Tuesday, July 26, 2011

2011 federal election poll maps: Toronto (part 3)

Click to enlarge.  Map credit: Shilly
Continuing with of my 4 part series analyzing Toronto's poll map from the 2011 federal election. (see part 1 and part 2)

Part 3 will wrap up my analysis of Toronto's riding. Part 4 (which will be on a later day) will look at some demographic maps of the city to compare with the poll maps.

Toronto Centre
The only break in the NDP's sweep of Toronto's lakefront was in Toronto Centre. Demographically, the riding is very diverse. It consists of Toronto's gay friendly Church and Wellesley area, it contains Canada's most dense neighbourhood in St. James Town- which is also very poor. It also includes the very affluent Rosedale neighbourhood in the north of the riding and part of Toronto's Bay Street financial district.

Liberal MP Bob Rae was the winner here in 2011, earning 41% of the vote. He lost a lot of support though from his 54% showing in 2008, which included an 18,000 vote lead over the Conservative candidate. However in 2011, it was the NDP that finished 2nd, coming within 6,000 votes of Rae. Despite Rae's somewhat comfortable margin, he actually won less polls than the NDP candidate. The NDP's strength in the south of the riding and dismal performance in the affluent north was contrasted by the opposite for the Conservatives. The Liberal vote was more spread out however, meaning strong seconds across the riding gave Rae the victory.

In 2008, the Liberals nearly swept the riding in their support. They lost just six polls. 5 to the Tories in affluent areas such as Rosedale and Yorkville, and one to the NDP. However, 2011 was much different. As mentioned, Liberal support was more spread out across the riding. They won much of their poll in the middle of the riding, separating the Conservative north and NDP south. Their best neighbourhoods were in Summerhill, Cabbagetown, Downtown and the southern part of Rosedale. Cabbagetown and Regent Park, to its south were the Liberal's best neighbourhoods in 2008. However, Regent Park, Canada's first social housing neighbourhood, swung heavily to the NDP in 2011.The NDP won much of the south of the riding, including Regent Park, the Garden District, Church & Wellesley, St. James Town and St. Lawrence. All areas picked off from the Liberals. The Tories meanwhile expanded their support in the affluent neighbourhoods in the north of the riding, like Rosedale, Moore Park and Yorkville. Again, all at the expense of the Liberals.

This is NDP leader Jack Layton's riding. Jack won every single poll in 2011, and won nearly every poll in 2008. He won over 60% of the vote in 2011, up from 45% in 2008. This mostly meant cementing soft NDP polls into stronger polls. Layton's best neighbourhood in both elections was the working class Leslieville area, where he won a majority of votes in almost every poll. The NDP's worst polls were in Riverdale, Greektown and Old East York, which were the only neighbourhoods with polls where they won less than 50% of the vote. These were also the only areas where the Liberals won polls in 2008.

Trinity--Spadina is the riding of Layton's wife Olivia Chow. Chow won 54% of the vote in 2011, and won all but four polls in the far northeast of the riding. The 2008 race was much closer between her and her Liberal opponent, which she only beat by 3,500 votes. Before the "orange wave", some pundits predicted the increase in condo development in the riding would make this riding a Liberal pickup.  However, Chow beat the same Liberal, Christine Innes by over 20,000 votes in 2011- a swing of 12.5% from the Liberals to NDP.

In 2008, the NDP won most of the poll in the riding, but most with less than 40% of the vote. The Liberals won polls scattered across the riding, with a cluster in the northeast corner of the riding, which is known as "The Annex", a relatively affluent and educated neighbourhood. The Tories also won one poll in The Annex, and two polls on the Harbourfront. The NDP's best neighbourhood was the multicultural Kensington Market area.

In 2011, the NDP won a majority of the vote in most of the polls, with their best area being the Kensington Market again, and neighbouring Chinatown (Chow is Chinese). The Liberals won three polls in the Annex, and the Tories held on to their one poll there, but lost their Harbourfront polls.

One of the many Tory pickups from the Liberals was in the riding of Willowdale. Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay lost by just 1,000 votes to the Conservative candidate, Chungsen Leung. She had beaten the Conservative candidate by 8,000 votes in 2008.

Willowdale is fairly homogenous in its voting patterns. Hall Findlay's victory in 2008 allowed her to win most of the polls. The closeness of the 2011 race meant that both the Tories and Liberals won polls across the riding. The Conservatives' best neighbourhood in both 2008 and 2011 was in the north end of the Bayview Woods-Steeles. This is where they won 5 polls in 2008.  The Tories also did well in Hillcrest Village, Newtonbrook, and the eastern half of the Willowdale neighbourhood in 2011. The Liberals won the western half of Willowdale and Bayview Village. Other neighbourhoods were more mixed. The NDP won one poll, the one containing Seneca College.

York Centre
The same result occurred in neighbouring York Centre, which the Tories also picked up, on a similar 10.3% swing from the Liberals. Liberal MP Ken Dryden went down to defeat, losing by over 6,000 votes to Conservative Mark Adler. The Conservatives had targeted this riding, having only lost it by 2,000 votes in 2008.

Unlike Willowdale, York Centre is much more polarized politically. The riding is separated in two parts thanks to the Downsview Airport which is right in the middle of the riding. The eastern portion, which has more people, voted heavily Conservative, while the smaller western portion voted heavily Liberal. Dryden was able to win in 2008 by winning parts of the eastern part of the riding, while winning every poll in the west.

The western part of the riding is called Downsview, and has large Black, Italian and Latin American populations. The Tories made inroads here in 2011, by winning a handful of polls. The eastern part of the riding is divided up into many smaller neighbourhoods- all of which voted heavily Tory. In 2008, the Tories only won Armour Heights and the Westminster-Branson neighbourhoods. The Tories have been making inroads among the high Jewish population in this riding, which allowed them to pick up Bathurst Manor and hold onto Westminster-Branson. They also won the neighbourhood of Wilson Heights.

York South--Weston 
York South--Weston is an old NDP seat, held federally by former leader David Lewis in the 1960s and 1970s, and by the provincial CCF/NDP for most of the period between 1943 and 1996. However, it has been a fairly safe Liberal seat ever since. In recent years, the NDP has been targeting the party once again, acquiring it provincially in a by-election in 2007- only to lose it in the general election later in the year. So, when the orange wave came to town in 2011, it only made sense for this riding to be swept up from the Liberals to the NDP.

2011 faced a rematch between NDP candidate Mike Sullivan and Liberal MP Alan Tonks. Tonks defeated Sullivan in 2008 by over 6,000 votes. However, Sullivan won by less than 3,000 votes in 2011, benefiting from a 13% swing from the Liberals to the NDP.

In 2008, the Liberals won most of the polls in the riding, but the NDP had concentrated support in the southern half of the Weston neighbourhood, and in the diverse Mount Dennis neighbourhood. Liberal support was strongest in the northeast part of the riding, roughly northeast of Black Creek. When the tides turned in 2011, it was this part of the riding (the Maple Leaf and Amesbury neighbourhoods) that stuck with the Liberals.  The NDP strengthened their support in Weston, but also in the south part of the riding where they were nearly shutout in 2011. They also made inroads in the area between the CN Railway and Black Creek. The Tories won six polls in 2011, having been shutout in 2008.

York West
Perhaps one of the safest Liberal seats in the country now is York West. The Liberals have held this seat in 1962. York West is one of the poorest ridings in the country, and is home to the infamous "Jane and Finch" area.

York West's MP, Judy Sgro won this seat by over 5,000 votes, which is a considerable amount considering the low turnout in this riding. Sgro won by nearly 12,000 votes in 2008 and was able to win all but one poll in the riding. The NDP won that poll, which is located at York University. In 2011, the NDP expanded on this one poll by winning the whole York University area, and a handful of polls in other parts of the riding. The Tories were also able to win three polls of their own. The Liberals however still won most of the polls in the riding. Their best neighbourhood was Humber Summit in the northwest corner of the riding, an area with a high Italian and South Asian population.

Stay tuned for part 4!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

2011 federal election poll maps: Toronto (part 2)

Click to enlarge
Continuing from Part 1, in my analysis of the city of Toronto's poll map from the 2011 federal election.

Once again, thanks to Shilly from the US Elections Atlas Forum who made this map, and allowed me to use it here on my blog.

Parkdale--High Park
Much like neighbouring Davenport, Parkdale--High Park is a new riding for the NDP, which won it for the second time in history in 2011. Former MP and NDP President Peggy Nash defeated the (formerly?) popular Liberal incumbent Gerrard Kennedy in a rematch from 2008. Nash had first won the riding in 2006, but Kennedy, fresh off of a 4th place finish in that year's Liberal leadership race swooped in from provincial politics to claim the seat back for the Liberal Party. He had previously represented the riding in the Ontario Legislative Assembly. It was one of the few NDP seat losses in 2008. Losing by over 3000 votes in 2008, she won it back in 2011 over 7000 votes with a swing of 10.7%.

Like the riding name suggests, Parkdale--High Park generally consists of two parts. Parkdale in the east, and High Park in the north. Parkdale, a working class neighbourhood, is more NDP friendly and High Park more Liberal friendly. In 2008, the Liberals were able to win by nearly sweeping High Park They also swept the neighbouring Swansea neighbourhood to its south, some of The Junction, to the north of High Park and Roncesvalles Village to the west of Parkdale. They also won a few polls in Parkdale, although Kennedy did not win the neighbourhood. In 2011, Nash won every singly poll Parkdale, racking up high percentages in Parkdale Village specifically. She also won all but two polls in neighbouring Roncesvalles Village. She was also able to win the eastern half of High Park, and won almost every poll in The Junction. Swansea was more of a mix between the Liberals and NDP, as was Bloor West Village, on the west side of High Park.

Pickering--Scarborough East
Pickering--Scarborough East is in the far eastern end of Toronto, and is only partly in the city. The eastern half of the riding is in Pickering. This seat was an unexpected pickup for the Tories who had lost the riding by 8,000 votes in 2008. The Conservative candidate, Corneliu Chisu won the seat in 2011 in a close race, winning by 1,200 votes, benefiting from a 9.9% swing. He defeated the incumbent, Dan McTeague who had been in office since 1993.

The riding showed its true polarized colours in 2011, with the Scarborough half voting Liberal and Pickering voting Conservative. This is especially interesting considering McTeague is from Pickering, and has only represented part of Scarborough since the last redistribution in 2004. McTeague's victory in 2008 was quite overwhelming, winning nearly every poll in both parts of the riding. The Tories only won a few polls, in clusters in both parts. In 2011, most of the riding turned blue, with Chisu winning almost every poll in Pickering. He won many polls in Scarborough too, especially south of Ellesmere Rd and the 401, where he won almost every poll in Rouge Hill and won most of the polls in Port Union. North of this area however, voted Liberal, with the NDP winning three polls of their own.

Scarborough--Agincourt is one of the "safer" Liberal ridings in the city. The Liberals, who used to routinely get over 60% of the vote here, could only muster 45% of the vote. MP Jim Karygiannis defeated his Conservative opponent by 4,500 votes. Nearly 3 quarters of the riding is visibly minority, with 2 fifths of the population being Chinese. With the Tories making inroads with the immigrant communities, this riding could be in play in future.

In 2008, the Liberals won all but a small handful of polls  here. In 2011, they won a strong majority of the polls again- but the Tories won a larger handful. The Liberals are a bit stronger in the north part of the riding- north of Finch, where they only lost three polls. Perhaps the strongest Conservative area was a number of apartment buildings in the Agincourt Mall area which they won. I'm not sure why though. The best the NDP could do was tie one poll, in the same area.

Scarborough Centre
One of the best three way races in the city was found in Scarborough Centre. Conservative candidate Roxanne James won the seat with just 35.5% of the vote. Liberal MP John Cannis won 32% of the vote, and the NDP was in a close third at 29.9%. The 2008 race here was much more boring however. The Liberals won nearly every poll with 48.7% of the vote.

Compared to the 2008 map, the 2011 map of the riding is very blue- but very light blue. While only getting slightly over a third of the vote, Ms. James was able to win a majority of polls. The riding really has no neighbourhoods that liked one particular candidate. The Conservatives had their best showing in Bendale which was their best area in 2008, and also had a strong showing in Wexford. The Liberal vote was also scattered across the riding, but their best area was perhaps Wexford as well. The NDP did the best in the southeast part of the riding, along Eglinton and in Wexford Heights.

Scarborough--Guildwood could also be characterized as a three way race as well. Liberal MP John McKay managed to win the riding by just 700 votes with 36.1% of the vote. The Conservatives received 34.5% of the vote and the NDP had 26.6% of the vote. McKay had won the seat easily in 2008 with 50.2% of the vote, and 7,000 votes more than his Conservative opponent. In 2008, McKay won almost every poll in the riding. The Tories were relegated to a few scattered polls and cluster in the east end of the riding at East Point.

In 2011, the Tories won most of the polls, despite losing the race. This is because the Liberal vote was more concentrated in places like Woburn, which has a high Muslim and Hindu population. The Conservative vote was more evenly spread across the riding. They only received majorities in 4 poll, three of which were in the Morningside area.The NDP won a scattering of polls, with their best showing in the Scarborough Village neighbourhood.

Scarborough--Rouge River
Scarborough--Rouge River was another surprise seat on election day. NDP candidate Rathika Sitsabaiesan won 40.5% of the vote and won 5000 votes more than her closest rival. In 2008, the NDP was a distant third place in a safe Liberal seat. The Liberal incumbent, Derek Lee did not run for re-election, leaving this seat up for grams. This riding has a large Tamil population, and has the largest Hindu population in all of Canada. The NDP ran a young Tamil candidate in Sitsabaiesan, and it proved to be a great choice for the party.

In 2008, the Liberals won every single poll in this riding. In 2011, the party finished third, and only won a handful of polls. The 2011 election showed a division in the riding, with the NDP winning in the east, and the Conservatives in the west, with the division at Markham Rd. The neighbourhoods of Malvern and the new Morningside Heights have a large south Asian population. It is therefore no surprise that the NDP was able to win these two neighbourhoods. The Tories just won two polls east of Markham Rd, and the Liberals won just five. West of Markham Rd., the NDP still won many polls, but the Conservatives clearly won. This part of the riding is less South Asian and more East Asian, a constituency that is less NDP-friendly.

Scarborough Southwest
Another three way race in Scarborough was in its southwestern riding. This time the split benefited the NDP candidate in Dan Harris. Harris increased the NDP vote in the riding by 16.3%, and defeated his closest rival by 1,300 votes. The Liberal MP, Michelle Simson finished third with 29% of the vote and the Conservatives finished 2nd with 32% of the vote.

The NDP win in the riding was also a surprise, but the party has held it before; but not since the early 1970s. It has voted NDP provincially as recently as 1990. However, if you look at the 2008 map, an NDP victory here would seem quite far fetched. The NDP won just three polls in that election. The Liberals won most of the polls across the riding, and the Tories won a few scattered polls here and there, and were able to win the neighbourhood of Cliffcrest near the Scarborough Bluffs.

Flash forward to 2011, and the Liberals are the ones with only a scattering of polls. Most polls in the riding were won with percentages in the 30s for all three parties. The NDP's strongest areas were Scarborough Junction and Oakridge where they won most of the polls, with a few even over 50%. The Conservatives again did their best in Cliffcrest where they won all but one poll which they lost to the Liberals. It appears as though only the NDP was able to get over 50% of the vote in any polls. The rest of the riding had a fairly even mix of NDP, Conservative and Liberal polls.

St. Paul's
Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett won her riding of St. Paul's by less than 5,000 votes in 2011. This was much closer than her 12,500 vote victory in 2008. St. Paul's is another one of those polarized ridings in central Toronto. While it is a fairly safe Liberal seat, one cannot ignore that big blue blob in the middle of the riding. That blob- which is the very wealthy Forest Hill neighbourhood- doubled in size in 2011. By that I mean, the the amount of polls that voted Conservative. In 2008, the Tories just won in Forest Hill, but in 2011, they had expanded their poll wins by claiming the nearby Cedarvale and South Hill neighbourhoods.

In 2008, the Liberals won the rest of the riding pretty easily, with their best showings in Davisville, Casa Loma and Bracondale Hill. In 2011, the Tories and the NDP began to eat away at these polls. Not only did the Tories expand their Forest Hill blob, they gained polls in the east end of the riding, like in Davisville. Meanwhile, the NDP, which didn't win any polls in the riding in 2008, won a large handful of them in 2011. The NDP vote seems to have spilled across the borders of nearby Davenport and Trinity--Spadina. It's in these border regions that the NDP won most of its polls in St. Paul's.

Stay tuned for part 3!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

2011 federal election poll maps: Toronto (part 1)

Click to enlarge
If you've been following my twitter feed (which I just added to the site), you will know that last night, Shilly, a member of the US Election Atlas Forum released the poll by poll map of the entire city of Toronto from the May 2011 election. He has given me permission to re-post his map here, which I cannot thank him enough for, as it is drool-worthy for anyone who is as obsessed with Canadian election maps as I.

But now is the hard for me. Trying to make sense of this map. Compared to 2008, the map is much more blue and orange, and less red. The Conservatives picked up 9 ridings in the city in 2011, after having won none in 2008. The NDP picked up 6 ridings in the city. All 15 of these seats came at the expense of the Liberals. The Liberals were relegated to certain immigrant communities heavily concentrated in the northwest part of the city and in parts of Scarborough. The NDP expanded on their traditional lakefront ridings, by nearly sweeping the region, and also picked up the riding of Scarborough--Rouge River which has a high Tamil population. The Tories won in more upper class regions and in Scarborough.

Riding by riding analysis
Map of the ridings in Toronto. It's missing Pickering--Scarborough East (on the east side of the map) which was included in Shilly's map.

Beaches--East York
This riding was held by the Liberals, but the NDP picked it up on a swing of 9.9%. While the riding is a safe NDP riding provincially, federally it has been allusive for the party, having failed to win it in 2008 when they ran a star candidate in former MPP Marilyn Churley (who had represented neighbouring Toronto--Danforth). The NDP won the riding even with a lesser known candidate in Matthew Kellway, who won by over 5000 votes.

The NDP won most of the polls in the riding, but saw their highest percentages in the central part of the district, between Kingston Rd and Cosburn Ave (Woodbine Heights and Upper Beaches). This region was their strength in 2008 as well, even though the Liberals still won more polls there. The Liberal vote was spread around the riding more, picking up a few polls in the far north and south of the riding. Their strongest poll was in the highly multicultural neighbourhood of Crescent Town. The Conservatives won at least 12 more polls than their previous one poll in 2008. They won all but one poll in the fairly wealthy Parkview Hills neighbourhood, a few polls in Woodbine Gardens, and won four lakefront polls in the southwest corner of the riding.

Davenport is another riding the NDP picked up from the Liberals. The riding has been targeted by the NDP in recent years, but 2011 marks the first time it has ever voted NDP on the federal level. The area has a large Portuguese population, and in recent years has seen in influx of young adults moving into the riding. The NDP ran an excellent campaign in the riding, running star candidate and former punk rocker Andrew Cash.  The NDP gained the seat with a huge 20.2% swing from the Liberals, defeating incumbent Mario Silva.

Politically, Davenport is polarized between north and south divided by the CP Railway. The north is where there Liberal support is the strongest, while the south is where the NDP support is strongest. In 2008, the Liberals won the south part of the riding, but it was the only part of the riding where the NDP won polls. In 2011, the reverse happened, where the Liberals not only did not win a poll south of the CP Railway, they did not win any polls south of St. Clair Ave. Liberal polls were concentrated in the heavily Italian and Portuguese neighbourhoods of Fairbank and Earlscourt. The further south in the riding, the more NDP it is, with the party making inroads into Little Portugal. The strongest neighbourhood for the party was Dufferin Grove, which is a working class neighbourhood. This neighbourhood in particular has a lot of young adults living in it.

Don Valley East
Don Valley East was a surprise pick up by the Tories in 2011. The lost the 2008 election by roughly 6,500 votes. However, Conservative candidate Joe Daniel was able to overcome this deficit by defeating the Liberal MP, Yasmin Ratansi by less than 900 votes. The NDP did fairly well in this riding, getting 25% of the vote here. 

In 2008, the Liberal vote was spread fairly evenly across the riding, winning most of the polls. Tory support was concentrated around the Donalda Golf & Country Club, and parts of the Parkwoods and Victoria Park Village. In 2011, the Conservative expanded their support in these neighbourhoods, sweeping most polls there. They also made inroads north of the 401, where they won just 2 polls in 2008. They won most of the polls in the neighbourhood of Henry Farm, and did very well in Don Valley Village and Pleasant View.

Liberal support was more concentrated in 2008. They were relegated mostly to the area north of Van Horne Ave. in the Don Valley Village, they won a handful of polls in Pleasant View, and continued to win most of the polls south of Eglinton Ave, in the far south of the riding - which is where their best poll was.

The NDP, which did not win a single poll in 2008, picked up quite a few in 2011. NDP polls were concentrated in 5 areas: on the north side of Eglinton Ave, a few polls in the Don Mills area, along York Mills Rd., the eastern part of Henry Farm, and around the "peanut" in Don Mills Village.

Don Valley West
Don Valley West was another Conservative pick up from the Liberals. The riding is very polarized between the two parties. Both the 2008 and 2011 elections were fairly close. Liberal MP Rob Oliphant won in 2008 by less than 3000 votes to the Conservative John Carmichael. They had a rematch in 2011, where Carmichael edged out Oliphant by 600 votes.

In 2008, the Conservative vote strength is concentrated in the wealthy York Mills, Bridle Path and Lawrence Park neighbourhoods. Liberal support was concentrated in Bedford Park, North Toronto, Don Mills, and Flemingdon Park. The neighbourhood of Leaside was mixed between the two parties. The densely populated working class neighbourhood of Thorncliffe Park was won by the Liberals, but the NDP also won many polls.

In 2011, the Tories made inroads in many of these Liberal communities. They won over the neighbourhood of Leaside, nearly swept Don Mills and made gains in Bedford Park and North Toronto. Liberal support held firm in the south end of the riding in Flemingdon Park an Thorncliffe Park where they gained all of the NDP polls (the NDP candidate was noticeably absent during the campaign). The NDP won one poll in 2008, at the corner of Bayview and the 401- which I believe is an apartment building.

Eglinton-Lawrence was one of the top 2 targets for the Tories in the city. They had only lost by 2,000 votes in 2008. In a rematch between the Liberal MP, Joe Volpe and the Conservative candidate, Joe Oliver, the Tories picked up the seat, winning by 4,000 votes.

When you look at the map poll by poll map of the riding, you can easily see how polarized it is. Nearly everything west of Allen Rd. was won by the  the Liberals, and everything east by the Tories. This is not completely true of course, as the area east of Avenue Rd. was very good for the Liberals as well (south of Lawrence).

In comparing the 2008 and 2011 maps, one change in this riding is glaringly evident. It seems almost all of the polls in the neighbourhood of Lawrence Manor went from Liberal to Conservative. This neighbourhood has a large Jewish population. Jews in the Greater Toronto Area have switched their votes en masse it seems in recent years from the Liberals to the Conservatives. I'm actually surprised that this switch didn't happen earlier in Lawrence Manor.

The NDP won just three polls in the riding.

Etobicoke Centre
Etobicoke Centre was the third closest riding in all of Canada. 26 votes separated the Conservative victor, Ted Opitz and the Liberal incumbent, Borys Wrzesnewskyj. The Tories won the seat, benefiting from a 5.7% swing from the Liberals. The Liberals had won the seat in 2008 by 5,700 votes.

In 2008, the Conservative support was strongest in the area of the riding east of Kipling and south of Eglinton. Liberal support was strongest north of Eglinton and west of the 427 and south of Rathburn Rd. The same can be said about the 2011 election, except that the Tories encroached on these Liberal areas.

In 2011, the Tories won all the polls between Kipling and Royal York Rd, south of Eglinton. This area includes the exclusive St. George's Golf & Country Club, and is fairly wealthy. The Tories also did well in the wealthy Humber Valley Village, and in Eringate (where they won 4 polls in 2008). The Liberals remained dominant north of Eglinton, where they won most of the polls. West of the 427 and south of Rathburn remained mostly Liberal, but the Tories made inroads there. Islington, in the central part of the riding went from a mostly Liberal area to a mostly Conservative area. The NDP won 4 polls in the riding, 3 of which were in the Mall area, along the 427.

Etobicoke--Lakeshore was the riding that Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff was defending. As the Liberals began struggling, the media started to speculate that hey may lose his seat. That indeed did occur. The Conservative candidate, Bernard Trotties won the seat by nearly 3,000 votes on an 8.3% swing from the Liberals.

Ignatieff won by nearly 6,000 votes in 2008, and nearly swept the riding. The Tories only won a handful of polls- mostly in the southwest part of the riding and in The Kingsway, an affluent neighbourhood in the northeast of the riding. The tables turned in 2011 however, where the Tories nearly swept the riding.

Party support is clearly distributed fairly evenly in the riding. In 2011, the Tories strength was pretty even across the district. South of the GO Train was their worst area, where the Liberals and NDP won many polls. The NDP and Liberals did very well in New Toronto, and the Liberals did well in Mimico. The Tories still did well in the area however, winning in Long Branch and in parts of Mimico.

Etobicoke North
Finally, we get to a riding where the Liberals were actually able to keep. The Liberals have held this working class riding since 1988. Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan won the seat by over 3,000 votes. A much closer margin than her 2008 victory of nearly 6,000 votes. In terms of poll strength, Duncan nearly swept the riding in 2008, with the Tories and NDP only winning a few.

In 2011, the Tories made some significant inroads in the riding, winning most of the polls south of the Humber River West. North of the river is the poorer community of Rexdale, which makes up the majority of the riding. Rexdale was nearly swept by the Liberals, enabling them to hold the seat. The NDP, which has held the seat provincially in the past won just 5 polls, 3 of which were in the Rexdale Mall area in the south end of the riding.

And that is all for now. I will analyze the other ridings in future posts..

Monday, July 18, 2011

2011 federal election poll maps: Nipissing--Timiskaming

The second riding I will profile since Elections Canada released the 2011 election poll by poll results is Nipissing--Timiskaming. This riding is located in Northeastern Ontario, and is largely centred on the City of North Bay. The riding extends as far north as the Municipality of Temiskaming Shores in the north which incorporates the communities of Haileybury and New Liskeard. The riding runs along the Quebec border past Mattawa, Ontario, and then south into Algonquin Park. The riding goes west to also include the communities of Powassan and Trout Creek.

Click on map to enlarge
Nipissing--Timiskaming was the second closest race of the 2011 election. It required a judicial recount to determine that the Conservative candidate, Jay Aspin had defeated the incumbent Liberal MP, Anthony Rota by just 18 votes. The riding, which for the most part is a descendant from the old Nipissing riding has been solidly Liberal since 1988. In fact, it had only voted Tory once since 1921. Provincially, the area is more of a bellwether, in that it has switched parties often. Nipissing was the riding of former provincial Premier Mike Harris.

While the Tories picking up the riding was seen as a surprise by many, it wasn't that far fetched. Rota had defeated his Conservative opponent by less than 5000 votes in the 2008 election. A 6.2% swing from the Liberals to the Conservatives gave the Tories the narrow victory.

The Tories won the seat by picking up polls across the rural parts of the riding from the Liberals. They also made inroads into North Bay, however the Liberals still won the city overwhelmingly. The Conservatives saw their strongest performance in the Anglo Protestant areas just south of Lake Nipissing, which includes the Township of Nipissing, and the communities of Trout Creek and Powassan. The Liberals' strongest areas were in North Bay, and mostly in the north end of the city, which has a high francophone population.

While the Conservatives gained 4.4% at the polls, the NDP increased their vote even more, going up 5% points. They won a few polls scattered across the riding. Four of these polls were won in the rural heavily francophone townships of East Ferris and Bonfield. While the NDP candidate didn't have a French name, the NDP surge in Quebec probably helped the party in the French communities of the riding. The best NDP poll was the Bear Island Indian Reserve. While the reserve is small, the poll is quite large, and is that large dark orange area on the west side of the riding.

The Liberals have traditionally done well among the French in this riding, but this has slipped in 2011. While the Liberals won in the French parts of North Bay, the lost in the french rural areas and towns, like in Mattawa, and Temiskaming Shores.

Poll map note: While the 2011 poll by poll shape files are available, I used the 2008 boundaries here. I don't have a working GIS program, so I have to trace over the 2008 poll maps at the Smufmatic website. That would also explain a slightly wonky projection in my map.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ontario election 2011 prediction (mid July edition)

A few days ago, Ipsos-Reid released a poll for the upcoming Ontario election that indicated the following:

Tories: 42%
Liberals: 31%
NDP: 22%
Greens: 5%

These numbers are slightly better for the Liberals than the Forum Research poll I discussed in my last prediction. This Ipsos-Reid poll was conducted over a month, beginning in early June while the Forum Research poll was held on one weekend in later June. This could explain the difference, but any ideas I come up with would be pure speculation.

Anyways, I realized that if I want to keep up with these polls, I have to use at least some mathematical methodology. At least until we have a better idea of what's happening in each local riding. This is why I am going to use a swingometre to help me with things for the time being. The swingometre is a tool used more in British and Australian elections to look at how swings in votes can result in seat changes. Because we use the same electoral system, we can use it here too. One problem with it is that it assumes a uniform swing to one party, which is never the case. But it will aid me for the time being, as I am not sure how local races will be affected at the moment.

 The Swingometre, explained

Here, I have two graphs. One shows the races that were Liberal vs. PC in the 2007 election and the other shows Liberal vs. NDP races. I included one seat where the NDP was a strong third in the lower graph as well. Each dot represents a seat. At the 0 mark in the middle are the results of the last election. If we move to the right of the mark, we assume a swing from the Liberals (to the Tories in the top graph and the NDP in the lower graph). The further right it goes, the more of those red dots will turn either blue or orange. I have not included a NDP vs. Tory graph, as there was only one race between those two parties. Also, there was one Tory vs. Green race that was not included.

The numbers represent the % swing. That is basically the average increase in support for one party compared to the average decrease of the other party. The Liberals won the last election by 10.6% of the vote. Therefore it would require a 5.3% swing to the Tories (the Liberals decrease their vote by 5.3% and the Tories increase it by 5.3% resulting in a tie). As you can see from the chart, this would only give the Tories 7 more seats, not enough to win the election. They need 28 seats to get a majority. This would require a swing of about 8.5% to the Tories, meaning that they could theoretically win the popular vote and still lose the election.

Luckily for the Tories, the latest Ipsos-Reid poll gives about an 11% swing to the Tories, which would give them 39 additional seats, well into majority territory. The poll also gives an 8% swing from the Liberals to the NDP, which translates to 9 additional NDP seats.

My new mid-July prediction will not be following the swingometre at verbatim. I still know enough about local voting habits to know that even with an 11% swing, certain seats will not fall. Also, some seats may fall which would require a greater than average swing.

Liberal vs. PC seats
The following is a list of Liberal held seats where the Tories finished 2nd in the last election, showing the swing the Tories need in order to pick up the riding. It also shows which party holds the seat federally which will help show us how realistic it is for that riding to vote Tory.

Riding Swing required (%) Federal Party
Nipissing 0.7 Conservative*
Barrie 1.5 Conservative
Kitchener--Conestoga 2.4 Conservative
Eglinton--Lawrence 2.7 Conservative
Ancaster--Dundas--Flaborough--Westdale 3.4 Conservative
Lambton--Kent--Middlesex 3.5 Conservative
Stormont--Dundas--South Glengarry 5.1 Conservative
Don Valley West 5.4 Conservative
London--Fanshawe 5.6 NDP
Oak Ridges--Markham 6.1 Conservative
Mississauga South 6.1 Conservative
Brampton West 6.3 Conservative
Willowdale 6.3 Conservative
Richmond Hill 6.5 Conservative
Prince Edward--Hastings 6.8 Conservative
Northumberland--Quinte West 7.1 Conservative
Scarborough--Guildwood 7.3 Liberal
Ajax--Pickering 7.4 Conservative
Mississauga--Erindale 7.4 Conservative
Perth--Wellington 7.4 Conservative
Oakville 7.4 Conservative
Etobicoke--Lakeshore 7.7 Conservative
Huron--Bruce 7.7 Conservative
Etobicoke Centre 7.9 Conservative
Niagara Falls 8.2 Conservative
Guelph 8.2 Liberal
York Centre 8.2 Conservative
Pickering--Scarborough East 8.5 Conservative
Bramalea--Gore--Malton 8.8 Conservative
St. Catharines 9.2 Conservative
Ottawa--Orleans 9.2 Conservative
Elgin--Middlesex--London 9.3 Conservative
Ottawa West--Nepean 9.4 Conservative
Brampton--Springdale 10.0 Conservative
Brant 10.1 Conservative
Kitchener Centre 10.2 Conservative
Ottawa South 10.2 Liberal
Scarborough Southwest 10.3 NDP
St. Paul's 10.4 Liberal
Peterborough 11.0 Conservative
Essex 11.5 Conservative
Chatham-Kent--Essex 11.6 Conservative
London North Centre 11.7 Conservative
Mississauga--Streetsville 11.8 Conservative
Kingston and the Islands 12.5 Liberal
Toronto Centre 13.8 Liberal
London West 14.1 Conservative
Mississauga--Brampton South 14.2 Liberal
Scarborough Centre 14.3 Conservative
Ottawa--Vanier 14.3 Liberal
Don Valley East 15.3 Conservative
Markham--Unionville 16.3 Liberal
Scarborough--Agincourt 16.4 Liberal
Glengarry--Prescott--Russell 16.7 Conservative
Etobicoke North 16.9 Liberal
Mississauga East--Cooksville 17.9 Conservative
Vaughan 21.6 Conservative
Scarborough--Rouge River 25.3 NDP
*Nipissing is part of the Nipissing--Timiskaming federal riding, which has different borders.

As you can see from this chart, even the "safest" provincial Liberal seats are not that safe at all. Their three "safest" seats are held by different parties in federal parliament.

Liberal vs. NDP seats
The following is a list of Liberal seats where the NDP finished 2nd in the last election. I have also included London--Fanshawe, where the NDP was a close third place.
Riding Swing required (%) Federal Party
Thunder Bay--Atikokan 0.1 NDP*
York South--Weston 0.7 NDP
Timiskaming--Cochrane 1.2 N/A*
Hamilton Mountain 1.9 NDP
Ottawa Centre 2.0 NDP
Davenport 2.7 NDP
Algoma--Manitoulin 2.8 NDP*
Thunder Bay--Superior North 4.3 NDP*
London--Fanshawe 6.2 NDP
Windsor West 12.3 NDP
Windsor--Tecumseh 12.9 NDP
York West 13.4 Liberal
Sudbury 15.8 NDP*
Sault Ste. Marie 16.9 Conservative*

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 federal election poll maps: Ottawa South

Last week, Elections Canada released the official poll by poll results of the 2011 federal election. The current format is either in PDF or CSV, while the Official Voting Results document they usually publish will not be available until August. Members of the US Election Atlas Forum (myself included) have begun to post riding maps already, and we can expect more to come. Some of the members have allowed me to use their maps, and I will post them in the future. But, I plan on doing an analysis of each map, so I will post them on the blog individually in the future.

Today, I will start with Ottawa South. This is the riding where I grew up, so I get to start with it.

Liberal MP David McGuinty won the seat with 44.0% of the vote, down 5.9% from 2008, and his lowest showing since his first election in 2004. The Conservative candidate, Elie Salibi was down just 0.01% to 33.3% from his mark set when he ran in the previous election. The NDP candidate, James McLaren received 18.2% of the vote, the highest ever for the party in the riding. He increased the NDP's share of the vote by 9.7%.

These results translated into a swing of 2.9% from the Liberals to the Tories, which helped them pick up a number of polls. The Tories won most of their polls in the south of the riding, mostly in Blossom Park. They also made inroads in the Urbandale community where they won 4 polls and tied in one more.  The Liberals won the overwhelming number of polls however, getting their best results in the central part of the riding, concentrated in the middle class Alta Vista area where they were able to win a majority of votes in most of the polls. The Liberals did bleed to the NDP in many of the immigrant areas, which one a handful of polls- for the first time since winning one in 2004. The NDP won six polls, and tied in two others. Two of these polls were in the working class Heron Gate area. The other polls were all apartment or town house polls. The Tories also won some similar apartment polls, where they benefited from vote splitting between the Liberals and NDP- and perhaps a "small c" conservative immigrant vote.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Saskatchewan 2011 election prediction (July edition)

Saskatchewan is going to the polls a month later than the other four provinces going to the polls this year. The date of the election will be November 7. The current government is formed by the Saskatchewan Party, which is coming off their first ever term in government after being formed from the former provincial Progressive Conservative Party and some Liberals.

Saskatchewan is going through some of the best economic times in its history, which is benefiting the governing party there. The Saskatchewan Party currently holds 38 of the 58 seats in the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly. The N.D.P. holds the remaining seats.

Surprisingly, there have been no polls in the province this year, but there have been a handful in previous years. The last poll was from November 2010, which showed the Saskatchewan Party at 57%, the NDP at 29% and the Liberals, which hold no seats at 8%. The SP has been polling around the 60% mark since late 2008 and is up from 51% in the previous provincial election in 2007. Meanwhile, the NDP has been polling around just 30% during the same time frame, down from 37% in 2007. I can't see things being much different right now, but some new polls would be nice.

Without a poll in 8 months, it is difficult to tell what will happen in Saskatchewan at the moment. But, I'll give it a try anyways. Let's assume the Saskatchewan Party is still in the high 50s in popular support and the NDP in the high 20s. 

 Rural Saskatchewan
Outside of Regina and Saskatoon is right wing Saskatchewan Party country. They Sask Party currently holds 30 of the 35 ridings in rural Saskatchewan. The NDP is limited to the other 5, concentrated in smaller urban areas and the far north.

The far north of Saskatchewan is traditional NDP territory, while the further south you go, the less NDP friendly the terrain. The NDP holds 4 seats in the region, two of which are the 2 far northern ridings (Athabasca and Cumberland). Athabasca has been held by MLA Buckley Belanger since 1995 when he was elected as a Liberal. He switched to the NDP in 1998. He won the seat by 27% in 2007, so it should be safe NDP. The other far north riding of Cumberland should be more interesting. It has elected NDP and CCF members for most of its history, and mostly with massive margins. However, the riding had a by-election in 2008 where the Saskatchewan Party came within 164 votes of winning the seat. Because of this close result, I cannot call this one way or the other.

The other two NDP seats in Northern Saskatchewan are in urban areas. The Battlefords was won by the NDP by just 300 votes in 2007, so one would expect an easy Sask Party pick up, right? Well, Liberal leader Ryan Bater is running in this seat, and will change the dynamics. The Liberals have no seats in the Saskatchewan legislature at present, and my money is against them winning any this time. However, the area has supported the Liberals in the past. For now, it's a toss up.  The final NDP seat in the region is Prince Albert Northcote. While this seat has been supporting the NDP since its creation in 1995, the party won by just 19% last election, which could put it into play for the Saskatchewan Party. For now, it's a toss up. 

At present, the Saskatchewan Party is unlikely to lose any seats in the election. In the North, they are however defending three seats with retiring incumbents. In Cut Knife-Turtleford, MLA Michael Chisholm is retiring. This rural seat was won by Chisholm by nearly 30% of the vote in 2007. This is a safe Sask Party seat. Next door is Rosthern-Shellbrook where Denis Allchurch is retiring. He won in 2007 by a smaller 18% margin, but I'd still say this is a safe Sask Party seat. Finally in Melfort, former Liberal MLA and current Sask Party MLA Rod Gantefoer is retiring. This seat hasn't voted NDP since 1991, and Gantefoer won it by nearly 35% of the vote. This is also a safe Sask Party seat

There will not be many interesting races in rural southern Saskatchewan. All MLAs will be running for re-election, and the only NDP seat in this region is Moose Jaw Wakamow. All other seats I predict the Sask Party will easily hold on to. Moose Jaw Wakamow will be a seat to watch, though. MLA Deb Higgins won the seat by 16% points in 2007, so it is definitely on the Sask Party's radar. For now, it's too close to call.  

As recently as the 1999 provincial election, none of Saskatoon's seats voted for the Saskatchewan Party. Ever since then, the Saskatchewan Party has been eating away at the NDP's foothold there. Presently, the Sask Party holds 5 of the 12 seats in the city. And, if their numbers keep up, they are in for a few more gains to- perhaps attaining a majority of the seats in the city.

The NDP will have one retiring MLA this election in the city. Pat Atkinson will be retiring in the riding of Saskatoon Nutana, in the south end of the city. She won her seat by 23% in 2007; however, now that it is vacant, the seat will be placed in the toss up category. The Sask Party will also be having one retiring incumbent, in the riding of Saskatoon Sutherland. If the NDP gains any seats in this election, this is probably the first place to look. Retiring MLA Joceline Schriemer won this seat by just 219 votes in 2007, in a riding that the NDP held since 1986. However, with the present numbers favouring the Sask Party, I expect them to keep this seat

The most likely pick up for the Sask Party this election will be in the riding of Saskatoon Eastview. This is solely based on the riding's previous result which saw the NDP win by just over 300 votes. One caveat here is that the NDP has held the riding since 1988. However, I am calling this a Sask Party pick up. Another possible pick up is the riding of Saskatoon Meewasin. It too was won by the NDP by just over 300 votes last election. However, because the riding's % margin is greater, it's too close to call at this point. Finally, another possible pick up for the Sask Party is Saskatoon Riversdale, where they will have to overcome over 400 votes to defeat the NDP which has held the seat since 1986. This is also a toss up. The other three seats held by the NDP in the city (Saskatoon Centre, Saskatoon Fairview and Saskatoon Massey Place) should all be NDP holds, as they won by fairly comfortable margins in 2007. 

The Saskatchewan Party has had a more difficult time winning in Regina, the provincial capital. They hold just three seats in the city, gaining all of them in the 2007 election from winning none in 2003. Winning more seats in Regina will be a target for the Saskatchewan Party in this election as well. 

There are two seats in the city that the NDP will be vacating with retiring incumbents. One is Regina Coronation Park, in the city's north end, where Kim Trew is retiring. He won in 2007 by 24%. This is a fairly safe NDP seat, that they should be able to keep. The other open seat will be Regina Northeast where Ron Harper is retiring. The NDP has held this seat since 1986, but Harper only won by just under 700 votes. The NDP is in trouble here, and I expect a Sask Party gain.

At least two other NDP seats in the city will be targeted by the Sask Party this election. Their best shot is in Regina Dewdney where they lost by just 500 votes in 2007. I predict a Sask Party gain here as well. The other target for the Sask Party is Regina Lakeview where they lost by 15% last election. This is large deficit to make up, but at current polls, this seat could be in play. Toss up. The remaining 4 seats in the city should remain NDP seats come election day. All of them were won by the NDP by at least 20% in 2007. 

If the last poll of Saskatchewan, held last November proves to be close to the election result, the NDP is in deep danger. They are looking at a minimum of 9 seats out of 58 in the Saskatchewan legislature. In order to prevent this hemorrhaging, the NDP must hold onto their urban ridings, which has been their base in the province lately. If they turn things around, they need to win back these cities in order to do well in the election. Meanwhile the Sask Party needs to just have a good campaign, and they'll be sure to pick up a few seats. Oh, and the Liberals? They'll be really lucky to win a seat.

Saskatchewan Party: 41
NDP: 9
Toss ups: 8

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Manitoba election 2011 prediction (July edition)

Manitoba will be one of the many provinces that will have elections this Fall. They will be going to the polls on October 4. The NDP currently holds a comfortable majority in the Manitoba legislature (36 of 57 seats). From last Fall until recently, the Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party (the Tories) have held a lead  in the polls over the governing New Democratic Party. However, recent events have catapulted the NDP into a tie with the Tories.

The most recent poll of Manitobans that came out last week showed the Tories and the NDP in a 44-44 tie, with the Liberals at just 9%. Many theories exist as to why the NDP has bumped up from the mid-to-high 30s they had been polling in earlier months. Premier Greg Selinger's response to the Spring floods in the province is one reason. Another reason is the return of the Winnipeg Jets NHL team, which many see as a sign of the economic revival the province has been experiencing. It can be argued that the NDP can take much credit for this, as they have been in power for 12 years. At the same time, the Tories may argue that it's "time for change". Lastly, the NDP surge in the federal election may be rubbing off on Manitobans, although since the party already forms government there, I'm not sure how much of a factor that could be.

The first challenge to predicting the Manitoba election is that they have undergone a redistribution since the last election. This means that many of the districts are brand new, and it will be a challenge to predict districts which are new. Elections Manitoba has not published a "transposition of votes", showing how the new ridings voted in the last election, so how they voted will be some guess work on my part. 

For my analysis, I'll divide Manitoba into two regions: Winnipeg (which has a 31 of the 57 ridings) and the rest of the province. 

Politically, Winnipeg can be divided in to two regions: the working class north end which tends to vote NDP, and the more affluent south end which tends to support the Tories. However, in recent elections the NDP has been able to win seats in the south end, which have been crucial to forming a majority in the Manitoba legislature. If the Tories want to win the election, it will come from picking up seats in this part of the city.

The NDP will have on retiring incumbent from the south end. MLA Marilyn Brick from St. Norbert will not be running again. She won this seat for the NDP for the first time in 2003. She won this seat by 22% in the 2007 provincial election, making it seem like a safe seat. However, with her gone, and its Tory past, this will be on of the Tory targets. For now, it's a toss up.

There is only one seat in Winnipeg's south end that the Tories came within 15% of, and that was Southdale. The NDP won this seat for the first time in 2007, defeating the Tory incumbent by 11%. This will have to be another top target for the Progressive Conservatives, but for now it's a toss up.

One new riding that may be one to watch in Winnipeg's south end is Fort Richmond. The NDP is running Kerri Irvin-Ross who currently represents the riding of Fort Garry. However, Fort Richmond will only encompass part of Fort Garry, meaning much of this new riding will be new territory for Irvin-Ross, meaning a possible Tory pick up here. But, without knowing any more information, this will be a toss up

It will take some big swings for the Tories to pick up the rest of the south end ridings. The ridings of Riel and Seine River should also be Tory targets, as they have won in those seats in the 90s, and lost them by 16.5% and 25% respectively in the 2007 elections. For now however, these will be NDP holds.

Winnipeg's affluent West End is much like the south end, in that it is a political swing area. The Tories did win 2 of the 5 seats here in 2007. There will be one open seat in the area, that of St. James where NDP MLA Bonnie Korzeniowski will be retiring. She won her seat by 25% in the 2007 election, and its lack of incumbency means it will likely be targeted by the Tories. However, the riding has been held by the NDP since 1995, and the Tories haven't won here since the 1970s. They will certainly be having an uphill battle here. For now though, this will be a toss up.

The lowest hanging fruit for the Tories in the entire province is Kirkfield Park, in the west end. The NDP won this seat by 11% in 2007, and this was the closest race the Tories lost last time. Yes, that's right... not a single riding was won by the NDP by less than that margin. That's why even with a tie in the polls, the Tories will be having an uphill battle to win seats in this election. For now, even this district will be a toss up.

The final seat the NDP holds in Winnipeg's West End is Assiniboia which they won by 40% in 2007. While it is a relatively new NDP seat, having won it for the first time in 40 years in 1999, this margin seams insurmountable at the present time. NDP hold.

To wrap up the city, let's take a look at the north and central parts of Winnipeg. This area saw some swings against the NDP in the federal election, and this may occur as well provincially. However, most seats in this area are rock solid NDP seats. In 2007, the Tories just won one seat here (River East), and the Liberals won two (Inkster and River Heights).

The NDP will be defending three open seats in the area. George Hickes will not be running again in Point Douglas, but the difference between him and his 2nd place opponent was over 50%. This is a safe NDP seat.  The NDP's Diane McGifford will not be running again either. Her seat of Lord Roberts however will be abolished into the new seat of Fort Garry-Riverview. This new seat will encompass parts of the former Fort Garry riding as well. Now, I'm not that familiar with the area, but considering the NDP won Fort Garry by 27% of the vote and Lord Roberts 40% of the vote, this should be an NDP victory. Finally, the only other open seat for the NDP in this area will be Burrows, where MLA Doug Martindale is retiring. He won by 52% of the vote in 2007, so I expect the NDP to hold this riding.

The Liberals will also be defending an open seat in Winnipeg. Former Liberal MLA Kevin Lamoureux has moved onto federal politics and his former seat of Inkster is currently vacant. However, the riding has been abolished into The Maples and the new seat of Tyndall Park. Tyndall Park is being created out of Inkster and the former riding of Wellington. The Maples is a fairly safe NDP seat, having won it by 25.5% in the last election, so it should be an NDP hold. Tyndall Park will be interesting, as it's a new riding without an incumbent. Before electing Lamoureux, his seat of Inkster was a long time NDP seat, while Tyndall Park's other predecessor riding of Wellington is also a long time NDP seat. This should be an NDP victory, but look for the Liberals to do well.

The Liberals hold just one seat in Manitoba currently, that being River Heights. Even now with the Party polling in single digits, the party should hold this seat. It is represented by the party's leader, Jon Gerrard. This upper class riding has never elected an NDPer, and has been represented by the Liberals for 21 of the last 25 years. It has a large wealthy Jewish population, which has historically backed the Liberal Party here. Liberal hold.

The rest of region should stay NDP, except for the northern suburban riding of River East which is held by the Tories. The Tories might have a shot at Radisson, which they lost by 21% in 2007. Some of this riding is in the federal riding of Elmwood--Trancona which has recently gone from safe NDP to Conservative. If demographics are to blame for some of this, then we can expect Radisson to be a Tory target for 2011. However, the party has not held this seat in 30 years.

Rural Manitoba
Save for the north, rural Manitoba is generally quite conservative. The NDP holds 11 seats in rural Manitoba, 5 of which in the North, where they won all of the seats. The Tories won 15 seats in rural Manitoba, all in the south part of the province. 

All 11 MLAs for the NDP appear to be running for re-election. The only open seats are Tory seats, all of which they should keep. The ridings of Lac du Bonnet is being vacated by Gerald Hawranik. It is the safest of the open seats, as Hawranik won by 25% last election. Portage la Prairie is being vacated by David Faurschou. Based on history, this riding should be quite safe, as it has never elected an NDPer or CCFer since confederation. However Faurschou won in 2007 by just 400 votes. Brandon West was another close race in 2007, and was the only Tory pick up from that election. Former MP and Brandon mayor Rick Borotsik won the seat by just 56 votes. The riding has been a swing riding in the past, and could be a surprise and go NDP, but probably will vote for the Tory candidate. Finally, the fourth open seat with a retiring Tory incumbent is Pembina. Pembina is being redistributed into the new ridings of Morden-Winkler, Midland and the existing riding of Emerson. All of these seats are in a region that voted for the Tories in 2007, and expect the same in 2011

All five Northern Manitoba seats are safe for the NDP. The Tories might have a shot at Swan River, however, where they lost by 19% last time. Next to Swan River in Western Manitoba is the riding of Dauphin, which more or less corresponds to the previous riding of Dauphin-Roblin. This area has been represented by the NDP for the last 30 years, but will be a Tory target in this election as they only lost the seat by 12% in 2007. For now, it's a toss up. The only other NDP seat in Western Manitoba is Brandon East. This seat has been held by the NDP since it was created in 1969. However, the Tories came 16% of winning this in 2007. For now, it's a lean NDP seat.

The only seats held by the NDP in central Manitoba are Interlake and Gimli. Both seats were won by the NDP by about 25% in the 2007 election. Both are distant Tory targets, but for now they should stay NDP.  

Finally, in Eastern Manitoba, there will be some interesting races due to boundary changes. The new riding of Dawson Trail will be a complete toss up. Its being created out of the safe Tory seat of Morris and the NDP seat of La Verendrye. La Verendrye's incumbent has chosen not to run in that riding, and is running in Dawson Trail. La Verendrye in contrast has had major boundary changes, and has gained a lot of rural areas, meaning that this NDP seat will more then likely turn blue. This will be a Tory pick up. Selkirk is the only other NDP riding in the area. The NDP candidate won by nealy 20% of the vote in 2007. While it is probably a Tory target, they have never won the seat in its history. NDP hold. 

While the Tories are sure to make gains in this election, a close race in the popular vote may mean an electoral for the Progressive Conservatives, even if they win the popular vote. As mentioned, there are no close target seats for the Tories, as the seat they lost with the lowest margin in 2007 was still a loss by 11%. However, Manitoba is not a province of uniform swings, so anything can really happen on election day.  For now however, it appears that despite the tie in the polls, the NDP will win another majority government.

Projected Seat totals:
NDP: 30
Tories: 19
Liberals: 1
Toss ups: 7

Monday, July 4, 2011

Liberal change (2008-2011)

This map shows the percentage change for the Liberal Party between the 2008 and 2011 elections. In previous posts, I covered the Conservatives and the NDP change.

While the traditional colour for the Liberals is red, that colour on this map is bad for the party. The darker the red, the more the party's vote share went down. And there is a lot of red. Green on the other hand means an increase in support for the party.

The Liberals really got hit hard in the 2011 election. The once "natural governing party of Canada" fell to a measly 34 seats, down from 77 they won in 2008.

In Atlantic Canada, the Liberals only gained support in three seats- all in Nova Scotia. Perhaps this came from disgruntled former NDP supporters, upset with the provincial government. This may have been true, but each riding they gained in has its own story. In West Nova, the marginal Liberal gain can be attributed to those NDP supporters upset over the provincial government cancelling the Yarmouth ferry in the riding. In Cumberland--Colchester--Musquodoboit Valley, Liberal supporters supporting Independent Bill Casey may have come back home. And in Central Nova, the Liberals could only go up, having no candidate in 2008 (they had agreed not to run one against the Green's Elizabeth May). The Liberals lost every where else in the region, especially in northern New Brunswick, Saint John, Egmont in P.E.I. and in Labrador, where the Liberals lost a once strong seat to Peter Penashue of the Conservatives, who was the popular leader of the Labrador Innu Nation.

Quebec saw losses for the Liberals in every riding except Beauce. The Liberals ran a former ADQ MNA in the riding. The increase was very marginal however. Interestingly, many of the worse losses for the Liberals came in ridings with a high Anglo population, like in West Montreal, Pontiac, west Laval, Hull--Aylmer and in the Eastern Townships.

In Ontario, the Liberals gained in 7 seats. Two of those came in the Ottawa suburbs, perhaps civil servants worried about Tory job cuts. Strong campaigns in Kingston and in Guelph helped the Liberals hang on to those two marginal seats, increasing their vote to boot. Another strong campaign in Kitchener--Waterloo gave the Liberals a higher share of the vote, but they lost in another close election, a re-match from 2008. A collapse of the strong 2008 Green vote in Bruce--Grey--Owen Sound helped the Liberals increase there. And finally, the Liberals gained support in Sault Ste. Marie, where they ran the nephew of a former MP (with the same last name). In contrast, neighbouring Algoma--Manitoulin--Kaspuskasing saw on of the largest decreases for the Liberals, as well as much of the rest of Northern Ontario. Southwestern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area were other hard hit ridings.

Western Canada was actually better for the Liberals in that their decreases were not as bad. In Manitoba, they gained in two seats. In Winnipeg North, they gained the most compared to 2008, with the popular Kevin Lamoureux who won the seat in a 2010 by-election. The Liberals also gained in Kildonan--St. Paul, where their 2008 candidate was dropped (but still remained on the ballot) due to controversial comments about 9/11. Hard not to gain from that.

In Saskatchewan, the Liberals gained marginally from their paltry 5% (4th place) performance in 2008 in the riding of Yorkton--Melville. All other ridings had losses, including a large loss of support in Desenthe--Missinippi--Churchill River where they NDP ran a strong candidate, taking much of the anti-Tory 2008 votes from the Liberals.

In Alberta, the Liberals had gains in 5 seats, three of which were in Calgary. Perhaps Calgary is moderating itself a bit, as evidenced by electing a moderate Muslim mayor in 2010? Elsewhere, the Liberals gained marginal support in Wild Rose (where they ran a judge who had made controversial comments about sexual assault) and in Medicine Hat, where they ran the mayor of Medicine Hat.

In B.C., the Liberals saw a gain in support in three ridings. Interestingly, two of those ridings were close races between the Tories and the NDP- which usually means the Liberal vote suffers due to strategic voting. These seats were Surrey North and Vancouver Island North, which were both close races in 2008 as well. The other seat the Liberals gained support in was Chilliwack--Fraser Canyon, where they ran a Chilliwack city councillor. The Liberals saw their biggest loss in the province in Esquimault--Juan de Fuca after popular Liberal MP Keith Martin retired, and opened the seat up to its traditional NDP-Tory roots.

Finally in Northern Canada, the Liberals saw a marginal gain in support in the Western Arctic (Northwest Territories) where they ran former Premier Joe Handley. Running a former Premier (Paul Okalik) in Nunavut however did not help them, where their vote went down by a fraction of a percent. The Liberals saw a large loss in the Yukon, where their MP Larry Bagnell went down in defeat. The gun registry, which the Liberals support, was very unpopular in this rural riding.

Many thanks again, to S. Smith of the U.S. Election Atlas Forum who made the map.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

NDP change (2008-2011)

A few days ago, I posted the Conservative change in vote support between the 2008 and 2011 federal elections. My second installment shows the NDP change in support between those two same elections. On the map, green indicates ridings where the NDP gained in vote percentage (darker shades meaning a greater increase in the vote), while red ridings are where the NDP lost in vote percentage (darker red meaning a greater decrease in the vote).

So, what can be said about this map? Well, a lot of green certainly, attributed to the NDP's breakthrough in the 2011 race. This is most notable in Quebec, where most of the province is a darker shade of green. In not one single riding in Quebec did they lose in support.

In Atlantic Canada, the NDP suffered some losses, and some gains. Overall, they gained two seats in the region. In Newfoundland & Labrador, the NDP saw support losses in 4 of the 7 ridings, but actually gained one seat (St. John's South--Mount Pearl). 2008 was a very bad year for the Tories on "the Rock", thanks to then Premier Danny Williams' "Anything But Conservative" campaign. As discussed on the last map, the Tories made gains here in 2011, and it came at the expense of the NDP in many seats.

Nova Scotia was the only other Atlantic province to see NDP losses in support in 2011. The NDP saw a decrease in vote in 6 of the 11 ridings. The NDP government of Nova Scotia is somewhat unpopular, which may have hurt them in the province. But just like in Newfoundland, the NDP actually gained a seat in the province (Dartmouth--Cole Harbour).

In Ontario, just two ridings had the NDP lose support. Both were in Northern Ontario. One seat's decrease (Sault Ste. Marie) contributed to the NDP losing it to the Tories. The other riding to see the NDP's share of the vote go down was in Timmins--James Bay, which the party still kept. The gun registry (many Northern Ontario NDP MPs flip flopped on this issue) must have hurt the party in those two ridings, despite "the Soo" being mostly urban. It should also be noted that the gun registry didn't seem to hurt the party in any of the other Northern Ontario ridings. The ridings that the NDP gained the most came in the Greater Toronto Area, thanks to strong local campaigns in Scarborough--Rouge River, Davenport and Bramalea--Gore--Malton (the latter where the NDP lost by a few hundred votes).

In Western Canada, the NDP only saw a loss of support in some seats in Manitoba and in Nunavut. In Manitoba, the party only saw losses in three of the 14 ridings, but it was good enough to lose one seat (actually down two from 2008). All three ridings were in the north end of Winnipeg. The NDP saw the biggest decrease from 2008 in the riding Winnipeg North. This long time NDP seat was lost in a by-election last year to the popular Liberal MLA Kevin Lamoureux in a close race. He held on to the seat once again in the 2011 election in another close battle. The NDP lost another stronghold in neighbouring Elmwood--Transcona, a seat they held for over 30 years. Much debate has arisen as to why the NDP lost these seats. My theory is an unpopular provincial NDP government (at the time), and perhaps demographic changes.

As mentioned, the NDP also lost support in Nunavut. This is probably because they ran a lesser known candidate in a region where the person is more important than the party. Elsewhere in the west, NDP increases were modest to strong, with the highest increase in the riding of Desnethe--Missinippi--Churchill River, where the NDP went from a distant third to losing by less than 1,000 votes. This was again due to running a popular candidate in Lawrence Joseph, the former Chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians in a riding with a high Native population.

Once again, thank you to S. Smith of the U.S. Election Atlas Forum who made the map.