New Entrance Poll Conducted Locally Reveals Voter Preferences, Reasoning & Behaviour

Heading into the 2011 Provincial election tomorrow, my local polling company Preferences conducted an entrance poll ending October 1, 2011, selecting at random more than 200 respondents (margin of error 6.92%, 19 times out of 20) to not only understand local voter preferences, but also the reasons why people are not voting, why they are undecided, and why they are choosing a specific local candidate.

There have been a number of polls conducted by local media and political associations that have provided percentages on the potential outcome of the 2011 Provincial election, but this poll was conducted by interviewers via telephone as well as through an online survey as opposed to automated systems. We facilitated the collection of open-ended responses which, in our opinion, provides a deeper understanding of voter behaviour.

Several respondents openly stated their exhaustion with elections, but also mentioned that this election differs from the recent Federal election because the Provincial term expired, as opposed to a vote of non-confidence. This may explain why there are almost half the amount of "undecided" respondents compared to the 2011 Federal election entrance poll conducted by Preferences.

As for non-voters, the primary reasons for these respondents to not cast their ballot revolved around their perception of "mud-slinging" and "schoolyard bullying."

Aside from which local candidate is leading, our statistics demonstrate that Jeff Leal is more popular than Liberals/McGuinty (+4.3%); Conservatives/Hudak is more popular than Alan Wilson (+6%), especially among 45-year-old to 55-year-olds; and Dave Nickle is slightly more popular than his leader NDP/Horwath (+2.2%).

Greens maintained the same support for their leader as the local candidate Gary Beamish. The most revealing statistic is demonstrated by Conservative Party/Hudak supporters, who claimed they will be voting for Leal locally (3.9%).

Undecided voters for local candidates (13.5%) expressed that local platforms were "unclear" and "too vague" (even on mail-outs), and that they actually have to perform their own research. Another point of interest demonstrates that some undecided voters know clearly who they do not support as a local candidate, but are unsure of who they would like to support.

As for the reasons why respondents are supporting particular local candidates: Alan Wilson supporters expressed their dissatisfaction with McGuinty’s policies and Hudak's charismatic approach; Nickle supporters mentioned his "experience" in the community "as a teacher" and his recognizable name; and Jeff Leal supporters expressed he has "experience," is "dedicated" and claimed to "know of" or have met him personally.

Paul Teleki is owner of Preferences, a locally-based polling, research and strategic planning company. You can contact him at

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Here's A Primer On The Five Local Candidates Vying To Be Your MPP (With Pictures!)

MIRIAM ON POLITICSLooking for bright spots in amongst the mire of political verbiage? Me, too. While there’s no shortage of shortcomings in our political process, each of the fellas vying for the job of MPP has his strengths. Here’s what I saw last night (September 13th) at the All Candidates Meeting—beginning with the lesser-knowns:



Ken Ranney (Socialist Party)
He's a good guy to have in situations like an election campaign. When he didn’t have anything to say to a question, he'd pass (how novel). Ken’s liveliness and good use of humour shines through; almost something of a trickster vibe here. Glad to have him in the race.



Gary Beamish (Green)
Gary has a fine ability to bring it all home. Whether responding to questions about the potential dangers of WiFi in schools or taxation policy, Gary was able to relate big issues to real life personal experiences. This guy has lived. He has heart, and humility, and isn’t afraid to show it.



Dave Nickle (NDP)
Dave's a fighter. While it’s not my favourite political style, having someone who had your back would be a good thing in an MPP. If Dave can keep boisterous audience members in their place, you’d have to believe he'd be in our corner in government. And kudos, Dave, for carrying the flag of proportional representation—the only decent idea offered towards engaging more people in democracy.


Alan Wilson (Conservative)
Hmmmm. Well, he’s got the lovely Irish Lilt. That’s pretty fun to listen to.





Jeff Leal (Liberal, incumbent)
At 26 years (and counting?) in elected office, Jeff does seem to really be a hard-working public servant. He’s got that exceptional ability to evade answers to direct questions. And he’s developed a thicker skin than any of the rest could probably ever muster. It can't be easy, and you give it your all.



[pictures of candidates via their election websites]

This is the debut politics column for PtboCanada by Miriam Lyall (aka Miriam Stucky). Former Green Party Candidate. Step-mom extraordinaire. Communications Maven. Check it out:

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Dean Del Mastro Re-Elected In Peterborough Riding: Here Are The Final Results

Dean Del Mastro acceptance speech at The VenueAfter winning 49.7% of the vote, Dean Del Mastro has been re-elected. Voter turnout was 65.4% in Peterborough, according to the Examiner.

The final results are as follows:

1. Dean Del Mastro (CPC): 29,535 votes (49.7%)

2. Dave Nickle (NDP): 14,722 (24.8%)

3. Betsy McGregor (Liberal): 12,757 votes (21.5%)

4. Michael Bell (Green Party): 2,105 votes (3.5%)

Del Mastro received more votes this year than in the last election.

[Photo via Justin Beaudoin]

[The Peterborough Examiner]

What are your thoughts on the results?

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Developing Story... Ryan Nickle Charged With Assault

[UPDATE TO BELOW POST: Monday, April 25th, 1:15 p.m. Police tell us the officer involved who files the report will not be back to work until Wednesday, and the police report will hopefully be completed by then.]


We have been getting many tips that local NDP candidate David Nickle's son has been charged with assault. We have had it confirmed to PtboCanada today by Sergeant Marc Habgood from Peterborough Lakefield Community Police that Ryan Nickle has been charged with assault causing bodily harm stemming from an incident downtown Peterborough early Friday morning. He "has been charged and released," confirms Habgood. "His charges have been added but the report has not been submitted yet and therefore the release [a daily media release the police send out] has not gone out." We emailed David Nickle this morning for comment, but have not heard back.


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Election Peterborough: How Social Media Will Have An Impact (And How To Interact With Local Candidates)

In the past, it was much easier for politicians to avoid any meaningful dialogue with constituents while they were out on the campaign trail: to hide behind attack ads or to stick to carefully prepared key messages written by party spin doctors.

That is beginning to change, thanks to social media.

We, the citizens of Peterborough, can now do the following:

 • engage with the political candidates on Twitter and on Facebook, asking that they run a campaign that is about issues and that they steer clear of personal attacks, half-truths, and hyperbole;
• insist that they provide factual, verifiable answers about their political record and that they spell out their plans for our riding in as much detail as possible;
• attend public events featuring the candidates and share audio and video footage of those presentations with our fellow voters via social media;
write to the candidates about issues that matter to us and share their responses so that everyone can benefit from what we learn.
I intend to monitor the Facebook pages and Twitter feeds for Dean Del Mastro (CPC), Betsy McGregor (Lib), Dave Nickle (NDP), and the Green Party candidate (when that person is declared). I hope you will, too.

I hope you'll ask them questions and engage them in conversation so that, come voting day, you'll have a clear sense of which candidate will do the best job of representing the interests of the citizens of Peterborough Riding.


Dean Del Mastro
twitter: @votedelmastro

Betsy McGregor
twitter: @betsymcgregor

Dave Nickle
twitter: @davenickle

[written by PtboCanada contributor Ann Douglas]

[Related: Election Race Has Begun In Peterborough (And Jabs Already Starting To Fly)]

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