Prediction Changed
12:33 PM 02/05/2007

Election Prediction Project

London West
Ontario Provincial Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

Progressive Conservative
Family Coalition
New Democratic

London West (100%)
Hon Christopher Bentley

2003 Result (redistributed):

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07 10 07 prognosticator15
Bentley has a clear advantage. Voting public in LW consists for the most part of well to do and so-so professionals plus the residents of the many highrises. The later group is mostly instinctively Liberal or NDP and is expected to vote so; the NDP candidate here is politically weak, however, and will not split the vote in any significant way. The first two groups are more pragmatic and vote based on expectations, so to beat Bentley the PC must score well in these groups. Although in theory not unrealistic in this politically moderate riding, in 2007 provincial elections it is hard to see how this can be done. Some reasons are mentioned by SCW below; I agree. Another reason is a very solid Bentley campaign, with ads everywhere. Most important, he highlights the money he brought into the many various projects in the riding (or allegedly brought on his own, as one politician alone will almost never be that skillful). These ads work very well creating further expectations.
The PC also has a visible presence here and a base constituency. Allison Graham is not as weak as some suspect, she is a well known newspaper observer and has also managed to advertise herself well during the campaign, but this on its own is not enough, even for a woman. Very few will vote for her for these reasons alone. With Bentley establishing a strong presence and an impression, whether true or false, of a major role he plays at Queen's Park, the majority of pragmatic voters will be unlikely to vote for the opposition. He also managed to present himself as less ideologically driven than many other Liberals and else. Only by attacking Liberal policies rather than Bentley himself can one score points in this riding (Health Tax, more taxes coming etc.), and even this strategy (followed by Graham) can hardly bring on board the vast majority of the first two groups I mentioned which PC needs to win here. I predict a Liberal win ranging anywhere from 5 to 20 percentage points on election night depending on the turnout by the Liberal support groups. Beyond statistical margin of error.
07 09 27 nesooite
Unless there is a total province wide collapse by the Liberals, a la Peterson in 1990, the Liberals should be easy winners in this riding. Bentley is a cabinet minister and Tory/NDP candidates are weak. Tories were smart not to nominate retread like Bob Wood but needed a stronger candidate than Graham.
07 09 23 Nick J Boragina
Even with Freedom Party Leader, Paul McKeever running here, I donít see it as having a real impact on votes. The Liberals won by 20 points last time in this riding, and unless we start to see the Tories closing in on a Majority, this riding will return a Liberal to the Legislature.
07 09 18 A.S.
Bentley not only won handily, he clobbered Bob Wood on a scale one'd expect from an incumbent rather than a challenger. At this point, deem him a SW Ontario version of Michael Bryant, i.e. landsliding atop a split opposition for as long as he's able. (A hard-won feat after years of London Liberal doldrums. Two decades ago, it seemed like *all* of London was wall-of-Liberal a la Chris Bentley. Then, Marion Boyd did to David Peterson what Chris Bentley did to Bob Wood, if not worse still. Hey, you never know...)
07 09 03 jpm
The NDP have just nominated Paul Pighin, the first HIV positive person ever to run for public office in Ontario. While a win may be optimistic, they will certainly build on their previous results. The Tory candidate is very lightweight and doesn't hold much hope. Bentley is a cabinet minister with considerable name recognition, so he'll be tough to knock off.
07 08 11 RyanOntario
Want to mention that Allison Graham is the pc candidate here not Bob Woods he lost the nomination.
its way to early to predict this seat , but think the pc'c and ndp will not give Chris Bentley a free pass back to queens park and make this an interesting race.
07 04 27 J Adams
The Tories are trotting out former MPP Bob Wood as their candidate of choice. Wood barely won his seat previously and lost by 10,000 votes last election. Couple that with a crippling debt to the local PC Association and Bentley looks like an easy winner.
07 04 24 SCW
Chris Bentley is well known, and well liked. He has also been a great Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities that has delivered significant resources to Fanshawe College and UWO, and was a very good Minister of Labour. Both of these positions have given him significant media profile in London. He has also been rumoured as a potential replacement for Dalton when he moves on, which got play in the local media.

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