Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003


Last Update:
3:21 PM 01/10/2003

Prediction Changed:
9:45 PM 30/09/2003

Political Profile:

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Liberal Party:
Monique Smith
Progressive Conservative:
Al Mcdonald
New Democratic Party:
Terry O'Connor
Green Party:
Todd Lucier

Al McDonald

Federal MP:
Bob Wood

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

19498 50.42%

16682 43.14%

1878 4.86%

366 0.95%

246 0.64%

2002 By-election:

*Al McDonald
13989 45.54%

George Maroosis
13970 45.48%
Wendy Young
1821 5.93%

Todd Lucier
940 3.06%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality11 427
Bob Wood
18 888 57%
Ken Ferron
7 461 22.5%
Alan Dayes
4 192 12.7%
Wendy Young
2 572 7.8%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation62.60%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born94.41%
Ontario Born83.09%
Visible Minority1.22%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$130876

College/Trade School20120

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01/10/03 Da Bomb
Email: NB_626_4_life@hotmail.com
There is only one poll for Nipissing, it's the MCTV poll. It comes out just before the election every year. This year's poll was 45 smith, 42 McDonald, with a 5% margin for error. That came out monday, if anything should tell you this is too close to call, that should.
01/10/03 October Road
Landslide Al McDonald will double his by-election win and finish 40 votes ahead of Monique Smith. This will be the closest race on election night and won't be settled until a re-count next week which will still show McDonald winning it.
30/09/03 Bull Moose
Email: twodogsredux@yahoo.com
I knew this would eventually happen as the Liberal party grew more popular through out the province. You can talk about the 19 vote by-election till the cows come home but this is Al's riding to lose. I don't fault the prediction, but trust me that this will remain blue. Every one loves Al in Nipissing, but there is some anti-tory feelings as well. The line of the election is - I like Al, but I hate the tories. - With the election result obvious, look for Nipissing to keep the best of both worlds, a non tory government and AL, clearly the best representative for the riding. Al will win, but i won't be surprised if its decided by a second recount in 16 months.
30/09/03 Lucky 100
This one looks like Al McDonald will hold it for the Tories. The Liberals were able to get close to winning this riding in the by-election because they were able to bring in their best campaign people from all over the province. With a general election this time, it's been up to the local Liberals in North Bay to run the Smith campaign and their inexperience has shown. McDonald has the better campaign and has set the agenda on the issues in a way the Tories have failed to to in most of Ontario. McDonald is going to win this time by more than he did in the razor thin victory of the by-election.
29/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
I have to change this prediction. Considering the Liberal sweep moving across Ontario, there is no way a marginal seat like Nipissing will stay Tory. McDonald is a good MPP and Smith is a bad candidate. However, that won't be enough, at least in this riding. McDonald won it in the by-election because loads of Tory resources were sent to this riding on e-day. That cannot happen in the general election when so many prominent Tories are in the fights of their lives. Also, Ian Urquhart is already talking about a cabinet post for Smith.
28/09/03 lrs
with Lib sweep and Tory polling badly in north- should be Liberal gain- Star's QP columnist has LIb MPP has a potential cabinet minister- I assume if she was going to lose or was in a tight race the columnist would have put a cavaet on his pick- Liberal win by 10-15%- back to Liberal seat as it was prior to Harris win in 1981
27/09/03 That's All Folks
The Liberal sweep is going to be nowhere big enough for a sub par candidate like Monique Smith to defeat a very popular local politician like Al McDonald. While Smith was working on Bay Street in Toronto for the last 15 years, Al McDonald was helping to build this community. Northerners vote for the best candidate every time and that's why good representatives like David Ramsay of the Liberals, Tony Martin of the NDP and now Al McDonald of the Conservatives survive.
25/09/03 Neil J.
I'm a Northerner and Northern voters do pay attention to the political parties and not just local candidates. But they pay attention is quite a different way. In many Northern ridings, voters think of the candidate before the party but the party still has much influence. Look at Northern Ontario in the last few federal elections. Liberals in every single riding for the last 3 elections. There were many high profile NDP candidates who were probably more known and better liked than their Liberal counterparts. But much of the support came because of the Liberal tidalwave federally. Nipissing voted 57% for federal Liberal MP Bob Wood. Mike Harris didn't get that much support running as Premier! I know Al McDonald is well liked by many but if this Liberal tidalwave dosen't fizzle out, Monique Smith wins.
25/09/03 Chocolate Chip Cookie
Northern voters don't pay any attention to who is winning the provincial government or not. That's why they keep electing NDP members when they know that party will never form a government. Al McDonald is just better known in this community for doing a great job on city council and for fighting for key issues when he went to Queen's Park. Monique Smith can't compete with Al's record of service to North Bay.
25/09/03 The Big Ape
Email: thebigape2000@hotmail.com
An exciting race indeed! I'm not ywt willing to hazard a guess on who will win this one. Looks like a stanch Tory riding in theory, yet the near by-election loss by the PC incumbant and the strong Liberal lead make it way too close to call. Alot of people will argue that this being Mike Harris' former seat, that it could not possibly go Liberal, however Lucienne Bouchard's seat in Quebec went Liberal too. Nothing is ever permenant in politics. Watch this one as see...
24/09/03 Craig
The race appears to be over and Monique Smith has regained the lead, especially when it comes to signs on private property and polls suggesting the Tories are in third place in Northern Ontario. I think Al McDonald will lose his seat on October 2nd, as the Liberals head for a majority government. The only thing that might save him is if there is a significant vote split, but he might fall so far that the vote split becomes a moot point. In a nutshell: Liberal pickup. Current prediction: Smith 48%, McDonald 36%, O'Connor 11%, Board 5%.
24/09/03 All Things Must Pass
If you look at the rest of the North, not one single incumbent MPP is going to lose. Al McDonald is no different than the rest of the northern representatives. There's a tradition in the north that once you're elected, you're there as long as you want it. Don't forget Ernie Eves won by 8 votes his first time back in 1981 and went on to increase his wins with each election. Al McDonald will do the same against a very weak Liberal candidate.
23/09/03 Dave
This will be an exciting race. Al McDonald, the Conservative candidate, is revered by the business community in Nipissing. The Tories, in the run-up to the campaign, poured millions of dollars into the riding. Nonetheless, I think the hearts of the regular folks are with Monique Smith, the Liberal candidate. In my experience, after talking to hundreds of voters, I have to think this will be a squeaker of a win for the Liberals. Most people won't say who they plan to vote for but a significant majority of them say that it's time for a change.
22/09/03 Andrew Cox
Email: andrewcox101@hotmail.com
Liberal pick up. Reason: The latest survey of the area show the Liberals way out in front with 42% of the vote and the PCs with just 27%. 60% says its time to give another leader a chance, and just 28% think Eves should be reelected. The SES poll was reported on in the Sudbury Star, and covers the Northeast of Ontario. It shows a clear trend away from the PCs in recent weeks and towards the Liberals, a trend that should help bring Monique Smith to Queen's Park.
20/09/03 Beans
At first glance, I'd have to say that the Liberals should have won Nipissing in the by-election of 2002. I think they missed an oportunity last year because now that Al McDonald is the incumbent, he's going to be much harder to beat. McDonald is a clever politician who's done some work on local issues like stopping the sale of ONTC and handing out some other cheques to key community groups. I think the Liberals took a very big chance not running George Maroosis again this year, especially when they decided to run Monique Smith. Smith gave the McDonald campaign a big issue to use against her because she's lived in southern Ontario for a very long time. McDonald is playing the home town candidate who's takinig on an outsider in Smith. This plan is working very well. It's going to be another close race in Nipissing but I'm very sure McDonald will manage to win again.
19/09/03 DL
Mike Harris would have been in deep trouble in his home riding if he had stayed around. He marginally beat the weak Maroosis, and this time would have been a whole different story. There are many people in Nipissing who idolize Harris, however, in 2003, there is a greater number of people who loath him. Al McDonald is a much better person than Mike Harris. I think he cares about his community, but he could be hurt by Harris/Eves backlash. After-all, he barely won this riding in the by-election, and the liberals will now get the chance to finish the job. Dick Smith was really popular in Nipissing, and his daughter has the credentials to win. Al McDonald, and Monique Smith are better candidates than Mike Harris and George Maroosis. This should be a tough, hard fought race, but I'm betting on Smith riding the liberal wave into Queens Park.
19/09/03 Speed Racer
The Liberals are not doing well in Nipissing and that's why they're hoping this story about some businessman trying to help the Green Party run a campaign will turn the tide. That's hogwash. Voters don't pay any attention to that kind of insider story. They vote on the issues and the local candidates, especially in the north. Al McDonald is easily the most popular politician in the region and Monique Smith is an unknown at best. Al will win by much more than he did a year ago.
18/09/03 Gerard Kennedy
What a weird riding! I am predicting a tiny Tory victory for the following reasons: 1) Nominating Smith instead of Moroosis has its pros and cons that will cancel each other out. Moroosis has failed twice but is still popular locally. Smith brings a new face but stinky "Parachute Candidate" comparisons. 2) Belive it or not, the Tories were doing poorer in the province wide polls at the time of the by-election than right now. 3) I know this is old news but it must be reiterated. Northern Ontario almost NEVER votes out incumbents. 4) It appears that the McDonald campaign itself was not involved in the Green Party scandal. Some voters don't realize this so the Tories WILL lose some votes. However, this will probably be cancelled out by the fact that many voters who don't vote for the government in by-elections will vote for them now. 5) Green Party is running a candidate anyway. 6) I am not sure who WD is but he seems to be predicting Liberal gains everywhere. The Liberals seem poised to win a majority but they can't win everything.
17/09/03 Old Bruce Boy
Email: dsimms@arvotek.net
The PC sponsorship of the Green candidate will make this a decisive Liberal win. The result of the last by-election was really close. Even Mike Harris wouldn't be able to win this one.
17/09/03 MB
I believe the Liberal candidate, Monique Smith, will win this riding. Despite the obvious ties with the Conservatives (North Bay, in this riding, is Mike Harris' hometown), opposition is growing to the relatively inexperienced Al McDonald. Once one analyzes the unbelieveably close results of the byelection last year, with consideration of the growing number of red signs dotting the landscape, I honestly believe that Monique will win this election by an equally close margin as Al won last year. Just so that you know, I myself am an undecided voter.
15/09/03 Free Beer
I was in North Bay on the weekend and there were McDonald signs everywhere and very few Smith signs. From what people told me, Smith has not been able to shake the parachute candidate label and this is killing her campaign. McDonald is playing the hometown candidate and it's working. Right now there will be no change in Nipissing.
14/09/03 knmocha
So a PC businessman is busted for trying to pump up the Green party candidate, who then drops out of the race. What high watted genius thought that one up. Even if the investigation shows that PC central office wasn't involved, it will leave a really bad taste in the electorates mouth. One thing you can be sure of is that people NEVER like having an election manipulated by one the participants. Small liberal victory
12/09/03 Christopher J. Currie
Email: 8cjc1@qlink.queensu.ca
There's been an interesting development in this riding. The Green candidate, Todd Lucier, has withdrawn from the race. He claims that he was offered large sums of money from a known Tory supporter, to siphon votes away from the Liberals. While there's no evidence that the Tory campaign was involved in this scheme, the publicity attached to the incident certainly won't benefit them -- and it may lead some more strategic anti-Tory voters into the Liberal camp. I had been tempted to call this one for McDonald; now, it strikes me as a genuine toss-up.
12/09/03 Craig
This is no longer a Liberal gain from what I can see - it will be repeat of the 2002 by-election - an absolute nail-biter. Both the Tories and Liberals seem to be at about equal strength right now and all signs are pointing to one of the greatest races in Ontario history. I wouldn't be surprised if a recount happens. The biggest wildcard left here is the reaction to the Green Party donation scandal - who was at fault and whether it will change the dynamics. At this point I doubt it. It will be a long night here! Current prediction: Smith 42%, McDonald 42%, O'Connor 12%, Board (new Green candidate after the scandal) 4%.
12/09/03 Frozen Toast
Dalton McGuinty did his first and last tour of the north this week and Nipissing was not on the schedule. McGuinty won't be going to North Bay because the Liberals know they aren't going to win there. Al McDonald and his campaign team are too much for Monique Smith. I think the Liberals underestimated the damage that dumping Maroosis did to the local party in Nipissing. There are a lot of long time Liberals who will not work for Smith because of the way she got the nomination. With less than three weeks to go to election day, it's more that time to change Nipissing to a blue riding.
10/09/03 WD
Not a swing riding, eh? How else to explain the allegation that a Tory backer wanted to finance Todd Lucier's campaign to split votes away from the Liberals? This one was soft for the Tories before, but now you can colour this one Liberal red with a surprisng undercurent of Green. I sense an anti Tory backlash coming on.
10/09/03 Buffy The Liberal Slayer
Landslide Al McDonald must have thanked his lucky stars when the Liberals decided to stop George Maroosis from running again and went with parachute Monique Smith. Maroosis would have made this a tough battle for Al but Smith just can't be sold in North Bay as a local candidate. I can now predict that McDonald will win by 2500 votes.
09/08/03 Paint My Fence
Ernie Eves and a his cabinet continue to drop into Nipissing to hand out cheques. Dalton McGuinty hasn't been back to North Bay since the Liberals lost the by-election in April, 2002. Time to call Nipissing for the Tories and then the North is taken care of for election 2003.
25/07/03 Summer Slam
The Liberals moved their entire staff from Queen's Park into Nipissing during the by-election because there were very few Liberal campaign workers in the riding. They won't be able to do that in a general election and Monique Smith has not drawn many new people to the Liberal cause. Al MacDonald has a team of dedicated supporters who live in the riding. They will be able to run his campaign and Al will be re-elected.
23/07/03 Nick Boragina
Email: kee_empire@hotmail.com
while not certain, I would speculate that the riding that previously elected Mike Harris would not return another member of the government. I'd have to think the next strongest opposition, in this case the Liberal party, would have a real chance here.
19/07/03 Teen Spirit
I compare Monique Smith to Dereck Nighbor in Refrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. Both claim to be local people but they haven't lived there in many years and just came back to run in an election. Al McDonald never left North Bay. He's been there all is life. That makes him the real local candidate. In Nipissing, this will be the difference.
18/07/03 Kippers For Breakfast
Al MacDonald was born in Nipissing, went to school there, worked in the community, was elected to city council and has a real life in the riding. Monique Smith was born in the riding, went away to school and didn't come back for a decades. This is so obvious. Al is going to be re-elected because he actually knows the riding while Monique is nothing but an oportunist trying to get elected. Al will clean up, end of story.
15/07/03 Leslie
Al has worked very hard for the riding since being elected. Unlike the Liberal candidate, Al has lived and worked in Nipissing for a long time and knows the riding well. I'm not sure how someone who hasn't lived in Nipissing for 20 years really knows what the riding needs. Another Liberal let down.
15/07/03 Scooby Doo
This race is not close at all. Al MacDonald is a well known and popular politician in North Bay. When he won the by-election he promised to fight to keep the government from selling ONTC and Al delivered. Monique Smith is a complete unknown who is seen by people to be a parachute candidate into this northern riding. Ernie Eves won his first election in 1981 by a handfull of votes and went on to widen his margin of victory each time after that. Al MacDonald will do the same. He'll win by 3000 votes this time.
10/07/03 WD
Like every other Tory riding in Ontario, Nipissing is going to be plagued by the same problem: people who voted for Mike Harris NOT voting for Eves because, well, he's not Mike Harris. When Tory voters sit on their hands, it plays to the Liberals' favour. Only PC candidates with high profiles or really strong riding associations are going to survive that dynamic. With no wedge issues to speak of, no charismatic hometown leader (if you listen to Eves he's from everywhere in Ontario, which makes him from nowhere in Ontario), a dose of Northern alienation (though less so here cuz they get a lot of government cash) and a backbencher candidate who barely eked out a win last time, this riding is IN PLAY. Not saying it's a Liberal win ... not saying it's a Tory win. It's just in play. Has been since the candidates were nominated. Period. Full stop.
09/07/03 Alanna
I don't know who you have been talking to but Monique Smith is not unknown and she certainly has a lot of support. For a city that is declining in population, North Bay can't afford to alienate newcomers to the city. This thought aside, Monique is not a newcomer to North Bay. Born and raised here she moved south, as so many young people before and after her, in pursuit of a career. Recently she has decided to return to her home town. Let's hope more young people follow her example. This aside, don't underestimate the strength of support there is for Smith. A native North Bayite, she has connections in unexpected places. And don't believe everything you hear about this supposed rift in the party between George and Monique supporters. The Liberals are committed to defeating Al and when push comes to shove I believe they will band together to do just that.
07/07/03 Bull Moose
I'm not sure what it takes to get a prediction changed, but truly I don't feel that this riding is too close to call. Nipissing is hardline conservative when it comes to provincial politics, the riding has been conservative for 20 or so years. Which brings me to the point that the argument that this riding goes as the governmnet goes is invalid. They were PC during Peterson, they were PC during the RAE days, they gave birth to Harris and the Common Sense Revolution, and Al McDonald is growing more and more popular. It can be argued that the PC performances over the past year will instigate change, I feel the opposite is true, Al offers the best of both worlds. He is a conservative without the taint of the Days of Action, Hydro deregulation, Walkerton and other unpleasent aspects of the current PC government. Al is well liked in Nipissing and has been for years, so it would take a really strong liberal candidate to unseat him. George may have given him a run, but! Monique just doesnt have it. She doesnt have the basic criteria to raise support, she knows no one, so she must rely completly on her Association to generate support. Monique may have been a good behind the scenes worker for McGuinty, but unfortunatley those behind the scene characteristics dont translate well into a start from scratch campaing effort. The issues of NDP and Green are mute (even though Todd Lucier's name hasnt been added to this site) because I feel the gap is growing too large for them to have any impact. Finally the evidence of Al's growing popularity is in the change of WD from Liberal to unknown, he must not be happy with his liberal sources!
08/07/03 Speak Easy
Monique Smith will be going to Toronto after the election but she'll be returning to her Bay Street law practice. Al McDonald won this race the second the Liberals did a number on George Maroosis and installed Smith as their candidate. They split the local Liberal group on the Maroosis issue and that has left the Smith campaign short handed. Al McDonald can be assured of a big win in Nipissing.
04/07/03 Pound Puppy
The Tories took away the one big issue the Liberals had in Nipissing when they announced that the sale of ONTC was off. Selling ONTC would have threatened Al McDonald's seat but without it, Monique Smith is left with no specific issue to change people's minds when they vote. Monique will have to hope the Liberals form a government and give her an appointment. Otherwise she's stuck in North Bay.
04/07/03 WD
Well, it is and it isn't about vote splits. In this riding, it's about whose candidate performs best. If the NDP and Green candidates are weak, look for them to post the kind of numbers they did in the last general election and not the byelection. This one is essentially a two-way race that's too close to call.
27/06/03 Mambo King
This one is all about the vote splits. The NDP, Liberals and Green Party will split the vote and Macdonald comes up the middle to win.
20/06/03 Good 'OL JR
I find it funny that the Liberal partisans are saying "The organization think they can win here". In the bi-election they were soooo sure they were going to win that Dalton flew up to give the victory speech and then flew back with his tail between his legs. Big Al will win this with a margin similar to Harris' in 1999!
16/06/03 Bull Moose
If WD's 'Liberal SOurces' are any indication of the quality of the Monique Smith campaign, then Al is in better shape then i thought. The Green Party IS running in Nipissing, they are running Todd Lucier again, and this didn't happen yesterday, it happened a month ago. Where are the Liberal's without the ONR issue?... no where... Avalanche Al takes it by over 5000 votes.
09/06/03 AC
Rebuttal from AC 1. I did not refer to Monique Smith as a star candidate. I did refer to the Liberals in Nipissing as well-organized. 2. I am not a local partisan... of course I am a partisan from elsewhere, but it isn't THAT hard to read the tea leaves objectively. Oh wait, it is. 3. Star candidate or no, it does not take a rocket science pundit to see that 1. the riding formerly held by inexplicably popular neocon icon Mike Harris has seen its margin reduced from 10,000 to 3,000 (1999) to 19 (2002). With an appetite for change across the electorate and that opportunity to effect change superceding the disinterest in a by-election with no large impact on actually changing the government, Al MacDonald is in trouble, and so is this seat, and this is why MacDonald has been so aggressively propped by his government.
09/06/03 WD
We all agree the margin here is really narrow. My sources in the Liberal party tell me they think this riding can be won, but they're hoping to hell that the Green Party doesn't run here, given their strength in the past byelection. As I have said elesewhere, this is one of six ridings "in play" where the Greens are potential kingmakers. So far so good for the Liberals -- no hippies in sight.
07/06/03 Sloppy Joe
The person who wrote the previous e-mail must be working on the Monique Smith campaign. Nobody else in North Bay would say that she's a star candidate. She hasn't lived in North Bay in fifteen years and just came back to town to run for the Liberals. When it comes to by-elections the governing party loses seats in most cases as people come out and vote against a number of issues the government takes on as part of running the province. Al MacDonald won the by-election because of his high profile in the community and his personal popularity. Monique Smith will not do as well as the popular George Maroosis did. He was a star candidate with years of service in the North Bay community. When Dalton McGuinty and his team took out George at the Liberal nomination and put in a former McGuinty staff person, it left a bad taste in people's mouths. That kind of inside politics doesn't impress people in North Bay. It turns them off. For all these reasons, it's very safe to say that Al MacDonald will win Nipissing by at least 2000 votes this time.
06/06/03 AC
Email: acameron@canada.com
This is a pretty close call, obviously, with a 19 seat margin... The reason 'new' incumbent Al Macdonald is a Parl. Secretary, on an upward track, and lots of Ministers have been visiting is because THIS RIDING OBVIOUSLY NOW NEEDS TO BE SHORED UP WITH PATRONAGE AND TORY LARGESSE WHILE IT IS STILL POSSIBLE! The 19 vote margin was a by-election result. There's lots of by-election theories. Sometimes, you vote in another party to send a message to the government of the day... BUT: this was Mike Harris' own riding. So that's a much stronger factor than when a routine backbencher steps down. A second theory is that by-elections do not excite the electorate, necessarily, because there ISN'T an opportunity to change the government. That was the case here. This will change when the general election finally gets called. Appetite for change is 57-63% (Ipsos and Ekos figures, I believe.) Liberal lead is high, and the leadership gap that existed between rookie McGuinty in 1999 vs. Harris exists no more with confident and organized McGuinty vs. wishy washy Ernie Eves in 2003 (or 2004?) So, when the electors of Nipissing get the general election opportunity to change the government, the people who stayed home for a by-election will come out strongly to put the final stamp on the direction this riding has been headed since 1999. Harris won it remarkably narrowly for a popular, populist, local-boy Tory riding as high as he was in 1999. The Liberals have narrowed it since then to the meagre 19 vote victory eked out by the Tories in that by-election. So look at that again. THE TORIES WON MIKE HARRIS' OLD RIDING BY ONLY 19 VOTES WITH A POPULAR LOCAL DEPUTY MAYOR, I think it was. so, while not enough for a Liberal by-election win, the 19 vote margin spells trouble for the Tories in a general election after a year of horrible and weak Eves leadership since that early May 2002 by-election victory. Other factors: during by-elections, all parties can throw a lot of resources into one place. This includes the Green Party and NDP, who obviously played spoiler in that 19 vote victory. In a general election, resources go to where they are most objectively needed. Finally, the Liberal Team in Nipissing is strong one. I dunno whether there is fallout from the nomination and candidate change. I expect not. Liberals in Nipissing were good folk, hard-working, and have taken the lesson of the narrow defeat to heart and kept working despite Al MacDonald's supposed strong profile. Prediction: Liberal in Harris's old riding. The end is near and Eves and co know it.
05/06/03 Alanna
The Liberals have a star candidate in Monique Smith. They only lost the byelection by 19 votes, only because the Tories are the reigning government and it is hard to convince people to vote for an opposition MPP. But Smith is smart, insightful, experienced and truly cares about the future of Ontario and Nipissing, qualities that have been lacking in Nipissing MPPs for some time now. I predict Al MacDonald's stint as MPP will be no longer than his role as Deputy Mayor. So long Avalanche Al, I pick Monique Smith to win the seat.
30/05/03 Political Hack
There's a rule of thumb in this business that if you lose a seat by less than 500 votes it's because the campaign team didn't get out the vote. You don't blame the candidate. Maroosis lost by 19 votes last year and even though Monique Smith used to work for McGuinty, it's hard to believe the Liberals decided to dump Maroosis and go with her. Speaking of Monique Smith, no matter what the Liberals try to spin, she's a Bay Street lawyer who's been parachuted in to try to win this seat. You don't have to be a political hack to know that a parachute candidate will never win a riding like Nipissing. Al MacDonald will be re-elected, even if the Liberals form a government.
23/05/03 Grizz
Here's Reality Check, checking everyone's reality except his own. Difference this time is I agree. Northerners vote more for a candidate than a party, and the Liberals dumping Maroosis was a bad move. The crystal ball is saying a Pc win ala Mike Harris 99 margin (few thousand votes).
13/05/03 Reality Check
Here's Craig again in need of a serious reality check in his home riding. As a "northerner" Craig should know that as many others have said, incumbents don't lose in this region where the public doesn't follow party lines when they vote. They put their X by the name of the person they think will do the best job. That's why Al MacDonald was able to win this seat in the by-election when everyone else had Maroosis winning easy. The Liberals really do have a no name candidate this time and that will be enough for MacDonald. The reality in Nipissing is a MacDonald victory.
12/05/03 Bull Moose
While there is no denying the importance of the parties in the election, to simply discount the merits of the candidates is ridiculous. Smith JUST CAME TO NIPISSing... Nipissing voters may be rural, but they aren't stupid, they'll choose a candidate that actually represents Nipissing. You can move to a new city and run for office most definetly... but not in the same year. Al winning wont be a surprise... an odd candidate like Smith doing semi well will be.
07/05/03 Craig
My home riding - definitely going Liberal now. Tory support has eroded since Al McDonald was elected by only 19 votes - and they have no room to drop off. In addition, issues such as the ONTC closed-door sale and declining jobs, especially in the rural areas, should reel him in. Predicted results: LIB 49%, PC 32%, NDP 10%, Green 6%.
05/05/03 Scott "the truth"
OK This time Nipissing will go Liberal. After what years of what Harris gave the riding as MPP, (Pouring lots of money to win votes) MacDonald just cannot do the same as a backbencher or opposition member.
21/03/03 El Predicto
AS makes an important point. Joe Comartin lost in the 1999 by-election and the NDP gave him another chance in 2000. They were rewarded with a surprise victory. The Liberals didn't give Maroosis a shot at winning this time after he only came up 19 votes short last year. Not a smart move for the Liberals. Instead they'll be going with a Toronto lawyer who nobody knows. I stand by my prediction that the Tories will win this riding by much more than 19 votes this time.
20/03/03 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
Well, thanks to riding redistribution, there *were* two Northern incumbents defeated in one-on-one races in 1999. Before that, two New Democrats lost in 1995, two Liberals in 1990, two PCs in 1987. Besides, the urban predominance of North Bay doesn't make Nipissing too difficult an opposition canvass, and it was always more of a "Mike Harris" riding than a naturally Tory riding per se--the federal record proves it. True, the present office-holder can point to Premier Ernie as evidence of a recount squeaker leading to a long, long tenure. But had the Liberals lost their best chance in the byelection? It seemed that, federally, the NDP's Joe Comartin had lost *his* best chance in the Windsor-St. Clair 1999 federal byelection--yet in the general election the next year, he went back and scooped it up, to everyone's surprise. And especially if the provincial trending's anti-Tory, you can be sure that this seat--which still bears Harrisian symbolism--will remain a very strong target, indeed.
05/03/03 GK
An incumbant has not lost in Northern Ontario since 1995 (when I believed one lost). Monique Smith is not a "star" candidate by any stretch of the imagination. Landslide Al is back and he's going to win by more than 19 votes. (The Grits COULD win this but only if they win a large majority.)
27/02/03 THE GAMBLER
The Gambler is putting his money on Landslide Al MacDonalnd to win Nipissing. Nothern ridings are as close as you can get to a sure thing in this game. Get elected once, and you're there forever. Just ask David Ramsay, Gilles Bison, Mike Brown, and so on. Landslide Al will keep this northern tradition going. This time the spread will be bigger than 19 votes.
27/02/03 PMK
Al McDonald in a cake walk. Al is beloved locally and after the squeaker of a by-election, he has proven to be on a meteoric rise through the ranks at Queen's Park as well. The voters of Nipissing have a good thing going and they know it.
21/02/03 El Predicto
The Liberals had their chance to win this riding in the by-election of 2002. Everyone knows they blew it. Now Tory Al MacDonand is the incumbent and will be impossible to defeat. Al has a personal popularity that goes beyond the party and was the key to his victory last time. Since his victory, Al has been very active in the riding and solidified his support. The Liberals also mad a big mistake not giving George Maroosis another chance to win Nipissing. This time the Liberals are going with little known Monique Smith a Toronto lawyer. Smith will try to play on the fact that her father was the member for this area in the late 70's but that's not enough to win the seat. Then Smith has a problem with the Maroosis supporters who felt the fix was in at the nomination where she defeated their man. You see Monique was chief of staff for Dalton McGuinty from 1997 to 1999. Put all this together and you can mark this down for the Tories.
16/02/03 M.S.
Well, the Liberals finally got smart and dumped Maroosis for Monique Smith. She might be just the bump that the Liberals need to take this seat back. McDonald hasn't been very impressive at Queen's Park, and Smith has good family name recognition in the riding. The Tories have good reason to be worried in this riding.
04/02/03 Neil J.
This one will probably be very close yet again! Al MacDonald is well liked by many locally but it will all really come down to the election campaign. If the Liberals receive a big surge in support provincially then Nipissing may possibly turn Liberal. That is only my opinion. I wonder if George Maroosis will be running for the Liberals again!!
30/01/03 JJ
As Ontario goes, so will its Blue Sky. Eight years ago, who'd have dreamed this would be the province's perfect swing riding today?
04/01/03 Leslie
Email: t4M@hotmail.com
This riding will stay blue in the next election. The PC's will be able to outspend the Liberals, and Al McDonald has a high, respect profile in the community. He has a commendable track record in the last 8 months, being appointed Parliamentary Assistant within 4 months of being elected shows he's rising fast at Queen's Park.
The Liberals should have one this in the by-election. I can't imagine that they would be able to win it now.
08/11/02 Andrew Cox
Too close to call. The last election was 19 votes. McDonald hasn't had the time to sink much support into the Nipissing bedrock. NDP voters will be thinking strategically, but 4.9% is starting to hit the core of the NDP vote. Basically, it all depends on the only variable that could change from the by-election: the Liberal candidate. If it is Maroosis again, it will be close, but will depend on the media campaign fought province-wide. If it is someone else, that could change everything either way. Can't call it until they nominate.
22/10/02 Bud
The Tories recent announcement selling off the ONTC doesn't guarantee that there would be no job losses. Al barely got elected in the by-election and any mistake will cost him his seat. He guaranteed voters in the by-election that they wouldn't sell off the ONTC and they're going to eat him alive for it. I predict that Al will lose and the Liberals will take the seat.
20/10/02 Dave
This was a close race in the recent by-election in May 2002. However, Tory MPP Al McDonald has been working hard for the riding since. The Tories have announced a positive deal with CN on the ONRail that will see no job losses in the community. They have opened a new heliport campus at Canadore College, and have contributed significantly to the new North Bay hospital, and AirBase property corporation and have opened 2 sections of the four laning of Hwy 11, a promise made, and kept my former MPP Mike Harris. Cabinet Ministers have made several stops in the riding for good news announcements, including Premier Eves, Ministers Jim Wilson, Tim Hudak, Dianne Cunningham and Norm Sterling. The Tories are again taking control of this riding after their close call in May.
20/10/02 Bryan
In the byelection held to replace Mike Harris, this seat was a must win for the Liberals, and they failed. This seat was ripe for the taking and they couldn't capitalize. Most (if not all) of the Liberal caucus spent some time campaigning, especially Dalton McGuinty. With everything the Grits invested here, that loss was stunning. Though I agree that the usual Northern Issues will come up during the campaign, I don't think the Liberals can take this seat away from Avalanche Al.
20/10/02 P H
This is simple the only reason the by-election was so close was b/c of an anti-HArris sentiment. They love Al Macdonald in North Bay and if there is one thing we know about the North is they tend to keep their MPP's in office.
11/10/02 Craig
It will be close. However, I think that the Liberals will come out with a star candidate and come through defeating the Tories. There have been some major job losses in the North and they want someone who can stand up for them. It really could go either way though. It will be interesting to see if NDP voters switch to the Liberals.

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