Don’t expect any surprises in the next federal election
The upcoming federal election, now less than three months away, will likely be as exciting as gargling paint – at least as far as our local ridings are concerned.
In Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, Eric Duncan will likely be the new MP. Mr. Duncan, a Conservative, will more-or-less inherit the riding from the outgoing MP, Guy Lauzon, who has proven to be fiercely popular in the south.
Mr. Lauzon captured over 50 per cent of the vote in the 2015 election and was around 60 per cent in 2011.
The Liberals and the New Democrats haven’t even fielded a candidate there yet while Mr. Duncan – a two-time warden of the United Counties of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry and a former Mayor of North Dundas– is well known in the area.
It is hard envisioning anyone eclipsing him. Indeed, of the three prognostications published at electionprediction.org, all of them say Mr. Duncan will be sitting in the House of Commons come the fall.
In Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, it’s likely that Francis Drouin will return for the Liberals. Pierre Lemieux, who used to hold the riding for the Conservatives, will try to win it back but voters may not be willing to put a defeated
candidate back in Ottawa.
By the time October comes around, voters will have likely forgotten the Liberals debacle with Jody WilsonRaybould, though they’ll likely remember the Liberals recent pledge to help improve mobile phone coverage in the area. That means a lot to rural residents.
It might be easy to predict how Glengarry will vote, but the nation, as a whole, could prove trickier.
That same electionprediction.org list 105 of the 338 ridings as too close to call. The Conservatives have 105 while the Liberals have 100. Should those trends follow through in October, the Tories could form the slimmest of minority governments.
The next provincial election is a few years off, but it will likely be more interesting than the one happening at the federal level. In Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, the current sitting MPP, Amanda Simard, will be in for the fight of her life trying to retain her seat after she abandoned the Conservative party to sit as an independent.
Ms. Simard broke ranks with the Tories over francophone policies, so we should expect to see her trying to drum up as much support as possible from her French-speaking constituents.
Her biggest challenge could come from Roxane Villeneuve, daughter of former MPP Noble Villeneuve and current Councillor with the township of North Stormont.
Ms. Villeneuve, who ran for the Conservatives in the 2014 election – ultimately losing to the incumbent Liberal candidate, Grant Crack – may be vying for a political comeback.
In the municipal election, she received more votes than any other councillor candidate; she may be laying the groundwork for to take another stab at a higher office.
Jim McDonell, the PC MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, will be approaching 70 by the time the next provincial election comes around. He has told reporters that he hasn’t ruled out running again, provided he remains in good health. The PCs, however, will have to do something about their plummeting approval if they want to retain the government in the next decade.