Holland, Mary Rita
Pundits’ Guide – Ontario (Kingston and the Islands)
2011 Provincial Election Prediction
2011 Federal Election Prediction
2008 Federal Election Prediction
2007 Provincial Election Prediction
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| ||14 06 11
|It will be close but I feel the NDP will win it in the end.|
- The anybody but Hudak message from the liberals doesn't resonate here as the PCs came in third in the last election behind the NDP and the Liberals. It looks like that result will be repeated as the Bain campaign hasn't been doing to well.
- Many former Liberal supporters are angry at the closing of KC and QE and the Liberal candidate flip-flopped on the issue.
- Mary Rita Holland is a much stronger candidate as she, unlike the Liberal and PC, has run previously.
- The NDP has been going all out to win this. They even have Tom Mulcair coming.
| ||14 06 10
|I grew up in this riding, and while I haven't lived here for a while, there has never been a large NDP base here. I remember how hard it was for the NDP to get traction back in the Flora MacDonald days. Most projection numbers for this riding seem to show that the NDP would have to be doing better in Eastern Ontario to win here. Gerretsen finished 25 points ahead of Holland in 2011. While Kiwala does not have his appeal, that's a big margin for the NDP to make up when the party is in 3rd place in the East. I remember 3 years ago when it was assumed that the collapsing Ignatieff campaign & the Layton wave would let the NDP win here. Layton himself stopped by in the final week, but yet Ted Hsu held it for the Liberals despite the retirement of Peter Milliken. I don't think Kiwala is as strong a candidate as Hsu, but it shows she may be able to do the same thing - step into the vacancy created by a long-term incumbent retiring, and maintain it for the party. The NDP may finish ahead of the Conservatives again here, but they might not be able to win here unless Andrea Horwath can pull off a Bob Rae and win the province.|
| ||14 06 10
|Heroic effort; yet somehow, I feel that calling it for Holland is too hasty--the heart of Flora Toryism just seems too symbiotic with Wynne Liberalism for comfort. If it were Pupatello as Liberal leader, there'd be more of a possibility. And moreover, if it were Holland running *federally* in 2011, she could well have taken the seat. So I was ready to hand this over to the Liberals--then the final-stretch Compass poll came out; maybe there is, indeed, still hope hereabouts...|
| ||14 06 09
|Mary Rita Holland I think is going to take this riding. She is the only candidate I have seen coming out to the doors in my neighborhood and the only one I have seen or heard anything about taking part in Community events. When it comes to the debates, Mary Rita Holland has been the clear winner in my eyes and many other people I know. Sophie seems to mostly just try and defend and prop up Wynne and barely speaks on what she herself is willing to do for Kingston and the Islands. The somewhat recent crop up of those large Sophie signs are a clear indication that she is in panic mode and is fighting a losing battle.|
| ||14 06 09
|Kiwala is underwhemling, yes. Holland is a really excellent candidate, yes. The Harvey Rosen crowd is sitting this one out, yes. Let's get real for a moment. This is a public service riding through and through. Wynne has done well to marginalize the NDP, the NDP campaign has been a total flop, and the NDP are polling between 15 and 8 percent in eastern Ontario. Do the predictors know how many Kingstonians voted in the Liberal nomination race? Almost a thousand. That's ten percent of NDP's result last time. This only seems like a contest online. It won't be when the results are counted.|
| ||14 06 06
|This seat survived the liberal meltdown in 2011. 'Scott' says the NDP are going to take it. Sheesh....Kathleen Wynne isn't doing THAT bad. |
| ||14 06 06
|It would appear that this race is sliding in favour of Mary Rita Holland for NDP. She certainly is winning the lawn sign game all over Kingston and locals seem disenchanted by Kiwala's campaign... or lack thereof. It looks like Kiwala is riding on the Liberal Party precedent in Kingston and the Islands and that's about all she is doing in her quest to win a seat. Holland is a well-known and respected community member and I'm predicting that she has the momentum right now and that it will carry her through to the 12th.|
| ||14 06 06
|Wheels have come off the Liberal campaign - NDP campaign is firing on all cylinders. Will be interesting to see how many votes were Gerretson vs Liberal ones. NDP gain - the only NDP seat east of GTA.|
| ||14 06 04
|Holland can win Kingston, and there is a perfect storm brewing to make it happen.|
Kingston is primarily a services town, with military, institutions and other government agencies operating here and they are ALL at risk of job cuts under Wynne or Hudak. Our whole local economy counts on those jobs and both the PC and Liberals have tossed around ideas about moving money away from Eastern Ontario, towards Western and Northern Ontario. Their platforms are propping up votes from the north and west banking on strongholds like Kingston for easy wins. The NDP will spend precisely what is needed in order to achieve their plan fairly throughout Ontario.
Horwath has gone on record when she was in Kingston, to state that the NDP alone is prepared to keep all these schools in Kingston open, scrapping any Liberal plans to consolidate schools into one megaschool. KCVI and QECVI potentially closing still has the community very much in an uproar. Businesses are afraid of what a QECVI located megaschool could do to the traffic problems already facing this busy city.
A megaschool will hit business sales revenue the hardest, because Kingston doesn't have the transportation infrastructure to support such a move and the traffic problems with the megaschool are likely to prove too expensive to cure, when so much money is needed for road repair already. The Liberals or Conservatives might seek a higher student transfer payment to the city from Queen's University and St Lawrence College in order to pay for this local megaschool and all the things needed to make it happen while jobs dwindle from local businesses due to local inefficiency.
Parents and buses littering the streets to and from one central location would make dropping your kid off and picking them up very difficult, time consuming and even dangerous -- especially in winter months when roads aren't getting ploughed properly throughout Kingston. All our children are packing on weight from sitting around too much, so the idea of removing their ability to walk to a school close by them is completely baffling.
Now apart from the more pressing local issues, there are other burning reasons voters may decide to oust the Liberals in Kingston this time around. Liberal MPP Gerretsen was simply getting too old at 71yrs to run again. His replacement is a federal liberal staffer with no electoral candidacy experience. Gerretsen was one of McGuinty's inner circle and largely responsible for the poor decisions McGuinty's government put forward, including many broken promises and wasteful spending. Gerretsen was shuffled around in the cabinet quite a bit and eventually became a 'Minister Without Portfolio'... which is kind of embarrassing since he was the Attorney General and head of the cabinet. Was Wynne blaming Gerretsen for Liberal shortcomings, or simply being efficient considering Gerretsen wasn't running again? You decide.
Hudak's performance in the debate made him look like he was being a bully towards Wynne and he came off as pretty dishonest to me, for a guy running on honesty. There is ZERO chance Hudak would EVER resign -- so basically voters have him ON RECORD as bold face lying. Voters can't possibly be stupid enough to buy this so it will possibly work against him.
Liberal leader Wynne is not setting a strong tone for her party, so there is also that to consider. She is clearly unsure of herself, as witnessed on the debate. Voters are looking to the NDP to stop Tory cuts in order to pay for a flawed job plan.
Libs won't qualify what 'rapid transit' means whether it's LRT or time travel devices. They won't say where it will extend, but it looks like it will only happen in Hamilton or maybe all of Ontario, but that 'depends'.
Depends on WHAT?
Hamilton is an NDP stronghold, and that means in my opinion that the rapid transit in Hamilton idea put forth by the Liberals as a way to try and derail NDP votes locally in that area and that's partisan politics to curry favour in an area far from Kingston.
What have the Liberals really done in Kingston? Not much for the roads or economy here. Food prices keep going up and the cost of living rises but do wages rise? Do businesses really give their people what they deserve?
These are some of the things voters are thinking this time around.
| ||14 06 04
|One week until the election and I still can't call this for Kiwala and the Liberals. This may be much closer between the Liberals and NDP than any race in recent memory. Holland has been notably more visible around town than the other candidates, has had good local debate performances, and is receiving broad lawn sign support around town on a scale not usually seen outside of downtown.|
Kiwala just doesn't seem to have the momentum going into early voting and election day, and a lackluster debate performance by Wynne isn't going to improve that any. It's all going to come down to turnout and whether the city's plentiful, traditional Liberal supporters are enthused enough to go out to the polls. Turnout last time was 45%, even lower than the provincial average.
Also, to someone earlier, 'Amherstburg,' South Frontenac, and Wilton border this riding, but are not part of it. There's maybe 10 houses on a small stretch of Wilton Rd that are at the NW corner of the city limits. Taking all the city north of 401 out of federal riding only shrunk population by 8,231, or 6.5%.
| ||14 05 28
|This is easily the NDP's best chance for a seat in Eastern Ontario. That combined with:|
- The NDP's polling above their 2011 result in the region
- The retirement of Gerretsen and relative weakness of the Liberal candidate
- The anger within the city over the Liberal closing of KCVI
- MRH's dominance of local visibility (signs, campaign staff, etc)
shows that this should be one of the NDP's few pickups in this election.
| ||14 05 20
|Still too early in the first two weeks of the election to get a good feel for the riding. The early lawn sign war is definitely being won by the NDP, and the road signs by the Liberals. Being a heavy public sector riding the Conservatives will likely decline a bit from last time, if anything based on their campaign theme.|
The local newspaper is Sun owned, and so far surprisingly NDP positive and quiet on the Conservatives (though predictably very anti-Liberal). This is likely because the NDP have the most well-known local candidate, while the Liberals have a new person who the leader was sent to boost to try to hold the riding (the Wynn campaign bus pulled up beside me on my way home)! That being said this riding has been Liberal a long time and engagement so far is fairly low, so many would just vote Liberal reflexively if things don't shake up more.
| ||14 05 18
|Holland is the top individual candidate in this race but sometimes politics isn't fair. Pundits often assume that Kingston is a sophisticated riding since it returned a parliament nerd like Milliken year after year, but this is the riding that elected a lightweight like John Gerretsen for years at the provincial level. If the NDP didn't take this in the last federal election - no Liberal incumbent, terrible Liberal leader, Liberal campaign in meltdown, NDP campaign soaring like no other, the university still in session - they're not going to take it in this election, with a terrible NDP campaign and a decently-popular Liberal leader. |
People (even Kingstonians) often forget that this riding isn't just Kingston. This riding should be named Kingston-and-the-hinterland - you have the islands, the edges of Amherstburg in the southwest, you're about ten minutes from Gan at the southeasternmost part of the riding, and there are large swaths of South Frontenac, from Wilton in the northwest to Burnt Hills Road in the northeast. This is not a riding that will elect an NDP.
| ||14 05 16
|New Liberal candidate Sophie Kiwala is an unknown factor. She may not get as much support as a well-known name like Gerretsen did, but I give her the edge for now. Even though the Liberal margin could go down here, the results of the last 2 elections show that the NDP & PC vote seem to get split at about 20% each, with the Liberals getting into the high 40's. With neither the NDP or the PC's able to break away from the other, that gives the Liberals the edge. As Trinity-Spadina Progressive pointed out, this riding even remained Liberal federally in 2011 in the Ignatieff collapse with new Liberal candidate Ted Hsu being able to win after long-time MP Peter Milliken retired.|
| ||14 05 16
|The consensus on the ground is that this is the best chance for an NDP win in Kingston since Gary Wilson's victory in 1990 (full disclosure: I'm currently involved with the NDP campaign). During the Liberal nomination race, several pundits including former mayor Harvey Rosen identified the NDP as the biggest threat to the Liberals here. What's more, the nomination race may have sowed some division within Liberal ranks, as Sophie Kiwala - a former assistant to Peter Milliken - has been perceived by some old-school Grits to be a federal intruder into provincial turf, having edged out Gerretsen favourite son David Morris, among others, for the Liberal nod. While Sophie is a strong candidate, her more left-Liberal orientation (John Gerretsen was widely perceived to be a blue Liberal) may make it harder for her to stop suburban votes from bleeding to the PCs. As for the university crowd, this may be the only riding in the province where a summer vote helps rather than hurts the NDP - Queen's students tend to be more politically conservative than their peers elsewhere, and the polls in and around the school gave Gerretsen nearly 60% of their votes in 2011. Combined with NDP and, to a lesser extent, PC inroads across the city, this means that the Liberals are at risk of losing the seat for the first time since 1990. It's not an accident that Kingston was one of the first stops on Kathleen Wynne's tour - the seat is definitely in play, and everyone knows it.|
| ||14 05 16
|With Gerretson gone, if McGuinty was still premier, or if Sousa or Pupatello had won the leadership race, the NDP would win by a slim margin. But Wynne is far enough to the left that the NDP will be kept at bay and the Liberals will win yet again, although the NDP will be close--maybe only a couple thousand votes behind.|
| ||14 05 08
|It's been fascinating to watch the old Tory stomping grounds from such luminaries as John A. Macdonald to Flora MacDonald be turned into an impregnable Liberal bastion. But that's exactly what has happened, federally and provincially. Even with the most recent federal disaster, Liberals cruised to an easy win in Kingston, with less than 20% of the vote nationally. It would take a paradigm shift of 1990 or 1995 proportions to move this out of the Liberal column, and in the case of 1995 it stayed Liberal even then. With or without the incumbent, I think this will be very safely in the red column on election night.|
| ||14 05 16
|Kingston held up for the Liberals in the 2011 federal debacle, nor did it embrace the Common Sense Revolution. With a fairly well educated population, a major university and a big number working for the public sector, Kingston has emerged as a Liberal stronghold. The NDP vote is limited by strategic voting. It's a good demographic for 'Kathleen Wynne Liberalism' and I don't expect them to embrace Hudak's embrace of austerity. |
| ||14 05 11
|This is probably the safest Liberal seat outside GTA. The last time a PC won this seat, Cold War was still on, an old guy named Reagan had just become the President south of the border and unless you were a Soviet scholar, you didn't know who Gorbachev was. Since '85, the Liberals have only lost this one once, and that was during the NDP's upset victory. No sign of it happening this time, so, the riding shall remain Liberal.|
| ||14 05 05
|With Gerretsen retired and this now an open seat, the race will be closer than last time. The Liberals are still well organized and have an edge in Kingston, but the NDP have an opportunity as well. PC support locally isn't strong enough to win this riding.|
Too close to call (for now).
| ||13 02 12
|The tides may be against the Liberals overall this election, but the Gerretsen brand remains popular in Kingston. Gerretsen's also fairly well-insulated from the prevailing scandals of his party.|
I expect Holland to outperform what she did in 2011 (she's slated to run again, as far as I know) while some Lib supporters once again stay home, but Gerretsen will hold on.