Taking Guelph by Storm?
The two in Quebec should go according to script. The Bloc took Saint Lambert by a 2 to 1 margin last time, and Marc Garneau should launch off in Westmount-Ville-Marie with no problems (rule of thumb: any riding with the word "westmount" in it is still safe in Quebec). With both the BQ and Liberals struggling in Quebec, it will be interesting to see how much the margins of victory shrink but I wouldn’t expect anything too earth shattering.
In Don Valley West, John Godfrey will be stepping down July 1st, which kiboshes doing all four by elections in June. Rob Oliphant won a nasty nomination for the Liberals, while John Carmichael, who lost by 20% to Godfrey last time out, will be the Tory nominee again. Again, I’d expect a drop in Liberal support due to the incumbent leaving, but it should be a hold.
The most intriguing of the four is Guelph, following Brenda Chamberlain’s official resigning on April 7th. That means Harper can call the by election anytime between now and October. If I were Steve, I’d be targeting June since the students won’t be there, and it could generate some momentum going into the summer break. Of course, doing all four at once would be neater, he’s shown a willingness to delay by elections before and, there’s the somewhat counter intuitive theory that Harper doesn’t want to win any more by elections.
Whenever it happens, this one will be an interesting test, since the road to a Harper majority would likely be paved with ridings like Guelph. The riding has seesawed back and forth in the past, usually going to the party in power, and Chamberlain only won by 5,000 votes in 2006:
Brenda Chamberlain (Lib) 38%
Brent Barr (CPC) 30%
Phil Allt (NDP) 22%
Mike Nagy (Green) 9%
Here's the field for this time: