An election with the same parties, same leaders, and same issues. Will we see the same outcome? That’s the question we here at Manatee and Gnomes are about to answer.
A rigourous selection process has identified the
twelve fourteen most contentious, high-profile ridings of the coming election. Editors and readers of M&G are invited to provide their predictions on the outcomes of these battlegrounds, and post their predictions in a comment on this thread. To be considered, all entries must be submitted by December 9, 2005.
Weigh the factors. Crunch the numbers. Shake the Magic 8-Ball. Just don’t read other people’s submissions first, because that’s cheating.
Without further ado, here are the ridings:
British Columbia – Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca
Since it’s creation in 1988, this riding has voted NDP, Reform twice, Alliance, and Liberal. The last four of those were all for the same candidate, incumbent Keith Martin. With his vote share way down in the 2004 election, this riding could be a trophy victory for the Conservatives, or a steal by the NDP.
British Columbia – Newton-North Delta
In a rematch of the tight 3-way 2004 race, Gurmant Grewal fights to retain his seat against two strong opponents. Will he be recording his own concession telephone call in January, or his opponents’? – UPDATE – Grewal isn’t running again Will a last minute CPC replacement be able to carry the riding?
British Columbia – Vancouver Centre
In what’s sure to be the roughest, knock-down, drag-out, ring-stealing, cross-burning showdown of the election, Svend Robinson makes his return to politics by going after the seat of Hedy Fry. Get comfy, get some popcorn, this one is gonna get ugly.
Alberta- Edmonton Centre
Predictions of Anne McLellan’s political demise have been a staple of federal elections since before M&G began tracking such things last year. Will this riding be an island of red in a sea of blue, or is Landslide Annie finally going under?
Manitoba – Churchill
After losing the NDP nomination, incumbent Bev Desjarlais is set to run as an independent against her former party. Throw into the mix a former North of 60 star as a Liberal candidate, and you’ve got your race on.
Ontario – Trinity-Spadina
Olivia Chow runs once again for the NDP, this time free of her obligations to the Toronto city council. Liberal Tony Ianno won by a mere 23 202 to 22 397 last time.
Ontario – Hamilton East-Stoney Creek
Tony Valeri had the NDP candidate nipping at his heels last time. Will Sheila Copps have reason to smirk come election night?
Ontario – Newmarket-Aurora
Belinda Stronach creaked out a victory here last time. Will she follow in the grand tradition of other recent floor-crossers and win re-election under her new banner? The Conservatives will be out for blood.
Ontario – London-Fanshawe
With incumbent MP Pat O’Brien, formerly of the Liberal party, not running for re-election, this one is up for grabs. Will O’Brien’s alleged socially-conservative constituents vote in a replacement Liberal, go Conservative, or make his whole escapade look foolish when they vote NDP?
Québec – Papineau
Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew, or Wormtail to his school chums, won his seat last time by just over 400 votes. Will he succumb to Gomeryhea, or overcome the scandal to retain his seat and portfolio?
Québec – Jeanne-Le Ber
Winning the prize for Most Symbolic Contest, this Québec riding has Canadian Heritage Minister Liza Frulla against a strong contender from the Bloc. After being decide by only 72 votes last year, both sides will be pulling out all the stops.
Northwest Territories – Western Arctic
The Liberals won this riding in a squeaker over the NDP candidate last time, and with the low vote counts in the territories, anything can happen.
Due to popular demand, the following two ridings have been added to the slate:
Ontario – Etobicoke-Lakeshore
In a replay of a controversy from last election, Michael Ignatieff has been tapped by the powers that be as the Liberal candidate in this riding. Parachuting in is one thing, but parachuting in from another country is going too far, at least according to the constituency association. Can such a controversial candidate hold the Liberal stronghold?
Saskatchewan – Regina-Qu’Appelle
One of the harshest NDP defeats of the last election saw the party’s longest serving MP, Lorne Nystrom, lose his seat. Was it strategic voting gone awry? Will Liberals strategically shift to the NDP to unseat the Conservative incumbent? Nystrom is back, and this time, is personal.