Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Proposed riding boundaries map (coloured in by 2011 result)

Proposed riding boundaries coloured in by 2011 result

Last week, a new company called released their data in looking at the proposed riding boundaries and taking a look at the 2008 and 2011 federal election on the proposed map. In August, the final provinces came out with their proposed maps for the ongoing redistribution process which will ad 30 seats to the House of Commons. did the math and now we know how the results of the last election will play out on the new map. Even though the map isn't finalized, it's nice to see how it will play out and which parties are the winners and losers.

As it turns out, and as expected, the Tories are the big winners. The boundary proposal would give them an extra 25 seats. They would gain 13 seats in Ontario, 6 in Alberta, 7 in BC and 1 in Newfoundland while they would actually lose a seat in Quebec, and 2 in Saskatchewan. The NDP would also gain seats, but only a net gain of 8; 5 in Quebec, 2 in Ontario, 2 in Saskatchewan, 1 in Manitoba and a loss of 2 in BC. The Liberals would be the big losers. Despite the House of Commons increasing in seats, the proposed boundaries would result in the Liberals actually losing seats. They would lose 1 seat in Newfoundland, and 1 in Manitoba for a net loss of 2. The BQ would also lose 25% of their seats, going down from 4 to 3.

Here are where the party changes would happen by province:

British Columbia

BC is set to gain 6 seats in the House of Commons, which puts them at 42 seats. Not only do the Tories gain all eight of these new seats, the boundary changes give them an extra 2 at the expense of the NDP.

South Cowichan—Juan de Fuca
NDP +1
This is the brand new riding on Vancouver Island. When it comes to the new boundaries in BC, Vancouver Island is the only glimmer of hope for the party. This new riding is being created out of two current NDP ridings: Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca and Nanaimo—Cowichan. This has created a new NDP seat, but one where they would have only won by 115 votes. Another glimmer of hope for the NDP on the island is the riding of Nanaimo—Alberni which became considerably more friendly for them. The NDP would have lost the riding by just 1270 votes.

South Okanagan—West Kootenay
Conservatives +1, NDP -1
This riding would be the successor riding to the present riding of British Columbia Southern Interior. This riding is currently held by the NDP, but thanks to redistribution, the riding becomes a Conservative seat. The riding loses some strong NDP areas in its southeastern corner around Nelson, and gains some ultra-Conservative areas of Okanagan—Coquihalla around Penticton. The results turns this safe NDP seat into a seat where the Tories would have won by almost 3000 votes or about 5%.

Conservatives +1
Earlier I discussed how I figured this new riding in Vancouver would become a safe Tory seat. The numbers tell us however that while the Tories would have won this seat in 2011, it would have been a very close 3 way race. The NDP as it turns out would have only lost by 1654 votes. This is thanks in part to strong NDP areas of Vancouver Kingsway and Vancouver East joining the riding. However, they are not enough to compensate for the strong Tory areas coming in from Vancouver Quadra and Vancouver South.

Burnaby North—Seymour
Conservatives +1
This is a new riding that takes in parts of the NDP held riding of Burnaby—Douglas and the Tory held riding of Vancouver North. While most of the riding comes from Bunaby—Douglas, the Seymour area over Vancouver North is a strong Conservative area, while the north end of Burnaby is more evenly split between the two parties. The result gives the Tories a 4317 vote edge in this riding, or nearly 10% of the vote.

Port Moody—Coquitlam
Conservatives +1, NDP -1
This riding comes mostly out of the existing riding of New Westminster—Coquitlam. However, that riding is losing New Westminster, which is a strong NDP area. The riding was already a close one with New Westminster, and the loss of that region would make the riding NDP by just 65 votes. But, thanks to a small Conservative slice of Port Coquitlam, this riding would turn Tory blue by just 361 votes. A toss up yes, but still a Tory gain from the current map.

Conservatives +2, NDP -1
Surrey is getting one new riding after redistribution, and instead of being an even 2-2 split as the case is now, the Tories would double their seat total in the city, reducing the NDP to 1. The NDP would be left with the riding of West Surrey—Whalley which is the successor riding to Surrey North which they currently hold. The other current NDP held seat is Newton—North Delta which was a 3 way race in the last election and is being split into 3 different ridings. The NDP part of the riding is being given to the riding of Delta which is outside of Surrey entirely. The rest of Delta is Conservative, and adding North Delta would not change it. The Liberal part of the riding is being added to the West Surrey—Whalley riding which is an NDP riding anyways. Finally, the Tory part of the riding is being given to the super safe Tory seat of South Surrey—White Rock. This all results in a net loss for the NDP. The two Conservative ridings in Surrey are morphing into 4 ridings which are also being cut out of the two NDP ridings and also nearby Langley, which is also a safe Tory area. The resulting ridings would be North Surrey—Guildford (out of parts of North Surrey and Fleetwood—Port Kells), Surrey Centre (mostly out of Fleetwood—Port Kells), Langley—Cloverdale (out of parts of Fleetwood—Port Kells, South Surrey—White Rock and Langley) and Surrey—White Rock which gains part of Newton—North Delta but also loses some territory to Langley—Cloverdale. Out of these new ridings, Surrey Centre becomes the lowest hanging fruit for the NDP, even though it is mostly carved out of the currently Tory held seat of Fleetwood—Port Kells. However, it would mostly consist of the East Newton area of the city which the NDP does well in. Richmond East & Delta
Conservatives +1This region south of Vancouver is set to gain one extra seat as Delta—Richmond East is splitting into 2 ridings. This riding is a very Conservative to begin with. If a safe Tory seat splits into two, that means two safe Tory seats. Delta is gaining some NDP areas in North Delta from Newton—North Delta, however that is not enough to even make the seat competitive.

Conservatives +6
At present, every seat except one in Alberta is held by the Tories. That one opposition seat, Edmonton—Strathcona is held by the NDP. The redistribution process does that carve up that riding, but does not make any other parts of the province land in opposition territory, at least not with the 2011 election results. As a result, Alberta is getting six more ridings, all of them would have gone Tory last election.

Saskatchewan is not seeing an increase in ridings, however the boundary commission has decided to rectify the issue with current gerrymandered “rurban” ridings that have benefited the Conservatives the last few election cycles. At present, there are 8 rurban ridings in the province that cut up the two major cities of Saskatoon and Region into pizza slices extending into the rural areas surrounding them. This has caused the NDP leaning central parts of those cities to be dwarfed by the Conservative leaning suburban and rural parts that dominate most of those eight ridings. Only one of those eight ridings is held by an opposition MP, with Wascana going Liberal thanks to the personal popularity of MP Ralph Goodale. The commission proposed giving each city 2 more urban oriented ridings, which would cause the province to give the NDP two seats (up from none), at the expense of the Conservatives.

NDP +1, Conservatives -1
Regina is set to get two strictly urban ridings, Wascana (which loses most of its rural territory) and the new riding of Regina—Lewvan, which would consist of the western half of the city. Under the new boundaries, Wascana would remain a Liberal seat, while Regina—Lewvan would become an NDP seat. Regina—Lewvan takes in some strong NDP areas of Palliser with some mixed territory from Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre. The result would give the NDP a 1005 vote victory.

Saskatoon Centre—University
NDP +1, Conservatives -1
Saskatoon is also set to get two urban ridings, Saskatoon Centre—University and Saskatoon West. Saskatoon Centre—University would go NDP with 2011's results, while the more suburbam Saskatoon West would still go Conservative. Saskatoon Centre takes in the more NDP-friendly central part of the city, which is mostly taken from the riding of Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar. But, it also takes in some more Tory-leaning suburban areas in the northeast part of the city from Saskatoon—Humbold. The result is a seat that would have narrowly gone NDP in 2011, by a margin of 204 votes. Saskatoon West would also be an NDP target though, as they would have narrowly lost the riding by 1639 votes.

NDP +1,
Manitoba would not get any new ridings either. However, the new boundaries of Winnipeg North would give the NDP an extra seat in the province to the expense of the Liberals. Winnipeg North is a traditional NDP seat that the Liberals have recently picked up thanks to the popularity of its MP, Kevin Lamoureux. Even having said that though, Lamoureux only won the riding by 44 votes in 2011. Any adjustment to his riding is surely going to put his narrow victory in jeopardy. The riding as it is, is very polarized between east and west. The commission proposes taking a small part of the Liberal western part of the riding (in the Maples) and giving it to the neighbouring riding of Kildonan—St. Paul. This alone would be enough to flip the riding to the NDP. However, the commission also proposes adding part of Kildonan—St. Paul (Garden City, Jefferson & Seven Oaks) to the riding. While this area went Tory in 2011, the Liberals finished third behind the NDP and therefore would not be enough to compensate for the loss of part of the small Liberal part of the riding being lost. All these changes would not only give the NDP a victory in this riding, but the Liberals would drop to third, 7.6% behind.


Ontario is set to gain 15 new ridings with redistribution. Out of those 15 ridings, the Tories would have won a net of 13 in the last election on the proposed boundaries while the NDP would have gained a net of two.

Welland—Fort Erie
Conservatives +1, NDP -1
This is the successor riding to the NDP-held riding of Welland. However, growth in the Niagara Region has forced the riding of Welland to change its borders, meaning that the NDP would lose its seemingly perfectly tailored riding. The problem for the NDP is that no area outside of the riding seems to have much history with the party, so, for the riding to change its boundaries at all is bad news for them. With its current boundaries, the NDP won Welland by about 1000 votes. However, the proposed boundaries add Fort Erie to the riding, and Fort Erie voted heavily Conservative in 2011. This addition is enough to flip the riding and give it to the Tories by a margin of 2095 votes.

NDP +1, Conservatives -1
The current riding of Bramalea—Gore—Malton has become much too large, and needs to shrink. The boundary commission decided to removed all of Bramalea and some of Malton from the riding, creating the new riding of Brampton—Gore. This change would have caused the riding to go NDP if you look at the 2011 numbers. That's because of the personal strength of the NDP candidate in the riding, Jagmeet Singh who had narrowly lost the riding. He was popular in the Sikh community in the riding which dominates the Gore and Malton parts of the riding. Without Conservative leaning Bramalea, he would have won the riding by 2363 votes. Singh went on to win the riding provincially in last Fall's provincial election. Unless the NDP can run a popular candidate like him again, this may not necessarily be an “NDP riding”.

Don Valley East
Liberals +1, Conservatives -1
One of the few gains the Liberals would have under the proposed boundaries is in this riding. The proposed riding of Don Valley East is set to gain some strong Liberal areas from Don Valley West such as the Flemingdon Park neighbourhood. This change would turn a narrow 870 vote loss in 2011 into a 1221 vote victory.

St. Paul's
NDP +1, Liberals -1
With the huge condo boom in neighbouring Trinity—Spandina, the boundary commission was forced to lump off a large part of that NDP-held riding and add it to St. Paul's. To compensate for this, the riding lost a large chunk of territory in its eastern end. This area also happened to be a Strong Liberal and NDP-dead zone. While the NDP still finished third in the western part of St. Paul's, it wasn't as bad as in the eastern part. Throw in a few polls from NDP Davenport, and the NDP would have won the new St. Paul's by 1335 votes.

Toronto Centre
NDP +1, Liberals -1
The condo boom seen in Trinity—Spadina is also happening in Toronto Centre, forcing that riding to shed some of its territory as well. The commission removed the well-off Liberal leaning northern half of the riding where the NDP finished in a distant 2nd. This still wouldn't have been enough for the riding to go NDP however, but with the commission adding a number of polls from Trinity—Spadina, the NDP would have won this new riding- but by just 195 votes.

Mount Pleasant
Liberals +1
So, with all those well-off Liberal leaning areas being shed from St. Paul's and from Toronto Centre, a new riding had to be created to house them. The commission put those areas and a small part of Don Valley West and put it in the new riding of Mount Pleasant. This riding would be a fairly safe Liberal seat, which they would have won by 5440 votes over the Tories.

Conservatives +1, Liberals -1
Under the proposed redistribution, the only Liberal seat left in York Region would be evaporated. The seat of Markham—Unionville was won by the Liberals by just 1700 votes. The boundary commission has decided to divide this riding up. Most of Markham—Unionville will actually find itself in the new riding of Markham, except for the Unionville area, which will continue to be in a riding called Markham—Unionville, but will also include a large swath of Markham north of the present riding. Most of the Liberal neighbourhoods in Markham—Unionville will find themselves in the new riding of Markham. Without Unionville, this riding would have gone Liberal easily. However, the commission also added a large part of the Thornhill riding to Markham. Thornhill has become very Conservative, and this new territory would throw the riding into Conservative hands by a 944 vote margin.

Scarborough East
Liberals +1
The boundary commission has decided to do away with the Pickering—Scarborough East riding which was a strange riding that straddled the Toronto-Pickering border. This decision has meant that the old half riding that stuck out of the city has moved entirely within the city. The Scarborough half of the Pickering—Scarborough East riding voted Liberal in 2011, creating the base of this new riding. Parts of Scarborough—Rouge River and Scarborough—Guildwood were also added to the riding, but while the Liberals finished 2nd in both of those areas (to the NDP and Conservatives respectively), it was not enough to alter their lead. In total, the Liberals would have won this seat by 1286 votes.

New ridings resulting in Conservative gains
Conservatives +13
The rest of the Tory gains came from new ridings being created in their favour in fast growing suburban areas. The Tories gained 13 such ridings:
  • Splitting of Nepean—Carleton into Nepean and Nepean—Carleton
  • Splitting of Ancaster—Dundas--Flamborough--Westdale into Ancaster and Waterdown—Glanbrook
  • Splitting of Halton into Milton and Halton
  • Creation of Kitchener South—North Dumfries—Brant from Brant, Cambridge and Kitchener—Conestoga
  • Creation of Mississauga Centre from Missississauga—Erindale, Mississauga East—Cooksville and from Mississsauga—Brampton South
  • Splitting of Brampton West into Brampton South and Brampton West
  • Splitting of Brampton—Springdale into Brampton North and Brampton Centre
  • Creation of Don Valley North from Don Valley East and Willowdale
  • Splitting of Oak Ridges—Markham into Oak Ridges, Aurora—Richmond Hill and into Markham—Stouffville (+2)
  • Splitting of Markham—Unionville into Markham and Markham—Unionville. (See also Markham—Unionville above, as this is a Liberal riding being split into two Tory ones)
  • Splitting of Barrie in Barrie North and Barrie South
  • Creation of Kawartha Lakes—Port Hope—Cobourg from Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock and from Northumberland—Quinte West.

Quebec will be gaining three seats with redistribution. The NDP, which swept the province in 2011 has the most to gain from the proposed map. It would gain five seats, taking a BQ and a Tory seat along with the three new ridings.

NDP +1, Liberals -1
This riding is the successor to the Liberal held riding of Saint-Leonard—Saint-Michel. However, the riding becomes very different. Gone is the heavily Liberal neighbourhood of Saint-Michel and added is some areas from Hochelaga that went heavily NDP in 2011. That area, around Maisonneuve Parc is a Liberal dead zone, meaning the Liberals gain nothing from its inclusion. A safe-ish Liberal seat turns into an NDP seat by 3865 votes.

NDP +1, BQ -1
From the looks of the map, this is one of two new ridings that could claim to be the new seat added to the Island of Montreal. It makes an NDP seat out of an area in mid-Montreal that had none. The riding takes in the northern part of Ahuntsic, and lumps it in with Saint-Michel and part of Saint-Leonard. The area taken from Ahuntsic (and a small part of Papineau) voted BQ in 2011, while the area taken from Saint-Leonard—Saint-Michel voted heavily Liberal. But because the Liberals did terrible in northern Ahuntsic, and the BQ even worse in Saint-Leonard—Saint-Michel, the NDP would have won the riding by coming in 2nd in both areas. The results would have been a tight 3 way race however, with the NDP edging out the Liberals by just 920 votes and the BQ by 1462 votes. The BQ's only seat on the island was in Ahuntsic, which is being split between Maurice-Richard, George-Etienne-Cartier and Bourassa. This split eliminated Ahuntsic riding from the map, and with in the only BQ riding in Montreal. And since Maurice-Richard took the largest amount of voters with it, I have credited this riding as the one the BQ has lost due to redistribution.

Liberals +1
This is the other riding in Montreal that can make the case for being brand new. The proposed riding straddles the current Ahuntsic / Saint-Laurent—Cartierville riding border, taking nearly equal parts from each. The southern end of Ahuntsic is the Liberal end of that riding, while Cartierville and northern Saint-Laurent (taken from Saint-Laurent—Cartierville) is also a very Liberal area. The result of this new riding means the Liberals gain a seat in the area to make up for the lost seat of Saint-Leonard.

NDP +1
With the population boom in Laval comes the new riding of Sainte-Rose on the north side of the city. No longer will Laval have a riding crossing its northern border onto the north shore (Marc-Aurele-Fortin). The NDP swept the city in 2011, meaning that any new riding would have also gone NDP, including Sainte-Rose.

Gaspe—Les Iles
NDP -1
With the population decline in Eastern Quebec, the commission decided to eliminate a riding. The consequence of that is the existing ridings had to get bigger. The NDP held riding of Gaspesie—Iles-de-la-Madeline had to take in half of the riding of Haute-Gaspesie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapedia. The election in Gaspesie—Iles-de-la-Madeleine was already a close one between the NDP and the BQ. The race in Haute-Gaspesie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapedia was more between the Liberals and the Bloc however, with the NDP in a distant third. With the Bloc doing well in both parts of this new riding, they would have beaten the NDP by 2772 votes. This in effect eliminated the NDP seat in the Gaspesie, and moves over the lone BQ riding in the area.

NDP +1, Conservatives -1
Surprisingly enough, the proposed boundaries would give the NDP a seat in the ultra-Conservative region of Chaudiere-Appalaches. This region is where the Tories won four of their five seats in the province in 2011. Levis takes in areas from Levis—Bellechasse and from Lotbiniere—Chutes-de-la-Chaudiere that went NDP in 2011, despite their ridings going Tory. The result is an NDP win 1259 votes.

NDP +1
Soulanges is the name of a new riding in the southwestern corner of Quebec, created as the result of the growth in population in the area southwest of Montreal. The riding takes in parts of two NDP held ridings, Beauharnois—Salaberry and from Vaudreuil—Soulanges.

NDP +1
One new riding is being created in Western Quebec, an area where all three seats had already gone NDP. That means, no matter which of the four new ridings you consider to be the new one, it too would have gone NDP. For the record, it looks like the new riding might be that of “Outaouais” a riding made up of the downtown core of Gatineau and Hull.

Atlantic Canada
Conservatives +1, Liberals -1
There were no additions or subtractions to any of the seat totals for any of Canada's four Atlantic provinces. In fact one province, PEI had no boundary changes at all. There was however one riding that would have switched parties thanks to the new boundaries. That riding would have been Avalon, in Newfoundland. Avalon is losing a large chunk of Liberal territory (as I mentioned in my analysis of Newfoundland's redistribution). The race in Avalon was close enough in 2011 that if you take out enough Liberal territory, the riding would flip colours. Under the new boundaries, the Tories would have won the seat by 1254 votes.


  1. Thanks for the breakdown, great overview and map. Sometimes I'm worried people really do not understand what this analysis means. 2011 ushered in the first Conservative majority for decades, and according to polls, marks a high-water mark for their support. When you translate the old results into the new boundaries you're still going to get the same sort of map. With even a modest drop in CPC support many ridings could easily flip to the Liberals or NDP.

  2. True. I will be at some point making a "what-if" map to show what a tied picture would look like, or some other sort of uniform swing.

  3. Hi there! I can notice that you undoubtedly understand what you are writing about over here. Do you a special education that is linked with the topic of your blog entry? Waiting forward to hear from you.

  4. I notice you haven't included the new riding of Don Valley North which also impacts the Liberal riding of Willowdale.