Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003


Last Update:
4:45 PM 07/10/2003

Prediction Changed:
4:08 PM 01/10/2003

Political Profile:

(Links? See sponsorship details.)
Liberal Party:
Wayne Arthurs
Progressive Conservative:
Janet Ecker
New Democratic Party:
Vern Edwards
Green Party:
Adam Duncan

Janet Ecker

Federal MP:
Dan McTeague

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

28661 58.19%

16881 34.28%

2814 5.71%

703 1.43%

191 0.39%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality16 893
Dan McTeague
28 834 57.4%
Ken Griffith
11 941 23.8%
Michael Hills
6 883 13.7%
Ralph Chatoor
1 523 3%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation75.70%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born74.62%
Ontario Born66.50%
Visible Minority19.70%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$207458

College/Trade School29400

Sponsoring this space? See sponsorship details
01/10/03 wiz kid
Email: no
i bet Janett will hang on with smaller margin. If she lost mean tories less than 20 ridings. Last time she beat up the rival by 25% margin
01/10/03 Judi Bud
On Monday, September 29, Wayne Arthurs could have withdrawn his name from the mayor's race and only run for the Ontario legislature. If Arthurs was so sure about winning that's what he would have done. It would have made headlines all over the riding and given his campaign one last boost. Well it didn't happen. Arthurs knows he's not going to beat Ecker and that's why he refused to withdraw his name for the mayor's race. Starting October 3, Arthurs will be taking down his provincial signs and putting up "Arthurs for Mayor" signs instead. Nobody believes in a candidate who doesn't believe he can win.
30/09/03 Tory in Dixie
Email: canadien76@hotmail.com
The Liberals would undoubtedly like to think about knocking off the Provincial Treasurer, but this ain't gonna happen. The base of small c support in the Durham region is too deep, and the stature of the Treasurer too great for this to happen. Who better to remind the voters of the potential for tax increases under the McGuinty government ?
29/09/03 R.H.
Ernie Eves just made a visit to Durham and his rally was poorly attended, given the fact that Ecker and Flaherty are supposed to be political heavyweights. Dalton McGuinty will soon be making a visit to Durham looking for the knockout punch and I think he will get it in this riding!
29/09/03 john
Email: john.beach@sympatico.ca
Janet Ecker in a close race. She is a good member and well respected in the riding. Arthurs is popular in south Pickering but not in the north. As far as the sign war, it seems 50-50 both on public and private property. Many resent his running in two races simultaniously. He will lose both.
28/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
It looks to me like Ecker will lose her seat. The only safe cabinet ministers are Sterling and Eves himself. This was always the most likely riding in Durham to change hands. As I am predicting that Oshawa and Whitby-Ajax (please!) will also switch, there is really no way Janet will survive. Arthurs is too strong locally and the red wave across 905 will spare few Tories and will not and cannot be one of them. I must say that I find this situation somewhat unfortunate because Ecker was the moderate sort of MPP who I would have liked to seen replace Eves and would have been a better premier than Eves in the first place but I guess Ernie's becoming a Kim Campbell of sorts (well I guess not THAT bad).
28/09/03 Initials only
Arthurs is not as popular in Pickering as often made out except with teachers. He has never had strong opposition in elections for Mayor of Pickering. His teacher supporters throw up a lot of signs and land developers have run a smear campaign against Ecker, but except in south Pickering Arthurs does not have majority support. Do you think voters in Ajax and Uxbridge really want to be represented at Queen's Park by a guy who is still running to be Mayor of Pickering? Environmentalists are supporting Ecker because Arthurs wants to develop the Rouge valley. Ecker will edge out Arthurs.
28/09/03 Andrew Cox
Liberal gain. Reasons. 1) I just re-read my prediction of last November, and boy, do times ever change. Last year, I thought Ecker would hold what is quickly becoming a swing seat on the basis of her name recognition. Then Wayne Arthurs got in the race, perhaps the only local politician with bigger name rec. 2) The post-debate Ipsos-Reid shows an 11% lead for the Grits in 905. That is a swing of almost 30% since 1999. Huge numbers of PCs are going down in the 905, and Ecker is one of them. 3) The Nuclear safety issue is giving Arthurs a powerful wedge to drive swing and disgrunted PCs into his camp. 4) Ecker's local campaign just doesn't seem as "big blue machine" as I remember. They are getting their asses kicked in the sign war, and that usually means something about organization in general. Conclusion: Arthurs by 3,000.
28/09/03 ML
Steve, like most old-fashioned ways of doing things, the 'sign war' is a very poor indication of who is ahead and who isn't. Firstly, some parties have negative images (the Tories are such a party). Many people like to separate politics and their personal lives - having a PC sign on your lawn isn't exactly welcoming to any teacher friends you might have. Secondly, the door-knockers don't go everywhere. If they did you'd see a lot of Tory signs. That the PC's are putting forth few signs hints that they are running a token campaign because they know they are ahead. Thirdly, putting up a sign is an indication of the depth of one's support - but many people are not partisan or decided voters. Finally Ecker, as a prominent cabinet minister, possible leadership material, and a centrist PC'er should keep the seat.
27/09/03 R.H.
Premier Ernie Eves is scheduled to visit this riding in the dying days of the campaign to try and save his Minister of Finance! Wayne Arthurs looks poised to take this riding, while Janet Ecker is relying on her leader for a boost before the vote. She must not have been the anonymous cabinet minister who told Global News reporter Graham Richardson that there is a disdain among voters for the Tory party and its leader!
25/09/03 Steve
It may seem old fashioned, but the best way to predict the results of a race is to take a tally of lawn signs that are out and about. I'm not talking about signs that are thrown up on town property, or corners of major intersections, but those little signs that are placed on the lawns of actual voters. Taking a tour of the riding (no small feat, by the way) Pickering is solidly behind Arthurs. That's not surprising, he's a very popular mayor. Arthurs lawn signs there out number Ecker roughly 4 to one. That's a very rough guess, but that's the impression you get as you drive around. Ajax is less heavily in favour of Arthurs. There's no municipal fair-haired boy syndrome there but you'd think Ecker would have a bigger impact. Score, about 2-1 Arthurs. Uxbridge is about evenly split. In fact, you could even give the nudge to Ecker in this town. Again, Arthurs isn't well known. But you'd really think Ecker, with her incumbent position, would have more signs. As for other factors, I truly don't think Arthurs' double candidacy has much of an impact on PAU residents. Most people are pragmatists. You don't quit one good job unless you're sure you've got another. As for Ecker, her sting from being education minister has largely been forgotten... well, largely. Look for Arthurs to win by about 4K, thanks largely to Pickering.
25/09/03 905er
This is going to be a very, very close election. I have been predicting a Tory win all along but the provincial dynamic is putting a lot of ridings in play. There are a lot of local issues at play here and, at this point, it is too close to call. BTW - the Lick's poll, which is yet to be wrong, is showing 44 for Janet, 43 for Wayne and 4 for the NDP. This should be a fun riding to watch on election night.
Look for Janet Ecker to take it on the chin here. The Fraser Institute's numbers will sink her credibility as finance minister. And look for Mr. Arthurs to be the new cabinet minister from Pickering.
20/09/03 M.S.
The nuclear safety scandal is exploding - if you'll excuse the expression - in this riding. Wayne Arthurs has spearheaded a campaign against the privatizing of nuclear safety and the issue is doing serious damage to Ecker. Up until a week or so ago I was willing to give Ecker the benefit of the doubt, even if the Eves campaign is falling off the tracks. But it's clear even the Tories are worried they're going to lose Ecker: how else to explain the appearance of Energy Minister John Baird trying to crash a Wayne Arthurs press conference on the nuclear safety issue? He wouldn't have come in all the way from Ottawa if he didn't think this issue was damaging Ecker. And with Pickering Council voting 7-0 in favour of cancelling the privatizing deal, this issue won't go away any time soon. If Ecker squeeks this one out I would be very surprised.
19/09/03 in the know
Time to get this one back to the Tories.Mayor Arthurs is taking it on the chin (one cannot suggest a body part even lower) with his decision to run for both Mayor and MPP. IN addition, the truth is now out that the third party ads are being paid by Mayor Arthurs developer friends. Ecker to be re-elected with lower margain.
10/09/03 Reality Check
Matt needs a reality check and he needs it right now. It was all over for Wayne Arthurs when he decided to run for mayor and for the Ontario Legislature at the same time. The local media has begun to tear Arthurs apart on this issue and they have a good point. How can anyone take this guy seriously when he's hedging his bets. Janet Ecker will destroy Arthurs on October 2 and I'm not sure he'll be able to recover by November 10's municipal election day.
04/09/03 Mattt
905er seems to think that Pickering voters even know there is a municiple vote happening. It would be nice if everyone thought that way but the truth is that you will have trouble enough reminding people about e day. Never mind getting them to think out the complex process of if one person wins here someone else will not run there. I bet let than 5% of voters think that way. In the 2001 Beaches EY by election, the Libs tried to convince EY voters not to vote for Michael Prue telling them that if he lost that he would remain their city councilor. 55% of the vote later, Prue was an MPP. People will see Wayne Arthurs on the ballot and they will vote for him. Libs 40% Tories 35% NDP who cares.
30/08/03 905er
In any event, the real question is what happens if only Arthurs and Dickerson are on the ballot for Mayor. Dickerson is universally disliked in Pickering so even many of Arthurs supports will vote for Janet to avoid Dickerson becoming Mayor. An Oct. 2 election (past the deadline of Sept. 26th for filing of municipal nomination papers) is the kiss of death for Arthurs. I mean what does he do when an all cadidates debate for M.P.P. and Mayor are called for the same night? I predict something weird will happen here before it is all said in done - that said, the confusion and anger over Arthurs running in two place will hand this one over to Janet
26/08/03 Scoop Jackson
The Liberals are facing a real crisis. Dalton McGuinty gave all his candidates strick orders not to file papers to run in municipal elections this fall. Despite this order, Wayne Arthurs has informed top Liberal officials that he will not withdraw the papers he filed to run for re-election at mayor. This puts McGuinty is a difficult position. If he backs down and lets Arthurs run municipally and provincially, then he looks weak and opens the door for a number of other municipal politicians who are runnig for the Liberals, to file papers to run for their local elected positions. If McGuinty forces Arthurs to resign the Liberal nomination, then there's a bad news story with legs, because Wayne Arthurs will not go quietly. Either way, this puts an end to any remote hope that the Liberals had to beat Janet Ecker.
22/08/03 M.S.
People seem to view the four Durham ridings as strong PC territory. I think this is a myth! Every election, both provincial and federal shows the four Durhams voting with the winning party - this is more a swing area than a Conservative area. It is much more suburban and much less rural than in past decades. Ecker has the disadvantage of running against a popular mayor, being despised by teachers, and being saddled as finance minister with the 'Magna Budget' fiasco. If McGuinty's lead in the polls holds, I foresee the anti-Janet tide sweeping her out.
24/07/03 Uncle Buck
It doesn't make ANY difference whether Wayne Arthurs stays in this campaign against Ecker or not. Arthurs can't win. Janet Ecker will hold this seat whether the Liberals or Tories win the general election. This is a Tory riding and they like having a high profile Tory member.
22/07/03 Target
The Liberals have tried to keep it quiet but they are talking to a a number of potential candidates in Pikering-Ajax-Uxbridge because Wayne Arthurs is dropping out of the provincial election to run for re-election as mayor. Dalton McGuinty is going to look bad when Arthurs makes it official that he's not running for the Liberals.
18/07/03 The Brain
I don't think Wayne Arthurs is going to drop out of the provincial race. He's just going to be a candidate for the provincial seat and for mayor at the same time. This means Arthurs won't be taken seriously as he takes on Janet Ecker and in the end he'll lose to her. Don't worry about Wayne. He'll hang on to the mayor's chair in November.
12/07/03 Tre Cool
Not only is Wayne Arthurs not going to beat Janet Ecker, he's not ever going to be on the ballot. Wait and see. By the time we get to early September, Arthurs will drop out of the provincial campaign and go back to running for mayor again in November. Arthurs is no fool. He can't beat Ecker but he can get re-elected mayor and that's what he's going to do.
05/07/03 R.H.
Unfortunately for Scoop Jackson, a little research (flipping the calendar) discredits his so-called Tory contacts who believe the election will be held on a Saturday, October 4. No matter when the election is held, Janet Ecker will have some explaining to do. Not only is the location of the budget going to create headaches for her, but there is now little doubt that the budget is not even balanced. Tory-friendly Toronto Sun columnist, Christina Blizzard, wrote a column on June 25 where she handed out awards based on the recently completed legislative session. With the help of the Queen's Park press gallery, she named Janet Ecker the recipient of the Iraqi Information Minister Award! Here is what Blizzard wrote to explain her choice: Despite $1 billion in SARS' costs, despite a drop in retail sales, despite the fact that she has to find more than $2 billion in "sales and rentals," and another $700 million in savings, Ecker maintains the budget is still balanced. Yep, and there are no Americans in Baghdad. At least Ecker has the summer to come up with a way to convince the electorate that her government deserves to be re-elected despite the fact that the Tories can no longer even be counted on to deliver sound fiscal management! Yet, Ecker believes the time is still right for more tax cuts!
27/06/03 JLS
According to the City of Pickering website, Wayne Arthurs filed his papers to run for mayor on February 4, 2003 at 10:00 AM. It looks like he's already hedging his bets. With a provincial election in the fall (probably October), it's going to be very interesting to see how Wayne tries to finesse running for two elected positions at the same time. Stay tuned...
03/06/03 Scoop Jackson
If my Tory contacts are right and election day is October 4, then Liberal candidates like Mayor Arthurs will have a difficult choice to make. Even my Liberal contacts tell me that Wayne Arthurs is a long shot at best to beat Ecker. So, with the deadline to file papers to run municipally set for the last week in September, does Arthurs file and look like he knows he can't win or does he give up his job as mayor for a long shot? I wouldn't be surprised to see Arthurs hedge his bets and file to run municipally just in case.
31/05/03 Beanie Baby
Ecker should be able to hold on. Now with the election coming this fall, look to Wayne Arthurs to pull out and run for Mayor again. He would not be content to sit on the sidelines for three years, so he will go for the safe seat (unless he can arrange for his cronies to appoint him Regional Chair (a la Roger Anderson)) if he loses against Janet. Arthurs is trying to distance himself from Dalton, and if Dalton tarnishes the Party's image, look for that to push Wayne out of the race.
I've heard that Wayne Arthurs wants to pave over the Pickering Agricultural Preserve. That can only mean trouble for the Liberals in this riding. Ecker will prevail.
26/05/03 Craig
Janet Ecker should hold on, although the margin will be much smaller. Unlike important service ministers like Health and Education, the Minister of Finance is usually less targeted by campaigns. The rural areas to the north should be what keeps Ecker in Queen's Park (albeit as an opposition member) since the Pickering votes should swing Liberal. Predicted results: PC 48%, LIB 42%, NDP 6%, Green 3%.
These will be a battleground, but Janet will come out on top for 2 reasons. 1) Arthurs is as bad as Dalton McGuinty, he tries to be on all sides of every issue. It won't work, and it already starting to hurt him. Janet is much better at expressing what she stands for, and her views come across in a more articulate fashion in the press. 2) Wayne is trying to separate himself from Dalton, and it is showing. No candidate can win by trying to completely hide which party they belong to and who the leader is. Wayne's flyers even use the term "Our leader". Once everyone recognizes that "OUR LEARDER" = DAULTON McGUINTY = WAYNE ARTHURS, his ship with sink. Janet Ecker to win this one, based on her strong local work across the entire riding (Even in Uxbridge where Arthurs has probably never even been), along with a good central campaign team/message that will put her over the top; at least 50% for ECKER
23/05/03 WD
I hear there's a concerted "Dump Janet" campaign going on. Not sure if she's going to get attacked by the teacher's unions (a la Dave Johnson)or if its disgruntled Tories in her own riding gunning for her (my source for this is a Tory himself, but he was vague on the specifics) but if it's true, Ecker is going to buckle. Despite her cabinet status, she tend to get emotional under pressure and, let's face it, it's been a pressure filled year for her. Too bad, too, because she's got a lot of integrity which, when she goes "off script" and actually speaks her mind, really shows through.
15/05/03 Number Cruncher
Looking back at the results for previous finance ministers in governments being voted out of office, these were the results. In 1990 when the Liberals when down to defeat, then finance minister, Robert Nixon held his riding. In 1995 when the NDP were defeated, their finance minister, Floyd Laughren also held his seat in the legislature. The results from this study make a clear case for Janet Ecker holding on to this riding. There is another set of numbers which would point to Ecker being re-elected. In the last two decades, any MPP who won their seat by 10,000 or more votes was then re-elected in the next campaign. Since Ecker won by nearly 12,000 votes, she would fall into this catagory. The numbers say Ecker holds on to this riding with a reduced majority.
06/05/03 John
Drop out of the race? Corky I have no idea where you live but if you think that the Mayor Arthurs is dropping out of the race in fall you are way of base. No doubt that he will run both campaigns at the same time - it will make for some very interesting all candidates debates.
01/05/03 M.T.C.
No matter what happens province-wide, Ministers of Finance do not usually lose their ridings. Liberal Candidate Wayne Arthurs is a small-town mayor who is way out of his league here. Barring a 1993-like (federal) tory collapse, Ecker should hold this 905 riding.
24/04/03 Corky
It is a well known tradition that mayor Arthurs always files in municipal papers in January of every election year. This year was no different. If there is a fall election, Wayne will drop out of the provincial race and instead keep his safe job as mayor.
15/04/03 Q.M
Prediction - Wayne Arthurs will take this riding for the Liberals. Reasons. 1) Mr. Arthurs is a well respected Mayor and has a very strong campaign team and deep pockets. 2) Janet Eckers is a very well liked MPP but her recent controversy as Finance Minister and the budget controversy will hurt her. 3) If the Quebec election has taught us anything, it is that the public is ready for a change and two terms of Conservatives in Ontario is enough, the current numbers prove this. 4) If 45% of the popular vote gets you 61% of the seats in Quebec, then 53% of the popular vote in Ontario should capture 72% of the seats. Three of the four Durham ridings will go Red this year, anmd this one is as sure a bet as there is.
12/04/03 T.H.
I think opinions are great but some accuracy would help - some of the opinions posted here have no local basis in fact. 1. The turn out in municipal elections in Pickering is usually around 40% (provincial is at a little more than 60%) 2.Pickering makes up 2/3rds of this riding with the more ethnic norhtern Ajax completing most of the rest.
There can be no doubt that this would be a very hard pick-up for the Libs but I find the rush to dismiss a 15 year Mayor's entry into the race a little ill informed or bias. There is no doubt it has an impact - how much is what makes this race interesting. Now here is another thought - what if the election is held after Sept. 26 (close of municiapal nominations)? Now that would be ugly - the Mayor would have to run in two races at once.
11/04/03 El Predicto
Janet Ecker won this seat by 14,000 votes last time. Wayne Arthurs is a popular mayor but he is not strong enough to really cut into the margin of victory Ecker had last time. Ecker has built a very good campaign on the ground and will still win by over 10,000 votes.
09/04/03 K Ashe
Email: kashe@mosey.on.ca
Very involved in Ecker (PC) campaign.... voter id underway...hugh numbers in respect to best leader eves is 3 to 1 over Mcginty...on the right track...large tracking in favour... Know the name of MPP....over 60%...although right after budget . Although very strong Liberal candidate....the Mayor....Strong Tory riding ..remains strong
09/04/03 JLS
Wayne Arthurs' name recognition and "popularity" are restricted to the Pickering portion of this riding. Considering the 25-30% turnout in municipal elections, even his Pickering strength may be overstated. This election will be closer than in 99 and 95, but will definitely stay in the Tory column.
07/04/03 T.H.
The Gambler wrote "Wayne Arthurs comes from the slow pitch league at city hall and will have a difficult time dealing with provincial level fast balls" - This will be a close race, too close to call but what planet the Gambler comes from - Pickering Council -slow ball??? He obiously knows nothing about Pickering politics - if you can survive Pickering Council, you can survive anything. Ask anyone in Durham Region with political knowlege.
05/03/03 R.H.
The Liberals have acclaimed the Mayor of Pickering, Wayne Arthurs, as their candidate in this riding. Arthurs is a formidable opponent for Janet Ecker. In the 2000 mayoral race, Arthurs received 15 046 votes, which accounted for 83% of votes cast. His popularity in this riding combined with the Tories' inability to create any positive momentum for themselves following the budget fiasco, makes this riding one the Liberals may soon call their own. A poll released on April 5 by Ekos Research Associates in The Toronto Star shows that the Tories did not receive the traditional bounce in the polls following the budget. In fact, their numbers have dropped with the Liberals rising to 53% support of decided voters, the Tories slipping to 34%, and the NDP running further behind at 11%. Even more damaging to the fortunes of Ecker and the Tories are the priorities that voters put at the top of their list in this poll. 68% say social spending (health care and education) is their top priority, while only 17% say debt reduction, and just 13% say tax cuts are tops on their wish list. These responses bode well for Dalton McGuinty's Liberals and are surely troublesome for Janet Ecker and her colleagues.
Ecker is going to have difficulty escaping blame for the budget fiasco. The budget has proven to be a liability for the Tories, rather than the asset it traditionally is for any party. Ecker even went on the record following the budget to say that if she had to do it all over again, she would still stage the presentation at Magna International. Even the premier admitted to the press that his message was lost in the controversy over the location of the budget. That being said, even the Tory-friendly newspaper, The Toronto Sun, criticized the contents of the budget in their editorials, leaving the Tories grasping for any issue that could yield them some momentum.
Ecker seems proud of her government's commitments to education in the budget, but her constituents are not likely going to forget the seven years that the government starved the system. It is hardly a coincidence that the government commissioned the Rozanski Report in an election year to conveniently remind them that the system was in dire need of funding to the tune of nearly two bilion dollars. With public elementary students in Durham once again facing labour disruptions in their schools, parents in this riding are likely to turn their back on the former Minister of Education and elect Arthurs in an effort to secure stability in the system under Dalton McGuinty who has made restoring peace in education a top priority.
01/04/03 THE GAMBLER
The Gambler is putting his money on Janet Ecker to win Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge. PC Ecker is a veteren of the hard ball they play at the provincial level. LIB Wayne Arthurs comes from the slow pitch league at city hall and will have a difficult time dealing with provincial level fast balls. Ecker just has too much for Arthurs to deal with and will come out the winner. This one is a sure thing.
23/03/03 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
The double whammy of the budget debacle and Wayne Arthurs' Liberal candidacy suddenly makes this Tory sure-shot into something much less sure; otherwise, I'd have given this to Ecker, little or no question. And a little bird in my head still wants to tilt Eckerward, with the assumption that Pickeringers might be sufficiently satisfied with Mayor Arthurs (and MPP Ecker, for that matter) that they feel little need to "elevate" him to MPP Arthurs. Still, the dynamics have changed enough that I'm witholding a firm prediction as a token gesture...
28/02/03 227
This riding is about to get very interesting. I would have written it off before but with Mayor Wanye Arthurs throwing his name in for the Liberal I think the Liberals can take it. He has been Mayor for 18 years and is well regarded. He can marshall a small army for the task and will be very well financed and resourced. This one will be worth watching.
18/02/03 905er
Janet has this one locked down. The Liberals can find a candidate interested in running and she is popular locally. The Tories may have problems Province wide but won't here.
14/11/02 Andrew Cox
1) This is probably the most likely seat in Durham to change hands, just based on demographics and population shifts. Pickering is becoming more like Scarborough as the GTA slowly edges East. 2) That said, Janet Ecker is a formidable candidate for the PCs: well respected, well funded and well known. To me, she is the best Minister in the PC Party, and frankly, would have made a better Premier than Eves. 3) Ecker is a careful and attentive local politician. She can have this seat as long as she wants it. 4) While her time in education earned her the emnity of teachers, local anti-Tories are more likely to go bother Tory bad boy Jim Flaherty. Her promotion to Finance has actually lowered her profile, to her advantage locally. Strong Tory seat.
22/10/02 Burke
This riding will most likely re-elect Janet Ecker. This suburban 905 riding overwhelmingly voted Tory in 1999 and there is little to suggest that it would not be same now. Ms. Ecker is a high-profile cabinet minister and locally popular. I predict the Tories will hang on to this riding.

Information Submission

Return to 905 Regional Index
Ontario Provincial Election Prediction
© 1999-2002 Election Prediction Project - www.electionprediction.com - Email Webmaster