Election Prediction Project

Canada Federal Election - 2011


Prediction Changed
2011-05-02 02:16:00

Constituency Profile


Bérubé, Louis

D'Amours, Jean-Claude JC

Jules, Widler

Morrison, Lynn

Valcourt, Bernard

Jean-Claude J. C. D'Amours

Previous Prediction/result

  • 2008 Prediction
  • 2006 Prediction
  • 2004 Prediction
  • 2000 Prediction
  • madawaska-restigouche (169/182 Polls)
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  • Pundits' Guide


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    11 04 26 Junkie Politico
    I'm calling this one for the Conservatives, though I would not regard any Liberal predictions as flawed. My rationale for this call? Firstly, the Tories are back to the mid-to-high 30s range in Atlantic region polls. Riding polls in Newfoundland suggest that while the Tories are up there from their 2008 level, they haven't recovered to their 2004-06 levels in that province. Therefore, one must assume that some of this extra Conservative vote in the Atlantic region is coming from somewhere else, and New Brunswick seems the most likely candidate. Secondly, media coverage of the riding I have come across suggests that Bernard Valcourt was well remembered during his time as an MP, much moreso for apparently being very accessible as opposed to any stature that came from his cabinet position. Also, he certainly comes from the old PC wing of the party (and actually accidentally announced to the media that he was seeking the nomination for the ‘Progressive Conservative Party’ in the riding). So, at both the macro and micro level I see reasons to suspect that Madawaska-Restigouche will turn blue on May 2, though it will likely be closer than my partisan Conservative friends anticipate.
    11 04 21 Résident de Campbellton
    Je pense que le Restigouche est prêt pour avoir un Ministre au Fédéral. Et cette fois ci M.Valcourt est un candidat solide et interessant.
    11 04 20 JaneyCanuck
    I have changed my opinion slightly. I think the Cons may have a hope of winning the seat (Mr. Harper is in the riding today BUT he was supposed to arrive in Charlo, in the Restigouche part of the constituency) and instead, many who had to pre-register for security reasons were suddently infoormed yesterday that instead, the PM would be in Edmunston, home town of both major candidates.
    While this makes a certain amount of sense, voters in Restigouche are feeling ever so neglected and the PM there might have boosted the morale and energized voters. And there are just slightly more voters in Restigouche so this is a MAJOR problem. I hear reporters discuss this riding as it were Madawaska only but no candidate will win it sans Restigouche and Restigouche is a swing area- has been Liberal recentluy bu certain sections have voted NDP in recent federal and provincial elections. (Keep in mind Rest is close to Acadie Bathiurst held by Yvon Godin).
    Also, at least in Restigouche, the sign war is being won by M. D'Amours. So I am moving this riding into the Too Close to Call area.
    11 04 16 JaneyCanuck
    Initial, Pls check your facts!!!! Madawaska is a hot bed of Conservative votes and even if you go as far back as the book by the Dean of Cdn political scientists, Hugh Thorburn, this is true! However, in more recent years, even the Restigouche part has sometimes voted Tory (Jean Dubé in 1997) and in one recent 2004, he Cons candidate came within 1500 votes of victory.
    Also, for a time the PC Party of NB was known provincially and was even during the McKenna era as ‘le Bloc Madawaska’. The part continues to hold all the seats though one was lost in a byelection with the elevation of longtime Party stalwart Percy Mockler to the Senate but this is an abberation and the riding next to it is held by Bernard Valcourt's sister Martine, a cabinet Minister. The Health Minister also reps Edmunston.
    See the debate and riding coverage in the Telegraph Journal, which is typically Liberal in its bias:
    The latter is headlined Battle of the Titans and it is fast becoming THE race to watch in NB!
    11 04 15 JaneyCanuck
    Interesting that Prime Minister Stepehen Harper will be at Charlo Airport in the riding on May 20 so clearly this is a targeted riding for the Conservatives. Also, did anyone note the PM said hello to les Brayons et les Acadiens during the French debate. A sure sign this is a key riding for the Tories.
    11 04 11 pc
    The Region is known as the ‘Bloc Madawaska’ among the Provincial Conservative party. Taking in consideration the past history of conservative representation and that Bernard Valcourt is a person that would possibly get a ministry and that he already represented us in Ottawa in the past. Im really thinking that the Conservatives will win this election.
    11 04 10
    Former Mulroney-era cabinet minister Bernard Valcourt, whose sister was elected provincially last fall alongside three other provincial Conservatives in his federal riding of Madawaska-Restigouche. This rural seat will fall due to the gun registry three-line whip.
    11 04 10 Teddy Boragina
    Response to another commentator: Valcourt has won here before, provincially and federally. The rationale that conservatives don't win franco communities does not seem to apply here. I have family from here and I can tell you this portion of the province is much more ‘Quebecois’ than ‘Acadian’, culturally at least. While it would be a tough sell to get a conservative elected in the French communities in the eastern half of NB, this area is different. This riding was, decades ago, one of the only parts of Canada outside Quebec to nominate a candidate for Caouette's SoCred faction. This riding needs to be thought of as a Quebec riding, not an Acadian one.
    11 04 08 Initial
    There's a clear political line in New-Brunswick, which is also the linguistic line. Acadians (or Brayons) will vote red or orange. Anglos will vote blue. I doubt that this will change all of sudden, especially considering that conservatives did few for getting closer to the acadians (or Brayons).
    11 04 08 joe1
    2008 D'Amours won by 15% last time.
    He increased this % of the vote 9% and added 2500 raw votes in a down year for the Liberals. He was also outspent by $12k according to wiki.
    I don't see him going down but the Cons do have a good candidate so it will narrow the race.
    11 04 07 scorned
    With Bernie Valcourt in the race, expect a Conservative gain here. It will have everything to do with Valcourt, and little to do with Harper. If they want to win the riding, Harper should stay away from it, and let Valcourt do his thing. If they form government again, expect Valcourt in cabinet (again..circa 1988ish Mulroney Immigration minister).
    11 04 04 JaneyCanuck
    Mr. Lunn's analysis is partially correct - parts of Restigouche are Tory but yes, Dalhousie and the eastern end tend to be Liberal. That said, for awhile, the PC Party of NB was known as the Bloc Madawaska so it does not necessarily rely on Quebec for its political habits and has not for a very long time. Possibly in the fiftiies, yes but this is the 21st Century.
    I was at the nomination meeting and there was definitely a pro Conservative era in the air even from some Liberal mayors and other community Leaders. There is a chance since as M. Valcurt said in his speech ‘we cxan take nothing for granted’ but I note that even in 1997, even Jen Dubé won the Edmunston polls 8 to 1. Keep in mind Bernard's sister is a cabiner member in the NB Tory govt for a primarily RESTIGOUCHE riding which will of course vote for him., He comes from Restiggouche so that is why his candicay and name recognition make it especially difficult for the Liberal candidate. Btw, Bernard referred mainly to the Liberal Leader in his remarks, predicting he would be back at Harvard (see Telegarph Journal, Apr 4/11)
    11 04 01 M. Lunn
    With Bernard Valcourt throwing his hat in the ring for the Tories this definitely makes this more competitive. They did win this in 1997 and almost won it in 2006. While Restigouche County is solidly Liberal, Madawaska County tends to be fairly Conservative despite being largely Francophone. At the same time voting patterns seem to follow more those of neighbouring Quebec rather than New Brunswick thus this could be the biggest obstacle to the Tories as they are not doing well in Quebec right now.
    11 04 01 JaneyCanuck
    I thought this would be Liberal but even the classic book of Canadian political science by High Thorburn (‘Politics in NB’) suggests this is a ‘swing’ riding. It became MORE Tory (ie Progressive Conservative) when the electoral boundaries were altered and in 1984, it was won by Al Girard. Throughout its electoral history, it has produced colourful MPs and characters and is often a riding to watch because NOTHING is a given here. The provincial riding of Dalhousie Restigouche East is the safest for the Liberals but Madawaska is not known as Bloc Madawaksa for nothing. JP Ouellet came close last time (and especially the previous election) but he had some problems and was not popular. He did well IN SPITE of those defecits and the fact people were leary of PM Harper. Now, more and more people in this riding (incl surprisingly some Liberals) say they like Mr. Harper but perhaps more significantly, they dislike Iggy or at least cannot identify with him. These Liberals may well stay home or lodge a protest vote.
    The NDP is a non entitity and the candidate who has offered thus far is not well known outside of part of the provincial Campbellton district where he ran in the last provincial election. They may obtain some votes in Dalhousie.
    However, Bernard Valcourt is high profile, has a team (still together and enthusiastic from the winning provincial election)that is equal or better than that of the Liberal one and this should be enough to prpel him to voctory.
    It will be one of the most interesting to watch in the province if not IN the country.
    11 03 31 binriso
    Certainly a race now, and the edge is to the CPC, but it is really interesting how big of a margin it was last time based on the fact the CPC were solidly ahead votes-wise province wide. The Liberals may hang on just due to sheer math, though the Provincial PCs swept the area and have held the three Madawaska seats almost without interruption since Valcourt was leader in 1995 so he definitely has some coat-tails that could propel him to win.
    11 03 29 Nick J ‘Teddy’ Boragina
    This riding has always been the type to switch back to the Tories if there was a good reason, and with Valcourt running, now there is.
    11 03 29 Junkie Politico
    The announcement that former PC MP and New Brunswick PC leader Bernard Valcourt is running for the Conservatives does make this riding one to watch whereas it was gearing up to be rather predictable before. Valcourt nearly survived the 1993 PC wipeout and three of the six seats won by the New Brunswick Tories in the provincial election of 1995 were in the Madawaska region, so he appears to have, or at least had, a personal following. However, I wonder if Valcourt's heyday was simply too long ago now for it to be a major factor in shifting votes. A whole generation of voters have come into the electorate since Valcourt was a national or provincial figure. That being said, former NB PC MLA Jean-Pierre Ouellet, who was defeated in 1987, nearly won against Liberal incumbent D'Amours in 2006, suggesting that an old political name can carry some weight here. However, Ouellet was not able to capitalize on his near victory in 2006 in the 2008 election, and saw his vote actually drop while D'Amours' rose significantly, in part it seems from capturing NDP votes. The NDP ran a relatively popular candidate here in 2004 and 2006 and in his absence on the ballot paper some of his votes appear to have gone Liberal. Moreover, D'Amours not only increased his share of the vote in 2008 but also his raw number of votes, a rather impressive feat given both the lower turnout and decline of the Liberals in New Brunswick during the last election. Perhaps D'Amours is slowly building local credibility the longer he stays in and securing his hold on the riding. My gut says that the Liberals will hold this one, as D'Amours seems to have built up a good base of support and because Valcourt, while apparently well-liked, may be too much of a relic of the political past to sway enough voters to him, especially among those too young to have memories of his time in office. Should the Conservatives consistently poll above 40% in Atlantic Canada, however, this may be up for grabs by Valcourt simply due to wider regional trends.
    11 03 28 Phoenix
    After years of rumblings that he might jump back into politics, former Mulroney cabinet minister (and former provincial PC leader) Bernard Valcourt has finally announced that he's seeking the Conservative nomination in this riding. This changes the landscape of the race - the riding should no longer be viewed as a lock for the Liberals.
    Valcourt was always quite personally popular here, even in times where the party he was running under was considerably less so...and even in his lone electoral defeat in 1993, he still managed to attain one of the highest vote shares for the PC party in the country. Granted, Valcourt hasn't faced an electorate since the 1995 provincial election, so it remains to be seen if he still has ‘the stuff’ - but short of Bernard Lord himself swooping in on a parachute and running here, Valcourt is the probably the most likely candidate to win this for the CPC. In fact, Valcourt remains so popular here that his sister, long-known by her married name of Martine Coulombe, began listing herself as ‘Martine Valcourt Coulombe’ on election signs to capitalize on her family name when she ran for the provincial PCs in the riding of Restigouche-la-Vallee last fall. (She defeated the incumbent Liberal in a landslide.)
    All this isn't to say that the Liberals can't retain this seat, but if the Conservatives are still polling at 40%+ in the final days of the campaign, I wouldn't bet too heavily on it, least of all against a CPC candidate who has polled above his party in every election he's ever participated in.
    11 03 28 Nord Polisci
    This is one that is now certainly TCTC. Bernard Valcourt, a former cabinet minister and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick, has announced his intention to run. (http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/03/28/former-senior-tory-seeking-federal-comeback-in-n-b-riding/)
    While there is still a bit to go, JC D'Amours is never a guarantee. I would expect this one to be one to watch nationally.
    11 03 28 CL
    with former MP Bernard Valcourt running for the Tories, this stands a good chance of swining back to the CPC
    11 03 28 Tony Ducey
    D'amours came close to losing here in 2006 but in 2008 he won in a landslide, I expect a landslide for him again in 2011.
    10 04 24 ridingbyriding
    I wouldn't be so quick to call this a Lock for the Liberal Party. The area, Madawaska in particular, is much more of a unit on to itself. This is the part of the province where many people do not speak English at all, and where many people have last names that are more popular in Quebec than in the eastern french portions of the province. I won't comment on weather they are Acadians or Quebecois, as that is controversial, but they sure do swing at the ballot box like Quebecois.
    10 01 16 binriso
    Safest seat in the province for the Liberals, only lost it once (barely) in the 1997 collapse in the East and will no doubt be won again pretty easily. Chalk one up to the creepy Liberal logo.
    09 08 29 Haligonian Political Junkie
    Madawaska-Restigouche has been an interesting riding in the last three elections. The NDP had a surprisingly good result here in 2004, the Conservatives experienced a surge in 2006, and the Liberals defied the downward trend that toppled other Grits in New Brunswick in 2008. Indeed, Liberal incumbent Jean-Claude D'Amours went from being the Liberal with the closest margin of victory in New Brunswick in 2006 to the strongest Liberal in the province in 2008. I had thought that Madawaska-Restigouche would be the most likely Conservative gain in New Brunswick in 2008, yet it appears that fleeing NDP voters pushed D'Amours into a comfortable victory. The Conservatives, meanwhile, saw a slight decline in their support. Given that D'Amours survived the 2008 election by a healthy margin, I would be surprised if Madawaska-Restigouche does not go Liberal again.

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