| ||New Democratic|
| ||Christian Heritage|
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| ||08 09 08
|The Liberals are off to a fast start, with the campaign office opening and first lawn signs appearing in Tillsonburg on Monday, 8 September. The candidate, Martha Dennis, is already doing walkabouts and visits to Tim Horton's, so if face-to-face contact wins votes, she is going in the right direction.|
Dave Mackenzie is enormously popular in the Woodstock area, where he was the former Police Chief. He is not great public speaker, so the gag order Stephen Harper has on his candidates will probably work to Mackenzie's long-term advantage. He also enjoys the support of the riding's built-in advantage of very socially conservative rural voters, although Dennis is from Norwich, which is the epicenter of the rural Dutch Reformed vote. Perhaps she will do better there than Greg Mordue did at the last kick.
Bad news for Mackenzie is the recent announcement that the new Toyota plant will only hire half as many people as previously expected. The Toyota plant has been a godsend for Woodstock, and if the real estate market bubble there collapses over the course of the campaign, this could hurt Mackenzie. It would be hard for him to blame this on the Liberals, but I am sure he will try! Afghanistan is, as always, a key issue and if the opposition parties really hit Harper with this one, it may hurt Mackenzie, too. I rarely talk to anyone in this riding who really supports the mission to Afghanistan.
I will not comment on Diane Abbott for the NDP as she is a personal friend of mine. Her predecessor Zoe Kirchener (sp?) was a strong and persistent candidate who ran several times and succeeded in building her base each time.
My estimate of the numbers. Mordue lost to Mackenzie last time by just shy of 10,000 votes. It would have been closer if Kirchener had not done so well, and Mackenzie will not gain as much from the high-water mark caused by the Sponsorship scandal. The range will likely be Mackenzie by 5 to 6 thousand votes. Mackenzie will be 1 thousand fewer. Abbott will be 3 to 4 thousand fewer. Dennis will pick up the 4 to 5 thousand. All assuming that voter turnout is as good as last time.
| ||07 10 15
|Mordue was about as good a candidate as the Liberals could hope to get, and he still lost by ten thousand votes. The high NDP vote and anti-Liberal sentiment last campaign probably hurt, and there's no way that Mackenzie will win by as much this time, but the deficit is too much for the Liberals to overcome. Population growth in Woodstock along with the Toyota plant might slowly change things.|
| ||07 10 01
|The Liberals are having a difficult time finding anyone to run. Greig Mordue did a credible job last time around, but was disheartened by his 10,000 vote deficit against Dave Mackenzie and nobody expects him to run again. Murray Coulter, who fared better the election before, is also clearly not going to run again. |
The NDP have chosen Diane Abbott, a nice young woman but a relative neophyte. Her predecessor, Zoe Kirschner, had built up steady gains by running two or three consecutive times. Whether Diane can retain that support and run a good campaign remains to be seen. If her support collapsed, a good Liberal candidate might pick it up, but the demographics will have to change before the Liberals beat Dave Mackenzie.
That said, Dave Mackenzie could take some lessons from his provincial counterpart, Ernie Hardeman. He is not seen out-and-about in the riding much, and he has a very low profile in the Government caucus. A strong candidate from either the NDP or the Liberals could really steal some of his fire. As Hardeman would tell you, there is no such thing as a sure thing.
| ||07 09 11
||Nick J Boragina|
|I am familiar with the history of this riding, and for a time, it was the safest riding in Ontario for the PC Party, federally and provincially. While things might change in the future, we are not there just yet. This riding will continue it’s trend of the past century and vote Tory.|
| ||07 04 27
|Solid as he is, Mackenzie gained less than 2 points in '06 over '04; perhaps it was natural electoral slacking off (cf. Jack Layton's similarly anaemic share gain), or maybe it was because he had a fairly credible Grit opponent, Toyota exec Grieg Mordue--how's that for Buzz Hargrove Liberalism? (Though it didn't stop the NDP from gaining another 3 pts in share.) In the long term, the growing industrialization of the 401 corridor might pose a threat (just as free trade nearly did in '88); but for now, Oxford's just so perfectly comfily Tory, wherein, as Mackenzie's electoral history proves, ‘Progressive’ or ‘Reform’ or ‘Alliance’ are but incidental labels.|
| ||07 04 02
|Even in 1997 and 2000, Dave MacKenzie almost won this and that was without the 25% who went Reform/Alliance. This is on the whole a very safe conservative riding and although the Toyota plant in Woodstock might weaken their support a bit there, the rest of the riding will go for the Conservatives in large enough numbers to hold this one.|
| ||07 03 25
|Most likely one of the safest Conservative seats in the Province. Dave MacKenzie won by almost 10000 votes in the last election, and 6000 in the election before that. This is also a very rural and traditionally Conservative riding. I don't see that changing any time soon and I could confidently say this will go to the Conservatives once again.|