Will Eglinton-Lawrence remain red?

Liberal Mike Colle’s name recognition alone should keep him at Queen’s Park, professor says

THE RACE: From the left, Robin Martin of the Progressive Conservatives looks to overtake veteran MPP Mike Colle in the 2018 Ontario general election. Rounding out the four parties will be Robyn Vilde of the NDP and Reuben DeBoer of the Green Party.

Eglinton-Lawrence has never been anything but red since the riding’s inception in 1999.

During that time, seasoned Liberal MPP Michael Colle has held his seat, even when his party wasn’t in power.

Though things may look okay historically speaking, that’s not to say Colle’s not in for a challenge from returning Progressive Conservative candidate Robin Martin.

University of Toronto political science professor Grace Skogstad said she believes the four midtown Toronto ridings will stay Liberal.

“Name recognition is huge,” she said of Colle. “An incumbent always has that advantage. I expect the Liberal vote to go down.

“It’s quite the downfall here if the Conservatives to take those ridings.”

Martin was the former deputy campaign manager for Joe Oliver and is a litigation lawyer by profession. She’s been very active in politics both behind the scenes and now in the forefront.

Still, with a history of the area going blue at the federal level, Colle might be the victim of a voting public that is disappointed with the deficit.

“There are a lot of Conservatives who are upset with the deficit. Some Liberals might also be upset with the deficit,” Skogstad said. “They might say, ‘Look I’m going to have to hold my nose and vote’.

“It’s starting to get more interesting.”

The other Robyn, Vilde, will be representing the New Democratic Party as they look to gain ground in a riding that has been dominated by a two-party battle. He comes from a background in the hospitality sector.

Some pundits are calling for a minority Liberal-NDP government — a throwback to the David Peterson-Bob Rae government of 1985. Though Skogstad understands the attraction, she said the NDP will place their focus on ridings they could potentially win, which does not include midtown Toronto.

“We see the NDP going up in the polls, and they seem to be taking second place,” she said. “I don’t know if Horwath is going to prop up a Liberal government. It will be difficult to walk back from that.

“(But) I don’t know how the NDP will support the Conservatives.”

Project manager Reuben DeBoer will take the Green Party title as he looks to increase party visibility in the riding.

Rounding out the voting card is Lionel Wayne Poizner of the Trillium Party and Libertarian Michael Staffieri.

Colle won the general election in 2014 with 54 per cent of the vote while Robin Martin lost with 34 per cent of the vote. The NDP was third with 7 per cent.

 

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Toronto-based journalist, fighting the power one deadline at a time.

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