20! Count ’em! 20! Teltale ridings to watch!

May 21 1979

20! Count ’em! 20! Teltale ridings to watch!

May 21 1979

20! Count ’em! 20! Teltale ridings to watch!

In 282 ridings across Canada on May 22, voters will go to the polls with as many different motivations as there are themes in a Tchaikovsky ballet. But Maclean’s has compiled a montage of 20 ridings where the outcome of the voting will provide a strong indication of how the trend is moving nationally:

Grand Falls-White Bay-Labrador:

The NDP hopes to add to its one Newfoundland seat and is counting on cynicism about Grits and Tories because of prices and unemployment. The advance will have to come in this enormous constituency, which includes miners, loggers and fishermen, and all of Labrador—not to mention a north-central pocket of the island itself. But the vote pattern favors Liberal incumbent William Rompkey over 31-year-old NDP challenger Bryan Blackmore, a lawyer: since 1949 the Liberals have only lost the seat once.

©Halifax: Robert Stanfield’s retirement has left a toss-up between two contenders closely tied to their party w leaders. Lawyers Brian Flemming for z the Liberals and George Cooper for the jíj Conservatives led Nova Scotia support I during the Trudeau and Clark leaderw ship campaigns. While the NDP’s re5 spected Alexa McDonough is destined o to increase the party’s popular vote, I perceptions of Trudeau and Clark will ° largely determine whether Flemming

or Cooper wins. Doubts in Upper Canada about Clark don’t seem to be sticking down East.

©South West Nova: Incumbent Liberal Coline Campbell is in trouble against PC Charles Haliburton along the rugged southwest Nova Scotia coast. The two candidates once dated— but they haven’t talked much since Campbell ousted MP Haliburton by 1,225 votes in 1974.

©Saint John: The conservative New Brunswick port city could swing from Grits to Tories. Liberal incumbent Mike Landers narrowly defeated 21-year Commons veteran Tom Bell, of the PCs, in 1974. Now, Landers is looking over his shoulder at Eric Ferguson, the PC with law ’n’ order on his hip: he was the chief of police.

©Moncton: Liberals stand a chance of picking up the seat vacated by antibilingual incumbent Leonard Jones, an independent. They came second in 1974. Their standard-bearer this time is clergyman Gary MacAuley; the challenger is Conservative Gary Wheeler, who resigned as mayor after a conflict of interest finding by the Supreme Court of Canada.

© Kamouraska — Rivière-du-Loup: A

new south-shore St. Lawrence riding carved out of two seats won in 1974 by a Liberal and a Créditiste. Now the two old war-horses—Liberal Rosaire Cendron, first elected in 1963, and Crédi-

tiste Charles-Eugène Dionne, first elected in 1962—are squared off in the same ring. A good test of Créditiste leader Fabien Roy’s drawing power, if he has any.

©Ste. Marie: Tory TV star André Payette favors Quebec’s right to vote for independence and admits his leader’s stand against self-determination hurts him in an uphill fight against Liberal Jean-Claude Malépart (a former Liberal provincial member defeated by the Parti Québécois—in whose cabinet now sits Payette’s exwife, Lise). Tory TV ads finding Pierre Trudeau “guilty” of economic crime have backfired, even in the east-central riding where 35 per cent of voters are on unemployment insurance.

©Scarborough West: If the NDP is still alive in Metropolitan Toronto, the results will show here. Candidate John Harney won the seat in 1972, then lost in ’74 by only 1,404 votes to Liberal Alan Martin. The two now are back again, with PC Bill Wightman making it a three-way fight.

©St. Paul’s: A glamor race of Toronto’s downtown, silk-stocking set. Incumbent John Roberts, the Liberal cultural czar, and Conservative Ron Atkey, defeated in 1974 by Roberts, are wooing the large Jewish vote. Both candidates admit their biggest problem is the image of their party leaders. As Pierre Trudeau and Joe Clark go, so does St. Paul’s—and, conceivably, the country.

© Halton: Best known as the riding with Canada’s richest city, the commuters of Oakville. Two incumbents are running: Frank Philbrook, a doctor, for the Liberals and Otto Jelinek, a skater, for the Conservatives, who moved from a Toronto riding to chase the suburban

vote. There are emerging doubts about Clark’s abilities, but it probably won’t be enough to offset anti-Trudeau feeling. The Tories are not in suburbia.

0 Hamilton Mountain: A riding that swings with the trends, it elected a Tory in the Diefenbaker years, backed the NDP through the minority period of Lester Pearson, switched to Trudeau in 1968, elected Conservative Duncan Beattie in 1972 and Liberal Gus MacFarlane in 1974. MacFarlane, like his leader, is the underdog now against Beattie.

0 Windsor-Walkerville: Liberal Mark MacGuigan, like neighboring seatmates Eugene Whelan and Herb Gray, is the favorite. But if the much-publicized NDP alliance with big labor amounts to anything, it will have to show here, where the NDP placed second, 11.5 percentage points behind MacGuigan, in 1974.

0 St. Boniface: It went Tory in last fall’s byelection, but the new riding has more French-speakers, which helps Liberals. But raging battles over allFrench schools in largely English suburbs may tip the balance in favor of incumbent Jack Hare over Liberal Robert Bockstael.

0 Winnipeg-Fort Garry: Across the Red River from St. Boniface, Liberal Lloyd Axworthy is in a tight race with Conservative Sidney Spivak, former provincial cabinet minister. Axworthy faces hostility about bilingualism and reservations about Trudeau. Jim Richardson, who vacated the seat after quitting Trudeau’s cabinet because of language policy, has backed Spivak.

0 Prince Albert: NDP claims that John Diefenbaker is in trouble seem outrageous—especially with the sentiment attending the possible last hurrah for the Chief, now 83.

0 Assiniboia: The best of several three-way Saskatchewan races, the rural seat along the U.S. border pits incumbent Liberal Ralph Goodale against the man he defeated in 1974, NDPer Bill Knight. PC Len Gustafson, a rancher, is running strong in Tory turf around his home in Macoun. The national leaders are not hot items down on the land. Knight is counting on the backing of popular Premier Allan Blakeney and the NDP provincial machine to squeak up the middle.

0 Medicine Hat: Once represented by Liberal Bud Olson. The Liberal candidate is wealthy agri-bizman Jim Wilfley, respected even by his Conservative opponent, Bert Hargrave, a big-time rancher and PC livestock specialist in the last Parliament. But in all-blue Alberta, the money is on Hargrave to win in a trot—and on Jack Horner to lose his deposit in the neighboring riding of Crowfoot.

0 Kamloops-Shuswap: Davie Ful-

ton’s old Tory seat is now held by Envi-

ronment Minister Len Marchand, threatened by the PC’s Don Cameron. If the Tories are going to pick up interior seats, Marchand’s will be one to watch. Trudeau pays a last-minute visit this week.

0 NewWestminster-Coquitlam: Known best to the outside world for riots at the B.C. Pen, capital punishment is a key issue because PC candidate Marg Gregory is such a vivid proponent. Her challenger, Pauline Jewett, ex-Simon Fraser University president and former Liberal MP, is an abolitionist. In 1974 Gregory came within 204 votes of

defeating NDPer Stu Leggatt, who last week won in the B.C. election.

0 Vancouver East: An NDP-Liberal fight, the seat was once held by New Democrats, now is Liberal. The national campaigns will be important but the key question, throughout B.C. is whether the NDP can move its 45.9 per cent of last week’s provincial vote into federal ridings like Vancouver East. If the election is close, easterners will be watching well after midnight May 22.