Election Prediction Project
Ontario Provincial Election 2003


Last Update:
4:50 PM 07/10/2003

Prediction Changed:
10:09 PM 30/09/2003

Political Profile:

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Liberal Party:
Derek Nighbor
Progressive Conservative:
John Yakabuski
New Democratic Party:
Felicite Stairs
Green Party:

Sean Conway

Federal MP:
Cheryl Gallant

1999 Result:
1999 Prediction

23435 53.35%

17738 40.38%

2295 5.22%

287 0.65%

172 0.39%

2000 Federal Result:
2000 Prediction
Plurality2 423
Cheryl Gallant
20 634 44.2%
Hec Clouthier
18 211 39%
Bob Amaron
5 287 11.3%
Ole Hendrickson
1 607 3.4%

Demographic Profile:

(1996 census)


Avg Household Income

Labour Participation63.00%

Canadian Citizen

Canadian Born93.95%
Ontario Born79.04%
Visible Minority1.54%

First Language

Avg Dwelling Value$113683

College/Trade School21860

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01/10/03 Bromley B.
I'll know by the end of tomorrow how my prediction plays out. I suppose the odds are in favor of Nighbor, but I still sense there is a strong sense of uncertainty in this riding. Yakabuski is going to have a lot more appeal for small businessman and farmers in this riding. Although I don't think the the same-sex marriage is really much of an issue in this election,there could be an undercurrent that will tip some voters in the PC's favor. Nighbor's a clone of Conway, and a pretty good one too - he's learned a lot of the campaign skills that have helped keep Conway in office for the last quarter century. From what I've heard, there has been a big turnout at the advanced polls. Partly due to the fact that many of our armed forces are getting ready to go to Afghanistan. I just can't see the Liberals winning this riding by a large margin, if they do. I'm figuring now that if the Liberals win, it will be by a 2% margin, and if Yakabuski wins, it will be by a similar margin. It's interesting to note that Ernie Eves thought it was worthwhile to stop by on Sunday to lend his support. This is no small matter. While the polls suggest a landslide, I suspect that it will be a narrow majority for the Liberals, and perhaps I'm going out on a limb by suggesting it could even be 1-seat minority government. This discussion has been fun.
01/10/03 The Sauce
I think this will be one of the upsets we're going to see on Election Night. This riding would have stayed Liberal if the same sex marriage issue had's come out and become the most talked about story in the region. Derek Nighbor was never able to deal with this hot potato and it kept him in a defence style for the whole campaign. Yakabuski will win by about 500 votes and people will be scratching their heads.
30/09/03 Gerry Kennedy
I have refrained from predicting here as this riding is known to shock. Did anyone actually involved in politics see Gallant coming? However, there is not going to be any moving from Liberals to Tories in this election. That said, I see Nighbor as something of a Cloutier. I don't mean to insult him but he is taking over a seat from a long-time incumbant for one term.
29/09/03 The Big Ape
Email: thebigape2000@hotmail.com
I'm going to reneg on my original prediction that this was going to be a Tory steal. The Liberals look like they're going to storm the provence and I'm begining to think that this riding that was Liberal will want to stay on the bandwagon.
25/09/03 Greg J.
I think the PCs on this message board need to go back to campaigning and forget the wishful thinking! The reasoning behind the PC statements on this message board are absolutely ridculous and to them I will respond.
1. PCs keep suggesting that Derek has been out of the riding too long. That is absolutley absurd. Derek was born and raised in RNP until until he left to go to Wilfred Laurier University (and I don't think his time away at SCHOOL is going to cause anyone to get upset). He then spent 3 years living in Kitchener before returning home! 3 years is now considered away from the riding too long for a 28 year old coming out of university? I know because I live in the riding that this is NOT an issue in the least. Whoever is posting that sort of message is clearly not living in the area currently.
2. PCs on this board are also suggesting that same sex marriage is hurting Derek when, after watching 2 debates, its not even coming up. Its a federal issue and the people of RNP know this and, yes, can understand the difference bewteen our federal and provoncial governments. We may be rednecks but its not that bad. Same sex marriage will hurt in the next federal election, its not hurting now.
3. John Yakabuskie talks about being an area man and a family man, but what about his past criminal record? I'm not going to go into it because I don't believe in that kind of politics but it involved assault and its hypocritical for Yakabuskie to call himself the perfect angel that he's trying to portray - and thanks to a write up in the Ottawa newspaper about eastern races, everyone now knows about John's run in with the law!
4. The main issue in this riding, and it is coming up again and again, is issues. In RNP you can drive south and hit another riding with Northern Status and the benefits that go with that distinction. The Harris-Eves government closed the Pembroke Civic Hospital and it took years to finally start upgraded the Pembroke General. The CT machine was paid for by residents who raised the money over a number of years. The Pembroke jail was also put on the PC chopping block with the condition it could close at any, unspecified, time - and no other options have yet been put on the table about where prisoners in Pembroke are supposed to go! Farmers are fed up with the conservative government's tax breaks to corporations, private schools, and senior citizens - ERNIE, creating corporate jobs, increasing the number of rich kids going to school, and making seniors SLIGHTLY more comfortable does not help farmers and does not make their produce grow better! FARMERS NEED HELP and its NOT coming from the Conservatives!
I live in RNP, and I have friends on both campaigns. The Yakabuskie campiagn is doing better than the Liberals would have thought but their polling does set them behind by a very comfortable margin. Derek's polling is apparently showing the same numbers and Derek was overheard saying he had a comfortable lead and is going to start getting ready for the transition phase prior to the election provided nothing big happens.
This riding, a week before the election, is looking to continue to be Liberal and I think now would quite honestly be a good time to change the riding from Too Close to call to Liberal.
25/09/03 Bromley B.
Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke is still uncertain. Many people in this riding are looking for a change, and they may just opt to vote Tory or NDP instead of Liberal. I can't see Nighbor doing better than Conway in terms of total voter turnout. Conway won the last election with a 13% spread. If there is a 7% shift from the Liberals to the Tories, Yakabuski could win it.
25/09/03 Craig
Change of heart once again, since the Liberals have regained the significant lead (when I suggested the Tories would win, they were almost even). As for the 'Northern Ontario' character, it is a unique riding, a blend of the hardcore Conservative Central Ontario, the left-leaning resource towns of Northern Ontario, centre-right swinging rural Eastern Ontario and a 'tiny' piece of bellwether suburbia in the far eastern section. It is certainly a roller coaster ride here but Nighbor has returned to the front with the sudden fall (after a quick rise) of the Tories. (In fact all the ridings I thought the Tories would steal previously no longer stand). Anyway, the same sex issue and conservative values will play a role but the Liberals have great momentum and that should decide this. It's out of Yakabuski's hands - he needs to hope Eves can regain considerable ground. Current prediction: Nighbor 44%, Yakabuski 38%, Stairs 15%, others 3%.
24/09/03 Christopher J. Currie
Email: 8cjc1@qlink.queensu.ca
People in this riding are used to voting Liberal. At the Federal level, the area was Liberal red from 1935 to 2000 -- and it took a candidate as bad as Hec Cloutier to allow the Alliance to slide through. Sean Conway's dominance of the riding at the provincial level was equally strong. This riding is basically "Northern Ontario" in character, which means that party alliances tend to run pretty strong -- many people here are willing to vote Liberal now because they've done it before. A former Reform supporter once described R-N-P to me as the quintessential redneck riding of Ontario; but even granting this, I just don't see the Tories as having much chance at a pick-up. Unless the Liberal campaign collapses by next week, colour R-N-P red. (And then, perhaps Conway will set his sights a bit higher ...)
24/09/03 S.H.
I agree that this riding has been a "Sean Conway" riding, perhaps not necessarily a Liberal riding. However, the fact that Derek Nighbor has been Sean's assistant in Toronto and has had and will have access, to those contacts cannot be underestimated. Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke has only benefited from choosing the candidate over the party. Sean was a very young man when he first won this riding; Derek is of similar mind, intelligence and character - he is the ideal candidate. I wish the "red neck" voters of this riding would get over the "same sex marriage" issue -there are MUCH MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES!!
23/09/03 Gunboat Diplomacy
The Liberals are not doing well in Eastern Ontario especially in the rural part of this region. The poll numbers say it's going to be very close in this part of the province. You have to ask the question, why are the Liberal not doing as well in eastern Ontario as they are in the rest of the province. The answer is a number of issues are working against the Liberals in this part of the province and they're candidates are not as strong as the rest of Ontario. Anti same sex marriage groups have developed very quickly in eastern Ontario and they are mobilizing their troops to defeat Liberal candidates. This is a key problem in the Nighbor campaign. Then there is the local Liberal candidate himself. Derek Nighbor is still considered an outsider in this riding because he's lived and worked in Toronto for a long time. John Yakabuski is much more of a local person who has real roots in Renfrew. Sean Conway often played on his family's long history in this part of Ontario and Yakabuski is doing the same with some success. This will be a close and bitterly fought race but I have no doubt that Yakabuski is going to finish first.
20/09/03 Bromley B.
I still think it's going to be a close race. In terms of public communication skills, it appears that Nighbor has been an astute understudy of Conway, having the ability to appeal to people's soft buttons and sentimentality while generally avoiding the nitty-gritty details of issues. It appears that ,like Conway, Nighbor doesn't appear to stand for much of anything, but he is still a nice fellow with the kind of charisma that salesman dream of having. Nighbor has the advantage of more polished campaign communication skills than either Yakabuski or Stairs, but the RPN electorate is less predictable. I suspect that people who voted PC or NDP in the past may be more motivated this time to vote since there is a much better chance for their candidate. It will be either Nighbor or Yakabuski who wins ... duh, I know, but I suspect that the split will be less than a 5% difference. If Yakabuski wins, I suspect the margin will be much more narrow, say 1 or 2%, and if Nighbor wins, it will be 5% or less. Stairs is one of the better candidates that the NDP have put forward in probably a few decades, and I suppose she will help increase the voter turnout in RNP, if not the NDP's share of the vote. The polls indicate an advantage for the Liberals provincially right now, but these polls appear to be a bit flimsy, and were taken after what many would consider to be a bad week for the Tories. I think the race is going to be much tighter right up until election day. We could be headed for a minority government.
19/09/03 Millie
Should be interesting. The rural vote will be what tells the story, I think Deep River/Renfrew/Pembroke/Petewawa will go Liberal. Am I correct in assuming that this is the bulk of the vote? There will be some Liberal votes lost in the Barry's Bay reason, no doubt, but I think that the general Liberal tide in Ontario is going to convince a lot of people to stick with what they know has worked...i.e. Sean and his fantastic run as MPP. This, coupled with Sean's tacit and continued support of Derek and his campaign, should be enough. And let's not forget that Derek is young, intelligent and dynamic, and will definately go far in the party should he be elected. Here's hoping.
19/09/03 Donut Shop Dave
You'd think with a leader from Ottawa, eastern Ontario would be Liberal country. It's the opposite. This is the worst region of the province for the Grits, especially in the rural areas like this riding. In RNP, same sex marriage continues to be the one big issue that everyone is talking about. Church going folks hear about it every Sunday and there are large groups of people who are working to defeat Derek Nighbor on this one issue. Every time same sex marriages get mentioned in the media, the Grits lose more ground here. Yakabuski has picked up a lot of support thanks to this issue and the federal gun laws. When it's all said and done, Yakabuski is going to win on the strength of this hot botton issue that Nighbor just cannot deal with.
19/09/03 R.F.
So there you have it. Negative campaigning in this Riding is accusing your opponent of supporting the federal liberals! When Grit Derek Nighbour accused Tory John Yakabuski of being a closet federal liberal at a recent all-candidates meeting, John was speechless. Derek recognizes the fact that Cheryl Gallant and the Canadian Alliance are very popular here and the fact that yes, people who vote liberal provincially support Cheryl federally. Cheryl has done an excellent job representing her Riding which is why derek is smart enough to hitch his wagon to her train. Only Mc Guinty's flub in asking Chretien's help on the same sex marriage issue may save John now.
16/09/03 The Big Ape
Email: thebigape2000@hotmail.com
This is one riding where I think the Torys will pick up a seat at the expense of the Liberals. True this was held by long time Liberal Sean Conway, however this was a Conway riding not a Liberal riding. With right wing tendencies (they elected one of two Canadian Alliance MPs from Ontario) and a number of recent issues honking off the voters from the federal Liberals, my bet is this riding is going to go blue.
16/09/03 Saltwatertaffy
I give Derek the nod. If there was a winner at the all candidate's debate at the Outdoorsportsmen's Club, it was Derek. Derek has been on the attack regarding the deficit incurred by the PC's etc. and John seems to have no answer to this. Of more importance, however, is the response there will be to the personal attacks the provincial Tories have employed in this election -- i.e. that kitten eater thing, is simply distasteful. John has used similar means by jumping on the anti same sex marriage bandwagon etc. I don't think I am alone in believing this to be a distasteful approach to winning in politics. It certainly shows signs of backfiring on the PC's needlessly. It makes one forget the sound policies that were the backbone of their victories in the past two elections.
13/09/03 CM
The reason that Derek Nighbor is going to do well in RNP, is the same reason that the Liberals, provincially, should do well. He is working hard and sticking to the issues...healthcare, education etc. This seems to be something that people in this forum are forgetting. Slinging mud, for and against both candidates, is really not something that plays well with the majority of the voters. I may be politically naive, but I have to believe that there will be more to talk about than same sex marriage. I also agree with JB. Having driven through the riding this weekend, there are alot of Nighbor signs on private lawns.
11/09/03 My Spine
I find it very interesting that neither Ernie Eves or Dalton McGuinty went to this riding in the first week in the campaign when it's so important to both parties. I'll be looking to see which leader heads into Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke first. That's a good indicator who thinks they're doing well. As for what I think is going to happen, right now I have to say that Yakabuski has the advantage with small town voters seeming to be more interested in the issues the Tories are talking about than the Liberal message. Other than Janet Ecker, I can't remember a staff member from Queen's Park making the jump to becoming an MPP. Nighbor is having a tough time dealing with that issue. So right now I'll say Yakabuski should be the victor.
09/09/03 Tory in Dixie
Email: ericbucholz@hotmail.com
One of the best places for a Tory pickup ! Consider Len Hopkins, the MP who was here since 1965, was replaced by Hec Cloutier and then was beat three years ago by Cheryl Gallant. Same thing with Sean Conway. Been there forever, now that this small c tending riding no longer has the MPP to be loyal to, it will align itself more with it's conservative tendencies.
08/09/03 Bromley B.
This election is a tricky one to figure out. If there ever was a safe Liberal seat, a Liberal stronghold, then it would be Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. However, this all changed in the November 2000 federal election, so anything is possible in an election campaign.
The large block of loyal voters who have traditionally voted Liberal since the 1940's, coupled with the perpetual campaigning skills of retired MPP Sean Conway have maintained RPN as a Liberal stronghold. It has only been when an MPP retires that a window of opportunity opens for a strong PC candidate, and even this can be a tough climb.
Liberal candidate Derek Nighbor's main assets and advantages is that he has the full support of Conway's election machine and the traditionalist Liberal voter support. One of his key weaknesses is his lack of work experience and residency in Renfrew County. Although he grew up in Pembroke, he worked in a bank in Kitchener for 3 years after he graduated, and then in Toronto for Sean Conway for a couple of years after that. Five years of post-graduate work experience is a good start, but the voters of Renfrew County may have difficulty identifying with a person who has spent relatively little time living and working in the Valley in a non-political job. He also has several potentially damaging or touchy policy issues to deal with that others have alluded to, some which may explain why Conway himself chose not to run for the leadership of the provincial Liberals. It is a shame that Conway did not run for the Liberal leadership, for he would have most certainly made a better leader than either Lyn McLeod or Dalton McGuinty.
PC Candidate John Yakabuski's main assets are that he has lived and worked in Renfrew County for a considerable length of time, and he owns and runs his own small business (previously hardware, now real estate). He also has the political pedigree of being the son of former MPP Paul Yakabuski, who was considered by many to be an effective representative of his constituents, although he had never served as a provincial cabinet minister. Yakabuski's weak spots may deal with personal and family difficulties he experienced in many years past, although some voters may be willing to overlook that in context of his current accomplishments. The other potentially weak spot may be with dissatisfaction that some voters in riding have with the provincial PC government.
Unless devisive issues with clear-cut differences between Nighbor and Yakabuski come up during the rest of the campaign, there is not going to be a knockout punch. It could be a close campaign, and an election victory may come down to which candidate is more effective at motivating and mobilizing his core and swing supporters.
07/09/03 JB
Should be a close race but at early stages if lawn signs on private property are any indication - especially in Pembroke where Nighbor signs are everywhere - it looks like Nighbor is off to the best start. I expect this to continue and will be a Liberal hold.
06/09/03 Craig
I've changed my mind on how this riding will go. The Tories should win because of the anger with the federal Liberals and the Tories have admitted links to the Canadian Alliance on social policies, which are popular in this rural riding. It has a lot more in common with Central Ontario ridings which are generally as blue as can be, only that Sean Conway had a stranglehold on this riding for decades. Now that he's retired, watch Yakabuski take this one as one of the few Tory pickups in this election, since they are strongest right now in Eastern Ontario and the Liberals are fading fast. Current prediction: Yakabuski 45%, Nighbor 39%, Stairs 14%, others 2%.
06/09/03 Frozen Toast
Ernie Eves spent the first week of the campaign shoring up his rural support and it worked very well for the Tories. The Tories know that the Liberals are weak in rural ridings and don't have much in the way of policy to attract rural votes. Political Hack and El Predicto are right when they say that the same sex issue is very big in Refrew-Nippissing-Pembroke and that Nighbor won't be able to deal with it. I don't see the Tories taking many seats from the Liberals this fall but here's one anyway.
04/09/03 Political Hack
There will be no break through for the Liberals in rural Ontario this election including this riding. The Liberals will have to settle for picking up seats in urban Ontario. Besides the same sex marriage issue, another reason why Yakabuski is going to win is the way private schools are exploding in Refrew. They're popping up everywhere and parents who are happy with the tax break for private schools will be out there voting for the Tories to keep it. Timing is the most important part of political life and this was the wrong election for Nighbor.
29/08/03 WD
El Predicto, even if Eves hadn't flip flopped so badly on the issue, he's already alienated the target voter. Eves is pro choice, BUT the people that vote against same sex are also pro life. If Eves chose to make SSM an issue, it would only a matter of time before the opposition parties drive that contradiction home. That, and there is also his situation with his "life-partner," which won't sit well with the Dobson-reading, Stockwell day-loving bible-thumping crowd. It's clear that Eves is either personally supportive or ambivalent about same sex marriage. It's equally clear that the campaign team feels there is votes to be had in rural ridings by coming out against (a wedge issue that I can't imagine Jaime Watt supporting -- but whatever). Eves wears that contradiction poorly, and it showed in the interviews he did this past week on the subject. First he brought up his Anglican boyhood(nobody bought that one) and then he tried to soften his position. In other words, SSM could have helped them win, but Eves pulled the rug out from under himself -- and his rural members. Not the first time, won't be the last.
02/09/03 Smok Wawelski
I believe that most elections are won & lost on the ground. The day beforee the writ was dropped John Williams had the towns of Belleville and Quinte West painted Tory Blue. His organization appears aggressive, and prepared. Eves finally coming out against same-sex marriage will help the Tories there too.
02/09/03 Derek L.
Well, I look forward to seeing how the Tories try to make the issue of same-sex marriage work for them. They have a Premier who is an adulterer and who is "living in sin" with his mistress and who has declined to lift a finger to stop same-sex marriage in Ontario. On top of that, in this riding you have a Tory candidate Yakabuski whose own brother died of AIDS after being in a beautiful long term gay relationship with former Attorney General Ian Scott (this is all detailed in Scott's own autobiography and is a matter of public record). If Yakabuski wants to exploit homophobia to win I'm sure it will spark some interesting chatter around the breakfast table in the Yakabuski household. Yakabuski's poor dead brother must be rolling over in his grave! Maybe someone should get Ian Scott to say something about this.
01/09/03 A. Foster
I must disagree with previous postings on this site re : the federal Liberals. With Gallant as the local fed member we already have a strong anti-federal Liberal presence in the riding (and we're paying the price for it). People here draw the line between federal and provincial politics and will be looking for a MPP who won't embarrass us like our federal member does. A warning to the Tories who enjoy posting personal attacks on this site -- be careful in slinging mud in this campaign. In doing so, you will only be encouraging the local media and Liberals to start exposing Yakabuski's past. A 'record' not to be proud of. The Tories should've nominated Leach who would've been a much more appealing and credible candidate. Nighbor will pull away in this one.
29/08/03 El Predicto
Forget about hydro, healthcare and even education, the top issue in rural ridings in Ontario right now is same sex marriages. This issue is going to cost the Liberals seats in rural Ontario, starting with this one. For Derek Nighbor, this has to be a complete nightmare. If there's one issue he didn't want to deal with it's same sex marriage. Now it's front and centre, whipping up the relegious right and giving John Yakabuski an issue he can win the riding with. The same sex issue has also got the Alliance team in Renfrew all worked up and they'll be contacting their supporters and getting them behind Yakabuski. I'm not sure even Sean Conway would have survived this issue, but I know Nighbor won't.
27/08/03 Call Me Shades
I must responde to Derek L.'s message from August 18. Federal issues always play a part in provincial elections. Just ask any Ontario Liberal candidate from rural Ontario is the federal gun registry law has cost them votes in the past. It certainly has. The same sex issue is going to do the same thing in this election. It's a federal issue that will cost the provincial Liberals votes. Perhaps Derek doesn't talk to a lot of rural Liberal candidates. The same sex issue is a total nightmare for Derek Nighbor. It will cost him votes and it highlights his personal life which the Liberals in this riding have been trying to play down for months. The Tories know the same sex marriage issue is a goldmine for them and they're playing it to the hilt with petitions and newsletters at local churches. This issue is not going away and it will cost the Liberals this seat.
02/08/03 Frozen Toast
The more Jean Chretien and the federal Liberals push for same sex marriages, the easier it gets for John Yakabuski to win Renfrew-Nippissing-Pembroke. You see this is bible belt country and they are strongly against same sex marriages. So is Yakabuski. This issue is very touchy for Nighbor and has put him on the defence for obvious reasons. The federal Liberals and this issue have given the provincial Tories this riding.
01/08/03 Cougar
Here's what's wrong with the idea that the Alliance will support Derek Nighbor. There are a lot of people who are comfortable voting for the Federal Liberals and then voting for the Conservatives at the provincial level. There's almost nobody who votes for the federal Alliance and then votes for the provincial Liberals. Gallant and the Alliance voters will vote for John Yakabuski and for that reason alone, he's going to beat Nighbor badly.
28/07/03 ThePlotThickens
Further to RF's comments, the "alliance" (sorry for the pun folks) is even deeper than that. Yakabuski was a great supporter of the so-called "little man" - in fact the Hansard transcripts will reveal he was specifically mentioned by Hec after his first victory -- so its no wonder John doesn't seem to feel comfortable fraternizing with Cheryl's crew. However I think he feels confident the Alliance vote, being conservative in its general application will vote for him regardless. I am not so sure. The next question is, who does he target as his voter group -- as I understand he has also alienated the traditional PC voter group in the Arnprior area - due to his support of the Liberal party in the past -- and given apparent lack of support in Pembroke corridor???
24/07/03 R.F.
If Derek Nighbor wins the next election, it will be by default. John Yakabuski has taken what should have been a sure win and squandered it. He has done this by snubbing popular M.P. Cheryl Gallant of the Canadian Alliance. Although Yak is known as a big Clouthier fan, he took Alliance support for granted. Sean knew enough to distance himself from the despised little man in the hat. By refusing to remove himself from Clouthier who he campaigned for in the last election,and who is even more hated by long-time Liberals starting with former MP Len Hopkins than by the local electorate, Yak has shot himself in the foot. Derek on the other hand has been out campaigning at Alliance events as he has been around this Riding often enough to know how popular Cheryl Gallant is. Derek's attendance at an Alliance picnic in Renfrew had Yak, who also showed up to shake hands, in a tizzy. That is smart politics by Derek to associate himself with Cheryl. The candidate who puts the most distance between themselves and the unpopular federal liberals and their despised wanna-be candidate, 'ector, will wake up the day after the election as MPP for this Riding.
24/07/03 Applepie
I give the nudge to Nighbor over Yakabuski. Firstly, if this riding had really learned of the need to vote in a candidate from the governing party then Cheryl would not have won federally last time. Furthermore, the race on the provincial level will be too close for that argument to win the day in favour of Yakabuski. Those who might be convinced to change their traditionally red vote in favour of a PC candidate - wont do so unless it is very clear the PC's are going to govern -- and it's too close to call for that to work. Further, Yakabuski still has not made a breakthrough in the Pembroke area - he's seems to be chasing the wrong targeted vote group - and if he had so much Pembroke support why then was there only one Pembroke person at the recent PC Assoc. bbq.? Sorry folks, Yakabuski could have had this one -- but he's been barking up the wrong tree.
19/07/03 Grant
This is a great site and provides a great opportunity for meaningful (and not so meaningful)opinion exchanges. No doubt that here in Renfrew this is going to be an interesting race. But, if media coverage and 'talk on the street' is any indication, the edge must go to the Liberals. Poll numbers show that they are holding strong and that cannot be under-estimated here. Voters in Renfrew want to have a member on the government-side for a change. Eves comes across as too polished and does not seem to be appealing to voters around town at all. Nighbor is proving to be a solid candidate. His media coverage has been steady and focused on local issues. It has by far outnumbered Yakabuski's coverage which seems spotty and uninspired. If the poll numbers hold, Renfrew should be a lock in sending another Liberal MPP to Toronto.
19/07/03 Teen Spirit
I can't imagine people in Renfrew trusting a candidate who already works at Queen's Park. This problem is too much for Nighbor to overcome. Yakabuski lives in the area and that makes people more comfortable with him. I think Yakabuski is a sure thing to win.
18/07/03 Ringleader Sally
No Conway, no seat for the Liberals. All the rest of the talk is just window dressing. That's what this riding is all about. Yakabuski will be loading up the truck and moving to the big city.
18/07/03 J.S
I'm not sure just which polls, "Scooby Doo" claims to have seen, but I have a strange feeling that they were all COMPAS polls... Anyhow... This one is very difficult to call, all I know is that if I do call it for one party or another, I would certainly get it wrong... The 2000 Canadian Alliance win here, shocked a lot of people, but federally the Grits will probably win it back next year, but the damage is done. The CA win here might(given that parties current dire straits and the, to be honest, incompetence of its M.P's)however actually hinder the PC's here, more than it will help them... The "Angry" theory, seems to fit this riding quite well. Whoever wins will here, will be the party who the R-N-P electorate is least angry with...
17/07/03 Robert Jones
You know I think one thing many people are missing is that there is an undercurrent in this riding of people who are so upset with Ottawa's Liberals that voting Liberal at the provincial level is unthinkable. These are the pepole who will trun this riding.
15/07/03 Scooby Doo
With a leader from Ottawa you'd think that eastern Ontario would be the strongest region of the province for the Liberals. Every poll I've seen for the last two years has them with only a slight lead over the Tories. If you take away traditional Liberal strongholds like Ottawa-Vanier, Ottawa South and Glengary-Prescott, you'd see the Tories leading. This riding in particular is a very conservative area. To hold it, the Liberals needed a great candidate with a high profile in the region. Nighbor is a lot of things but he's not that candidate. All the Tories have to do is get their base support out to vote and Yakabuski will win Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. The Liberal base is too small to compete if the Tory vote comes out.
14/07/03 Thomas
Nighbor's involvement with the Liberals locally runs deep -- one only has to look at the Eganville Leader 100th Anniversary book to see him at work in the 1995 Conway re-election win. His natural charisma and ability to motivate a crowd makes him an innate politician whose sincerity rings true even in the media. Having worked for Conway he knows the local issues. And, with the Ontario Liberals continuing to lead the PCs in Eastern Ontario, this bodes well for Nighbor. It will be an interesting race, but Nighbor should win by at least 2,000.
10/07/03 Mayor McCheese
Just in case Dogs Breakfast fooled anyone I have news for you. Anyone who starts out saying they spoke to both candidates and found one of them to be wonderful and the other to be terrible is a campaign worker trying to help out their candidate. This is going to be a very tight race but I give the nod to Yakabuski for one reason. His last name is more recognized than Nighbor. Don't forget that on the provincial ballot, there is just the name of the candidate, not the party they represent. The Tories know that in this situation, it's an advantage, in rural ridings to have a candidate who has a family name people link to politics. That's why the Tories went with Yakabuski and that's why he's going to pull this one out.
09/07/03 gosensgo
It has nothing to do with attacking Yakker but the question remains, where is he? There has been no clear policy come from the candiate, no consistent message and no public accountability. Both the Liberal and NDP candidates have been in the local media, expounding both their personal and party views, and have made themselves available to the public. At a recent forum on Mental Health in the county, the Tory candidate failed to show up or even send a representative. The other two candidates were present and willingly responded to all questions from those in attendance. And to say that Nighbor has no team is absolutely ludicrous. The RNP Liberal team has enabled the candidate to put forth a strong and consistent message gearing up to an election. The inroads that Nighbor has made in the past few months is incredible. He has met with every county council save for possibly Deep River at this point, meets with school boards, principals and classes. He has made himself both visible and approachable and the Tory candidate again remains ideologiaclly vacant. Nighbor continues to build on a tradition of "knowing the valley" while Yakabuski rides the tail of his father's name...family history is important and a valued quality to RNP but no one here feels it is the be all to end all. With the provincial climate the way it is and the local climate clearly riding in Nighbor's favor, the Liberals are a lock.
08/07/03 Dog'sbreakfast
Having spoken at length with both the Liberal and Progressive Conservative candidates I know the Nighbor has the clear edge. Nighbor actually gives you the impression that he respects your views and wants to hear your concerns. Yakabuski gave me the impression that he has no interest in anyone's opinion but his own. Nighbor is going to come out on top in the all candidate debates. The Pembroke-Petawawa corridor comprises a huge chunk of the population in the riding - about 40%. Yakabuski cannot win without gaining ground in this region and he has yet to do this -- he favours the status quo with the PGH - and given it was the PC government that created the mess, he takes this position at his peril.
04/07/03 Piggly Wiggly
Judging by the postings the Liberals have on this riding they seem to be trying to attack Yakabuski and down play Nighbor's time working and living in Toronto. I don't see this strategy working in a riding like Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. No matter what the Liberals say, Nighbor is an outsider compared to Yakabuski. This riding looks like it's going to change hands.
03/07/03 B.N.
I would like to respond to the previous post by JDP which begins with the statement "Let's stick to the facts". This is perhaps the most absurd thing I've read in a long time, because immediatly after his profession of truth, he provides readers with nothing more than ridiculous colloquial opinions, such as: "he's the candidate that will make the difference", and "Derek is in this race for the right reasons". I would love to hear how comments like this could possibly be interpreted as quantitative facts by any rational individual. It is tough to elucidate facts in a political prediction, but here are a few we can probably agree on: Sean Conway was a very popular MPP, and was elected many times over. He was also a Liberal, in a riding with demographic characteristics which appear much more conservative in character. This observation is supported by the ridings choice of MP. Sean Conway has now retired, meaning his personality will not longer be around to carry the riding for the Liberals. A PC victory seems very possible. Ultimately, I would argue that these kind of demographic assessments will be infinitely more valuable in predicting the winner than unsubstantiated personal assessments of who "will make the difference" and who "is in it for the right reasons".
03/07/03 Vic
The last posting was about Yakabuski's building of the community. I couldn't disagree more. His term on local council was a tumultuous one, so much in fact that re-election wasn't an option. More recently he spent many months fighting with locals over the naming of our arena. Many people do know John. And that will be his downfall. Although this one is close, I give the edge to Nighbor -- he's young and dynamic, a Valley boy, his Polish family connections run through the heart of the Barry's Bay area and he is well known in the more populous Upper Valley - where the Leach supporters (who Yakabuski defeated in the PC nomination) will be less willing to support Yakabuski from what I understand. He likes to shoot his mouth off. That behaviour alone helped send Liberal Clouthier out the door. Yakabuski has his following, but it will be Nighbor's more sensible and intelligent approach that will make him appeal to voters in RNP.
04/07/03 Hotdog
Sean Conway ran on his name only in the last two elections. There was almost no Liberal team working for him. Nighbor has no foundation to build his campaign on. The Alliance team was well organized in the 2000 campaign and they're backing Yakabuski. This give him a big advantage over the Liberals.
02/07/03 Speak Easy
While Derek Nighbor was busy answering the phone in Sean Conway's Queen's Park office, John Yakabuski and his family were busy helping to build this community. The Yakabuski family has for decades been a part of just about every community project that's made this area what it is today. John knows the region better than anyone and the people know John. That's why he's going to be elected as the next member from this riding.
28/06/03 The Hulk
Let's stick to the record. The Federal Liberals couldn't get sitting MP Hec Cloutier re-elected in this riding in 2000 even with the Alliance and Tories splitting the right wing vote. This is a very right wing riding. So if the Federal Liberals couldn't hold this riding with an incumbant, how can you possibly think a total unknown like Nighbor, running for the first time can win this seat. It's just not in the cards for Nighbor to win. Yabakuski has built a base that includes both the Alliance and Tory vote and it's way too much for the Liberals to beat.
28/06/03 Bender
Oh come on, Refrew-Nipissing-Pembroke is full of rednecks. How do you think Cheryl Gallant got elected in 2000. This is one of the most conservative ridings in Ontario. If Conway had run for the first time in 1995 or 1999 he would never have been elected. Conway survived in this conservative riding because he'd been there so long. Nobody knows who Nighbor is. The guy has lived in Toronto for a decade. Yakabuski is going to win here because he's a Conservative and that's the type of candidate the rednecks in this riding will vote for.
24/06/03 JDP
Let's stick to the facts. I've had a fair amount of contact with Mr. Nighbor over the past few months and he's the candidate that will make the difference. He's learned a lot from Mr. Conway while also bringing a wealth of personal determination and caring to the riding. Derek is exactly the type of leader that I want on my side. Derek is in this race for the right reasons. Let's keep this riding about the people and about the issues that matter.
25/06/03 Ted
These comments are clearly underestimating Derek Nighbor. Sean Conway's success just like any politician's is not only the result of his commitment to the job but the people he had working for him behind-the-scenes. Nighbor, who came through a much more rigorous nomination than his Tory opponent, has learned from one of the best and to date seems too experienced, savvy and astute to make any sort of election-costing blunder.
24/06/03 CM
When the election finally arrives, Renfrew Nippissing Pembroke will once again be Liberal. Derek Nighbor is a strong candidate who knows and cares about the Valley. For those who haven't seen Derek speak will be most comfortable giving him their support after they witness him in debates with Yakabuski and Stairs. He knows the issues having worked and volunteered in provincial politics for many years. His youth, energy and enthusiasm will be refreshing and will resonate both in the heart of the Ottawa Valley and at Queen's Park.
24/06/03 J
I think that the Liberals will hold this riding. Nighbor was born and raised in the valley. He knows the area both as a resident and as a long time supporter of Conway and the Liberals in the riding, not to mention his position as Conway's EA. In addition, he is exceptionally intelligent and (as others have said) a very forceful speaker. The media attention he has received so far definitely bodes well for him. We all know how much impact the press can have on an election campaign. The bottom-line is that Nighbor will take the riding. He's no stranger to competition (he won a heated nomination battle) and, most importantly, he knows the local issues and people well. He geniunely cares about the people of RNP and that will come through for him at the polls.
24/06/03 gosensgo
Renfrew county maybe rural but we are not rednecks...there have been rumors about the incumbants "private life" for years and that has not hurt him. Further more, Nighbor may have been in Toronto for a number of years but on holidays and during vacations, he has been visible at numerous community events and in the media; Derek has not forgotten where he comes from and has always maintained a close connection with the county, not just Killaloe and Barry's Bay. The same cannot be said for Yakabuski. Even as we approach an election he is nowhere to be found. Nighbor gets front page coverage and Yakabuski gets half his face cut off in a background shot. The work that Nighbor has done has given him valueable connections with municipal and county councils as well as school boards and business people throughout the county.The Tory candidate is not visible and has not expressed any clear position on any issue. People here are talking about a young, charismatic and very ! well versed Liberal candidate with a lot of potential to be a strong elected official. The only talk of Yakabuski is, Where is he?
24/06/03 R.F.
As a large, rural riding that has been liberal for decades federally and provincially, the breakthrough by Cheryl Gallant and the Canadian Alliance means that traditional analysis will not work. Cheryl is very popular among the people here, and her appeal grows daily. The provincial candidate who most closely identifies with Cheryl Gallant's stands on a variety of 'hot point' issues has the best chance of winning. This is already happening with John Yakabuski's attack on gun control and Derek Nighbors' attack against underfunding of our military, both federal issues and both very popular locally. All the canadidates will have to distance themselves from their party's 'Toronto' bias. People are anti-government in the rural areas, and justifiably so. This one is too close to call.
21/06/03 My Little Pony
You can't apply province wide trends to Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. People here vote for the local candidate, not the party. That's why Sean Conway held the seat even when the Liberals lost elections. That's why Cheryl Gallant won for the Alliance even though the Liberals swept to another majority. I can't believe people are saying that Derek Nighbor has any profile in this riding because he's Conway's executive assistant at Queen's Park. It doesn't matter what riding you go to, most people will have a hard time naming their MPP, let alone who the executive assistant to the MPP is. Nighbor has worked and lived in Toronto for many years and that will hurt his chances. John Yakabuski has a big advantage with his family name. When people get that ballot in their hands and look at it, the Yakabuski name will be the one familiar one on that ballot. Besides, John has been a part of the community for years. He's participated in many community events and groups. In the end, Nighbor just won't be able to keep this riding Liberal. Yakabuski is the community person and the community will send him to Queen's Park.
20/06/03 Free Willy
In a close race both sides are going to do everything they can to pull this riding out. That means sooner or later, Derk Nighbor's private life is going to be front and centre. I believe this could eventually be the difference in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. This is a small town, small c community that will have a hard time voting for a candidate like Nighbor. Yakabuski will play the family values card and that will be enough to get him elected.
10/06/03 Ray McG
As someone who voted for the Alliance in the last federal election I can say that there is not a direct relationship between the Alliance voters and the Conservative voters. My vote in the federal election (and the votes of many people I know as well) was a vote against Hec Clouthier and I would vote for Cheryl all over again. She's doing a great job. Provincially I think the Liberals will win this riding again. Conway has done a great job and Mr. Nighbor who is from Pembroke and was Conway's aide is receiving lots of media coverage. Although I've never met Mr. Nighbor face to face the people tell me that he is very smart and a strong speaker (a couple of those reviews were from some people I know as Tories). If he worked for Conway he must be good. I don't understand what the previous person who posted is saying about Nighbor becoming an issue. We need more younger people in politics. From what I have heard from people if there will be an issue in the campaign it could be Yakabuski.
06/06/03 Repo Man
Scott the Truth destroys any credibility he might have by making wild predictions of 70 seats for the Liberals when an election is still a long way off. Getting back to Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, this will be a very close race. I give the edge to Yakabuski because the family name still means something here and Nighbor is becoming an issue. Either way, the winner will just finish ahead of the second place candidate.
02/06/03 Scott "the truth"
Let's get real here! Now that the conservative government has delayed the election until at least the fall, they are basically saying that they will lose. Things can't bed good for them if they have to go into the 5th year of their mandate. Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke will stay Liberal, no doubt about it. I'm predicting that the Liberals will win about 70 seats. This riding may be quite different from provincial trends but it will not swing towards a faultering government.
29/05/03 Jay Bird
This riding is all set to revert to it's Tory nature. Conway was an anomaly. This is Tory country. Conway was at the stage where he didn't have to campaign. Now he's replaced by a green candidate with a weak organization? I predict a PC win.
28/05/03 Scoop Jackson
The Tories use their polling information to direct tour events by their leader, more than the Liberals or the NDP. Keep an eye on the unheld Tory ridings Eves go to and you'll see where they think they have a chance to pick up a seat. This week Ernie spent a day in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke in a campaign style tour. My Tory contacts tell me that Yakabuski has a real shot at winning this riding. My Liberal contacts are nervous because they have to hold this riding and they're worried that if the campaign turns negative, Nighbor himself could become the key issue in this riding. enfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke is going to be a bitter battle ground with the Tories having an edge in this type of fight.
21/05/03 Grizz
B.N. has some compelling arguments and I pretty much have to agree with them. This was a Conway riding and not a liberal riding, and the Canadian Alliance win federally is proof of that. Though I have placed this as a PC win (and probably the ONLY PC steal from the Liberals) I do so with some reservations. The PC are falling in the polls and this could be close. I reserve the right to change my prediction at a later date, but for now I'm saying slight PC win.
07/05/03 Craig
Thoughts of a Tory pickup are gone now. Polls show that they are falling quickly and are still in freefall mode. The Liberals may have an inexperienced candidate but I am sure Sean Conway will help him out to create an easy victory, and with little prosperity in much of this riding, mainly the western parts (where Northern Ontario meets the National Capital Region) as well as hospital and school closures, they aren't going to be supporting the Tories at all. Predicted results: LIB 60%, PC 19%, NDP 15%, Green 4%.
05/05/03 snapdragon
The supposed "hospital mess" is blown completely out of proportion. There are select few who attempt to dominate the local editorials and gossip mill about the hospital,but to the average voter, it's not that big of a concern. The Riding is much larger than the 14 000 or so voters in the Pembroke area who are potentially informed about the issue. There are bigger issues at stake here; hydro, nutrient management and REAL health care issues. The Liberal Candidate should win by at least 20%.
11/04/03 Murray McBride
There is only one huge issue. The hospital mess in Pembroke. Whichever party commits to giving the community a publicly owned community hospital will win, and win big.
31/03/03 B.N.
I believe some posters on this page may be ignoring some crucial facts about this riding. Yes, R-N-P has been held by the Liberals for twenty some years, but let's get one thing straight: Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke is NOT a Liberal riding, it's a Sean Conway Riding. This is perhaps the ideal case study of a riding where the local candidate really did matter more than the provincial party or leader. Conway has held this riding since the 70s, and has survived Tory and NDP tides alike. Were he running in this election, I'd be predicting that he would win again. However, the fact remains that he is not, meaning the riding profile and its provincial party orientation will mean something for the first time in a while. With that in mind, most would agree that R-N-P is perhaps the ideal candidate riding to fit the archetypal eastern Ontario PC stronghold stereotype. It is a riding of small-c conservatives clearly supporting right-wing ideology. For proof of this, one only has to consider the fact that this was one of only TWO ridings in Ontario to elect an Alliance MP to Ottawa, and we all know how crucial the neoconservative Reform vote was to Harris' big '95 win. The other riding was of course Lanark-Carelton, where Scott Reid won with a smaller plurality than Gallant did here. Yet, Lanark-Carleton is held by a PC Sterling, who won with a plurality of over 14,000. How then does it make sense that R-N-P could elect a Liberal provincially? Simply because it was Conway, and only because it was Conway. I am sure that there will be some level of Conway-die-hard support that wants to see the riding stay red just to keep the 20 year tradition alive, but you can bet that most of those Alliance and fed PC voters aren't likely to vote Liberal in the absence of a strong personality to make them do so. This is by far the most likely PC-pickup in the province. Conway is gone. PC win.
31/03/03 PM
Interest is high in this race it might have been better for the tories if Leach had won the nomonation rather than Yakabuski who has a pretty bad personal reputation. Nighbor has strong local roots and is supported by Conway's team as well.I think this area will stay Liberal though perhaps with a slightly reduced majority. Rember Jordan was a high profile candidate and Conway still won an apsolute majority.
26/03/03 THE GAMBLER
The Gambler is putting his money on John Yakabuski to win Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. PC Yakabuski has the home town name and the home advantage over the LIB candidate. That's going to be the difference in this contest. Yakabuski will win it. Break open your piggy bank and put your money on him.
18/03/03 El Predicto
The Liberals started planning their victory party a little early in this riding. John Yakabuski is a strong candidate for the Tories. Queen's Park staffers just don't win ridings like Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. This is the type of riding that likes a local candidate with a family name with roots in the community. Watch for the Tories to start pouring cabinet ministers into this riding because they know they have a great chance to take it back from the Liberals.
17/03/03 S. Webb
Things just got interesting... the Tories have nominated John Yakabuski, Barry's Bay businessman, and the son of former Renfrew South MPP Paul Yakabuski as their candidate. With solid roots in the riding and a well known name, he has to be the clear favorite over an unknown Queen's Park staffer.
03/03/03 Andrew Cox
Derek Nighbor won the Liberal nomination with the support of the majority of the Conway machine. Nighbor, Conway's right-hand man, has been racking up impressive media coverage and endorsements. His website is quite professional. His "Knows the Valley. Knows the Job" message plays to his Ottawa Valley roots and his years working with Conway. And remember, Conway was elected as 24. The 28-year-old Nighbor is in the same mold: dynamic, intelligent and a Valley boy. I stick with my contention that "Establishment" Ernie Eves is death for the PC Party in the Ottawa Valley.
03/03/03 Joe H
Email: joehorneck@hotmail.com
Local candidate Derek Nighbor had a great nomination race. He knows the riding well as Conway's former assistant, is a great public speaker and has a great campaign team. Conway won the seat for the first time in his 20's and Nighbor looks set to follow him.
26/02/03 Scott
The Liberal candidate will likely win but only just barely win. Too bad Sean Conway retired. This one will be pretty close but the state of the economy during election time will be on most voters' minds.
09/02/03 RWA
From what I hear, Gallant really isn't all that unpopular in this riding, so I doubt that will work against the Tories. The loss of an incumbant won't help the Liberals either. If the Tories win the election, picking up a seat like this will be why.
22/01/03 B. L.
A bit early to tell, pending central campaign, but all things being equal, Libs should hang on to this seat. It will be a fight though - especially in some of the more traditional Tory reaches that retiring Liberal stalwart Sean Conway was able to win. Lib nomination locally is getting more attention than the PCs. Traditionally the Libs here are better organized than the PCs. NDP is nowhere. And, most of Conway's ground-team will still be around - at least to support their perceived favourite, Ottawa Valley boy Derek Nighbor - Conway's Assistant. With the provincial tide favourable for the Libs, and if the right candidate wins the nomination - Nighbor probably has the best chance - they should be able to hold the seat.
19/12/02 Marto
Tories will win this one - Sean Conway is the only reason the Liberals held on the last 2 elections. This riding is losing one of Ontario's best parliamentarians - and the Liberals are losing a precious Eastern Ontario Seat.
15/12/02 C.B.
I make my prediction on a number of reasons:
1. Mike Harris and the PCs closed a hospital in Pembroke
2. The Eves government is closing a jail in Pembroke and will ship inmates to Ottawa
3. Double Cohort has been a thorn in the sides of not only young first time voters, but these same students parents
4. Teachers are fed up and still working without a contract (since 1999 I believe).
5. Sean Conway, outgoing Liberal incumbent, has done a great job in the riding and is well respected
6. In the federal election of 2002, RNP elected a non-liberal MP (Cheryl Gallant) who has been little more than an embarrassment to the riding
In all, I think Sean Conway has chosen a great time to step aside as the PCs have no chance in this riding and the NDP have never made a significant turnout. The grits got this one in the bag! (So long as they don't screw up of course). Its the Libs to win and the Libs to lose!
06/07/02 Andrew Cox
I have a theory about this seat. Its not right-wing, its not leftwing, its not even centrist. Its angry. Most of the riding doesn't like Pembrooke, let alone Ottawa or Toronto. Its quasi-Northern Ontario, based around resource industries and tied to government intervention economically. But its got this Ottawa Valley thing that makes it more rough and tumble, almost rural Quebec, in their politics. What they like are rabble-rousers, anti-establishment folks. The only thing Sean Conway and Cheryl Gallant have in common is their anti-establishment roots. Conway is a skeptic and a burr in the side of any government (his own included). Gallant's vote was just a vent at Chretien Liberal arrogance in Ottawa. AS is right that she might actually do more damage to the PCs by showing what a non-Liberal looks like (scary.)
How does this play for our provincial election game? The Tories have nominated the most establishment Premier since George Drew in Ernie Eves. The Liberals look set to run an anti-establishment campaign. You take a guess. That said, it will all come down to candidates here. Whoever grabs that anti-establishment dynamic with their nominee will take the seat. For now, I'm saying Liberals. But if they screw up the nomination and give it to, say, a Hec Cloutier or someone else "establishment", then PC.
22/10/02 Ian Kuehl
Email: iankuehl@hotmail.com
Despite Sean Conway's decision to not seek another term, the long serving MPP has left a strong appreciation for the Provincial Liberal Party in the riding. After a hospital closure in Pembroke which has crippled the area's health care system, educational blunders which include the double-cohort, and other legacy's left behind by former Premier Mike Harris and new Premier (and Harris's Finance Minister) Ernie Eves, this riding will undoubtedly stay LIBERAL for a long time to come!
The fact that this riding is held by the Canadian Alliance federally makes this really interesting, especially with Sean Conway leaving. However, this area has been hit by provincial cuts (not as much as the North though) and Conway really stood up for the Upper Ottawa Valley, much unlike the federal Liberal MP for this riding. I think the Liberals will hang on, but watch for potential Tory gains (especially in the agricultural areas and the somewhat-suburban eastern section). The Liberals need to keep its core support and play defence here, since the Tories will be hungry.
18/10/02 A.S.
Email: adma@interlog.com
Sean Conway's retirement really puts this seat at risk, although it seemed not long ago to be Grit to the core, what with the Franco-Ontarian plus Irish-Polish Catholic elements in play. But federally, this seat which stayed Liberal even through 1984's Mulroney landslide elected one of 2000's two Ontario Alliancers, midget-killer Cheryl "Ask your boyfriend" Gallant. Who, come to think of it, could be as much as minus as a plus for Ontario's Tories...

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