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.

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