This riding is located in the southwest corner of the province, bordered
by Lake Erie to the south and the Thames River to the north.
The major urban centres are the cities of Chatham, Leamington and Blenheim.
Point Pelee National Park, Rondeau Provincial Park and Moravian Indian
Reserve are all included in riding.
The economy is sustained mainly through manufacturing and agriculture.
Ethnic diversity comes from distinct German, Dutch and Italian communities.
The new riding was formed in 1999 and consolidates 60 per cent of
the former Chatham-Kent riding, 56 per cent of Essex-Kent and 28 per
cent of Essex South.
The former riding of Chatham-Kent
was held by PC member and cabinet minister Darcy McKeough from 1963
to his resignation in 1978. Since then, the seat bounced to the Liberals,
the NDP in 1990, the Tories again in 1995 and back to the Liberals in
The riding of Essex-Kent was formed in 1987, when it was won by Liberals.
Prior to that, the old Kent-East riding was a Liberal Party stronghold
from 1955 through the 1980s.