Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003


Last Update:
5:04 PM 07/10/2003

Prediction Changed:
9:41 PM 30/09/2003

Political Profile:

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Liberal Party:
Phil McNeely
Progressive Conservative:
Brian Coburn
New Democratic Party:
Ric Dagenais
Green Party:
Melanie Ransom

Brian Coburn

Federal MP:
Eugène Bellemare

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

24356 54.56%

18052 40.44%

1195 2.68%

614 1.38%

247 0.55%

177 0.4%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality13 319
Eugène Bellemare
26 635 51%
Rita Burke
13 316 25.5%
Marc-André Bélair
8 738 16.7%
Maureen Prebinski
2 169 4.2%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation76.60%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born86.48%
Ontario Born58.57%
Visible Minority11.14%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$155981

College/Trade School20405

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01/10/03 AR
Perhaps a side-effect of being a higher-ranking provincial minister is that one might become to busy to remember his/her riding. This may be the case with Brian Coburn. Though a long-standing Ottawa East-ender, the lack of care to Orleans' problems in recent years may be his downfall. Traffic issues are escalating at the speed of light with the ongoing housing expansions, among other problems. Orleans needs a few years with an MPP that will the devote the majority of his/her time to the riding. Look for Phil McNeely and the Liberals to take it not only because Orleans' voters may be looking for someone new, but also because Eves has done quite a bit to bring down the party in general
30/09/03 Tory in Dixie
Email: canadien76@hotmail.com
Coburn surprised many with a Tory gain in 99 when the Liberals were largely the ones making advances. He will have to do alot of work to keep his seat, but an 8 point swing to the Liberals only puts this riding in play, it does not automatically mean a Liberal victory.
30/09/03 Thomas Verizon
Email: ThomasVerizon(at)netscape.net
The Coburn campaign is going all out to win this riding - they've already done a riding wide mail drop via Canada Post (most of the riding has those ugly Canada Post supermail boxes; I have yet to see any Liberal or NDP canvassors dropping brochures in my mailbox), and they're following up with individual canvassors/brochure drops at the home (in addition to using unconventional methods, such as the placing of flyers on windshields in heavily crowded areas, like theatres, and heavily advertising in community newspapers).
Not only is the campaign team more organized and better equipped to get the vote out on voting day (the campaign team has depth and experience - not only is this their second full provincial campaign, but the team has waged numerous municipal campaigns as well when the incumbent was mayor), but people from other areas looking in tend to underestimate the loyalty factor to Mr. Coburn - he did an excellent job as Mayor of Cumberland before he decided to run for provincial politics, which demonstrated his fiscal prowess, and an excellent job as an MPP (numerous projects have been funded, such as the Innes Road expansion).
Being a resident of Ottawa-Orleans for over 20 years, this riding sometimes leans towards the small c conservative side - the previous mayors (Cain in Gloucester and Coburn in Cumberland), before amalgamation, were always frugal (i.e. implementing 'pay as you go' techniques for projects, cutting taxes each year), which residents have always remembered; this sentiment sometimes manifest itself in municipal, provincial and federal elections - the people are looking a candidate who reflects their frugal, and cost effective ways.
This support can be translated, unscientifically, to the lawn signs on people's lawns. In my particular area Ottawa-Orleans, Chapel Hill, there's at least a 1.5:1 ratio of Coburn versus the Liberal candidate. Where I live, it's a 3:1 ratio (six signs for Coburn versus two for the Liberal). People in this riding also tend to look at the big picture first (provincial) and then focus on the local issues. The editorial boards of the three local papers, 'The Ottawa Citizen', 'The Ottawa Sun' and 'Le Droit' have endorsed Mr. Coburn as well.
Lastly, when one begins to talk to one's neighbours, there's also a bit of confusion in regards to the Liberal (big picture) platform - so many promises have been made, people aren't sure which ones will be kept after the election and what the leader represents, especially on the Hydro issue - at first, he wants the private sector to become involved. Now, it seems he wants the opposite. The frugal sentiment of the riding comes into play, as people are asking how the Liberals intend to pay for this when they become elected.
Finally, there's also concern regarding the Royal Ottawa Hospital (it's not in this riding) - a P3 project. The residents of Ottawa are worried that the project won't be funded once a Liberal government gets elected. The area PC candidates have turned this into a rallying point for their campaigns, which is forcing people to think about the Liberal campaign in a more critical light.
29/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
Email: gerardjkennedy@hotmail.com
Tricky riding indeed. Note to Craig: you seem to be predicting Tories losing between 10-30% in every riding. I have no doubt that they will be losing up to 30% in many ridings but your analysis would lead me to believe that they will receive about 26-30% on e-day and they will do much better. Trust me. David Young will do better than 40% and Dan Newman will do better than 20%. Nevertheless, I believe this riding will go Liberal. My Ottawa contact (a Tory might I add) tells me she believes all five "Ottawa" ridings will go Liberal. She says this is the only one the Tories have a hope of winning. Coburn is a good MPP and surprised a great many people with his win last time (this website did not predict it). He also is a cabinet minister, meaning his large staff will lose their jobs if he loses his seat (many will lose jobs regardless as opposition MPPs don't get large staffs). In addition, Coburn is well respected locally. However, so is McNeely. I think that personal shift will only swing (at most) 5% for Coburn. When we factor in the province-wide Liberal shift, I don't think Coburn will be able to buck the trend. On Thursday, I fully expect the Tories to leave their campaigns in Ottawa-Vanier, Ottawa South and Ottawa Centre into helping other area MPPs. Unlike the Tories in Toronto, where they can concentrate almost all if not all e-day resources into saving David Young (Kells also has a chance), the Ottawa-area Tories must realize that John Baird and Bob Runciman are also in trouble and surely they want to firm up those two ridings. A surefire 2/3 is a whole lot better than risking 0/3. Losing Runciman would be nothing short of humiliating. Coburn will have to be sacrificed if Tories want largest caucus possible.
29/09/03 Matthew Hough
Email: houghmatthew@hotmail.com
This race is close but McNeely will win. His campaign team has made an impact - in the streets and in the debates. The Hay West group had horses and wagons in the streets of Orleans on the weekend with Phil McNeely signs strapped to their sides. The key debate of the campaign saw McNeely supporters come out in droves (excuse the pun) to see Coburn trip over himself and learn something about the politics of mainland China. I agree with Craig's numbers.
Based on experience of candidates within the riding and how the people like the performance over the years.
28/09/03 Downtown Ottawa
This riding will be a Liberal walk for the simple fact that they are walking away the election. No Liberal candidate -- much less a credible one such as McNeely -- is going to lose this riding with the Liberals in the high-40s province-wide.
27/09/03 Craig
Liberals to reclaim the riding. The past fiascos may hurt the Tories some but the general province-wide shift will be the difference (especially in Eastern Ontario where only 1-3 seats will not be Liberal), and Phil McNeely will climb on top. Almost all the opposition here is red, since there is no NDP base. Current prediction: McNeely 53%, Coburn 40%, Ransom 4%, Dagenais 3%.
25/09/03 Paul
I'm unsure why Ottawa-Orléans is still listed as a win for the conservatives. Recent polls in the Ottawa area show the liberals well ahead. The area voted liberal in 1995. The Ottawa Citizen also predicts that this riding will go liberal (although they endorse Brian Coburn).
13/09/03 MW
Brian Coburn seems to have a narrow lead over Phil McNeely in the count of "signs on lawns" in the part of the riding my express bus takes me through, but both badly trail For Sale, who seems to have multi-party support.
09/09/03 The Big Ape
Email: thebigape2000@hotmail.com
I have to agree with the last few postings, that I don't think the Torys will keep this one. True that Coburn is popular but the formentioned fiascos are going to hurt the PC party. I give a cautious nod to the Liberals in Ottawa-Orleans.
05/09/03 DLP
I wouldn't be so quick to give this riding back to Coburn. In 1999, Coburn capitalized on the provinces preparedness to block Quebec construction workers from coming into Ontario. Things have changed since then. First, Quebec has a new, very federalist government. Whacking Quebec just doesn't have the same appeal that it did four years ago. It certainly has less appeal for those residents of Ottawa who have relatives on the Quebec side. Second, construction is doing well booming in Ottawa. Where workers come from is much less of an issue when there is lots of work. The immediate threat of losing a job to a "foreigner" just doesn't have the same impact when there is more than enough work to go around. Third, the Liberals know they have to work this riding. And they are. This time, they know they can't take anybody's support for granted. Phil McNeely is a good candidate with a good local reputation and profile in riding from his work on City Council and, more importantly, Hay West. If McGuinty maintains the momentum he's shown in the first few days, Phil McNeely is going to Queen's Park.
03/09/03 Poll Junkie
Thanks S. Webb, and you obviously have a lot more knowledge of this riding than I do. But my point still stands about the provincewide trends trumping local candidates as a general rule. I lived in Quebec in the late 80s and early 90s. Look at the Tory results in 1988 vs. 1993 and the contrast is staggering. You have candidates like Pierre Vincent in Trois Rivieres getting something like 80% of the vote and then getting demolished by the Bloc in 1993, most Tory candidates losing their deposits!!! When the wave goes out, in most if not all cases, it doesn't matter how well liked the local candidate is, they go out with the wave. And with the blackout disaster showing the Tory energy policy fiasco, the Aylmer food products scandal bringing back Walkerton memories, hidden budget deficits coming to the fore...I think Ernie and the gang are cruising for a massive bruising in October and they will be lucky to hang on to 15 or 20 seats. Ottawa Orleans ain't gonna be one of them. That's how I see it, anyway!
25/08/03 S. Webb
The thing is, Poll Junkie, in this race the local candidate really does matter. In 1999 Brian Coburn recieved something like 54% of the vote! An absolute majority in a riding where the Torie were 10% back in the 1995 election. That is with the same provincial swing of about 43% for the Tories. The only way that can be explained is by looking at the local candidate. Brian Coburn is very popular and that will be the difference on election day, regardless of the provincial swing.
09/08/03 Poll Junkie
Many posters on this board are over-stating the impact of a local candidate in a given riding to influence the election outcome. Coburn may be a great guy with a solid record, but this is shaping up to be a "throw the Tory bums out" election, and most of the Ottawa seats will go Liberal. IMO, it's only really big names like a Sid Ryan, Jim Watson, or a Peter Kormos that can withstand a provincewide wave like the one that will hit Ernie Eves in the next two months. Needless to say, Coburn is not one of those people! Solid Liberal win.
25/07/03 Matthew Hough
Email: houghmatthew@hotmail.com
I think it is time for this prediction to be changed. Coburn is suffering the effects of years of neglect in Ottawa-Orleans, and rightly so. While commuters face rapidly increasing traffic volumes, Coburn has stated that transportation issues within the City limits is solely a municipal, not provincial, responsibility. Coburn has remained conspicuously absent in the debate surrounding the placement of an industrial sized hog farm close to a residential area in his own riding. Coburn forgot his riding as two schools closed and the per capita spending for healthcare in Ottawa dropped well below that of Torontonians.
21/07/03 JR Villemaire
Change of heart. This race is too close to call. The anti-Eves sentiment will be negative on Coburn's campaign.
04/06/03 Greg
Phil McNeely has been tagged by both the Ottawa SUN and Ottawa CITIZEN as a man that spends and wants to raise taxes. He may not go on record at council for supporting a tax increase, but when you support multi-million dollar projects and want to go to court for everything, you show your true spending colours. Coburn's record is golden - win's hands down.
28/05/03 JR Villemaire
Email: jrvillem@hotmail.com
What use to be a safe Liberal seat was won by Coburn with almost 55% of the popular vote in 1999. Ottawa-Orleans is now a safe seat for Tourism Minister Brian Coburn. Coburn's great record and personal popularity will win him re-election.
28/05/03 Matthew Hough
Phil McNeely has voted for a 'no increase budget' three years in a row as a City of Ottawa Councilor. This, even after $20 Million worth of additional provincial downloading over the same three years. This year the Council is holding the line for residential and commercial is going down 11%. That is a major tax reduction considering inflation. The current City of Ottawa budget problem was created by the PC's and continues the 'pass the buck' approach to government started by Harris too many years ago.
20/05/03 T. Price
Stick a fork in him, McNeeley is done. He is wrapped up in the tax mess and he won't easily get out. This is the second time in as many years that he has been on the wrong side of a very public tax revolt. He won't get another chance.
09/04/03 T. Bailey
I have already stated why Coburn will be re-elected. Certain postings after my initial comments require response. Several Lib. supporters have attempted to conjure reasons why McNeely will wrest away the seat. These unfortunately do not represent the opinions of the voting public in Ottawa-Orleans. Examplfying these misalignments, is the focus on cabinet issues for which Coburn was formerly in charge, in his past post. Another raised concern, though worthy of discussion, is not nearly strong enough to represent a voter turn to the Liberals. This is public opinion of Eves. Though he has not yet attained the public appeal of Harris, he can build upon the trust he has acquired.
31/03/03 Thomas Mulligan
The riding is angry with Coburn of the Ward redistrbution plan,and Nutrient mangemen act.Mc Neely has a good track record as an employer and a city Councillor with added recognition fron his Hay -West campaign.Hard to beat a Cabinet minister but if there is a swing to the Liberals then Phil could do it. Eves is not as popular or more importantly as trusted by Tory voters as Harris was. And several decisions such as the Montfort , pig farms and and Ward boundaries will rise up to haunt Coburn. Still hard to call slight edge to the Liberals.
17/03/03 SRM
Cain is not around to deflect the Liberal vote to Brian. This time he is on his own and it does not bode well for him. 17,000 homes in Orleans are paying $250 per year too much for electricity and Hydro One holds on to their customers. One City, One Hydro. The City welcomes the Hydro One users but Brian will not budge. This costs Orleans residents $5 million per year. This issue cannot sit on the sidelines any longer; we need action now. It took McNeely just two years to remove the sand dredging operation on Petrie Island that prospered for all of Brian’s mayoralty, and turn it into the most beautiful beach in Ottawa. Coburn’s promotion of a bridge at Petrie Island and a Ring Road from Vars to Kars is out of touch with what Orleans residents want and need. McNeely is saying No Hogs, Inner Ring Road to the Airport, Public Transit, Fix the Split, and secure education and health funding. The Tories have lost their way and this riding will deliver a convincing win to McNeely.
13/03/03 S. Webb
Far be it from me to question someone from a community association ... outside of the riding. I only lived in the riding for 20 years. Ya just don't get it... the last two responses are similar to the ones posted in 1999 giving Coburn no chance. Things like "Local Councillor, francophone Liberalism, etc..." are typical Ottawa Liberal arrogance. They act as if they have a god given right to win, and that rubs people the wrong way. Check the facts. Coburn has strong and deep personal support in the francophone community, even local Liberals admit that. Coburn had 54% last time, that's an absolute majority. A 15% swing against the incumbent is almost impossible unless there is a total Party anhilation like in 1993 on the Hill . Face it people, non-Tories voted for Coburn en masse in 1999. Every single one of them would have to vote Liberal for McNeeley to win. Numbers don't lie. McNeeley's record on council is minor. His media record on wanting to raise our taxes is major!!! Most of his city ward lies in Prescott-Russell regardless. Beyond that, Rene Danis was signifigantly more popular than McNeeley, with a record on council longer than 2 years. Brian Coburn has a record of over 20 years! Combine that with the growing affluence of the riding and you have an ever increasing safe seat.
13/03/03 JFB
Phil McNeeley? The last I heard of him was when he called for a property tax increase, then flip-flopped and backed down. Oops! Not a good start.
10/03/03 A Cameron
There is a decent incumbent margin but this is still a swing riding. Coburn made one truly fatal error: he foolishly became embroiled in the municipal boundary redrawing issue and quashed a public process that would have re-weighted the municipal boundaries to even out a representation divide between rural and urban. Got that? In other words, Coburn sided with the rurals, when in fact, the voting base is in the growing suburbs ---- see comments from other pundits below about the importance of the burbs to the Tory victory in 1999. -- Coburn was smart, he backed Eves (John Baird in Nepean-Carleton is a different story) but Eves is not Harris and Eves is not even able to define himself and the conservatives have flip-flopped all over the place. Finally, I note that Rene Danis (Lib) in 1999 was a good candidate but did not organize strongly enough. McNeely seems quite dogged and will maintain momentum from his nomination, which was hard-fought against a combative upstart. So: This swings to the hard-working, combative McNeely narrowly in normal circumstances, and strongly under a Liberal wave.
02/03/03 RV
This has got to be a key win for the liberals, and I would give the edge to McNeely, who has been the best councillor the area has had. He's done more in two years than others have been able to do in the last 10. People have a real feeling of being left out, either by down-town Ottawa or by Queen's Park and Brian Coburn has done little or nothing for the riding. He's supported hog factories, a brridge across Petrie Island that would destroy a popular recreation area, done nothing for those paying higher rates to Ontario Hydro, and an outer ring road that would do nothing for traffic congestion from the EAst to downtown Ottawa. I'm not sure where others get their view that Coburn is popular. I've only heard from people who voted for him last time and are changing their vote. A recent poll showed that McNeely would get more votes than Coburn and I think this is accurate. It may be suburban, but the francophone vote and the local issues make this not a safe Tory seat. Watch for an upset on election night!
03/03/03 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
If anything is quixotic, it's for someone to offer an NDP prediction in the riding that offered the lowest NDP percentage in 1999. (It doesn't mean there *hasn't* been NDP strength here before--but that was back during the Cassidy-Gigantes 1970s. And suburban Ottawa remained stubbornly Grit through the Rae years.) Still, a clean strategic divide did a lot of that NDP-leakage thing--and it failed to prevent 1999's one genuine Tory "steal" of a Liberal "sure thing". What Brian Coburn did to Liberal Cumberland and Gloucester in 1999 is as remarkable as the Tory landslide overturning of NDP union strongholds like Oshawa and Cambridge--and he's performed at Queen's Park like he can keep the seat as long as he wants. But it remains at the edge of McGuinty country, and electoral memories of the 80s-90s remain strong within the Liberal organization. On that count alone, call this, at the moment, a draw...
28/02/03 Danyaal Raza
Email: draza@uwo.ca
Although Coburn did win decisively last time around, support for the Conservatives has been falling sharply all over Ontario. People are sick of Harris and tired of Eves back-peddling and his lack of direction. Coburn's successful term as mayor of Cumberland also contributed to his win in 1999. With that memory 4 years in the past and the backlash against the Tories, his chances of re-election have been greatly diminished.
25/02/03 Chris Green
Coburn won a decisive victory in 1999 and should have no problem holding onto his seat this time around. He has always been a very strong local candidate (as was evident last time) and his work since '99 will earn him the voter's support again. His strong showing in 1999 was a testament to his ability to garner support from non-traditional Tory voters, and there is no reason to doubt that this will not be the case again; Sean is right with regards to the issues of the pig farms, education, and health care. Additionally, poll after poll suggest than Premier Eves is seen as a much more confidence-inspiring leader than McGuinty- with McGuinty in fact being a hindrance to the Liberals. This, combined with McNeely’s past tax comments, will ensure that this riding stays Conservative for another term.
25/02/03 Trevor Bailey
Email: TJBailey@Rogers.com
Coburn will retain Ottawa- Orleans. Winning over 50 percent of the popular vote in 99 is an indication of the Tory/Coburn support in the area. Since then, his popularity has grown, as he has become more recognized within the riding, especially, but not excluding Cumberland where he was already well established. McNeely may pose a challenge, but not as strong as Danis in 99. He has made the error of attempting to sway discussion from truly riding-based matters to more ones more connected to MP Coburn's portfolio. Not only are the PCs the strongest party in the riding, but Brian Coburn is also the strongest candidate.
25/02/03 P. Smith
Sheesh! I am not sure where S. Webb is from, but his/her thoughts are about 180 degrees from reality. Phil McNeely did NOT make his name by supporting a tax increase, then backing down! Tory propaganda, perhaps? Phil McNeely actually is the the ONE public servant who has truly represented his constituents, in a riding where the mere mention of the name Coburn causes a chill to run down spines and the silver crucifixes to be taken out! In this riding, Coburn's name is synonymous with the destruction of family farms, air and water quality, schools and communities, roads to literally and absolutely nowhere, and worse. Arrogance and connections do NOT weigh heavily here.
24/02/03 S. Webb
Well... I see the McNeeley nomination team has found out about this website. I wonder when the Bruce Hollands people will start posting. This is not meant to be a debating tournament, but I feel some of the comments made here must be addressed. Orleans is a suburban community. While the issue of factory hog farms might be an issue to some, I will wager that your average Fallingbrook or Chapel Hill resident will not know, or care about the issue. As for health care and education, they were bigger issues last time round and Coburn still won. There is a reason why Coburn won with 55% of the vote in a non-traditonal Tory riding. The fact is that Coburn is a popular local politican. He owned the Mayoralty of Cumberland for 10 years. McNeeley has been a councillor for 2. Rene Danis had a stronger record and campaign. Combine that with some of the ill feeling coming out of the Grit nomination and that spells troublt. As for francophone issues... c'mon, the Liberals tried that last time with planted french questions at debates to try and stir the racial plot. It failed then, it will fail now.
21/02/03 Greg
It is becoming more evident that MPP Brian Coburn will be taking on Councillor Phil McNeely for this riding. I for one will be supporting the Tories. McNeely has openly called for higher taxes and he will look to do the same if he was to fall into Queen's Park by freak accident. The only reason he didn't vote for higher taxes at city hall is because public pressure was too much. Nice flip flop Phil. Vote McNeely? No thanks. That would mean tax and spend.
20/02/03 RV
This is a largely francophone riding. Coburn won last time, but he has since neglected the real needs of the riding. The issues are hogs, health, education and community issues. Coburn said big hog factories were "good for business", that Petrie Island shoud be destroyed for an unneeded bridge across to Quebec, and has generally chosen big government and big business over the real needs of the riding. Many people who voted for Coburn last time have said they are switching to Phil McNeely, Liberal, who has done more in two years in the riding as City Councillor than any one previously and has more feel for the things that matter to the local people. Best bet is McNeely to win and to become the new Agricultural Minister.
19/02/03 Peter Levesque
Email: peterlevesque@canada.com
I think Mr. Coburn is going to have to hold onto his hat. This is going to be one bumpy ride. At the grassroots, people are not very happy with Mr. Coburn - the hog farm issue, public transit, community services, ice-rinks, recreational facilities - where has he been on these issues? He has supported his Toronto-centric government to the detriment of his own community. At least Mr. McNeely shows up at the meetings where the issues are being debated - not just when there is a ribbon to cut or a cheque to give. Suburbs do not equal Tories. Ottawa-Orleans is waking up to the fact that it not just a dumping place for bedrooms and boxstores. As a member of a local community association, I have been hearing some the dreams of my neighbors - they do not include what Mr. Coburn has been feeding us.
09/12/02 S. Webb
If McGuinty's coat-tails were so strong, then why is it all the suburban Ottawa ridings went Tory in 1999? Or, why did he face a stronger than expected challenger in his own riding? All the Ottawa area Tory MPP's have strong personal popularity, especially Coburn. Let's remember Coburn recieved over 50% of the vote in a multi-party field of candidates and a very strong Liberal challenger in Rene Danis. Of the declared Liberal candidates so far, none has the stature of Danis. The most recognized name, Phil McNeeley, made his name supporting a tax increase, then backing down after tough local opposition.
22/10/02 Craig
I will change my opinion from the original Tory decision to "too close to call", after I studied this riding further. Ottawa will be a key area for the Liberals, and with education and health cuts that will dominate the campaign, I expect it will be closer than I thought at first. Dalton is close by, and his party should win all the ridings surrounding this (except possibly Nepean-Carleton), so despite the suburban growth here, this should be very close and could definitely go either way. Brian Coburn needs to play defence and try to hold on.
16/10/02 Craig
I have to agree with S. Webb. The Liberal heritage here is being washed away by the blue wave of suburban development, and we all know suburbs = Tories. I think that if Brian Coburn goes for re-election, it should be an easy victory for the Tories.
11/10/02 S. Webb
This should be an easy seat to retain for Brian Coburn, should be decide to seek re-election. His personal popularity is very high and he could easily withstand any sort of shift in public opinion away from the government. Each year changing demographics make this a safer seat...

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