time. The NDP could certainly make inroads here with a strong candidate. Either the Conservatives or NDP will take this.
07 11 11 Rebel
Jeemy Harrison was elected in last week's provincial election for the Saskatchewan Party, narrowly taking the riding of Meadow Lake (a poll result was inverted, giving the NDP incumbent an apparent and temporary victory).
07 10 17 Politico
According to Elections Canada someone named Robert G. Clarke has been nominated for the Conservatives. Harrison isn't running again?
07 10 07 Cookiemonster
Actually it might not be as far of a stretch to compare this rural northern Saskatchewan riding with those two rural ridings in Quebec.
This riding has some rural francophone communities, and just like the rural Quebec ridings, this one also hates Ottawa, but like getting money from it.
Any who, I don't see how the Liberals can keep this one, it took a very high profile candidate and some funny business to win this one in the first place. And right now the Liberals are not in good shape, they were counting on Merasity to be the future and he bailed.
I think some votes are going to migrate from the federal NDP in spite of Calvert, and the Conservative base will be motivated based on getting out their vote.
07 10 08
After the election of the first NDP/NPD MP in Québec, the strategists of the NDP are planning to elect one MP in Sask., the most social-democratic province in Canada which does not have any NDP MP since 2004. There are rumours that the NDP is expected to field a very important aboriginal leader and Jack Layton is going to focus much attention in this constituency in the following weeks. The race is too close to call, and there will be for sure a 3-way race between the Liberals, Conservatives and the NDP. Remember that the NDP has already elected some MP's in this constituency in the past. We cannot take the last election results as a prognosis about the next by-election.
07 09 25 Christopher
Comparing how the Liberals did in the 3 Quebec By-elections to how they'll do in a Northern SK largely Aboriginal riding seems a bit of a stretch. It's important to note that none of the major parties have nominated a candidate yet. In a northern riding like this with many close knit communities a Candidate's name power can mean everything. It will be interesting to watch this one as it unfolds, but this is definitely too close to call until some candidates are in place.
07 09 18 Brendan
As we saw last night with the by-election Liberals are in trouble, losing substantial amount of votes in all ridings. Although i think this will be close due to conservative problems with royal issues in Sask. it still we be a tory win.
07 09 10 McIntosh
True the results in this riding were extremely polarized. However the previous posting offers no proof to the outrageous statement that Liberal votes came in after the polls had closed. Why were Harrison's high margins in the south end of the riding not also suspect? Maybe, just maybe, aboriginal voters were horrified by the prospect of a Harper government. Therefore my prediction is Liberal by a close margin.
07 08 26
I predict that the Conservative vote will hold out better in this riding in a by-election context. In 2006, this was the most polarized riding in Canada...with the Liberals winning unbelievable margins in the aboriginal reserves (and I suspect many of these votes were cast well after the polls closed) while the Conservative candidate Jeremy Harrison was drawing nearly as high margins (often 80-90%) in the rural polls in the extreme south of the riding.
I am not aware of any candidates being chosen and that will always be an important element in any election, but the structure of the riding should benefit the Conservatives.
07 08 11 Andrew
The NDP and Greens are gaining in the west at the expense of the liberals. With the centre-left slip this is an easy take for the conservatives. Unless a candidate more impressive than merasty comes about (they won't!) then the conservatives will surely retake this seat. The only scenario for the liberals would be if the NDP and Greens dropped out to support the liberal candidate.
07 07 30 M. Lunn
I generally concur with Bear and Ape, but considering the Tories only lost by 67 votes and by-elections tend to have low turnouts this could potentially go Tory. Very few aboriginals voted Tory in the first place (I believe it was under 5%) so the Kelowna Accord won't cost them many votes. What it will do more likely is increase turnout amongst aboriginal voters, who historically have had a low turnout. As for the Canadian Wheat Board, this issue generally divides farmers, although a slim majority in Saskatchewan and larger majority in Manitoba oppose the Tory plan while most in Alberta support it. However, this is largely irrelevant here as very little wheat is grown this far North anyways. The equalization will hurt them and could hurt them even more if the Saskatchewan Party as expected wins the next provincial election and continues to attack the Tories over this. Lorne Calvert is largely unpopular, which is the only reason his criticisms aren't harming them as much as in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador.
07 07 26 The Jackal
I will buck the trend and call this for CPC solely because the center-left will split between the LPC and NDP to allow the CPC candidate to come up the middle. Plus, the West isn't a strong area for the Liberals.
07 07 18 binriso
Don’t be so certain of a Sask Party rout this time people, remember last election and the one before that, so many predicted that they would win a majority government (especially in 2003) and yet they lost both times to the NDP. It obviously looks good for them since they are a bit more moderate now and ahead in the polls, but you never know.
As for this riding, it will be close.
07 07 16 DL
As we all know, the Liberal MP has resigned setting the stage for yet another byelection. My impression is that in these far northern ridings, politics tends to be far more personality based than in other Sask. seats. While it is true that recently the Liberals have done well with the First Nations vote in places like northern Sask. things may be very different now. For one thing the federal Liberals are no longer in power and therefore not able to throw around patronage money and threaten people that if they don't vote Liberal, their roads won't get paved and/or their reserve will have all its funding from INAC cut off.
Right now the federal Tories have some problems in Saskatchewan as a result of the equalization controversy etc... you have to think that if you are ex-Tory MP Jeremy Harrison, it makes more sense to stick to running provincially given that any seat that only went narrowly NDP in 2003 is almost certain to fall to the Sask. Party in the coming rout and he could potentially be a provincial cabinet minister - as opposed to giving that up to run in a federal byelection that is NOT likely to favour the federal Tories given that byelections rarely swing to the government in English Canada.
The NDP was able to win this seat in 1997 with a deadbeat like Rick Laliberte. Surely, they can easily find someone with enough profile to win here in a byelection.
07 07 13 binriso
Gary is stepping down and leaving the House. That will open up this seat quite a bit, and give the CPC a chance here. I still think that the Liberals will take it though, the only time in a long time that it went CPC was in 04 with the Liberal incumbent running as an independent and doing really well splitting up the vote. Liberal win nonetheless, unless the first nations stay home in droves, which could happen I suppose.
07 06 17 Pete G.
Jeremy Harrison's renunciation of his Conservative nomination and decision to run for the Saskatchewan Party in the provincial election has all but sealed the deal here for the Liberals (not that he would have had much of a chance anyway now with the SK budget fallout and other issues).
07 06 11 Dr Bear and Prof Ape
It seems that this is one riding where the CPC is actively trying to honk-off every single voting demographic. There's the Kelowna Accords fiasco which will tick off the First Nations voters, the Canadian wheat board fiasco which will tick off (albeit a small demographic by Saskatchewan standards) the farmers and now the budget fiasco which is ticking off a good chunk of the general Saskatchewan voting public. With a Liberal incumbent and the way things are going, the CPC doesn't have a prayer unless they change their tune quickly.
07 04 02 M. Lunn
A lot will depend on the Aboriginal voter turnout. Part of the reason Jeremy Harrison lost last election was Aboriginal voter turnout was much higher than in 2004. Considering the Conservatives are under 5% amongst Aboriginal voters and Aboriginals make up 60% of the ridings' population, there is no reason the Liberals should lose this. The only problem is Aboriginal voter turnout has historically been on the low side.
07 04 02 Stevo
This race was marred by reliable allegations of ballot-box stuffing and other frauds committed by Liberal staffers in this riding. There were many angry Conservatives who perceived a stolen victory on the part of the Liberals and who will march to the voting booth in force the next time around. The Aboriginal population may be angry that Harper shelved the Kelowna accord and has yet to propose an alternative, but given that they weren't Conservative supporters to begin, this anger is unlikely to impact the race in any significant way.

Submit Information here

Provincial Index
Federal Election - 2007
Election Prediction Project -
© Milton Chan, 1999-2007 - Email Webmaster