Who will win the best bellwether?
Monsef, Skinner in a rematch in crucial Peterborough-Kawartha race
Both Liberal incumbent Maryam Monsef and Conservative candidate Michael Skinner seemed optimistic about winning Monday’s federal election.
Monsef has been the women and gender equality minister and minister of international development in Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.
She thanked her campaign volunteers at a rally on Thursday and told them another win is within their grasp.
“I feel the momentum — I feel it!” she said. “Now let’s go get it!”
But Skinner, a local entrepreneur, was feeling momentum too this week. He said on Thursday his campaign has knocked on 45,000 doors.
“I’m very optimistic — we went out and did the hard work,” Skinner said.
The two have faced off before: Monsef beat Skinner in the 2015 election when she received 43 per cent of the vote compared to 35 per cent for Skinner.
Meanwhile the advance polls were busier than they were at the 2015 federal election. Elections Canada said this week that 17,352 votes were cast at the advance polls in Peterborough-Kawartha, which is 2,101 more than were cast in the advance polls in 2015.
The riding of PeterboroughKawartha is well-known for being a reliable bellwether: in every federal election since 1984, voters here have elected an MP from the party that forms government.
Barry Kay, a political science professor at Wilfrid Laurier University who does election predictions, called Peterborough-Kawartha the “best bellwether” in Canada. On Friday
afternoon, he projected a five per cent lead for Monsef over Skinner. But another election prediction website — 338canada.com, which offers projections based on opinion polls — called the riding a tossup. So too does electionprediction.org
Voters have other choices too: Candace Shaw is running for the NDP, Andrew MacGregor is the Green party candidate and Alexander Murphy is the People’s Party of Canada candidate. In addition, Ken Ranney is running for the Stop Climate Change party, an official party that he co-founded, and Robert Bowers is an independent candidate.
Bowers was arrested by city police at a debate at Adam Scott Collegiate this week; he said he wasn’t invited and insisted on being allowed in, but Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board chairperson Diane Lloyd said he was removed because he wouldn’t identify himself.
Meanwhile Skinner said he was the victim of “mudslinging” when 2004 photos circulated online of him drinking in a limo. Peterborough This Week reported that Shaw was asked to wipe expletives from her Twitter account. Shaw later defended both herself and Skinner, saying that politicians are people — and you’d hardly be human if you had never tweeted a curse word or taken a drink.
Both Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer have campaigned in Peterborough.
It’s not too late to vote, if you’re not registered yet: Elections Canada says you can still register and vote at your polling station on Monday.
To find your polling station, call 1-800-463-6868.
Peterborough-Kawartha Conservative candidate Michael Skinner at his campaign office on Friday.
Peterborough-Kawartha Liberal incumbent Maryam Monsef at her campaign office on on King Street on Thursday.