Tomorrow is election day, and if you haven’t voted yet make sure you get out and do it. Not sure where you go to vote? Check Elections Canada for information on your riding and what you need to vote. Remember that in Canada you don’t need to register to vote, just ID and a piece of official looking mail with your address on it.
But this is about where the chips will fall by the end of the night, and who I think is going to take London’s ridings.
Let’s start with the Federal results. It definitely looks like we’ll see a Conservative minority if not a majority.
The Liberals have run a pretty poor campaign, with a leader at the helm who most Canadians will agree isn’t ready for the job (as will most Liberals). Their carbon tax wasn’t a hit either early on in the campaign; Dion was unable to sell the plan and convince Canadians that a new tax would benefit them. The most promising part of their platform was the education announcement, but that didn’t come up in the debates because students don’t vote ergo politicians don’t care about students.
Despite campaigning to be Prime Minister, Jack Layton would be lucky to see some sort of miracle seat the NDP as official opposition. We’ll see them hold their numbers in Parliament, give or take a few seats, since divine intervention isn’t likely. While his campaign ads on TV were excellent, hammering on the kitchen table hasn’t won over the numbers of voters that he needs to accomplish his goal to be Prime Minister. That’s especially true with voters who see the NDP as a party that would drive the country into a deficit with all their socialist programs. It also doesn’t help that Layton and the Liberals have been trying to sway votes with fear-mongering about the economy, even criticizing Harper for telling people to buy stocks while they are low.
In this first election that it’s been able to be taken seriously in, the Green Party still has to get past the fact that the party has no money. Grassroots will only get you so far, and the debate is about as far as they took May. Maybe next time, but this go-around I don’t see them gaining more than a seat at best.
Now for London.
Lets start with London North Center, where incumbent Glen Pearson will easily take the riding again, helped out by the lackluster candidates that were offered in opposition. The only real competition in this riding (despite a strong turnout for the Greens in a by-election) is Conservative Paul Van Meerbergen, who I find hard to see as a city councilor let alone an MP. Described as the last decent man in Ottawa, Glen should have no trouble in London North Center
Moving east we hit London Fanshawe with incumbent Irene Maytheson. It will be a tight race between Irene and the celebrity candidate for the Liberals, Jacquie Gauthier, who they think will take back London Fanshawe which is historically a Liberal stronghold. Irene is no stranger to losing either. In eight campaigns for office she’s won twice, the first time becuase people were looking to oust Liberals provincially and unfortunately elected Bob Rae’s NDP. She is also no stranger to controversy, chastising an MP in the house for having a picture of his girlfriend in a bikini and their dog on his laptop. Unfortunately for her it wasn’t as interesting of a pic as it could have been given those descriptors and she had to apologize. Layton stopped by her office yesterday to try and boost support for Irene, who last time only won by 800 votes.
Then there is London West. The conservatives have been inching closer to taking this riding from the incumbent Liberal Sue Barnes who only held the seat by 1,300 votes in 2006. On Saturday, Prime Minister Harper visited Ed Holder (his candidate for this riding) to boost numbers in what is supposedly a bellweather riding. This will be a tight race between them, and it wouldn’t be the first time the Conservatives took this riding (previously as the Progressive Conservatives).
Elgin Middlesex London wasn’t too high on my radar throughout the election. It has an incumbent Conservative Joe Preston, who defeated a Liberal incumbent in 2004 and easily held the riding in 2006. Liberal challenger Suzanne van Bommel has received a push from the party though, and could gain some traction for this rural riding, but it’s likely it will stay with Preston.
I think that’s about it, and we’ll soon see if I’m right. I already voted at an advance poll. If you haven’t voted yet, make sure that you do. See you on the other side.