Monday, August 27, 2007

Kingston and the Islands

So we journey on through our tour of the province into...

Kingston and the Islands: Kingston is a bit of anomaly. Eastern Ontario trends PC in a big way but not Kingston. A large part of this should be attributed to Queen's University and to a lesser extent St. Lawrence College. Kingston has three major industries: the aforementioned schools, the Royal Military College and the seven prisons within its city limits. This strange mish-mash seems to suit Liberals just fine. It helps the party to have strong local MPP's and Jon Gerretsen fits the bill nicely. The minister for municpalities has been serving the riding since 1995 and it would take more than a weak Tory breeze for him to be unseated. I am not saying it is impossible, but it is not likely.

There is a strong presence in the riding for both the NDP and the Tories. The PC's have nominated John Rapin who is the most likely candidate to pull off the upset. Rapin is a MD and a former head of the OMA. Doctors aren't thrilled with having to negotiate with Liberal pit bull George Smitherman and Rapin will no doubt explain exactly why. That said, Tories don't usually win a lot of votes on health care and it probably isn't the Liberals weakest area. The NDP have also managed to find a decent candidate in city councillor Rick Downes. A former military man, Downes has been elected four times in the city and also made a failed run for mayor. The NDP did win this riding under Rae, so it is not beyond the pale to see them make a run for this seat.

This is certainly no walk for the Liberals but I expect Gerretsen to hold on. I might change this prediction as we get closer to the election.

Prediction: Leans Liberal

Seven down, 100 to go!

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