Canadopers: Which ridings to watch in your area?

So, with the election a few weeks ago, which ridings should I be watching for on election nights as ones that might switch hands? Most of the polls suggest another minority, so I wouldn’t think there will be much movement. A few ridings may be significant.

Of the Saskatchewan ridings, I think the one that will be closest will be the northern riding of Desnethé - Missinippi - Churchill River. It’s currently held by the Conservatives, but it’s flipped around quite a bit in the last elections.

Another one that will be interesting to watch is Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre. The incumbent, Tom Lukiwski (Conservative) won it narrowly in 2004, comfortably in 2006 - but he was in the news last spring over the “gays carry diseases under their fingernails” video, so will be interesting to see if that has any effect on the voting this time.

And then there’s Palliser, which stretches from Regina to Moose Jaw. The Conservative incumbent isn’t running because of health issues, so it’s wide open, and the three main parties are all running strong candidates: two former mayors of Moose Jaw (one standing for the Conservatives, one for the NDP) and a former Regina Police chief for the Liberals. The riding has moved back and forth among the parties over the past few elections, usually with a close margin.

So, which ones are you watching in your area? (CBC has profiles of all the ridings, if that helps you: CBC - Canada Votes 2008 - Ridings and Candidates).

Oh lord I hope not. There are very, very few people in Canadian politics I dislike more than David Orchard.

I’d say that there are 3 ridings in Toronto that are worth watching and all 3 are battles between the Liberals and NDP. These are also the only 3 ridings where the difference between first and second in 2006 was less than 10%.

Beaches-East York
The Liberals have held the riding since 1993 and this is a rematch from 2006 when the Liberals won by over 5%. However, this was the riding that the former Green Party leader, Jim Harris, was running in and he received just over 6%. It’s still unlikely that the NDP will pick the seat up but “unlikely” in Toronto is good enough since most ridings are in the “no chance in hell” category for anyone not in red.

Parkdale-High Park
Currently held by the Peggy Nash of the NDP but she’s running against “the Dion Kingmaker” Gerard Kennedy. I believe that this was Kennedy’s provincial riding and the Liberals did hold the riding from 1993-2006. Nash only won by 4.5% last time out against an incumbent that wasn’t particularly liked. Most people may think that following riding is the most interesting in the city but I like this one.

Currently held by Olivia Chow, wife of NDP leader Jack Layton, who is running against the wife of the man that she defeated in 2006, Tony Ianno. This another seat the Liberals held from 1993-2006 when they lost the seat by over 6%. This riding seems like a lock for the NDP since this is their type of riding. Plenty of university students and people under 30. Plus Chow is incredibly popular and well-liked in the area.

My home riding Guelph gives every indication of being a very good indicator. Even though there was a real possibility that the Conservatives were likely to finish third in the aborted by-election, Guelph’s history as a riding that picks winners makes the real election a lot closer. The Conservative candidate is a well regarded city councillor. (Her choice came, though after the federal party disavowed the riding’s chosen candidate for murky reasons.) The NDP candidate is Tom King of CBC’s* Dead Dog Cafe*, as well as a professor at UGuelph. The Green candidate has been working his butt off and is well regarded. The Liberal is a former school trustee. His literature screams “Nebbish”. He’d be an easy winner in many years, but there’s an almost certain center-left and left split of the votes. It’s still too close to call. If the Conservatives win, I think it presages a majority.

<Hijack> I don’t think it really matters if there’s a majority or not. A Conservative minority will be able to govern as if it were a majority (again) because the Liberals will be too busy devouring themselves to pay attention to what’s happening in Parliament. </Hijack>

I live in Calgary. There’s nothing nail-biting for hundreds of kilometers in every direction.

Yeah, most of the ridings in my vicinity, it’s a question of whether the Conservative breaks 75% or not.

I live in Burlington, which is held my Mike Wallace (PC) and he’ll probably defend it.

What’s a bit more interesting is Halton, which technically begins about 90 yards behind my house. Garth Turner, former PC turned maverick turned Liberal, is defending Halton against Lisa Raitt, the PC candidate and top challenger.

I don’t know if Turner was in the Liberal shadow cabinet but I believe his official party job is to singlehandedly commit as many gaffes as possible. First he was caught out staging a door-to-door campaign walk. Then he posted a banner on his web site about the “Lisa Raitt Death Watch” - this shortly after the whole Gerry Ritz thing would have given any candidate with an IQ above that of a snail an aversion to any commentary death-related.

He seems to be doing his level best to lose.

I expect that Thunder Bay Superior North will elect NDP Bruce Hyer. The fellow who held the seat previously had been elected as a liberal since the dawn of time, then the crossed the house to the Conservatives, and now has retired. Bruce was only a few hundred seats short the last go round, and is an experienced politician. His competitors for the riding are no-names. Looks like the stars are in alignment for Bruce to finally win the seat.

Psssst… It’s not PC anymore.

Former Liberal Minister of Defence, David Pratt is running in Ottawa West-Nepean against incumbent Conservative Environment Minister John Baird. Pratt is a good guy. He really is. He was discarded in the last election by a young unknown named Pierre Poilievre. Although it will be close this time, I think Baird will be safe. David Pratt has my respect as a politician however. Too bad again this year Dave.

And yet there’s not much in the way of blue signage around. Not in Centre North, anyway.

If the outcome of the election is still uncertain whenthe B.C. tallies are halfway through, watch for Vancouver Island North, my riding.

Narrowly won by the NDP in 2006, and narrowly won by the Conservatives in 2004. The Liberal candidate is a political science grad who by his looks recently graduated and his only experience is having held a few menial jobs most likely as a student.

My sense is that the Conservatives will take it back. We’ve had a lot of wealthy Albertans move here, a significant departure of union tradespeople to Alberta, and a lot of new small businesses. I have rarely heard criticism of Harper around here .

So, with the election a few weeks [del]ago[/del] to go… :smack:

Personal opinion aside, do you think he’s got much chance to get in?

I really don’t know. I can’t even figure out what he’s doing in the Liberal Party - except I suppose it’s a dead cinch his anti-free trade tirades will get nowhere in Stephen Harper’s party. Still it’s not like the Liberals are protectionist either.

As for his chances, the byelection went pretty heavily Conservative, but who knows. Between forestry and agriculture up there, there’ll be plenty of people sympathetic to Orchard’s anti-American message.

So who won overall, and did my buddy Bruce win here in TBay?

This is my first federal election in this area (and my second one since being able to vote). Apparently my riding has been held since the same Conservative guy since the mid-90s. Hmmm, well I see where that’s going. Not impressed since the Conservatives and Liberals are both running candidates highly involved in religion, but hey, what can you do?

Vote NDP or another party to indicate that neither religionists can have your vote.

Not mine, that’s for sure. It’s only voted Conservative twice in the last 100 years, and currently appears to be a McGuinty fiefdom, as the family represents it as MP federally and Premier/MPP provincially. If it doesn’t go Liberal it will only due to a Liberal meltdown as bad as the post-Mulroney PC one.

I live in Calgary and can’t stand Harper.
Every time I pass a Conservative sign I get an overwhelming urge to destroy it. (I don’t actually resort to vandalism; I just have fantasies of it) Especially after Harper’s face slap comment about the arts, but this thread isn’t about that so I will just say that I will not be voting Conservative, but most people around me will.

I need to move…

I am hoping that my riding, Calgary Centre, sees Lee Richardson for what he is, and someone, anyone else gets in.
But considering Rob Anders keeps being voted in solely on the basis of being a Tory, it isn’t likely.