Election Prediction Project

Canada Federal Election - 2011

York Centre

Prediction Changed
2011-05-01 09:10:00

Constituency Profile


Adler, Mark

Brownlee, Nick

Dryden, Ken

Frei, Rosemary

Hon. Ken Dryden

Previous Prediction/result

  • 2008 Prediction
  • 2006 Prediction
  • 2004 Prediction
  • 2000 Prediction
  • willowdale (27/208 Polls)
  • york-centre (165/178 Polls)
  • york-west (2/154 Polls)
  • Reference:

  • Pundits' Guide


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    11 04 28 gosens
    I've stated my positions here earlier about the demographics in this riding, and called it TCTC. At this point I believe it's a lock for the Conservatives. Aside from the local dynamics and the upsurge of the NDP (in which just a little bit of bleed from Liberal to NDP makes a difference), I've seen some local polling numbers for this riding. It might not be as close as people think.
    11 04 28 PY
    Hold the phones: Andrew Coyne has endorsed the Liberals. Now if last night's rally didn't go especially well for Ken Dryden, then this latest endorsement could be a compelling reason for those who stayed at home in the last election to ‘rise up’ come May 2.
    11 04 28 prognosticator15
    The best review of this riding is in National Post, but they still overestimate the significance of Israel-related vote. The issue is important for some people here, but how many would consider it a number one issue is much less certain. The CPC tries to exploit it, of course, but this is not the same as to claim success. With Liberal organization exceeding Conservative in 416 area, all resources are pulled to this riding. I agree with the submission stating that before the CPC pulls an upset here, it is Liberal-favoured. Even if it is the weakest Liberal-favoured in 416 area, the LPC still has an advantage.
    11 04 28 Happy Warrior
    They had a huge rally in York Centre last night with Iggy and Chretien.. They REALLY are in trouble... The grits should be cmapigning in ridings that theyw ant to take form teh ndp and Tories. Instead they are ina defence mode trying to protect Dryden.
    Random vote predictions like the one Happy Warrior posts are a little loopy, but his arguments are sound and his prediction that Dryden is in trouble is coming to pass.
    Looks like the grits are losing and they know it... The Star, Globe and Mail, CBC, Citytv and global News all broadcast stories where Dryden says he has lost a big chunk of the vote.... I think he REALLY believes it...
    I say this one will be a squeaker and Tories will win.
    11 04 27 Jacob
    Adler could run the greatest campaign possible, he still will fall far short of catching Dryden. This is one of the safer Liberal seats in Toronto and Adler is a first timer. Not going to be as close as people think.
    11 04 26 will87
    For what it's worth I read something in the Globe & Mail to the effect that some Liberals are unsure of whether they can hold this seat.
    11 04 25 M
    I'm finally ready to make a prediction here. After Dryden made national news for erroneously declaring he was the architect of GIS in an all candidates debate, today we are learning from the Globe and Mail that ‘many Liberals concede that they’ll be hard-pressed to hold onto (York Centre)’. Looks like the Conservative Party is being finally welcomed here in Toronto.
    11 04 24 Not Non-Partisan
    Dryden is toast. Adler appears to have the better organization and the regional polls are showing the Tories something approaching 45%. Let's be charitable and give the NDP 10% (after all, the Dippers have had a pretty good campaign). The Green is going to get some, the whackos will get a bit and thats all she wrote...
    11 04 24 Stevo
    It's nothing short of astonishing that York-Centre - for decades perhaps the second-most secure Liberal seat in the GTA after York-West - has now become the Tories' #2 target in the city after Eglinton-Lawrence.
    I don't think the Tories will quite be able to pull it off, but this is one to watch on May 2nd.
    11 04 23 rsg
    Dryden's name and the Liberal brand will carry him to about a 3-to 5 thousand vote victory. It will not be close at all. fortress Liberal in Toronto will still hold.
    11 04 23 Brian Russo
    First, let's look at the candidates. Mark Adler (CPC) is a successful and well-known business owner. Ken Dryden (LIB) is a former hockey star and the incumbent since 2004. Rosemary Frei ran last time, and pretty much mirrored the Green Party support nationally. Nick Brownlee is a newcomer, running for (I believe) the first time.
    I'm subscribed to both Dryden's and Adler's email lists. The first thing I noticed is the tone of the emails. Adler's team definitely has a more positive and optimistic tone.
    I visited both offices to check them out and ask some questions. Dryden's campaign office doesn't look like it would hold more than 10 people, and it's right beside a ‘rub and tug’ massage parlour. The Conservative campaign office is in a plaza with loads of parking, and is a former bank branch offering a very large space with many offices littered with phones.
    It definitely seems like the Conservatives are much more organized than they were in 2008, and much more organized than the Liberals are now.
    The Liberals also seem to be operating off of old sign lists. My next door neighbour had a Dryden sign erected on his lawn about 10 days after the writ fell, and called to have it removed. He has since put a Conservative sign up in the same place his George Smitherman for Mayor sign used to sit. It's also worth mentioning that Dryden is still using his faded ‘Paul Martin's Liberals’ sign from 2004, with a piece of red tape covering the same of the former Prime Minister. It seems fundraising might be a big issue for the Dryden campaign.
    It must be noted that I have received NDP literature in my mailbox; I received none last time, which leads me to believe they're running a stronger campaign this time. Nick, the NDP candidate, is much more well spoken than Kurtis was last time and is sticking to message in a much more disciplined manner as well.
    Previous posters have also pointed out the changing demographics in the riding. I'm not so sure much has changed since 2008 but it's definitely a different riding than it was when Art Eggleton was bringing in his 25,000 vote pluralities. Further, running in a riding you don't live in doesn't seem to be an issue in Toronto ridings, so I wouldn't think that would hurt Dryden at all.
    I'd give a pretty good edge to the Conservatives here, based on a few factors I've personally witnessed:
    1. Mark Adler's tremendous organization
    2. Local Conservative campaigns positive messaging
    3. Dryden's desperate sounding messaging
    4. Stronger NDP campaign
    5. Dryden's negative week in the media (mentioned by the previous poster)
    Further, I'm willing to make assumptions that:
    1. Fantino's by-election victory will be noticed by the large Italian population in the riding
    2. Dryden's recent hip surgery may be holding him back from canvassing as much as he'd like
    All this combined, I will predict a Conservative win by somewhere less than 1,000.
    11 04 22 Yorker
    Ken Dryden had a really bad week in national media. With Layton crashing Ignatieff. Ken's chances look bleak. NDP needs to get 5% more in York Centre to help Adler to win and this likely to happen.
    11 04 22 Teddy Boragina
    It's happened before... I live North of Finch along Sentinel - about a KM or more from York Centre, and I've gotten another ‘Elect Ken Dryden’ flyer in the mail. If this had only happened once, I'd not be so keen to facepalm, but I wonder if these guys (his footsoldiers) have any clue what they are doing.
    11 04 20 Teddy Boragina
    I have to pass though this riding to get to and from work each day. This is what I see:
    Within a week of the election call, I saw a bunch of Dryden signs go up. After that, I did not see any new signs go up until Tuesday Morning, when I saw a whole slew of them on public property, including smaller signs. I even commented to the bus driver ‘To me, this says that they can not find private lawns to put these signs on’
    The Conservatives, however, seem to have a new sign going up every single day. While they are visible on public property, they have had far more signs on private property from what I can see. If new signs are going up every day that says they have people to do this, while the Liberals putting up large numbers of signs in spurts and stops tells me they may be running low on time (workers)
    I'm going to have to project a Conservative win.
    11 04 19 will87
    This may be close and who knows a surprise could happen on E-Day, but I won't a predict a Conservative victory (as much as I admit I'd like it) inside the 416 until it actually happens.
    Mark Adler probably does well in some parts of this riding, but my understanding is that it is a large riding and that Conservatives don't poll well in other parts either.
    11 04 16 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
    To comment Happy Warrior's post (we were disappointed that you did not make one of your random number predictions, they're amusing); having Bob Rae and Maria Minna coming to the riding is not a surprise but a wise move. Was close for the Liberals in '08 and they're wisely shoring up support. The bit about the rumour we will not comment on as it is nothing more than a rumour. Dryden being disorganized, wasn't there, can't comment. NDP voters have never been much of a factor here. Since '04 they've been getting 6 - 8% when you factor in the non voters. There isn't much NDP support to go back home. Now true Dryden is vulnerable and he can't take anything for granted but here's why we think he'll win again. Polls show CPC and NDP support matching that from last election in Ontario, while Liberal support is up 5%. With Liberals up that much since '08, they're going to win back seats rather than lose new ones. The numbers at the moment just say otherwise.
    11 04 16 Happy Warrior
    Here is my anecdotal analysis of why this one is going Conservative by closer to 3,000 votes. I am not certain where to begin. 1.Let's start with Bob Rae and Maria Minna coming into the riding on secondary tour to save Dryden. Use to be that Dryden was sent out around the country to help shore up other ridings at risk of loss, now Dryden needs rescuing. 2.There's a rumour in Liberal circles that Ignatieff offered to come to shore up York Centre but the Dryden people said ‘no’ because Ignatieff's unpopularity is a drag on Dryden's chances. 3. Dyden admitted to being out organized by Mark Adler at last week's all candidates meeting. He mumbled something about having election signs ready for the first day and making campaign phone calls during the pre-writ period. 4. Jack layton's performance has meant that NDP supporters will go back to their political home and support a very earnest local candidate Nick Brownlee. In fact Layton's undoing of Ignatieff during the leaders' debate brought focus to the Liberal leaders's abscence from the House. Dryden has a similar problem. I could go on but I will save some points for a future post.
    11 04 14 burlivespipe
    This shouldn't be questioned. It's a 5,000 vote lock; Dryden could win this while taking a vacation. It makes no sense that this is suddenly 'contested', and if so how is not haldiman--norfolk? Finley's got her hands full with speller, never mind the stench of her husband's illegal shenanigans.
    11 04 11
    Dryden has the brand name and is able to bring information to back up the brand.
    11 04 10 Ottawa Outside Insider
    If there was a Liberal seat that was TCTC, it could well be this one. That being said, I think Mr. Dryden has the capacity to swing York Centre back towards the centre. I have had the opportunity to hear Mr. Dryden speak on a wide variety of issues and if there is one thing that can be said for him, he comes to the show with the facts, and delivers it in a very convincing way, if a tad dry. What may serve as a strike against him is his somewhat reserved/removed style/personality that voters may see as a lack of interest in the issues they face. I still believe this seat will stay red but it won't be carte blanche as it is in many of the other T.O. ridings.
    11 04 09 rebel
    One missing item in Dryden's CV is a residence in the riding, a suggestion he refused in his first election in 2004. Dryden is a classic MP by convenience, given his riding by the party brass of the day. When the riding was entirely Liberal from end to end, that didn't mean much, but given present changing circumstances, might shift a vote or two from those who actually want their MP to represent them.
    11 04 09 joey joe joe
    Are you kidding me?
    Nano's has liberals up 9% in Ontario vs. last election. Dryden won by 5% or 2000 votes and was outspent by his challenger. This is not even close to being inplay unless the Liberals give up at least the 9% gain they have seen so far. Maybe in the Cons had a star candidate I could see this but seriously what are you thinking?
    11 04 08 Top Can Inc.
    Some high profile candidate...I haven't heard anything substantial out of Dryden in the last three years, other than the fact he wrote a book. That's usually a sign that he's disinterested and looking for something else to do. Why Ken Dryden bothered to run again baffles the heck out of me.
    Mark Adler is an impressive man with a strong economic background. I'm not saying he's a shoo-in, but I think on May 2 this riding could be a surprise. I'm half expecting this to come down to the wire, and possibly head into recount territory.
    11 04 05 Tony Ducey
    I've heard in some circles the CPC could win this riding. Won't happen. Dryden's to much of a big name to lose this. Easy Liberal hold.
    11 04 03 M.Lunn
    For a long time this was one of the safest Toronto ridings for the Liberals, but today it is one of the most favourable for the Tories. They have made major gains amongst the Jewish voters while minor gains amongst the Italian-Canadians. If the Tories do break into the 416 area code, they will probably pick this up while if shut out again, this will probably stay Liberal.
    11 04 01 gosens
    Happy Warrior may be warring very happily to make his victory come true by the exact number of votes predicted, however his analysis is completely off. From the bottom up:
    Rob Ford effect: none. The CPC demographic is completely different from Ford's, and other than *maybe* the ‘I'm sick of all these elections so I want a majority so we don't have to do this for four more years’ vote. Which is small.
    Rocco Rossi effect: none. enough said.
    Fantino effect: not really. and he's not on the hustings here. Besides there are far more Italians in the neighbouring riding to the south.
    Well financed Mark Adler: Sure - if he had spent more pre-writ. At this point everyone's under the same spending cap.
    No, the reason this one might turn blue is because the demographics are shifting in the right areas for the CPC including more Jews, more eastern Europeans, and general upscaling of the overall wealth of the riding. In a tight fight I'd give the tactical edge to the local Tories because their campaign manager knows how to target and focus resources where it matters.
    But all other things being equal in Toronto and in Ontario, this one will still be: TCTC
    11 03 29 MH
    Dissatisfaction with Stephane Dion's leadership kept many Liberal voters, in York Centre as elsewhere, at home in 2008. If dissatisfaction with Michael Ignatieff's leadership is as great, York Centre will see a close race and might go Conservative. Ken Dryden has considerable popular appeal, however, and barring a Liberal collapse in Toronto, he should return to Ottawa by a wider margin than in 2008.
    11 03 27 WAC
    I won't try to duplicate much of what I wrote for Eglinton-Lawrence, although much of the analysis is similar. This is one of the riding where we get to see if Kenney's ‘very ethnic’ strategy pays off. The Conservatives have heavily target Jewish voters and this riding has the third highest percentage of Jewish voters in the country at 24.4%. Also, it has the 11th highest percentage of immigrant voters at 59.4%. Since 2000 the trend in this riding is for the Liberals to get a little less in terms of raw votes and the Conservatives to get a little more each time. If that trends continues, then this riding could very well go Conservative. It's TCTC at the moment and is one to watch on election day.
    11 03 27 Nick J ‘Teddy’ Boragina
    People have been saying that many Liberals stayed home in 2008, and are using that as justification for this being a solid Lib this time. I, however, do not see any evidence that Liberals are being greatly motivated to get out a vote this time.
    11 02 23 Happy Warrior
    I predict a Tory victory by 2,356 votes. Since my last posting four(4) important things have changed in this riding and in the GTA.
    1. The new candidate, Mark Adler, has a rolodex that reads like a ‘Who's Who’ of the corporate and political elite as President of the economic club. That will translate into un paralleled financial resources for the campaign.
    2. Julian Fantino was elected in the recent by-election and will attract a lot of the italian community voters in the west end of the riding.
    3. Rocco Rossi has decided to leave the federal Liberal Party to run for the Progressive Conservatives provincially and adds to the momentum narrative. His italo-canadian roots are an added bonus. His departure will give a lift to all Toronto candidates in the next election if it is held before the provincial campaign.
    4. The Rob Ford effect. Rob Ford was elected and is a Conservative partisan. His endorsement of Mark Adler and Stephen Harper will give people who normally don't vote conservative the sense that they can trust Harper if Ford endorses him.
    This does not bode well for Dryden. I predict Dryden will seriously consider leaving politics all together to collect a federal pension that pays far in excess of his MP salary. He can rant and rail against the new Conservative majority government from the sidelines.
    11 02 01 Gladstone
    Dryden shouldn't take anything for granted, but I'm inclined to agree with Bear and Ape. There were a lot of Liberals who registered their protest against Dion by staying home, thinking ‘Ken Dryden lose?! You're crazy!’ They've been warned and they won't do it again next time.
    10 07 18 R.O.
    I just wanted to mention that the conservatives have a new candidate here as Mark Alder was nominated a month or so ago . That of course means Rochelle Wilner who did very well here as a conservative by Toronto standards is not running again .But it still appears that Mark Alder is a quality candidate for the conservatives and Ken Dryden would be after the close 08 results foolish to take this one for granted. it may be a 416 riding but the conservatives did manage to win almost 70 polls here in 08 which indicates they have a strong base of support in the riding. Ken Dryden did of course win more polls but it was one of the lowest number won by a liberal candidate in the riding in years. and i'm surprised after looking thur the results in more detail that its not listed as too close to call.
    09 09 17 Happy Warrior
    Wow! That's all I can say. Look at the predictions from the 2008 site. It's incredible that so many people called this a cake walk for the Liberals. Now Liberal predictors on this year's site are blaming the results on Drydens' un-politician like instincts. Do they really think that with a candidate who doesn't like people they can stem the tide? Not likely. There is a sea change and if Liberal voters don't show up it's like giving one vote to the Tories. If a liberal vote switches its like giving two votes to the Conservatives. I think it may be time to pull the goalie before the voters do it for the Liberals. I predict a 1,453 victory for the Conservative candidate if she decides to run again.
    09 09 14 Dr Bear & Prof Ape
    Demographic shifts and precieved partisan issues with Dryden are not the big factor in the '08 close call. It's (once again) Liberal voters staying home. Compare changes between '06 and '08: 5,480 few votes cast, CPC up 1300 votes, NDP down 1300 votes, Greens up 830 votes, Liberals down 6,300 votes. Everything will return to Toronto-normal in the next election and we call all go back to sleep with regards to this riding.
    09 09 05 A.S.
    You can't blame the raw eastern riding shift for the swing--those were some of the most Liberal parts of the former Willowdale riding--but yes, you can blame *who* lives there, especially now, for how this shifted from one of the three safest Grit seats to one of the three most Tory-vulnerable seats over 20 years. But frankly, it's a bit peevish to blame Ken Dryden's so-called over-rated partisanship; in such a regard, his never-vulnerable predecessor Art Eggleton was arguably *worse*--maybe Dryden's problem (unlike Eggleton) is that he's an awkward elected politician, *period*, leadership bid notwithstanding. He'd be better flipping places with Eggleton in the Senate, and that's no slur on the Senate. But because this is Ken Dryden in York Centre in a Count Iggy era (and what's the chance of Count Iggy being treated as a native son of sorts among hawkish Russian Jews?), I'm far more willing to bet on '08 being a blip than a belwether.
    09 09 01 MF
    The real problem for Dryden here was a spectacular drop in voter turnout - lots of Liberals just stayed home. The Tories actually only increased their raw vote by a little over 1,000. What a lot of people don't realize that the demographics of YC have changed a lot over the past two decades - the boundaries have shifted east and there has also been a big influx of Jews from the FSU who tend to be much more rightwing and hawkish than most North American Jews (the riding is around 12% Russian I believe), plus a substantial Orthodox population around Wilson mobilized to come out and vote Tory in big numbers. I expect a higher turnout next time and for Dryden to take it again easily.
    09 08 31 Stevo
    The relatively close result here in 2008 actually wasn't THAT surprising when you consider that Ken Dryden is one of the most over-rated and partisan members of the Liberal caucus. He was bound to turn off some voters here. And perhaps some of Peter Kent's magic in Thornhill worked its way south of Steeles Ave. Still, I can't see York Centre falling out of Liberal hands under any circumstances short of a moderate Conservative majority (~165 seats).
    09 08 27 R.O.
    This was one of the 416 or city of toronto's closest ridings ( there was 3 seats in toronto the conservatives lost out on by about only 2000 votes in each those being eglinton lawrence , don valley west and york centre ) it is a contest between the liberals who have held the seat forever and the conservatives who on the other hand have not held it for years and when looking thru the records for this riding that was actually 1958 to be exact although it has likely been redistrubuted a fair bit since then. but they are competitive in the riding now due to the fact the party has increased its support among the jewish community and was why Rochelle Wilner was so popular here. The liberals do have a well known mp here in Ken Dryden but the fact his vote dropped so much even though he was well known should be a concern for them and unless they manage a stronger turnout next time this riding could go blue as odd is that sounds to some even though it is a 416 riding.
    11 04 28 Ted J
    This will be the first riding in the 416 to go Tory, mirroring what happened in Thornhill (the riding immediately north) during the 2008 campaign. A lame duck Liberal MP, declining national Liberal support, and a much stronger Ground Campaign was the formula which won Thornhill, and will be the formula which wins York Centre this time around. I'm sure of it. This riding will the the beginning of the end for Fortress Toronto.

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