This election will surprise you
I don’t know how today’s provincial election will turn out. The polls seem contrary to my intuition, not that my intuition is very reliable. I read the numbers of the different polls then I drive through the neighbourhoods and talk to people and what I see and hear don’t reconcile. In Ottawa ridings, except for Ottawa Centre, there are more PC personal lawn signs than other party signs (maybe Liberals are embarrassed to display signs). And this is true in some surprising ridings.
In Ottawa South, there are plenty of Jason MacDonald lawn signs and not just in traditionally strong Tory polls but in neighbourhoods such as Alta Vista and Mooney’s Bay which have traditionally voted Liberal en masse. I don’t expect that Dalton McGuinty will lose his seat in Ottawa South but I do expect his margin of victory to be less than in previous years.
Ottawa Vanier also “looks” interesting. Beacon Hill North, Pineview and Overbrook are dotted with Fred Sherman’s blue PC signs, far more than Liberal signs. Also, rumour has it that the Sherman campaign had the highest level of donations ever for the riding and that Elections Ontario were surprised when the Ottawa Vanier PC riding association had to order more receipt books. The Sherman team has had full teams of canvassers the last three months of the campaign and has identified a record number of PC voters. The key will be can the Sherman team turn their vote out. Ottawa Vanier incumbent, Liberal minister Madeleine Meilleur, has stayed in the riding for most of the campaign, unable to stump for other candidates so look for surprising numbers from this riding too.
The bellwether riding in Ottawa is Ottawa West Nepean. I have a feeling that the winner of that riding will be the same as the winner of the province wide election. The race between Randall Denley (PC) and Bob Chiarelli (Lib) had shades of the 2006 municipal election where then columnist Denley routinely criticized then Mayor Chiarelli for the difference between his achievements and rhetoric. Denley has the upper hand in that riding.
Again, my feeling is that the polls do not reflect the reality of how the results will breakdown on a riding by riding basis. I suspect that there will be a majority government.
That said, one thing is for sure. If you don’t get out to vote, the results will not represent the true desire of the Ontario public. It takes all of five minutes to vote. Make the effort. And if you feel so inclined, leave you feelings and comments about this election in the comment section below.