Prediction Changed
10:52 PM 04/10/2007

Election Prediction Project

Ontario Provincial Election - 2007

Constituency Profile

New Democratic
Family Coalition
Progressive Conservative
No Affiliation

Willowdale (96.9%)
David Zimmer
Don Valley East (3.2%)
Hon David Caplan

2003 Result (redistributed):

Authorized by the Willowdale Provincial Liberal Association.

07 10 07 Nick J Boragina
Iím going to re-enforce my prediction of a PC win here despite a Liberal call for the site. While every day I am thinking more and more that the neighbouring riding of Don Valley West might just well go Liberal, in Willowdale, I am still confidant in a PC win. The Tories have the edge in the sign war here, but as has been said many times before, lawn signs donít vote (wouldnít that be a sight!) What will win it for the Tories is the local candidate. Shiner is known here, and he has a base here. Even with socons sitting this election out, he has enough of a non-john-tory to buck the trend. Tory might not win his seat, but Shiner will.
07 10 05 Art Williams
As a long time Conservative supporter, I am reluctant to admit that Zimmer will sneak in again this time. Too many traditional PCers are sitting on their hands because of the school funding issue. John Tory's last ditch Ďfree voteí change on the policy appears not to have worked. Look for Zimmer to win again by the same margin as last (about 2,000 votes).
07 10 04 Old Willowdaler
Zimmer 45% Shiner 44% and the NDP will see in increase some of which will come from the liberals but some also from PC's angry at them but not willing to vote Liberal. This is my prediction. Latest poll I saw had an 8-10% lead for the Grits province wide so in 416 that has got to be what 10-30% depending on the seat. This is by and large the toughest seat for the Liberals outside the NDP downtown strongholds. Zimmer will be reelected on the 10th is my prediction as of today.
07 10 02 MH
The effect of Mr. Tory's announcement Monday may well be to keep this in the Liberal fold. Much depends on whether those who were going to vote for Mr. Shiner because of the promise of funding for religious schools will now withdraw their support because they feel betrayed, or whether they will forgive Mr. Tory for doing the only thing he could to revive the PC campaign, in the hope that if the PCs do get into office, he will reverse himself a second time, abandon the promise of a free vote, and fund religious schools after all. This one remains TCTC, with a slight edge to the Tories.
07 10 01 Stevo
I think Shiner is a goner. With John Tory in the fight of his life in Don Valley West, you can expect Tory resources in the 416 to be congregating there, leaving candidates in other ridings sidelined, including in the much more winnable Willowdale. The recent revelations about his acceptance of a salary from the city while campaigning in this election will not sit well with voters, to say the least.
07 10 01 Old Willowdaler
Today's decision by John Tory to flip flop combined with Mr. Shiners previous inexplicable decision not to take the month leave have likely handed this seat to Zimmer by less than 1000 votes. Mr. Tory has been hoisted by his own petard. Having run those ads rebuking Dalton for Ďbreaking promisesí he has now flip flopped on the funding issue making those who might have supported him less likely as the election is not over and one has to question not only Ďtrustí but his judgement for embarking on this policy in the first place (see my posting in Don Valley West for details). This was foreseeable as is his defeat now in the election. He has also tanked the only seat in Toronto the PC's had a chance to take This means that Mr. Tory will not only lose to Dalton (possibly even a slim majority) but he and Shiner will both lose come e-day.
07 09 30 binriso
best tory chance in the 416, but thereís no certainty of a win here yet. Will most likely be closer than last time.
07 09 29 AL
This could have been a pick up for the Tories as they were only 1,000 votes out last time and since the faith-based schools issue should have been enough to push at least that number of usually Liberal voting Jewish residents into the Tory column. However, the Orthodox Jews who are most supportive of the Tory funding initiative are mostly either south of Lawrence or north of Steeles skipping Willowdale. The killer, though, is Shiner's self-immolation. His politically inept decision to collect his city council salary while running for MPP rather than take a leave of absence has been on the front page of Toronto newspapers several times this week due to Adam Vaughan's motion on the matter. Shiner has been forced into a humiliating climb-down all without apologizing to voters or admitting a mistake. Moreover he pilloried Olivia Chow last year when she ran for parliament and took an unpaid leave of absence from council rather than resigning entirely. Shiner's hypocrisy in not only not resigning but not even taking a leave of absence does not look good.
07 09 28 GN
I attend the all-candidates at Senca College. Shiner was wild. I was with five people and the concensus was that he needed anger management classes. He tried to take on Zimmer and he had his facts all incorrect. He even tried to get the audience to believe that he was the main reason David Miller's new taxes didn't go through. He seemed to forget that everyone knew he would vote for that in the first place and it was Brian Ashton and other who caused the deferral.
07 09 28 RyanOntario
pc gain why well because David Shiner is a city councilor and voted against Mayor David Millers unpopular tax increase plan , local voters will remember this. he has also just announced he will be taking a leave from city council and will be donating salary during campaign to charity. this issue had been causing him some problems but i think he solved it with this decision.
07 09 28 Not from Willowdale but it shouldn't matter
Double-dipping with one's City salary while campaigning for job in another level of government is PROHIBITED at the federal and provincial levels (the MP or MPP MUST RESIGN their seat), and yet here Mr. Shiner is, chafing at even having to just take a leave of absence from the City. One can only conclude that Shiner's candidacy is toast when the good citizens of Willowdale catch up to the news... from a recent Toronto Star main news article by Paul Moloney at
07 09 25 lrs
If Liberals keep doing well in 416 area- seat should stay Liberal-why should we expect Shiner to do better than David Young- powerful cabinet minister in 2003 - not a seat where NDP will do well -may be Tories'best result in 416 area but still fall short to retake seat- Liberal victory by 5%
07 09 24 Steve
In 2003 David Young received about 38 to 40 percent of the vote, while the PC party polled at 23 percent in 416. Shiner should be able to take this one.
07 09 23 King of Kensington
I'm going to say this will stay Liberal. David Young I would say has more name recognition and respect than does Shiner. The only reason why he did better during the disastrous '03 election is because he was the only Tory in Toronto who had any personal following (David Turnbull in DVW was elected simply for being the Tory). Shiner is not a particularly respected councillor and he only represents half of Willowdale.
People mention the religious schools issue. The riding is less Jewish than it used to be (around 10%) and the riding lacks the Orthodox enclaves of ridings like Eglinton-Lawrence and Thornhill where people are actually likely to cast their votes based on funding for religious schools. Remember only 25% of Jewish kids in Toronto are actually enrolled in day schools and certainly a majority of parents have no intention of sending their kids to one. The riding is quite diverse with large Chinese, Korean, Iranian and Russian communities.
In the end I expect Zimmer to take it by a similar margin as last time.
07 09 20 OgtheDim
I live and work in this riding.
Willowdale is no longer as Jewish as it was 10 years ago. In the central condo area and in the east end cul de sacs of this riding, home ownership in is now overwhelmingly non-Jewish, with a preponderance of Korean and Chinese speaking people. That does not mean the Libs get their vote automatically, but it does severely lessen the religious schools vote.
Shiner has made a number of enemies in this area with his stance for and against certain development projects; his unwillingness to give up his council seat has hurt him too.
But, even more importantly, there is no Shiner machine. Local politics in the area is sleepy, with no real candidate taking Shiner on for decades. That ?machine? was fully working on Turnbull's campaign in the last provincial election, and it got beat. As for Shiner's mom, old politicos like Paul Godfrey may remember her but nobody around here is going to vote for her son because of her.
Zimmer is not exactly a shining candidate, but the Libs are taking troops out of safer ridings and putting them in this one. It will be close, but it will be Liberal.
07 09 20 Politically Active
Was this ever a Liberal riding? Zimmer rode the wave to victory last time around. Sorry no wave a comming now!!! Each candidate must stand on their record and David Shiner is definitely the most impressive candidate in this field.
07 09 17 Pete B.
Definitely a PC pickup - even with David Shiner running for them :). I am not impressed with Shiner (I sat with him on a Board previously), but he IS an old cunning fox and this is prime Tory land in the GTA.
07 09 16 MH
Perhaps still too close to call, but Willowdale, like Eglinton-Lawrence, is one of a very few Ontario ridings in which the religious-funding issue will help the party. That in itself may be enough to put Willowdale into the PC win column. The NDP doesn't have a prayer but could act as spoiler by taking away Liberal votes.
If there is any kind of shift to the Tories or away from the Liberals in Toronto, this should be the easiest seat for the Tories to pick up. Even absent such a shift, Willowdale could go PC. John Tory should have run here rather than in Don Valley West!
07 09 16 Nick J Boragina
No doubt about it, this will be close, but Iíve been looking at the local riding (I work in the riding) and the local issues. Iíve also taken note of the province wide trends. Even with the Tories at their current low, they are still being projected to win this riding by the numbers. This riding should, if my numbers are on target, be a bit stronger then Don Valley West. If John Tory does not win his seat, this seat should at least still go PC. It is close, and Iím not 100% comfortable calling a riding this close so far from E-day, but Iím confidant enough that the Tories will win one Toronto seat, and if they do win just one, this will be it.
07 09 13 Old Willowdaler
Watershed moments come very few and far between in politics. Up until yesterday I thought it likely that the riding could go either way and seemed likely to land in the PC column. However, Councillor Shiner's inexplicable decision not to take a leave of absence likely cost him this seat. Although its not a requirement, the tradition is you stop collecting your pay while you run for another office, I mean we are talking about 1 month's pay here -What is the world was he thinking not doing so and more to the point now defending his decision to continue to collect a pay cheque while campaigning. Councillor I think when you look back this is a classic DUH! moment. Zimmer truly has horse shoes!
07 09 12 mb
I think that this is the most likely seat in Toronto to go to the Tories, more so than Don Valley West. There is a lot more money here than the olden days. And the Shiner name has much more profile here than Zimmer, both mother and son. I also agree with others that Zimmer beat the Harris legacy rather than his opponent last election. Should be Shiner is a close one.
07 08 28 jl
This was very close last time, under the Tory debacle of 2003. Things will be more even this time. Zimmer is a nice guy, but has a very low profile in government. David Shiner, a respected city councillor, should be able to squeek by.
07 08 26 A.S.
It's puzzling how a seat as fed-Grit-boring as Willowdale has come to carry some kind of enduring provincial PC rabbit's foot (even, as in '03, in defeat) ever since the collapse of the Big Blue Machine; now, John Tory is bidding to extend the rabbit's foot tradition with the highest-profile PC candidate in the 416 other than himself. Even so, it's an oddly tentative gesture, David Shiner's candidacy--if John Tory were *really* ambitious, he would have finagled Denzil Minnan-Wong for DVE and Karen Stintz for Eg-Law, as well. But when it comes to climbing back from shutout, one step at a time; and if Shiner seems forlorn, well, maybe forlorn is forearmed. However, I'm having problems forecasting a Shiner win without a John Tory win in DVW as well; indeed (and with undertones of Layton/Chow in '04), I can picture Shiner more or less sacrificed on behalf of a 'pushing Tory over the top' emergency. Still, Willowdale will continue standing as a litmus for PC ?reach? in this and future days and ages--not least because, thanks to the continuing massive condo-ization of the Yonge and Sheppard corridors, it's bluffed into being one of the most rapidly growing seats in Toronto...
07 08 24 Old Willowdaler
Willowdale has gradually changed over the past few years. Phil Givens (downtowner) beat Mel Lastman (NY's Mayor) when this was armourdale. Along came Bruce McCaffrey and Dr. B who held various section for the Tories. Then it switched over to Gino Matrudola before swinging back to the Tories only to be retaken by Zimmer.
How is this a factor? Well Phil Givens proved that being a member of council or even the mayor is not a guarantee of the seat. Afterall Givens was not from WIllowdale and Mel was. Therefore not so sure that the Tories should bank it based upon the profile and service of a local politican.
THis riding see-saws back and forth between the Grits and Tories. Since the good old days of Dr. Stephenson and MacCaffrey it seems to prefer one term MPP's which does not bode well for Zimmer. Provincially it truly seems to be a bellweather and whomever takes it takes the government. The exception of course being federally since 1984 (A close loss by Peterson that no one expected including Oostroom) where its been solidly Liberal really for most of this century
Federally since 1988 Peterson's federal votes tended to be weighed not counted it never came close, this is largely due to the fact that Jim was an outstanding MP who all sides of the house respected not to mention his long liberal line with Younger Brother David and his father the late Clarence (Pete) Peterson. Of course youngest brother Timmy's switch rocked the party. Therefore logically this is a truly Liberal seat and should help Zimmer
The fact is that Zimmer is NOT Jim Peterson. The fact is that Dalton McGuinty is not a Paul Martin or Jean Chretien that gave the Liberals a virtual stranglehold on this province. However, by all accounts Zimmer is respected and liked. I gather this is not true of the Tory who made some serious enemies in the area. The question is will those enemies sharpen the knives, if so then Zimmer is beyond safe.
If this election is close but the Liberals eek out a minority then I think it will be very close. If the Tories are on track for a Minority I think the Tories will likely have a good chance.
I give it a 60/40 Liberal right now but we still have a month to go and that is a very long time in politics.
07 08 23 King of Kensington
David Shiner is running for the John Tory Tories. This will be an interesting race to watch as it will see how much Tory's rebranding of the Conservatives as a more centrist party will fare in the GTA. Shiner was until very recently a big-L Liberal and has said he wouldn't support a Harris government. David Zimmer has a very low profile as MPP and adds nothing personally but still has the advantage of the Liberal brand in 416. Again, TCTC.
07 08 22 T.V.
This will likely be the closest race in the 416 (Don Valley West aside), but Zimmer will likely come out ahead. Despite the Tory meltdown in Toronto last election, he still beat a very popular senior cabinet minister. There's no reason that this riding should be any different from the rest of the 416, and that means that it will remain a Liberal seat. David Shiner is way over-rated. He's certainly never made much of a name for himself on city council. Remember when the Liberals said that they couldn't lose after they nominated ?popular? local councillor Sylvia Watson in Parkdale?
07 08 09 Skiptea
Why is this too close to call? PC's only lost this by 1,200 votes in 2003. No way the Libs will equal 2003. Their overall popular vote will decrease and this will be an easy pick up for the John Tory Tories.
07 08 01 seamus
This one is a lock for the Tories and their candidate, the popular second-generation Councillor, David Shiner. The Liberals would be smart to not dedicate too much resources to this one. Best to protect some of the nearby 905 York Region, Peel and Halton seats instead. The other David, David Zimmer, is a nice guy - but you know what they say about nice guys.
07 08 01 T-Man
Zimmer is a lightweight. He didn't beat David Young; Ernie Eves/Mike Harris beat David Young. With a slight shift (and a John Tory win in the general area) and we have a return to the PC fold.
07 07 19 E. Duncan
David Shiner is a popular sitting Toronto City Councillor with lots of name recognition and support. His late mother was also a popular municipal politician which should help as well. With Shiner's base in the riding, his fundraising connections, and a Toronto leader, Shiner will take this riding by at least 10%.
07 06 03 King of Kensington
Willowdale was surprisingly the best Conservative showing in '03 and it can entirely be explained by David Young's personal popularity (David Turnbull in contrast had no personal appeal) but not even he could survive the province-wide trend against the Tories and 416 shutout. If Young runs again I'd give him the edge, if not it could go either way. Willowdale, an affluent suburban riding. is certainly better-than-average Tory turf in the 416 (which isn't saying much!) but it's not as naturally Tory as neighboring Don Valley West.
07 05 06 Angry Ontarian
I'm going to be ambitious and call Willowdale a PC gain. Grits only won here by 1,000 votes last time. NDP are up in the polls to scratch away votes on the left. And John Tory is much more popular than Ernie Eves.

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