Prediction Changed
7:18 PM 08/10/2007

Election Prediction Project

Ontario Provincial Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

Family Coalition
Progressive Conservative
New Democratic

Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford (100%)
Joseph N. Tascona

2003 Result (redistributed):

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07 10 15 Wayne Pentland
Well so much for the PC predicitons. Aileen Carroll did win Barrie. So much for Barrie being TORY town. A great candidate and a great campaign team equals a victory. 1400 votes was a sound defeat for Joe. he put forth little effort, had a small campaign team, and tried to rest on his non-existent laurels.
07 10 09 Joe
A very, very interesting race to watch and one of the toughest to call. On one hand, Tascona won quite comfortably in the last two provincial elections but this was at a time when the constituency encompassed much more of the rural area surrounding the urban area of Barrie. I think if the district had stayed the same we would see Tascona heading back to Queen's Park but I'm not so sure if that is the case this time around. I would at this point say it is too close to call, even less than 24 hours before voters head to the polls but I would say this could be a liberal pickup especially since Carroll won here in three of the last four federal elections.
07 10 08 Edward Chadderton
Having lived here for over Ten years now, it simply comes down to how deeply you can feel the difference here. While Mr. Tascona and the PC have held strong here for years, there has always been a sense of indifference towards Tascona.
This time the people and the media are skewing differently. The media coverage following the last visit from McGinty highlighted the strength of attendance at that event that of Aileen Carroll as a candidate and the support she has from her Party Leader. Joe Tascona's on camera response was that he was not running on his leader, but on his (non-existent) record. The sound bite was priceless and the media actually recognized the shift in support to the Liberals and highlighted the lack of support Joe Tascona has from his party, which is rare for the media to recognize.
The fact that John Tory had not been here (until this weekend and event that NO effect at all, given it timing). The Liberals have owned the news-cycle the past week leading up to the holiday and I think it will solidify over the Turkey dinners. It will be close, but it has swung to Carroll and the Liberal Party in Barrie
07 10 08 Andrew Cox
Liberal pick up.
1) I was on the ground here this weekend and I was quite surprised to see so many Aileen Carroll signs, and so few for Joe Tascona.
2) My cousin lives here, where he owns a couple Tim Horton's franchises. He used to work in politics, and now spends his days chatting with average folks about politics and sports and whatever comes up. He tells me, with no hesitation, that Aileen Carroll will win because her team is out-hustling Tascona's and she is personally popular.
3) Another cousin of mine lives here and reports that he thinks its a lot closer but that Carroll will probably win on election day.
4) Redistribution should help the Liberals make this a lot closer.
07 10 07 freecanadian
''Photo Joe'' is about to become ''Out-You-Go Joe''. John Tory came to Barrie yesterday and drew flies. A-Channel showed less than a half dozen people there to greet him and about 10 people at his speech.
Dalton McGuinty came to town on short notice and drew a capacity crowd that spilled into the street. The writing is on the wall. Aileen Carroll will be the new MPP for Barrie come Wednesday night
07 12 06 Feminist
The riding will go Progressive Conservative by 500 to 1000 votes. It is close because of John Tory's initial stance on the education policy. Aileen Carroll has name profile but she was not a great constituency member when she was a federal member. The current Liberal government seems to be distancing themselves from any cabinet member that was associated with Martin/Chretien. Why didn't she run federally? This is viewed as a step down by most people. In regards to Tascona, his campaign was excellent in 2003 and his wife was the campaign manager. His riding had the second highest margin percentage after Ernie Eves in 2003. I wouldn't underestimate the campaign because his wife is campaign manager - she is a financial controller and only helps out during campaigns. The team is good. Tascona has been strong in the debates and Aileen Carroll has not won debates actually the Greens and NDP are quite solid in the debates while she has been well prepped by a policy guy out of Smitherman's office. They are basically baby sitting her because the Liberals want the riding. Smitherman has been in the riding countless times and McGuinty doesn't stop coming. His last words to the Liberal troops - keep working -- till the end. Tascona will win - he has a loyal following but Tory did throw a wrench into the election until he allowed the free vote.
07 10 06 Old Willowdaler
Okay I thought about this for a couple of hours today (and before you say the guy has too much time on his hands I was undergoing a bonescan so had 2 hours to kill!) and I was surprised that the PC and his wife are running the show. As anyone in a campaign will tell you that is NOT a good sign and furthermore a really bad plan. I am an outsider so this sort of thing impacts me. I telephone a few people late tonight and based on their comments (4 grits -2 PC & 1 Dipper) I am now switching to Liberal by less than 1000 votes.
07 10 05 lrs
Liberal gain- Tory candidate been in too long - Liberal candidate just lost federally and thus still well known - only thing that would prevent Liberal victory would be if the NDP candidate would get 15-20% - seems posts for this riding do not show any NDP rise - so two parties battle it out -who gets vote out will win the day- Liberal victory 1-2000 margin
07 10 04 Quixotae
I am a Conservative...but I have to say that this one is going to Aileen. She has a better track record representing her constituents and the Libs are throwing everything they have at Barrie to win it. Tory hasn't even visited the riding once during the election. You have to ask if they (his own party) even want him to win! Joe is short on dough and resources, he and his wife are managing the campaign themselves, that alone tells the tale! I am afraid the jig is up Joe.
07 10 02 Old Willowdaler
I don't know the area well. However, I do agree that John Tory's ill planned funding plan will hurt him here as it will in small town Ontario. Also Aileen Carroll is no slouch and can be expected to make this close. I am a genetic Liberal so as much as I would like to say it will go Liberal I am looking at the previous vote and despite the lousy PC candiate, strong Liberal candidate and Tory's education plan I think this one might stay PC by 1 or 2% it will be VERY VERY CLOSE and Carroll has the skill the record and the history to push over the top by a similiar margin but at this point I think the PC has the slight edge
07 10 01 Bob
For those who think that it is a Tory safe seat forget that this riding used to have a large rural component to it. Now it is 100% urban and the Barrie part of the vote last time was evenly split between Liberals and Conservatives.
07 09 29 Chris
Ole Joe got hammered pretty hard on the ‘faith-based funding’ education issue/debacle during three local candidate's debates. Joe refused to endorse the idea and simply said something to the effect that he would go along with the voter's wishes in that regard. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Boss Tory's bright idea to bring the churches, synagogues, mosques and temples into the classrooms. Joe seems to be a lot more defensive in this campaign so far than his last two. Methinks Sideshow Joe has seen the writing on the wall...
07 09 28 James
Joe by a landslide?? You're nuts! The faith-based schools issue will ring resoundingly for months in ridings like Barrie. Let's not forget that Joe has been an MPP for 12 years and has never been appointed nor recognized for anything. His establishment will defect or stay home. There will be no landslides in this riding, but Carroll will win by a comfortable margin.
07 09 27 seasaw
This may be one of the safest Tory seats in Ontario. After all, it elected the only Reformer ever in '93 federal election. Aileen Caroll won it federally 3 times, but remember, two of the three wins, came at a time when the right wing vote was split and a dog could've won it for the Liberals. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Caroll was a bad MP or anything, it's just being a Liberal federally in '97 and '00 pretty much guaranteed victory. In '04 Caroll won a very close race against a young and inexperienced nice guy, who represented an infant party at the time; she lost to the same candidate in '06. Joe Tascona's been a solid MPP for the last 12 years. Prediction: Tascona in a landslide.
07 09 26 Alastair
The Barrie Advance article linked below is a typical example of the silly political gamesmanship that goes on in hotly-contested ridings; I for one give it very little weight. Tascona is not among my favourite people, but he is certainly not the incompetent desperado the article is obviously attempting to manipulate its readers into believing. Joe's biggest problem, in my view, is that he decided to continue working full-time after he was first elected, and has continued to do so ever since. You can't run a law practice and represent the people of an urban riding at the same time and expect to be able to do a good job at both. I think many people in Barrie are finally starting to realize that they've been short-changed by their Tory MPP over the years. Aileen Carroll's campaign team would do well to emphasize that point. Despite Joe's shortcomings, there are still a lot of traditional Tories in Barrie that would vote for a step-ladder if it was wrapped in a blue flag, so this is going to be a very close call.
07 09 26 freecanadian
So ''Photo Joe'' has become ''Sideshow Joe''. The race will still be close but PC's throughout Barrie may just stay home election day. They are as embarrassed by the MPP as the rest of us are.
07 09 26 Brenda
I cannot believe what I have just read. You should all review the following article posted on the on line version of the Barrie Advance.
I can only hope that the article also finds its way into the printed version of the paper. Has Joe Tasconna nothing better to do in the middle of an election than run around and call the police on his primary opponent in the midst of a funding announcement? Apparently not. How embarrassing for him.
07 09 25 Rick
I wouldn't have believed it six months ago, but Aileen Carroll's gonna win in Barrie. Today's announcement of $250 million to double-track the GO Train Line and increase the frequency of the trains, in addition to the fact that Go Train service is resuming later in 2007, proves Carroll's a real player. Tascona had 12 years to do that and has nothing to show for it. At the announcement made by the Premier and Aileen Carroll today, Tascona was there like an ambulance chaser. It's pretty bad when an incumbent is reduced to crashing an opponent's announcement. The sea of red signs in a city that used to be predominantly blue says it all.
07 09 25 K. B.
The race in Barrie is definitely a close one, driving around town there seems to be a proliferation of red and blue signs. I believe that there is more red on the streets than blue. Talking with colleagues in Barrie, the mindset is that Joe Tascona's time is past. He seems to be trying to hold onto the old days, reminding anyone who will listen that he alone ?saved? the GO train tracks. This is just not the case. Aileen Carroll has a proven record of working for the city of Barrie at the federal level. There is no reason to believe that she won't do the same for the city at Queen's Park.
07 09 24 RyanOntario
This seat is part of central ontario and is more like what Markham of Brampton was like 10-15 years ago, not exactly liberal territory. The pc's are doing good in this region and any polls i see do not indicate a liberal victory here.
Sure Aileen Carroll is well known and was the mp for this same riding but Joe Tascona is also well known and has been the mpp since 1995. It all makes this a very tight race and it will be alot closer than the last election.
07 09 22 Sean
From eveything I can see, Joe Tascona is in BIG TROUBLE. There's never been so many Liberal signs in a provincial election in Barrie, and the campaign is only half over. Joe Tascona may have been elected three times, but don't confuse that with being popular. It was easy for him to get elected in 1995, taking out the NDP incumbent during the Common Sense Revolution landslide. After that, he faced weak Liberal candidates with virtually non-existent campaign organizations in 1999 and 2003, but not this time. The Liberals are running a popular and credible candidate in Aileen Carroll, a former MP and cabinet minister. There's every reason to believe she will end up in the provincial cabinet as the only Liberal to be elected in central Ontario. Another dynamic hurting Tascona is his party's very unpopular position on funding for faith-based schools and plans to turn to the private sector for health solutions. But the main problem Tascona has is his personal record. Even Conservatives are embarrased by him. He maintains a busy legal practice, spending more time in the Barrie Court House than he does at Queen's Park. He was outed by the Toronto Star for outrageous travel claims. And, in the past six months, he has spent $55,000 plus on self promoting advertisments, paid from his MPP budget at the taxpayer's expense.
07 09 18 King of Kensington
This riding will stay Conservative. People speak of the growth of Barrie or how it's even an ?urban? riding. I would describe Barrie as exurban and exurbs tend to support rightwing parties.
07 09 17 Chris
There's no doubt that the old Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford riding was cloaked in Tory Blue, but all the Liberal detractors seem to be forgetting one thing; this is now an URBAN riding. The most recent Federal election results for the new riding of Barrie should have hammered that home. Patrick Brown defeated Aileen Carroll by a margin of just over 1500 votes (23,999 to 22,456) which is hardly a conservative landslide. The vote was even closer when you consider the 10,000+ votes siphoned away by the NDP and the Greens, as well as the fact that a good chunk of the votes for Brown were really votes against Paul Martin. This riding is fast becoming one of the most important bellweathers outside the GTA; so much so that Global National News intends to do a segment on this place (along with 4 other Ontario ridings) to highlight it's importance in defining the political landscape in this province. I think the other two Simcoe ridings are probably conservative locks, but this one is going down to the wire.
07 09 15 Andrew Cox
Too close to call.
1) Redistribution should theoretically work in the Liberals favour, but they have a very long way to go to a win.
2) Aileen Carroll is undeniably a star candidate who won this seat under less favourable boundaries federally. Her campaign manager is Bill Murray (not THAT Bill Murray), who was the top campaign manager in the OLP during the Peterson days.
3) But Simcoe is Simcoe is Simcoe: white, angry, fled Toronto and only go back because they have to. A town where the Mandarin is ‘ethnic food.’ I have lots of in-laws here and I can report some interesting findings that defy my expectations. People want better public services. They are sick of gridlock. They want more schools and hospital beds and a clean environment. Tax cuts are not on their lips. More government is.
4) This is one of those seats where Tory's school policy is going to sting. Yes, they fled Toronto. But funding schools that teach Sharia law is far more upsetting than voting Liberal.
5) Joe Tascona is a fascinating person to me. He works as an MPP part-time, still running his law practice. He isn't particularly warm or bright. According to members of the local PC executive I have met, he doesn't work hard on organization. And yet, he won the seat by a wide margin last time. I think he may, MAY, be a straw man who just hasn't had a hard fight before.
6) All that said, it is a LONG way to a win for the Liberals and reelections are always harder. I'd say this will be too close to call under election week.
07 09 14 Pete B.
There should not be any doubts about this one. Even with a strong candidate, the Liberals will not take this riding unless there is a total PC meltdown in the province.
As far as the influx of people into Barrie, you should keep in mind that people who move into a ‘small c’ conservative community will very likely vote that way as well (even if in the past they were staunch supporters of another option).
07 09 13 A.S.
Transplanted GTA citizens they may be, but don't jump the gun about 'traditional liberal values'; there may be a push vs pull question here, i.e. sure, this may herald the inexorable 'moderating' of Barrie, but then again, a lot of those GTA expatriates might well be so-called 'liberal-values' expatriates as well. That is, their exodus is a reason why north Etobicoke and swaths of Scarborough may never vote Tory again--'The Big Sort', Ontario style. Still, in balancing the push and the pull, I'd have to admit that vouching for a close Grit-PC race isn't *that* out of line. After all, it's the first time Barrie's constituted a provincial seat all by itself, i.e. no rural fringe whatsoever, not even any Vespra/Innisfil fragments. And the Grits have responded by offering up a true star candidate. Of course, it's the star candidate who barely won within these boundaries federally in '04, then lost in '06. And now, she's up against a provincial PC *incumbent*--and one of the few with a majority win in '03. The way things stack up right now, it's a matter of whether Aileen Carroll can win it for the Liberals, or John Tory (though whatever education-funding gaffes etc) can lose it for the Tories--whatever it is, unlike last time, it ought to be a plurality, not a majority...
07 09 12 J.C.
Why Barrie is still considered a ?safe? conservative bastion is beyond me. The population of this place was about 50,000 in the late 1980s, and it will soon be 3X that. The extra 100,000 bodies have moved into what is fast becoming ?Suburban Barrie? (yes, I would have laughed at that idea myself not too long ago). Many of these people are transplanted GTA denizens carrying with them their traditional liberal values. The big, red blob that is the GTA is slowly, inexorably hemorrhaging its way north. This is going to be a close one, but I think people around here are getting tired of being represented by a part-time MPP, and the Liberals are fielding an ex federal cabinet minister who has a good chance of making the liberal cabinet if she's elected. Aileen by a nose.
07 09 03 Nick J Boragina
I wont argue the Liberals have a strong candidate here, but remember in 2003 the tories crashed hard, and all the polls (for years) have been saying that will not happen again. For the tories to lose any seats they won in 2003 (even if by redistribution) is a silly idea and faulty logic. What I see happening here is the Liberal-PC vote balance likely not moving while it swings PC in the rest of the province, that's about the best the Liberals can hope for short of a scandal involving the local MPP. I dont see any good reason why this riding will not go PC.
07 08 30 RyanOntario
Well i have done some research and found out a few interesting things about this riding. that might give reasons to question the idea of a possible liberal win here.
First this area (simcoe county) has only elected 1 ontario liberal candidate provincially in recent memory, that was in 1987 and Bruce Owen was mpp for only one term.
Second this area has not re-elected a previously defeated mp or mpp of any party pc, ndp or liberal in the last 20 years at least , was only able to find records ( on elections ontaro and history of federal ridings ) going back that far since there has been alot of changes to this ridings name and size. note that Bruce Owen tried and ran again in this riding in 95 and was defeated by Joe Tascona and by a huge margin got only 23% of vote .
so history is clearly not on Aileen Carroll's side and it will be interesting to see what happens here as campaign heats up.
07 08 28 EP
The one thing the Liberals have going for them is regret. People around Barrie really felt stupid dumping a competent high profile cabinet minister (the only cabinet minister Barrie ever has) for Patty Brown, basically a Tiny Tory who is not even being taken seriously by the Conservative caucus or leadership.
While it is no sure thing that Aileen Carroll will get into the McGuinty cabinet if the Liberals win another term (though there is a good chance...), one sure thing is that Joe Tascona is NOT getting into the John Tory cabinet. Barrie is the fastest growing community in the province and people are looking to have a heavy hitter representing them. This will no doubt work in Aileen?s favour.
07 08 17 binriso
You never know here but there is a chance for the Liberals now. I definitely give the edge to the PC's but it?s very possible for a Liberal win. Aileen Carroll barely lost in 06 which means she must have been decently popular. In Quebec, Andre Harvey came within 1000 votes from taking Chicoutimi (a PQ stronghold since 1973 and a very seperatist area traditionally) away from the PQ, which hadn?t gone Liberal in 72 years Not to mention his party's vote went down 13% provincially while he came several % closer. Now Barrie is a very strong CPC/PC area traditionally and something of the same effect could happen here with a popular former MP taking on a lower profile incumbent. Could be an interesting campaign here.
07 08 07 Marto
Aileen Carroll is heading for defeat again. Joe Tascona got over 50% of the vote here with Ernie as leader and the Tories way behind in the polls - Liberals predicting his demise are clearly wishful thinkers.
07 07 25 freecanadian
John Tory is now making promises to support Lake Simcoe and has even made a stops at RVH recently. In the last election we never even saw Ernie Eves. The leader of the PC's showing his face in what was thought to be a lock shows that Joe Tascona's days at the trough maybe done. Everyday it looks better for Aileen Carroll, who has proven she can gets things done for Barrie, and worse for ?Clueless? Joe, who has proven he can disappear for years and take credit for other peoples work. Tascona's days of coattail riding are almost done.
07 06 05 Daniel
How can a riding in which the Tories won 50% of the vote in 2003 be listed as .too close to call.? McGuinty would have to be topping 50% provincially for this to even be considered a possible Liberal pickup - and that's not going to happen unless John Tory eats a kitten.
07 06 01 Sean
Expect a much stronger Liberal campaign than in the past few provincial elections. Joe Tascona has never really faced a strong Liberal candidate with an effective campaign, but with Aileen Carroll he will be facing some tough competition. She has a lot of political experience and savvy, and she has significant positive name recognition. This will be a match between a high profile former federal cabinet minister and a nondescript backbencher.
07 05 13 freecanadian
People in Barrie are on to ?Photo Joe? and the lack of effort he puts into the job. Other Conservatives have asked questions about Barrie at Queen's Park but our MPP is mostly MIA. Aileen Carroll won't win in a walk, but she will win.
07 05 05 M. Lunn
A very safe PC riding. Even with the boundaries re-adjustments, this still remains a safe conservative one, so I expect the Tories will hold this easily. The Liberals have a better chance at re-taking this federally than they do provincially.
07 05 02 Angry Ontarian
MPP Joe Tascona held onto the City of Barrie by 5,000 votes in 2003. Why Aileen Carroll thinks she has a chance here is entirely beyond me. Barrie is a Tory Town and won't be going Ontario Grit any day soon. Sorry Aileen.

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