The Dirty Dozen

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.

Helpful Links
Election Prediction Project
CBC Canada Votes
List of Canadian federal electoral districts



  1. Gnomes said,

    Tuesday, 29 November 2005 at 7:23 pm

    British Columbia – Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca
    Could be an NDP upset, but I’ll go with Martin’s staying power. Liberal

    British Columbia – Newton-North Delta
    With Grewal’s eccentric performances and flagging Liberal fortunes, I think the NDP can pick this one up. NDP

    British Columbia – Vancouver Centre
    Too close to call… the coin toss says Hedy Fry. Nah, I’ve changed my mind. NDP

    Alberta- Edmonton Centre
    I heard a commercial for this riding the other day, with all the charm and flair for which the Conservative party is known. Liberal

    Manitoba – Churchill
    The NDP vote is going to be split, and the Liberal candidate has an excellent public profile. Liberal

    Ontario – Trinity-Spadina
    Layton’s strongarming of the Liberals and Chow’s demonstration of commitment should be enough to push this into NDP territory. NDP

    Ontario – Hamilton East-Stoney Creek
    A weak NDP candidate and high profile as House Leader indicate Valeri’s re-election. Liberal

    Ontario – Newmarket-Aurora
    Stronach was an ill-fit for the Cons, and should find less-conflicted voters this time. Liberal

    Ontario – London-Fanshawe
    If that many people could vote for Pat O’Brien as a Liberal, I can’t imagine what could turn them off of the party. Liberal

    Québec – Papineau
    Pettigrew’s certainly been high-profile, but not positive enough to save him from the Gomery effect. Bloc

    Québec – Jeanne-Le Ber
    The tide continues. Jeanne to the Bloc.

    Northwest Territories – Western Arctic
    I’ll go with the incumbent on this one. Liberal

  2. Anonymous said,

    Tuesday, 29 November 2005 at 9:16 pm

    GGrewal isn’t running, as of today.

  3. Gnomes said,

    Tuesday, 29 November 2005 at 10:05 pm

    “GGrewal isn’t running, as of today.”

    Interesting. I’ll guess that a last-minute CPC candidate won’t be able to cleanse the palate of N-ND voters. I’m more inclined to think the riding will go Liberal than NDP now, but I’ll stick with my original call.

  4. Manatee said,

    Tuesday, 29 November 2005 at 10:56 pm

    I had predictions for all of these ridings typed out, but my computer ate them sometime between my pressing ‘preview’ and blinking after pressing preview. I’ll re-predict after I’m done punishing my computer (tomorrow), but in the meantime here are a few more ridings I will be watching.

    Regina-Qu’Appelle- Lone Nystrom’s former riding, and he is trying to win it back.

    Wascana- Gomeryhea in Saskatchewan?

    Ottawa Centre- Ed Broadbent’s riding. Jamie Heath ran for the nomination but lost to Paul Dewar (I think). Will a new NDP face have the same success?

    St. Pauls- The NDP candidate here is among the strongest ever! But Paul Sommerville is running against a fantastic Minister (who strikes me as a somewhat less fantastic campaigner). It’s a shame both Sommerville and Bennett won’t be in the next Parliament.

  5. Dexter said,

    Tuesday, 29 November 2005 at 11:46 pm

    BC – Juan de Fuca: NDP. I have an unfair advantage for the BC ridings, because I know that people here are looking back on past provincial NDP governments with the misguided nostalgia of disco fans.

    BC – Newton: NDP. See above.

    BC – Vancouver Centre: Liberal. The only part of Vancouver populated by people that don’t like taxes, if only because they need the extra cash to pay for 92-octane for their SL500’s.

    Alberta – Edmonton Centre: Liberal. Edmontonians can’t give up one of the few things that distinguish them from Calgarians!

    Manitoba – Churchill: Conservative. I didn’t know that the NDP even ran candidates in the prairies.

    Ontario – Trinity: Liberal. I’m banking on the GTA to continue their fine tradition of being completely incapable of voting for anyone besides the Libs.

    Ontario – Hamilton East: Liberal. See above…although cutbacks at Big 3 assembly and parts plants may give the NDP a boost in Hamilton. Plus the water in Hamilton matches the NDP orange.

    Ontario – Newmarket: Liberal. Although it would be super sweet if McKay found a way to run against her!

    Ontario – London: Liberal, mostly because London is full of students and teachers who would never vote Conservative.

    Quebec – Papineau: Bloc. The liberals are pretty much screwed in QC.

    Quebec – Jeanne-Le Ber: Bloc. Screwed!!!

    NWT – Western Arctic: Wow I have no idea…Conservative, just for kicks!

  6. Gnomes said,

    Wednesday, 30 November 2005 at 6:18 pm

    Given the progressing revolt by the local Liberal supporters, it’s too soon to identify the players in the Etobicoke riding, let alone make any prediction. I’ll give myself a few days on that one.

    However, based on extremely early results, I am prepared to call Regina-Qu’Appelle for the NDP.

  7. Manatee said,

    Thursday, 1 December 2005 at 2:37 pm

    OK, here is my second take at this. Hopefully I will successfully save it this time.

    British Columbia – Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca
    When I was in Ottawa in Ottawa in October I saw Keith Martin running laps around the Parliament grounds. Take it from me, this guy will be able to door-knock longer than any the other candidates, and it will pay off at the polls! You won’t get this type of insight anywhere else.

    British Columbia – Newton-North Delta
    Now this one will be a race. If Grewal was running, I would pick the Liberal to win in a heartbeat. Even with him out, I’m leaning toward a Liberal win here.

    British Columbia – Vancouver Centre
    Who among us hasn’t tried to pocket an attractive ring. OK, maybe just Svend, but this is BC, ring snatching is small potatoes. Svend makes a triumphant return to politics.

    Alberta- Edmonton Centre
    AM will have the hardest working volunteers in the country, and she will prevent the Alberta sweep… by over 100 votes!

    Manitoba – Churchill
    Another interesting riding. I don’t think Desjarlais will win here, although she appears to have been a very popular MP. With the NDP vote split I will call this one for the LIberals. I think Niki Ashton would be a wonderful addition to Parliament, however. Is there an NDP candidate I don’t like?

    Ontario – Trinity-Spadina
    If Olivia Chow spends enough time here, she can win. Election Predictors suggest that the increased student population during the winter will benefit Chow. Makes sense to me.

    Ontario – Hamilton East-Stoney Creek
    Could you imagine living in a riding where Unions matter? I don’t see the NDP gaining enough votes to unseat Valeri. With less of a Copps factor this time, Valeri should win by about the same margin.

    Ontario – Newmarket-Aurora
    Belinda will increase her margin of victory. People are as fearful of a Parliament without Belinda as they are a Conservative government!

    Ontario – London-Fanshawe
    This one might be too close to call, even for someone putting little effort into trying to accurately predict the outcome.

    Québec – Papineau
    Pettigrew has the coolest hair in the House. Pettigrew has a driver to run his campaign office. Pettigrew has another term in office.

    Québec – Jeanne-Le Ber
    I like to give the Liberal’s the benifet of the doubt in close Montreal ridings. But not this time. Frulla won by fewer than one hundred votes last time. This go around she will lose by over one thousand.

    Northwest Territories – Western Arctic
    I always have this riding going Liberal. No research needed.

    Manatee’s Extras
    Nystrom was one of my favorite MP’s. I think it was a squeaker last time. New NDP momentum should win him his seat back.

    Goodale had such a huge margin last time. This riding is nothing like Edmonton Centre for AM. I feel silly having even suggested talking about this.

    Ottawa Centre
    Dewar seems like a quality candidate. With Broadbent out doorknocking this should stay NDP. I was disappointed when Heath lost the nomination, but he may be as valuable carving up the other parties on CBC politics once a week.

    St. Pauls
    Pretty good win for Bennet last time. I can’t believe they are running Sommerville here. They must know something I don’t. NDP victory!

  8. Gnomes said,

    Thursday, 1 December 2005 at 2:55 pm

    Interesting insights Manatee. I will need a definitive answer for London-Fanshawe though, and Etobicoke-Lakeshore.

  9. Manatee said,

    Thursday, 1 December 2005 at 3:37 pm

    Alright. I think Ignatieff will take EtobLake. Unless the CPC win a minority government! Then they will win this riding.

    I don’t think the Liberals have a candidate here yet… so I will use my “predict next week” card. I can now rule out a COnservative victory here. The CPC candidate was a member of soemthing called the New COvenant Children. I think it’s some sort of cult, they recorded albums in Nashville.

  10. Dexter said,

    Saturday, 3 December 2005 at 11:44 am

    Ontario – Etobicoke: Liberal. If Ontario voters can forgive the Liberals for the Gomery report and totally irresponsible orgies of pre-election spending, what’s a little candidate parachuting?

    Saskatchewan – Qu’Appelle: Conservative. Yeehaw!

  11. Gnomes said,

    Saturday, 3 December 2005 at 12:45 pm

    As much as I would like to see all the controversy surrounding Ignatieff coalesce in a defeat, I think the odds are just too great to overcome. Etobicoke-Lakeshore: Liberal.

  12. O'Smiley said,

    Sunday, 4 December 2005 at 2:55 pm

    My Predictions are as follows:

    British Columbia – Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca — Liberal; Historically Martin.
    British Columbia – Newton-North Delta — Liberal/NDP; Bad Grewal after-taste.
    British Columbia – Vancouver Centre — Liberal; Not sure why this is listed, historically very Liberal.
    Alberta- Edmonton Centre — Conservative; Really this riding is impossible to predict.
    Manitoba – Churchill — Independent; Historically Desjarlais.
    Ontario – Trinity-Spadina — NDP; Boost to Chow due to Laytons leading role over the last year.
    Ontario – Hamilton East-Stoney Creek — NDP; Apparently NDP nominee Wayne Marston is quite a prominent community figure. The previous election was very close, although this riding is historically Liberal dominant. Very difficult predition.
    Ontario – Newmarket-Aurora — Liberal; I can’t see this riding giving up such an influential candidate.
    Ontario – London-Fanshawe — NDP; Historically Pat O’brian, but since he is not running… the NDP were picking up speed in last election.
    Québec – Papineau — Bloc; Pettigrew very slimly won this riding last year. Additionally, as dexter noted, the Bloc will own QC this election.
    Québec – Jeanne-Le Ber — Bloc; See previous.
    Northwest Territories – Western Arctic — NDP; Slowly creeping toward NDP for the last few elections.
    Ontario – Etobicoke-Lakeshore — Liberal; Historically Liberal, historically Augustine. Why is this on the list?
    Saskatchewan – Regina-Qu’Appelle — Conservative; Could be close.

  13. O'Smiley said,

    Monday, 5 December 2005 at 9:46 am

    Gnomes wants a specific pick from me for Newton-North Delta. After looking into this riding a little closer, this has been historically very conservative, and depending on the candidate the conservatives pick my choice may be swung back to the conservative. But for now I will choose the NDP.

  14. Gnomes said,

    Friday, 9 December 2005 at 10:21 am

    As requested, here are Stevo’s picks. Big money, no whammies.

    Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca – Will Keith Martin be re-elected?



    Newton-North Delta – Will the Cons be able to hold this riding despite Grewals’ antics?



    Vancouver Centre – Will Svend Robinson beat Hedy Fry?



    Edmonton Centre – Will Anne McLellan win another victory?


    Churchill – Will Bev Desjarlais be returning as an independent?



    Trinity-Spadina – Will Olivia Chow be successful this time around?



    Hamilton East-Stoney Creek – How about Tony Valeri?




    Newmarket-Aurora – And Belinda Stronach?



    London-Fanshawe – That was a surprise. Any similar upsets in this riding expected?



    Any similar upsets in this riding expected?



    Papineau – Success for the Bloc?



    Jeanne-Le Ber – How about here?



    Northwest Territories – Western Arctic – Liberal?



    Etobicoke-Lakeshore – Any surprises for Ignatieff on the way?


    Really… Will it go Conservative then?



    Regina-Qu’Appelle – Will Nystrom be reclaiming his seat?



    And how about that Edmonton Centre riding again? Landslide Annie?




  15. Manatee said,

    Friday, 9 December 2005 at 12:05 pm

    Lon-Fan = NDP

  16. Patsy Stone said,

    Friday, 9 December 2005 at 7:39 pm

    Alright Manatee and Gnomes, here come Patsy’s predictions,

    B.C — Esquimalt/Juan de Fuca: Keith Martin will win again.

    B.C. — Newton/North Delta: With the demise of Grewal, the Teflon Libs will pick up this seat.

    B.C. — Vancouver Centre: Hedy “Burning Crosses” Fry will beat Svend “Jewel Thief” Robinson fairly handily, me thinks.

    AB – Edmonton Centre: Landslide Annie will keep her seat. The pull of the Deputy PM is just too much. And even I don’t hate the Liberals enough to really want Anne to lose her seat. (Now Bubble Gum Belinda’s another story.)

    MB Churchill: This one’s a toughie. Bev Desjarlais didn’t win by that much last time around, and the Liberals actor candidate, North of 60’s Tina Keeper, may be an interesting choice for MP. Desjarlais might pick up a few Conservative votes on the SSM issue, so I think I’ll give the edge to Desjarlais.

    ON – Trinity-Spadina: Olivia all the way! I hoped she would win last time, and I hope she wins again. (and not just because it would mean one less Liberal seat in Toronto) I’m actually thinking of volunteering on her campaign — I can, after all, lick and stuff envelopes, right?

    ON – Hamilton East/Stoney Creek: My money’s on Valeri. (although I’d LOVE to see Sheila return and run for her old seat under the NDP banner!)

    ON – Newmarket/Aurora: All I want for Christmas is to see Belinda Stronach sent packing. That being said, I think her name recognition will be more than enough to see her win. sigh.

    ON – London/Fanshawe: I’m going to go with the NDP candidate on this one.

    QC – Papineau: I’m going to predict Wormtail Pettigrew going down to defeat here (to the BQ), great hair and all! (And I actually kind of like the guy!)

    QC – Jeanne le Ber: I’m also going to predict a loss for Liza Frulla. The seat will go to the BQ and Ms. Frulla will be hunting for a new gig.

    NWT – Western Arctic: Ethel Blondin-Andrew will win again.

    ON – Lakeshore/Etobicoke: Ooh this riding is juicy!! Once again, name recognition will win this one for Ignatieff. The only real question is why would anyone in their right mind leave Harvard to be a Paul Martin toady?

    SK – Regina/Qu’Appelle: Hmmm… I think Nystrom’s got a shot at winning back his seat.

    Now all we have to do is wait…
    Happy electioneering!

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