Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003


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

Prediction Changed:
1:52 PM 29/09/2003

Political Profile:

(Links? See sponsorship details.)
Liberal Party:
Jeff Leal
Progressive Conservative:
Gary Stewart
New Democratic Party:
David Nickle
Green Party:
Tim Holland

Gary Stewart

Federal MP:
Peter Adams

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

24422 44.99%

21820 40.2%

7058 13%

598 1.1%

151 0.28%

125 0.23%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality10 386
Peter Adams
25 310 48.4%
Eric John Allan Mann
14 924 28.5%
Darrin Langen
7 034 13.5%
Herb Wiseman
3 967 7.6%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation60.90%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born90.74%
Ontario Born83.62%
Visible Minority2.02%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$136376

College/Trade School27770

Sponsoring this space? See sponsorship details
01/10/03 D. Veinbach
I agree that your call on this one is premature. Never underestimate the County. Also same sex is in play and there are alot of Liberals who quietly are incensed at the lack of support by their party for their more traditional lifestyle choices. There are also a good number of evangelical Christians in the riding whose opposition has not been so quiet. Funding for the new hospital is also an issue and McGinty has failed to publicly answer the direct question as to whether or not the new hospital will go ahead on schedule under a Liberal regime. The Toronto-centric focus of the Liberal campaign in the past few days should make those outside the centre of the universe very very nervous. The NDP candidate has performed well and will do better than last time. Very close but Tory blue in the end.
01/10/03 October Road
Jeff Leal is widely regarded as the worst candidate in this field and that will cost the Liberals this seat. Dave Nickle is probably the best candidate but the NDP have not come back in eastern Ontario they way they have in Toronto so he can't win. That leaves Gary Stewart who's not the best candidate and not the candidate representing the winning party, to come up the middle and hold this riding for the Tories. If the Liberals had a better candidate, I think they would have taken Peterborough but they didn't.
30/09/03 Vim
I know I'm being perverse -- Ptbo. always votes for the winning party, so this is most likely a lock for Jeff Leal. Still, Dave Nickle signs keep springing up, the Ptbo. Examiner refused to endorse any candidate and most agree that Nickle is actually the best individual of the three... Put it this way, if you see close results for this one early Thursday night, you'll know Hampton isn't completly outrageous when he talks of an NDP surge. The riding shouldn't be close. Leal should walk away with it. But that doesn't look like it will happen.
30/09/03 Old Bruce Boy
Email: dsimms@arvotek.net
Close NDP win here. Peterborough has a habit of electing the government candidate but Nickel is so well respected and has run such a hard campaign I think he will take it. Stewart will come in a distant third.
30/09/03 Bill
I would hazard to say that your call on this riding is a little premature. Traditionally a swing riding there are some factors that have changed the complexion of the riding over the past four years. The population of the riding has experienced dramatic growth within the County, a pace more than double the population growth of the City over the same period. Demographically the growth in the County has been predominantly white, middle class retirees moving to their cottages. There is a strong appeal amongst this group for the sort of vote buying the Tories have engaged in and the PC incumbent is certainly winning the sign war in the County that surrounds the City of Peterborough. There is no question that there is a fairly even split between the City and County votes in this riding. As Warden of the County for three straight years the PC candidate is a lock in that portion of the riding and has worked it very hard over the past year and during the writ. This riding will be a nail biter for all three parties. The Liberal candidate is weak and ineffective and is losing ground in the urban centre of Peterborough to a very effective and articulate NDP candidate. The Liberal candidate has been given support from the Liberal MP for the area, and seems to have come into some money as Liberal advertising has picked up considerablly. The NDP candidate appears to be making significant gains at the expense of the Liberals. He is certainly well spoke and articulate and commands a stronger presence at the door and at all candidates meetings than any of the other two main contenders. There is a significant University student population in the City and they are actively supporting and canvassing for the NDP. Based on the activity of each candidate I think they each have a shot at this riding and no one will know the outcome until Thursday night. My call is Conservative by a hair and the NDP in Second. The Liberals have run a disasterous campaign locally and have an equally disasterous and unattractive candidate.
29/09/03 Observer
I agree with earlier comments that Leal is not the strongest of candidates. The Liberals are already taking back some of their promises saying it may take two years to implement some of them(at least those that will cost money.) This riding can still go any of three ways. By all accounts, Nickle has run a great campaign, and Stewart still has many loyal supporters.
29/09/03 Mike Sloan
Email: mikesloan1@hotmail.com
While I will be pleased to see Gary Stewart retired by the voters, the talk of an NDP win here seems hard to believe, but I suppose it is possible. Jeff Leal is no braniac (much like Stewart,) and Nickle is the best candidate, but an NDP win seems hard to imagine.
28/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
It's time to call this riding. Stewart is not a good MPP and this riding's results exactly mirrored the results of the province last time. I fully expect Stewart to lose by at least 10%
28/09/03 Craig
Too close to call? In reality, the Liberals are way ahead of both the Tories and NDP here! The Tories are headed to annhilation and have a very weak MPP and the NDP aren't strong enough here (although they will gain votes for sure), so Jeff Leal should easily be elected here. Current prediction: Leal 59%, Nickle 20%, Stewart 19%, others 2%.
26/09/03 Greg
Email: gadwulit@yahoo.ca
The National Post wrote Peterborough NDP candidate Gary Stewart "is expected to grab power away from incumbent Tory Gary Stewart." The Post also continued to say the NDP's polling numbers are rising after the debate. This article was published on Friday, Sept. 26. Mark this one for the New Democratic Party.
26/09/03 Vim
Howard Hampton came into town and predicted an NDP win. Might be a little ambitious, but Nickle's campaign is clearly the one with momentum. I have to cross town to drop off my daugther at day care, so I do a really arbitrary poll: I mix up the route and count the signs. Dave Nickle usually comes first. And if not Nickle, it's Leal. Elmer Buchanan is pushing Nickle in the rural districts, so you never know. One-on-one he's the most popular candidate. At least we can all agree that Stewart is toast. And ain't THAT cool: in less than a week all those Tory wanks will be out to pasture!
24/09/03 Christopher J. Currie
Email: 8cjc1@qlink.queensu.ca
As per so many other ridings in Eastern Ontario, provincial swings will probably override local factors in Peterborough. This is a bit of a shame, in that it would be nice to see the buffoonish Gary Stewart defeated on his own demerits. Assuming that things don't go totally awry for the Liberals in the next week, Peterborough's colours will change.
23/09/03 Mr. Plow
There's no doubt that Gary Stewart has the rural part of Peterborough in his back pocket. This is important to remember because rural voters tend to come out in higher numbers on election day. When you get into the city of Peterborough it looks like a four way race. Stewart seems to have the traditional Conservative vote. Jeff Leal is a familiar name because he ran for the Liberals in the last election. The same goes for David Nickle of the New Democrats who is keeping up with the Liberals and the Conservatives in the sign wars. From what I see now, Nickle will increase his vote totals from last time and could be close to 9000 votes in this election. Then you have the Green candidate, Tim Holland who could make a good case for his party being included in the leaders debate because he has a real solid campaign going. With four parties all being able to carry out well run campaigns, I have to say that Gary Stewart will benefit from the other three parties splitting the anti-Conservative vote in urban Peterborough while Stewart wins the rural areas of the riding hands down.
22/09/03 M.S. from Durham
Peterborough is very much a bell-weather riding. It traditionally not only votes with the government but by a percentage of vote very close to the provincial totals. With the Liberals at 50 % and surging while the Tories are falling, the local candidates will be irrelevent here. Dalton McGuinty will win this seat as well as his own.
22/09/03 Andrew Cox
Email: andrewcox101@hotmail.com
Liberal Gain. Reasons: The latest poll for the area is quite clear, 46% Liberal, 40% PC, 13% NDP. As the cover of the Peterborough Examiner says "Poll predicts Liberals set to win area." This survey took up several ridings, most of which are PC bastions like Simcoe North, Simcoe Grey and Barrie-Simcoe Bradford. Peterborough is by far the least secure seat in the region and - if the regional numbers show this kind of lead - Peterborough probably has the Grits up by 15%.
20/09/03 M.S.
The methodology on this website is quite mysterious. How do you possibly explain saying that Peterborough is a 3 way fight? It's the same people as last time. Is there any compelling reason to believe the NDP can catapult to the top? Not that I'm aware of. Is Howard Hampton's message catching on anywhere? Or more importantly, does Howard Hampton have a message? (Aside from his love of big blocks of swiss cheese?) I'll admit this riding will be close - even with the Tory campaign faltering and the Liberals surging. I'm not sure Leal is that strong of a candidate, and I also think Gary Stewart's distance from Ernie Eves will work to his benefit. But at the very least, can't we all acknowledge the NDP has no chance of winning this seat?
20/09/03 vim
I think I need to get out of the city and look for Gary Stewart's support, because it sure isn't in the city of Peterborough. You could play "punch buggy" with PC signs and not get bruised! Gary's only hope is a Liberal/NDP/Green split -- which may be a lame hope but, hey, Gary's been a lame MPP. In the very unscientific sign derby, Nickle and Leal are neck and neck, while Holland comes in a clear third. Sure, Gary can count on the rednecks and bible-thumpers, but this riding isn't the Ozarks. Every local paper has savaged the Eves' campaign. Anyway, Ptbo. always elects someone from the winning side, so Gary should book a ticket from himself and get ready for a long vacation.
12/09/03 Kangaroo Court
I've seen a lot of strange things in my day but this takes the cake. Peterborough a three way race makes no sense at all. The NDP got 11% of the vote in this riding last time and with the Hampton campaign going off the rails, there's no possible way David Nickle is a factor. The Liberals for some reason I will never understand are running Jeff Leal again. This guy was so bad in the 1999 campaign that even his few dedicated campaign workers had enough of Jeff by the end of the campaign and walked away. Gary Stewart has managed to get the bible belt churches in his riding all wound up about the same sex issue and they'll be out to vote form him on October 2 by the thousands. Stewart has the farm vote all taken care of too because they know Leal from 1999 and won't back him. Considering the circumstances, Stewart is going to have his biggets win ever.
10/09/03 Call Me Shades
I'm really stumped on Peterborough being put in play while Stoney Creek is given to the Tories??? Jeff Leal did come within 3000 votes last time but that was made possible by NDP support dropping to an all time low. I've said all along that the NDP are going to be up in the polls this time, somewhere around 15 to 17 per cent. In a riding like Peterborough that increase in NDP support will come from the Leal campaign and not from Stewart. Gary Stewart is armed with the best and pretty much only rural policy platform of the three parties and along with the old vote split cannot lose Peterough. No way.
06/09/03 D. Veinbach
Gary Stewart will win this riding. Jeff Leal is a nice person but unfortunately, like his leader, he is just not up to the job. Dave Nickle is a sincere hard working campaigner, but too many people still remember Jenny Carter and Bob Rae and Dave, after all, has an OSSTF pedigree. Stewart has brought a buddle of cash into the riding in the last four years and most notably, construction on a $180 million new hospital is underway. Stewart promised this at the begining of the 99 election and he delivered. In Peterborough, that counts for alot. Also construction cranes are up at both local post secondary institutions to the tune of $100 million and this is not lost on the local trades. The riding was largely ignored during the first Harris administration but Stewart worked hard to get back in to Mike's good books and was rewarded with a brief cabinet post. Stewart did support Flaherty and was the only cabinet minister who paid for it when Ernie was elected. However, even Ernie has apparently forgiven Stewart and has visited the riding pre writ. Stewart talks to everyone, including the opposition and he is not afraid to speak his mind, which occasionally gets him in trouble, but it has an endearing quality to the County residents. Stewart will win with a larger plurality than 1999.
06/09/03 Scoop Jackson
My Liberal contacts tell me they can't understand why Peterborough is now listed as too close to call. The Liberal campaign gave up on Jeff Leal months ago and you won't see Dalton McGuinty anywhere near this riding. There are a lot of Liberals that tell me they expect Leal to lose big and they don't sound very down about it. Peterborough is more than just the city. The rural part of this riding is full of Tory voting farmers who like the Eves platform.
05/09/03 Frozen Toast
Peterborough is not in play in this election. The Liberals are not serious about this riding or they would not have run Jeff Leal again. Trust me, in Liberal circles, Leal was widely seen as one of the worst candidates the party ran in 1999. Leal didn't bother to go door to door this summer and the local bank account is empty. Gary Stewart is one of those MPP's that is nothing more than a backbencher at Queen's Park but works his riding hard all year round. Any doubt that Stewart will win again should be removed by the polls today that show the Liberals and the Tories in a dead heat. This election is going to be decided by less that 5 percentage points and that means ridings like this won't change hands.
03/09/03 WD
I cannot for the life of me understand why this riding isn't listed as in play -- at least! Stewart won this by a small margin last time -- and that was with the Harris factor in the PC's favour and before all the screwups and flip flops by the Eves team. Furthermore, they'll be holding this election with school in session -- with the Trent hippy vote firmly in town. Couple that with a really weak (and tired, frankly) candidate in Stewart, and I just don't get it.
17/06/03 Craig
A rematch of 1999 that will flip directions and go Liberal. Tory fortunes are falling and the freefall is still going on. This seat will go with the government, and that means that Jeff Leal will get the seat. No real local issues dominate here, it will be won with the big picture. Predicted results: LIB 48%, PC 28%, NDP 18%, Green 3%.
06/06/03 WD
Gary Stewart is an underwhelming MPP. Together with O'Toole, he's one of a handful of senior MPPs who continually gets passed over for cabinet, which shows his lack of standing in the party. He's also a poor performer who regularly takes a high-handed approach with contituents (I've heard of a few meetings gone awry). Add to that that Peterborough is a swing riding, and you have a narrow Liberal win here. HOWEVER, Peterborough is one of about six ridings where, if the Greens take a few points away from the Libs, they can Naderize the results. One more reason why the PCs should push for the dope-smoking-ecobunnies to be in on the televised election debates.
28/05/03 Rhyan
Email: seashore_angel_13@hotmail.com
No opinion on this one at the moment. On the one hand, I do live here, and I know it's a pretty conservative place. But the PCs have managed to make a lot of enemies with their Common Sense Revolution. I think it would be a fallacy to give this riding to them this early on. The last election was won by the Conservatives by less than 5% in Peterborough. The Liberals could very easily take Peterborough, and the Conservatives could keep it just as easily. But I think we can all agree that Nickle doesn't stand a chance. The NDP is sunk in this election, just like in the last one, and the one before that. Maybe next time they'll have a better shot.
15/05/03 Grizz
Peterborough is definitly not a sure fire PC win, just look at those results from last time around. This is going to be one of those ridings which will swing to the Liberals.
18/04/03 ARL
Peterborough has been a bellweather riding for decades. Accordingly, with the Liberals leading provincewide they should be considered to be at least in serious contention in Peterborough.
03/02/03 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
Fascinating for being a credible 3-way rematch. And historically, at least, the local NDP current is stronger than it appears from Jenny Carter's recent-past mediocre results; there's the old blue-collar base, the Trent University factor, and rural parts that used to be Elmer Buchanan country, and an earlier elected history provincially and even federally. And Nickle ran a very serious campaign; thus 1999's strategic anti-Tory endorsement was split rather than squarely in the Grit camp (and Nickle fared well above average for his sort of riding). I seriously doubt Nickle will win; it'd be more interesting to see whether his quotient rises or declines from 1999. But Stewart, who probably didn't expect such a tight margin from the Liberals in '99, remains classically in danger anyhow...
09/11/02 Andrew Cox
Reasons. 1) Peterborough is a perfect reflection of Ontario, average is every way, just the right mix of rural and urban. The 99 numbers were bang on the provincial numbers. This seat has gone with the government in the past four elections and will again. 2) The candidates will be a replay of 1999, all three are nominated again. 3) Despite Addie-D's ernest optimism, the NDP vote here is pretty flat. Jenny Carter's 1990 win is widely acknowledged as a fluke. 4) Gary Stewart was in cabinet for about a week before getting dropped. A "Flaherty" Tory, Stewart's right-wing credentials help in the rural parcels, but will limit his ability to moderate for the key suburban vote in the west end of the city. He's not going to be able to pull the "previous government" trick on the tough issues. 5) Jeff Leal is competent but lacks the profile to swing the riding automatically Liberal. To sum up, this one will be hard fought but basically is out of local hands. Unless a big local issue develops or one of the candidates are replaced, the riding will go with the PCs or Liberals depending on the general election dynamic.
04/11/02 Addie-D
The NDP candidate will be none other than Dave Nickle, by far the best of all the three candidates. It's going to be a replay of the 99 election but this time i think that the NDP will be a much stronger force than ever before. Dave, a popular teacher, is likable, passionate and quite eloquent. Putting such a strong orator up against the inept and unlike Gary makes this a good move for the NDP. Also the tides are changing in this area, Hydro deregulation has hit this area hard!! with a high population of seniors, students and fixed income earners hydro has made life very hard for these peoples. Education will also play well here, Dave is a teacher and knows the hardships that the Tories have caused full well. The NDP have targeted this riding and Howard, Shelley, Rodario and Michael have all been up here to present the NDP's amazing platform on Hydro, Housing, Education and Child Care, all very important in this mixed urban/rural riding. It will be a good fight but i'm the eternal optimist and think that the NDP can pull of a victory here!!!!
31/10/02 IM
I think that this Riding will be a close race between the liberals and the Tories. Jeff Leal is running again and last time he came close to winning. Gary Stewart is back on the backbenches after a brief stint in the Harris cabinet. Leal appears to have had a smooth nomination and the backing of the entire riding association unlike 1999 which is a big plus. A key factor will be how strong the NDP is in the riding and who they choose as a candidate.

Information Submission

Return to Eastern Regional Index
Ontario Provincial Election Prediction
© 1999-2002 Election Prediction Project - www.electionprediction.com - Email Webmaster