Election Prediction Project

Canada Federal Election - 2011

Don Valley West

Prediction Changed
2009-08-30 14:08:00

Constituency Profile


Carmichael, John

Kabitsis, Dimitris

Oliphant, Rob

Wilcock, Georgina

Yovanoff, Nicole

Rob Oliphant

Previous Prediction/result

  • 2008 Prediction
  • 2006 Prediction
  • 2004 Prediction
  • 2000 Prediction
  • don-valley-west (192/195 Polls)
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  • Pundits' Guide


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    11 05 02 SL
    I live in Leaside and have been talking up my neighbours, particularly in North Leaside. Sense is that Oliphant did a fine enough job in the last three years, he'll get some solid votes notwithstanding Iggy's poor showing in the campaign. Seniors seem to be upset with Harper's antics on the Hill (proroguing, lying to parliament) and other lefties are upset with the absence of the NDP. So Libs will have it. Carmichael seems to rub people the wrong way.
    11 05 01 MH
    My final post returns this to the TCTC column. A pro-Liberal source tells me that either Oliphant or Carmichael can win this, depending on whose campaign workers pull the vote most effectively tomorrow.
    11 04 30
    I have to say Mr. Oliphant's fate is in danger this time. Yes, there is strong loyalist of him in this area, but as I spoke to some of them. I see a big portion began to get tired and discouraged because Liberals is incapable to get the office back. I can sense some of them won't go to vote 2nd May.
    11 04 29 Ross
    Response to R.O.:
    The difference here is there is no Conservative tide in the riding. In fact, a lot of Carmichael's signs went up very early, and there hasn't been an explosion since. It is probably 50/50 on signs in this riding if one were to do a count. This, coupled with the drop in Conservative numbers across the province and the factors listed in the previous post, Oliphant hangs on here handily. The fact that Carmichael is a weak candidate cannot be underestimated. This is not Whitby where there is a real ‘star’ prescence against Holland. Even in that situation Holland could still hold on. In this case, however, it is an individual who ran twice and was defeated, against a strong incumbent. Also, because Oliphant is the incumbent and has helped many people in the Thorncliffe and Flemingdon areas, he has solid support in traditionally strong Liberal sections of the ward. It is not scientific, but I was talking to relatives who live around Don Mills and he/she told me that Oliphant is viewed very warmly by people in Thorncliffe and Flemingdon and there are huge numbers of people volunteering on his campaign.
    There are some ridings where Toronto liberals could go down, but this isn't one of them.
    11 04 29 R.O.
    What ever happens i think it will be one of the closer elections we've seen in Don Valley West as liberals are not even doing as well is Dion did but polls all over the place . its tough to say what will happen in 416 as Toronto generally liberal but this may be an election where ndp and tories take at least a couple new seats within city. according to ekos its 33 ccp , 32 lib , 24 ndp in toronto but out of small sample size of 335 people. John Carmichael has been a good candidate for conservatives here but this likely his last chance to win the riding. Mayor Rob Ford's endoresement of Harper may also provide a bit of a boost in areas of city he won last fall but its tough to say for sure.
    11 04 29 All Over the Map
    The latest poll, from Ipsos, shows the Liberal vote collapsing in Ontario - 21% in latest poll! Granted, this is only one poll, but it is reflective of the trends in Ontario this election while the Conservatives have been holding steady, (just) above their total from last time.
    I also biked through the riding today and Carmichael, who never really campaigning, is doing better than last time. The Tories have been concentrating their Toronto resources here, in Eglinton-Lawrence and York Centre, and it shows. Sure, signs don't vote, but I have a feeling this will pay major dividends.
    I will concede that incumbancy will help Oliphant, as will the lack of an NDP base here, but I feel it won't be enough to overcome the aforementioned factors.
    11 04 29 Ross
    This is a Liberal hold, and it is because of the following:
    Rob Oliphant is a popular MP with a lot of local support, and irrespective of the broader national trends, people in DVW will return him. With respect to a couple of the points made about signs, Oliphant actually has a sharp increase of signs and it is pretty much even. In fact, I took a spin around the riding to check out the sign war and there are Oliphant signs where I've never seen Liberal signs before. He has a great deal of support in Lawrence Park and North Toronto, and even more signs than Carmichael in parts of Don Mills. Back in the early 2000s, David Turnbull had more PC signs than Kathleen Wynne but was blown out of the water. It is the nature of the riding.
    Another reason why Oliphant will win this riding again is that Carmichael is a subpar candidate. Apparently he was observed reading notes at the debates and not effective speaking extemporaneously. Voters in a sophisticated riding like DVW look for their representatives to be display intellectual rigour, and that is part of the reason Rob's appeal is so widespread.
    11 04 29 J.F.
    NDP surge? The only NDP signs in the entire riding are in front of the Canadian Labour Federation and have Layton's name on them.
    The NDP candidate Nicole Yovanoff has been nowhere to be found, no signs, no office, no appearances at the all-candidates debates.
    Toronto Star just confirmed that she's running the NDP campaign in Kenora, more than 1300km away from Don Valley West.
    11 04 28
    This should be called too close now. All of sudden today a lot of LIB signs are up to respond to the surge of NDP which might pull left voters away.
    11 04 27 MH
    Here is my post dated October 5, 2008:
    ‘My wife and I took a long walk that included Sutherland Drive all the way from Bayview to Glenvale. The tally: Carmichael 28, Oliphant 23; also four Green and one NDP. Of course, it's impossible to say how many (if any) Liberal supporters pulled their signs after reading about the anti-Liberal vandalism just across the riding boundary in St. Paul's a couple of days ago. Still, in the provincial election last fall, Kathleen Wynne had a slight edge in signs over John Tory along the same street.
    A Conservative-supporting friend who lives in North Leaside told me two days ago that he thinks the Liberals will win DVW, but offered the thought that, if they do not, the Liberals will take no more than 35-40 seats across the country. That would be a Liberal collapse equal to 1984. I think the CPC's numbers will have to pick up before that can happen. I also think that DVW is a much closer race than in 2006. The Grits will have to depend, even more than usual, on getting the vote out in the south-eastern part of the riding if they are to win this one.’
    Of course, if you believe signs don't mean anything, my peregrinations through Leaside, then and now, are a waste of time and you can ignore the next few sentences. However, I believe that Kathleen Wynne's victory over John Tory (an easier win than I had anticipated) were presaged by the signs on display in Leaside. In 2008 the signs indicated that Rob Oliphant was running second in Leaside. This year they indicate that he is running ahead of Carmichael in Leaside which, as I have said, is a crucial middle ground between the generally wealthy northwest area of DVW and the considerably poorer southeast.
    The northwest will vote predominantly for Carmichael; it has always been a PC and now a CPC bastion. Absent an effective NDP campaign, the southeast will vote predominantly for Oliphant. I have no way of knowing whether Carmichael's campaign is making inroads into Flemingdon Park, though I tend to doubt it. Asking poor people to vote for the CPC and its neoliberal policies is a bit like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas. Still, if Carmichael is to win this, he will either have to pick up his game in Leaside or he will have to make gains in Flemingdon Park.
    If I'm right, and Oliphant's campaign is picking up ‘a substantial part’, say 40-50%, of the votes lost in 2008, he should win fairly handily. If I'm wrong, and Liberal support is bleeding to the CPC, May 2 will very likely find Carmichael victorious. I don't think I'm wrong, however: my guess is that those Canadians who approve of Stephen Harper voted for CPC candidates three years ago, and that not a huge number who didn't vote for them then are going to do so now. Mr. Harper is a polarizing figure; those who don't support him tend to fear and loathe him. That, I suspect, will save Oliphant's bacon. Jon clearly disagrees. We shall see on Monday who is right.
    P.S. The race has tightened along Brentcliffe/Broadway (this time all the way to Mt. Pleasant): 22 Oliphant, 18 Carmichael, 1 Wilcock. Does it mean anything?
    11 04 27
    my office is in the area and I see extraordinary more CON lawn signs than ever before.
    11 04 26 Teddy Boragina
    Due to the polls, it has become much more likely the Conservatives will win 3, not just 2 seats in Toronto, this seat swings back to their column.
    11 04 26 Jon
    MH, I understand you don't want people to base their predictions on partisan opinions, but you're just factually inaccurate on many things. First off, this whole sign war thing is extremely overrated. Signs don't vote. John Carmichael won the sign war in 2008, lost the election. Sign war this time? Advantage Carmichael, and even in Leaside (having been in his office many a time) he's wayyyy up relative to last time. Your walks give you your indication, my recorded data gives me another.
    Second point, you say the Liberal sit out cost them 6500 votes last time and those will return. I've seen this in soooo many riding predictions, but it's JUST NOT CERTAIN. You guys act like everyone will be back and we'll be back to the days of Chretien and Martin. have you not stopped to think about the fact that Ignatieff's personal poll numbers are as low as Dion and the party is polling in the saem region? Why would there not be reason to believe A.) There will be another sitout and B.) Many Liberal votes will not bleed to the NDP (though that's not as applicable in DVW with the NDP caving in and not running a campaign and their main strength being Quebec now).
    Carmichael also has more resources and a much better machine (the loser tag may be there, but it also makes you one heck of a campaigner). He's got 12-15 people in the office all day, every day. Canvass teams of 6 going out and knocking off 3 polls 3 times a day (usually 2 or 3 of these teams are out). Well funded and has great lit.
    Also there have been reports of Rob Oliphant of bullying people on the campaign trail. Attacking Mr. Carmichael for his wealth and telling people he doesn't deserve to be MP. He has gone off on him in debates and he and his supporters have laughed at previous debates while Mr. Carmichael was in the middle of speaking. Unfortunately for Rob he knows his seat is about to turn. He's A.) had the NDP go non-existent (which wasn't the case last time with Sparrow) and B.) been very frazzled on the campaign trail and losing his cool.
    And please people enough with this he's an incumbent now point. Last time the Liberal vote total was wayyyy down. And now they're running an angry, frazzled, unprofessional MP with a leader that is just as unpopular as the last. I say it comes down to GOTV and comparing the two offices (I've picked up my friend at Oliphant's office), Carmichael has many more people signed up for e-day and has a much more fluent and organized campaign office. In the end, with the way the Conservatives are polling in Ontario (yesterday they hit 47% in the daily Nanos poll), I say Carmichael takes this by a hair.
    11 04 25 MH
    The key to accurate forecasting is not to allow partisan sentiments or wishful thinking get the better of one's judgment. When the election began I put this in the TCTC column, believing that Rob Oliphant was vulnerable even though John Carmichael was not a particularly menacing opponent. A star Conservative candidate would push Oliphant hard and might beat him, I said in 2009; as a two-time loser, Carmichael would have a harder time doing so.
    In the middle of April I found that, based on lawn signs, Oliphant's campaign was going better than Carmichael's in Leaside, that the Greens were down from 2008, and that the NDP was invisible, not only in Lawrence Park and farther north -- that was to be expected -- but also in the crucial Leaside area. Still, I kept DVW in the TCTC category until I did my trek along Sutherland yesterday. The evidence indicates that the Oliphant campaign is doing better than Carmichael's, and that it is certainly doing better than in 2008. The closeness of the margin in 2008 resulted from the lower Liberal vote more than anything else: the Liberals were down 6,500 from 2006, the CPC up 1,500, the NDP up 200, the Greens up 1,200. That is now history. My assessment is that a substantial part of the missing Liberal vote is returning to the Liberal camp, and that the NDP is so weak and disorganized in DVW that it will not affect the outcome. Indeed, this may be one riding in which some NDippers will vote strategically. A couple of life-long NDP members I know told me they will be voting Liberal ‘to try to keep Harper from getting a majority’; another long-standing NDP supporter says she will be driving Liberals to the polls on election day. Anecdotal evidence, but it's an indication that, in DVW at least, the NDP will not be a factor. As for the Greens, the party closest to my own views, the Georgina Wilcock signs are fewer than in 2008, suggesting that the Green vote, like the NDP's, will probably decline somewhat and in any case will not increase. Canada needs proportional representation!
    11 04 25 JT
    The Conservatives have never won this riding and they are not going to win this time. Rob Oliphant will be re-elected. Now i know that sixteen people are spitting up their coffee right now and getting ready to write that of course the Conservatives have won this riding. Don't bother. The Conservatives have never won here. The Progressive Conservatives won here a few times with John Bosley but the riding was significantly different. The boundaries were very different. The riding as it is currently configured has never elected any kind of Conservative, progressive or otherwise. And I had to laugh when I read an earlier comment that the Conservatives are leading on the Bridle Path. If every voter in the Bridle Path neighbourhood voted Conservative the Liberals would still win. Don't believe me? Check out how many voters actually live in the Bridle Path neighbourhood. It is not very many.
    11 04 26 Gilles Fecteau
    2008 was the first time Rob Oliphant ran, after John Godgrey's retirement.
    From the number of liberal signs, I see in the riding, I have no doubt, he will retain his seat with a higher number of votes than in 2008.
    11 04 24 Not Non-Partisan
    Look at the numbers from 2008. Oliphant won be about 5.5%. Are the Tories good for 3% more this round? Are the NDP going to get 3% more. Yup. Carmichael is going to win.
    11 04 24 MH
    Time for me to shift this into the Liberal column. Piqued by the posts contributed by Tahir and Not No-Partisan, I trekked along Sutherland Avenue after church this morning, going all the way from Bayview to Glenvale Blvd. It's the longest residential street in Leaside and a good indicator of how the sign war is going. The tally: Oliphant 28, Carmichael 20, Wilcock (Green) 1. This compares with the following numbers in 2008: Carmichael 28, Oliphant 23, Wilcock 4. Contrary to the claims made by Tahir and Not Non-Partisan, Oliphant signs now outnumber Carmichael signs on most Leaside streets that I have passed along. There are also more Oliphant signs along Lawrence between Bayview and Yonge and along the Lawrence Park section of Mt Pleasant than in 2008, although here, not surprisingly, they are somewhat outnumbered by Carmichael signs.
    It looks as if support levels for the Liberal candidate are returning to those enjoyed by John Godfrey. That spells victory for Oliphant.
    11 04 24 Jon Reid
    Though I believe this one may be TCTC, John Carmichael has bee doing heck of a job building a profile within the riding over the last few years. He has been in areas with apartment buildings, building a rapport with many Sikh voters who traditionally vote Liberal, and has also built good rapport with fundraising initiatives for the Leaside hockey arena to get their second hockey rink. Building support in areas like this, coupled with increased support in the North Toronto, Bayview and Leslie regions of the riding and the fact that he is a businessman in an election that revolves around the economy, bodes well for John. One last point, don't forget that Georgina Wilcock will siphon off more votes from Oliphant than people think. She is a very talented woman who has run before and seems to be gaining popularity here in the riding. With increased signage in areas he didn't have last time, with all those other factors, I say the third time's a charm for John Carmichael (at the very least this is still TCTC).
    11 04 23 Not Non-Partisan
    Carmichael will win. He looks strong in Leaside, stronger in the Bridal Path. How can a Tory party with well over 40% in Ontario not win here? If there isn't enough votes to carry a riding like this, their votes are so stacked-up in suburban and rural Ontario ridings that they must win all of them. Either way the Tories are coming out of Ontario with a huge seat tally, a la Mike Harris in '95
    11 04 22 Tahir
    Liberals have had heavy support from ethnic vote in Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park and somewhat from Leaside. This time around it has changed significantly in favor of Conservatives. Leaside and Thorncliffe Park are definitely going Conservatives and that's all conservatives needed from this riding. This riding is going Conservatives this time.
    11 04 20 Teddy Boragina
    Populations shift from time to time, and this is no longer one of the top 2 most winnable ridings for the CPC in Toronto. Considering 2 is a good number for them in the city, this riding will be staying Liberal.
    11 04 14 MH
    Traditionally the northwestern part of DVW goes heavily Conservative, and the southeastern end goes heavily Liberal. This means that Leaside is the key battleground, as it was in 2008 and in the provincial election of 2007. I'm not quite ready to concede this election to Rob Oliphant just yet, but his chances are looking good. Yesterday evening I drove along Broadway from Bayview to Brentcliffe, and then south along Brentcliffe to Eglinton. The tally: Oliphant 20, Carmichael 12. Nothing for the NDP or Greens, alas. Is this a sign that the Liberals are recovering from the loss of support they suffered in 2008? It seems likely, because the tally was close to a tie back then. If, in addition, any significant part of the NDP vote is slipping to the Liberals, Oliphant should win by at least 5,000 votes.
    11 04 10 MF
    In the last election, the Conservatives won the very wealthy ward 25 area, Leaside was an even Liberal/Tory split, and of course the Liberals cleaned up in Flemingdon. The Conservatives came within 2500 votes of taking it, and perhaps if they had a higher profile candidate rather than the car dealer they might have taken it. However I'm not sure how much room there is for further growth at this point, and I think in the end Rob Oliphant will hang on.
    11 04 02 M. Lunn
    A rather mixed riding with the inclusion of many wealthy estates near the Don Valley Bridle Path who may have voted Liberal in past elections when they were more fiscally conservative and the Tories and their predecessors in the Reform/Alliance were seen as too extreme, but now this group probably goes mostly Tory. By the same token there are many apartments and rentals who generally favour the Liberals. If the Tories pick up any seats in the 416, this will probably fall, but if shut out again, it should stay with the Liberals.
    11 04 01 R.O.
    Things look much more interesting in this riding than they did a few years back , buts its still one of those ridings that remains elusive for the conservatives . but it has voted for most conservative governments provincially and federally in past and a seat there targeting. John Carmichael is a determined candidate who's managed strong campaigns in the heart of liberal Toronto but if he doesn't win it most likely be his last election. liberal Rob Oliphant is a bit higher profile than last time but still not that high profile by toronto liberal standards.
    conservatives actually won alot of polls here last time in northern half of riding but did badly in southern part of riding , end result could depend on where voter turnout is strongest.
    11 03 28 MH
    If the Conservatives win a majority nationally, they will probably win in Don Valley West. One question is, however, whether John Carmichael can shake the loser tag now hanging from him. I suppose he's hoping the third time is lucky, but the Tories would surely have done better with a new and more impressive candidate. Still, Rob Oliphant won by only some 2,800 votes in 2008, and it will require a strong campaign to keep Carmichael at bay. At the moment this one is TCTC.
    09 09 25 Dr. Bear & Prof Ape
    R.O.: That poll had a large margin of error, 6%, which means that those Toronto area numbers should be taken with a large grain of salt (as even the pollsters admit). We agree with you that if the CPC is looking at a majority then this would be one of the most competetive ridings in the city. Thing is with a Liberal leader from the 416 we can't really see them losing any seats in Toronto proper....at least for now...
    09 09 24 R.O.
    There was an interesting ekos poll released it showed the conservatives 42 % leading the liberals 37 % in toronto area , now i'm not sure how accurate this poll was considering margin of error be pretty high but still it shows things have become alot more competitive in this area than in past elections when it was safe liberal territory. as for the race in don valley west specifically it looks like it be a rematch with liberal mp Rob Oliphant facing conservative candidate John Carmichael again. and considering the close result last time by toronto standards you have to think its going to be a race again as this riding seems to be one of the more competitive ones in toronto at both the provincial and federal levels.
    09 09 17 MH
    One of the very few 416 ridings which the Conservatives have a chance of winning, provided they can find a superstar to be their candidate and concentrate their resources here rather than frittering them away in ridings like Don Valley East and St. Paul's, where they don't have a prayer. Still, it's not a gimme even then, and if I were a superstar I'd want a more promising riding to run in and I'd very probably get one. So this seat will almost certainly stay Liberal.
    09 09 10
    Another easy pick up for the Liberals in Toronto. This riding is referred to as relatively conservative for Toronto, in part due to its affluent core, but the Liberals have continually defeated opponents here. Extremely unlikely to switch.
    09 09 03 A.S.
    Oliphant not only has the advantage of incumbency, he now has the advantage of a 416-based leader, as well. Yet the real hidden story of '08 is that the NDP's David Sparrow actually won polls here, and perhaps (with a lowered-threshold assist) earned their first rebate ever--though it'd be interesting if homophobia played a part in that (then again, it *didn't* play a part in Kathleen Wynne's provincial victories, so who knows). But, incumbency or not, I'll still stop short of an outright Liberal prediction, in case there's a ‘Linda Duncan in reverse’ effect happening...
    09 09 01 MF
    This is the most small-’c’ conservative of the 416 ridings, but the Tories came up just short of taking this during the Dion debacle. If they had run a star candidate of some sort they might have actually taken it. But now I expect the Liberals to increase their vote in Ontario and for the Tories to lose some ground, plus Rob Oliphant now has the advantage of incumbency, so unless the Tories nominate some superstar, I'm marking this one red.
    09 08 29 EP
    If the Conservatives could not win this seat in 2008, they are not going to do it next time. 2008 presented the best winning conditions for them. The popular incumbent retired. Nationally the Liberals stayed home in large numbers. Locally, the NDP ate into some of the strongest Liberal polls, i.e. the heavily ethnic Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon, due to the fact that the new Liberal candidate is an openly gay man. The local Conservatives machine was well oiled after a robust campaign for John Tory.
    They didn’t win it then. Now the Liberals have the incumbent advantage. Oliphant is a politically savvy rookie MP who works hard to shore back up the Liberal base in Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon while building a brand in the traditionally Conservative York Mills/North Toronto areas. With a more marketable leader and more favourable national numbers, Oliphant should have an easier time winning the next election than the last one.
    Of course, all that can change if Harper parachutes a star candidate into the riding. That would not be at all surprising. John Carmichael is nominated to run for the third time. Unlike the past two campaigns, enthusiasm is conspicuously lacking in his candidacy. He might very well be a seat warmer that is holding the nomination open for a big name.
    09 08 29 Stevo
    This summer was a rough one for the Left in Toronto. The CUPE strike left unions about as popular as earwigs in the city (well, in the suburbs anyway) and David Miller is widely considered a Dead Mayor Walking due to his capitulation to them. It's highly possible this whole episode has turned enough Toronto voters slightly more conservative (relatively speaking), and this shift may manifest itself in ALL levels of government.
    Could the federal Tories finally pick this seat up? I still say it's a long shot, but it's not an impossibility. Don West Valley remains the CPC's best bet for a pickup in the 416.
    09 08 28 JJ
    TCTC. One of the few Toronto ridings the Conservatives can win. This riding is leaning Liberal, but without the popular John Godfrey, it is vulnerable. A strong campaign from a well-known Conservative candidate may pull an upset.

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