Monday, December 31, 2012

Newfoundland and Labrador - an alternate proposal

The commission's report boundaries

Five provincial boundary commissions have submitted their proposed federal riding boundaries that will sent to the House of Commons for review. The deadline for submissions was December 21, so one can assume that the other five boundary commissions asked for a two month extension.

This next step in the federal riding boundary redistribution process means a whole new set of maps of the provinces from the original proposals we saw earlier in the year. These new maps came as a result of a series of public consultations held across the country. These next set of maps will not be the final boundaries, but they will be pretty close to finalized.

Alberta, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island (which saw no changes), Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador's boundary commissions all released their reports, while the remaining provinces we will not see for at least two months.

Today, I will present an alternate proposal to the Newfoundland and Labrador map. It will be one that does not guarantee Labrador its own riding.

My alternate proposal. (Inset is St. John's)

The boundary commission did not deviate drastically from their originally proposed map. The public seemed supportive of the new north-south alignment of the three rural Newfoundland ridings, which makes more sense, as it follows transportation links better. The commission only made minor changes such as moving a few villages or neighbouhoods from one riding to another for community of interest reasons. The commission also renamed their “St. John's North” riding to “St. John's East”, as I predicted.

The commission briefly considered the issue of Labrador, currently Canada's least populated riding. Only one submitter (from Ottawa – not me I promise!) proposed doing away with this riding, which is less than one third the size of the average Newfoundland riding and has less people than any of Canada's northern territories. Large, remote ridings, such as Labrador are often exempted from taking on larger territories, and Labrador has been one such exemption. The riding is geographically isolated from the rest of the province by the Strait of Belle Isle, and is for all intents and purposes very much different from the rest of the province. But the fact of the matter is, the area has seen its population stagnate in the last decade, and, as mentioned is the least populated riding in the entire country. There is no reason that Labrador should be more over represented than any of Canada's territories. I feel that the commission should have at least considered a riding which would have consisted of Labrador plus some of Newfoundland.

My proposal is to link Labrador with the northern peninsula of Newfoundland, which is geographically the closest part of the island to Labrador. There is also a link from this region to Labrador via ferry. My proposal is to make Labrador roughly 50% of this riding, so that the area is not over-represented by the Newfoundland portion. This ensures that Labrador will keep its weight in parliament even though the riding will be twice the size. However, due to Labrador's size, a riding even twice the size of it will still be much smaller than the rest of the province (53,000 people compared to 77,000), but at least it would be closer to the average.

To make it to 53,000 (Labrador has 26,500 people), the Labrador riding would have to include all of the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland plus the Baie Verte Peninsula. If you include all of these areas you get 51,441 people- close enough. I made the eastern boundary of the riding at King's Point to keep the larger community of Springdale out of the riding. I would name this riding Labrador—St. Barbe—Baie Verte.

The remainder of the province gets six ridings, with an average population of 77,000 people. This new Labrador riding would take a significant chunk out of the current Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte riding, meaning that riding would need to expand. My proposal would take a page out of the commission's proposal by linking the left over area (the Humber region) with the St. George's region to its south. However, this would not make a large enough riding. So, my proposal would be to link the west coast of the province (Humber and St. George regions) with the isolated south coast region. The St. George's area and the south coast are already linked together by the riding of Random—Burin—St. George's. The south coast is fairly isolated as it is, and while it may have road links to central Newfoundland (hence why the commission put the area into the central riding) it still has ferry links to the west coast of the province, and the community of Burgeo also has a road link. This riding would have a population of 76,713 and I would name it “Humber—St. George's—Bay d'Espoir”.

The creation of the new Labrador riding has meant that some of the existing Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte riding has been lobbed off. This is the area around Springdale. While this region does have better transportation links with the Baie Verte peninsula, it had to be excluded from the Labrador riding so that Labrador would still be more than 50% of that riding. This area, which is located on the west coast of Notre Dame Bay, I would have united with the rest of the Notre Dame Bay shore area which is presently in the riding of Bonavista—Gander--Grand Falls-Windsor. This new riding would consist of much of the same areas as this riding, however the addition of the Springdale area would make it too over-populated. This is why removed the Bonavista Bay area. I made the eastern boundary of the riding between Gambo and Glovertown. This was done for population reasons, but it also makes for a good natural boundary as it separates the communities on the western shore of Bonavista Bay (which I would keep in the new riding) from the communities along Highway 310. This new riding would have a population of 75,552 and I would call it Gander—Grand Falls-Windsor—Notre Dame.

With the rest of the Bonavista Bay area removed from its current riding of Bonavista—Gander--Grand Falls-Windsor, I had to put the area somewhere. The riding boundary proposal created a new north-south aligned riding which united the Burin Peninsula, the Bonavista Bay area, the Bonavista Peninsula and the Trinity Bay area in one riding. My proposal would call for a similar riding. It would also include the Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas, as well as most of the Bonavista Bay area. The riding would also extend into the Avalon Peninsula and would contain most of the Bay de Verde peninsula as well. The boundary commission's proposed boundary in the area goes as far as Salmon Cove on Conception Bay, but due to population reasons, I had to go further down the peninsula and stop before Spaniard's Bay. This would add a significant population centre (Carbonear) to my riding which is why my name for the riding (Bonavista—Burin—Bay de Verde) would be different than the commissions proposed name of “Bonavista—Burin—Trinity”. My proposal contains more of the Bay de Verde peninsula, and more of an area not on Trinity Bay, but on Conception Bay. The population of this riding would be 78,132,

This leaves us with an area of the province very similar to area proposed by the commission. However, my proposal of what to do with the remaining three ridings is somewhat different. I started with the riding of St. John's South—Mount Pearl which has a population of 83,000- which is a bit too big for quotient of 77,000. My proposal would be to remove the portions of the riding in the downtown area, and give those areas to St. John's East. My proposed boundary, which encircles the downtown core, is somewhat more natural than the present boundary along Gower St. These changes would bring down the size of the riding to 77,011- a perfect fit.

Adding the Downtown area to St. John's East would dramatically increase the size of that riding, even more than it's already huge size of 101,000. Presently, the western boundary of the riding splits up the municipalit of Conception Bay South. The commission's proposal and it's current report split up the City of Paradise. All of these boundaries seem rather arbitrary (the report isolates two neighbourhoods in Paradise from the rest of the city), and my proposal would be to remove all of CBS and all of Paradise from the riding. This makes the Paradise city limits the western boundary of the riding, which makes more sense. And it makes for a good riding size at 77,620.

This leaves us with one last riding, Avalon, which is very similar to the commission's report for the riding. The commission's version of the riding would be slightly larger (81,540) than my proposed version (77,532) as it excludes the Carbonear area, the Bay Bulls area and the Long Harbour area.

That concludes my proposal. If you want to read the commission's report, it can be found here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Federal by-elections (Part 3: Calgary Centre)

Calgary Centre is located in central Calgary, Alberta's largest city. It includes the city's central core, as well as some surrounding inner-suburban areas. Its bounded on the north by the Bow River and Bow Trail, on the west by Sacree Trail, on the south by Glenmore Trail and on the east by the CPR railway.

The riding is 79% White, with Chinese being the largest visible minority at 6%. 3% of the population is Black and Aboriginals make up 2% of the population. 73% of the riding has English as their mother tongue, 4% have Chinese as their mother tongue, while just 2% have their native language as French. 33% of the riding is Protestant and 25% is Catholic. Islam is the largest non Christian religion in the riding, with 3% of residents being Muslim. 30% of residents have no religion at all.. In 2005, the median income of the riding was $30,729, making it the 10th richest riding in Alberta.

The riding was created in 1968, and until the most recent redistribution ten years ago, consisted of parts of central Calgary on both sides of the Bow River. While the riding has always elected right of centre candidates since its creation, the riding- when it crossed the Bow River united the two most traditionally progressive parts of the city together. Redistribution in 2004 split these two areas apart by moving Calgary Centre south of the Bow River, and creating the new riding of Calgary Centre-North north of the Bow. Between 1953 and 1968, most of what is today Calgary Centre was in the riding of Calgary South. Between 1917 and 1954, the area was divided between various incarnations of Calgary West and Calgary East. And, from 1904 to 1917, the area made up a very small section of a large riding known as “Calgary” that consisted of more than half of Southern Alberta, and-when it was created even part of today's Saskatchewan (back then it was part of the Northwest Territories).

As mentioned, the riding has been dominated by right of centre candidates ever since the area started voting for Members of Parliament. Only in two elections (1940 and 1963) has the area voted for a Liberal. And, in only two elections aas the area voted for a left wing candidate, electing Labour candidates in 1921, and in 1926 (only in Calgary East). The area is a dead zone for the NDP at present. The Liberals do have some strength in the riding on the provincial level, as the downtown riding of Calgary-Buffalo is currently held by the provincial Liberals. The riding is known for electing some moderate conservatives. Outgoing MP Lee Richardson being one example. In 2000, former Prime Minister Joe Clark, a red Tory won this seat in a close race against the more conservative Canadian Alliance candidate.

List of MPs:


* M.S. McCarthy, Cons. (1904-1911)
* R.B. Bennett, Cons. (1911-1917)

East Calgary / Calgary East (1917-1953)

* D.L. Redman, Unionist (1917-1921)
* Wm. Irvine, Labour (1921-1925)
* A.T. Davis, Cons. (1925-1926)
* H.B. Adshead, Labour (1926-1930)
* G.D. Stanley, Cons. (1930-1935)
* J.C. Landeryou, Soc. Credit (1935-1940)
* G.H. Ross, Liberal (1940-1945)
* D.S. Harkness, Prog. Cons. (1945-1954)

Calgary West (1917-1953)

* T.M. Tweedie, Unionist (1917-1921)
* J.T. Shaw, Labour (1921-1925)
* R.B. Bennett, Cons. (1925-1939) 2nd time
* D.G.L. Cunnington, Cons. (1939-1940)
* M.J. Edwards, Liberal (1940-1945)
* A.L. Smith, Prog. Cons. (1945-1951)
* C.O. Nickle, Prog. Cons. (1951-1954)

Calgary South (1953-1968)

* C.O. Nickle, Prog. Cons. (1954-1957) contd.  
* A.R. Smith, Prog. Cons. (1957-1963)
* H.W. Hays, Liberal (1963-1965)
* H.R. Ballard, Prog. Cons. (1965-1968)

Calgary Centre (1968-present)

* D.S. Harkness, Prog. Cons. (1968-1972) 2nd time representing area 
* Harvie Andre, Prog. Cons. (1972-1993)
* J. Silye, Reform (1993-1997)
* E.C. Lowther, Reform (1997-2000)

* C.J. Clark, Prog. Cons. (2000-2004)
* Lee Richardson, Cons. (2004-2012)

Poll maps

2004 election

With Joe Clark retiring from politics, Calgary Centre (called Calgary South Centre in 2004) would become an open seat. The newly created Conservative Party would be the clear front runners to win the riding, and they would recruit former MP Lee Richardson to be their candidate. His main challenger would be the Liberal candidate, lawyer Julia Turnbull. Richardson would end up winning the seat by nearly 11,000 votes- which would end up being the closest race for him in this seat. Richardson would win most of the polls in the riding, doing the best in the more suburban southern and western fringes of the riding. He would do especially well in neighbourhoods such as Glendale, Glanmorgan, Bel-Aire and Windsor Park. The more urban central part of the city was worse for Richardson, and was the only part of the riding where the Liberals won any polls. In fact, the Liberals won quite a few polls in the western half of the Beltline, they would win the Cliff Bungalow neighbourhood, win quite a few polls in Bankview, and do very well in Chinatown. The best Tory poll came in poll 211, which is located in Bel-Aire, on the south side of the riding. The poll includes the Calgary Country Club, and is very wealthy. Richardson won 75% of the votes there. The best poll for the Liberals was poll 90, in Chinatown. The Liberals won 76% of the vote in the poll, which would be the only poll where they even broke 50%.

2006 election
In 2006, Richardson's main sacrificial lamb opponent was Liberal architect Heesung Kim. Richardson defeated Kim by nearly 20,000 votes. Richardson won all but two of the riding's polls, and did his best in much of the same parts of the riding. His best neighbourhoods would be Glendale, Upper Mount Royal, Bel-Aire and Mayfair. His worst neighbourhoods were in places like Lower Mount Royal and Cliff Bungalow, but he still won all the polls in those neighbourhoods. The Liberals won just two polls, one in Chinatown (once again, their best poll – poll 90) and the other one was in the eastern end of the Beltline. Poll 211 in Bel-Aire would once again be the best Tory poll, where Richardson won 82% of the vote. The Liberals would win 51% in their best poll in Chinatown.

2008 election

2008 was a rematch between Richardson and Kim, but also with a strong showing by Green candidate Natalie Odd. Richardson's lead would be cut down to 17,000 votes over Kim. Odd would be 600 votes behind Kim. Richardson's strength came from the same neighbourhoods he did well in back in 2006. He won all but four polls in the riding. The Greens would win three polls, two in Cliff Bungalow and one in the western end of the Beltline. The Liberals won just one poll, also in the Beltline. The top poll for the Tories would continue to be poll 211 in Bel-Aire, for the third election in a row. Richardson took a small hit in that poll, dropping to 80%. The top Liberal poll (poll 106) was not even the one they won. They would win 33% of the vote in 106, and would lost the poll by two votes. Their third best poll, 103 was the one they won- with less than 30% of the vote, thanks to a four way split. Both polls are in the Beltline district. The best Green poll would be 61, where they won 37% of the vote. This poll was also in the Beltline, west of 14 St at 14 Ave.

2011 election

In 2011, Richardson would return to his 20,000 vote margin, defeating the Liberal candidate Jennifer Pollock. The NDP also did their best in the riding since 1988 by winning 15% of the vote, and losing by 21,000 votes. Richardson once again dominated the riding, winning all but two polls. Those two polls actually going to the NDP. Richardson's strongest neighbourhoods would remain mostly the same, as he would do especially well in Rosscarrock, Glendale, Glanbrook, Glanmorgan, Eau Claire, Upper Mount Royal, Rideau Park, Elbow Park, Britannia, Bel-Aire, Mayfair and Meadowlark Park. The two NDP polls would both be in the Beltline neighbourhood in the central city. The Beltline, Cliff Bungalow, Lower Mount Royal and Bankview would be the worst neighbourhoods for Richardson. The best poll for the Conservatives would be poll 404 this time. This poll consists of a very upscale retirement residence in Altadore known as “Manor Village of Garrison Woods”. Richardson won 81% of the vote there. The Liberals didn't win any polls, but their best poll was 151 in Bankview where they won 28% of the vote, losing to the Tories by 4 votes. The strongest NDP poll was 103 in the Beltline, consisting of two city blocks surrounding the Beaulieu Gardens. The poll consists of a series of Apartment Buildings, as well as Lougheed House. The NDP won the poll with 38% of the vote.

The by-election
Bonus map: 2000 poll winners within current riding boundary

Richardson resigned back in May to take a position with the Redford government. If you just take a look at the 2011 election results, then the riding should be considered the safest of the three by-elections today. However, polls indicate that the riding will be the closest. The Liberals, in particular are really making this race one to watch. The Conservative candidate is journalist Joan Crockatt. Running for the Liberals is writer Harvey Locke, who also ran for the provincial Liberals in 1989. The Greens are also running a journalist/writer in Chris Turner. The NDP is running community activist Dan Meades.

The Conservatives may have shot themselves in the foot here by nominating Crockatt, who is seen on the right of the party. Anywhere else in Alberta, or even Calgary, she would be a good fit, but this riding is known as a “Red Tory” seat. This has given the Liberals the boost they need to make the race competitive. The most recent Forum Research poll showed Crockatt ahead by just 2% - 32%-30% over Locke. The Greens also polled quite well, with Turner 23%. Meades would win 12% according to that poll, a disappointing result for the NDP. However, since that poll was taken, the Liberals have done some of their own foot shooting, with some anti-Alberta comments coming out of my former MP, David McGuinty. Some more anti-Alberta comments made by potential Liberal leader Justin Trudeau that he made a couple of years ago have also come out and have fueled anti-Liberal sentiment in the riding, and have evoked ghosts of the past (especially in the case of the Trudeau clan). A more recent poll conducted by Return On Insight conducted while the scandal ocurred shows Crockatt with a 5 point lead over Locke (37-32). Turner dropped to 17%, and Meades was still at 12%. This showed some late movement from the Greens to the Liberals, but also from the Liberals to Tories. It remains to be seen whether the Greens might end up benefiting from the negative comments, as progressive voters in the city search for a candidate to rally behind. And, there has been a concerted effort to do so. The last close election in the riding was back in 2000 when Joe Clark defeated the Canadian Alliance. Perhaps we're looking at a similar race this time.

Polls close in Calgary Centre at 7:30 Mountain Time (9:30 Eastern). Polls close in Durham at the same time (9:30 Eastern), while polls close in Victoria at 7:00 Pacific (10:00 Eastern). Follow me on Twitter after 10pm tomorrow night to hear my reaction as polls close.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Federal by-elections (Part 2: Durham)

Guide map

Durham is an exurban riding located east of Toronto, consisting of the municipalities of Clarington, Uxbridge, Scugog and the tiny Mississaugas of Scugog First Nation. Major communities include Bowmanville, Courtice, Newcastle, Uxbridge and Port Perry.

The riding is 95% White, with Blacks being the largest visible minority at just 2%. Aboriginals make up 1% of the population, despite their being a reserve in the riding. 92% of the riding has English as their mother tongue, while just 2% have their native language as French. 52% of the riding is Protestant and 24% is Catholic. 20% of residents have no religion at all.. In 2005, the median income of the riding was $32,869, making it the 22ndth richest riding in Ontario.

The riding under its current boundaries has only existed since the last redistribution 10 years ago. The three municipalities were first united in 1988, but Uxbridge would be removed from 1997 to 2004. Historically, what is now the riding of Durham spanned two counties, Durham and Ontario. Ontario County was dissolved in 1972, and included Uxbridge and the western half of what is today Scugog (Reach and Scugog Townships). Clarington and the eastern half of Scugog (Cartwright Twp) would be found in Durham County. Today, they are all in the Durham Regional Municipality.

Today, Durham is a safe Conservative seat, but has historically switched back and forth between the Liberals and Tories. The CCF (predecessor to the NDP) briefly held the riding of Ontario, which included part of today's Scugog Twp from 1948 to 1949. The United Farmers of Ontario also briefly held part of the riding (today's Uxbridge and western Scugog), as they held the riding of Ontario North from 1919 to 1925.

Since the three municipalities were first united in 1988, the area has been dominated by right wing parties. While the Liberals won the seat in 1993, 1997 and 2000, the combined Reform/Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative vote in each of those elections was higher than the Liberals. It was only natural that when the Conservatives were united that they would win this seat back in 2004, although it was a close race that year. Ever since then, the Tories have been adding to their margins.

List of MPs (Durham County part):

Durham West
* D.E. Blake, Liberal (1867-1873)
* E.B. Wood, Liberal (1873-1874)
* H.W. Burk, Liberal (1874-1879)
* D.E. Blake, Liberal (1879-1891)
2nd time
* Rbt. Beith, Liberal (1891-1900)

* C.J. Thornton, Cons. (1900-1901)
* Rbt. Beith, Liberal (1902-1904)


* H.A. Ward, Cons. (1904-1908)
* C.J. Thornton, Cons. (1908-1917)
2nd time 

* N.W. Rowell, Unionist (1917-1921)
* F.W. Bowen, Cons. (1921-1935)

* W.F. Rickard, Liberal (1935-1945)
* C.E. Stephenson, Prog. Cons. (1945-1949)
* J.M. James, Liberal (1949-1957)
* R.P. Vivian, Prog. Cons. (1957-1962)
* R.C. Honey, Liberal (1962-1968)


* R.C. Honey, Liberal (1968-1972) contd. 
* A.F. Lawrence, Prog. Cons. (1972-1979)


Note: Ontario County abolished and Reach and Scugog Twps (formerly in Ontario County) have been amalgamated into the new Township of Scugog along with Cartwright (formerly in Durham County). The entirety of the new Scugog Township would be in this riding.

 * A.F. Lawrence, Prog. Cons. (1979-1988) contd.

 List of MPs (Ontario County part)

Ontario North (1867-1882)

* J.A. Thompson, Liberal (1867-1872)
* W.H. Gibbs, Cons. (1872-1874)
* Adam Gordon, Liberal (1874-1876)
* W.H. Gibbs, Cons. (1876-1878) 2nd time 

* Geo. Wheeler, Liberal (1878-1882)

In 1882, the area would be split into 3 different ridings. Scugog (the peninsular part of today's Scugog Township) and Scott Twps (north half of today's Uxbridge) remain in Ontario North while Uxbridge Twp (south half of today's Uxbridge) would be transferred to the new riding of Ontario West. Reach Twp (west half of today's Scugog Twp, excluding the peninsula) was added to the new riding of Ontario South. 

Ontario West (1882-1904) [Uxbridge]

* Geo. Wheeler, Liberal (1882-1884) contd. 

* J.D. Edgar, Liberal (1884-1899)
* I.J. Gould, Liberal (1900-1904)

In 1904, Uxbridge Twp. is transferred to Ontario North.

Ontario North (1882-1925) [Scugog & Scott]

* A.P. Cockburn, Liberal (1882-1887)
* Frank Madill, Cons. (1887-1895)

Note: In 1896, Scugog Twp is removed from the riding and added to Ontario South.

* J.A. McGillivray, Lib.-Cons. (1895-1896)

* Duncan Graham, Ind. Lib. (1897-1900)
* Angus McLeod, Cons. (1900-1902)
* G.D. Grant, Liberal (1903-1904)

Note: In 1904, Uxbridge Township is added 

 * G.D. Grant, Liberal (1904-1908) contd.
* S.S. Sharpe, Cons. (1908-1918)

* R.H. Halbert, Ind./U.F.O. (1919-1925)

Muskoka—Ontario (1925-1949) [Uxbridge & Scott]

* Peter McGibbon, Cons. (1925-1935)
* S.J. Furniss, Liberal (1935-1945)
* J.M. MacDonnell, Prog. Cons. (1945-1949)

In 1949, the riding is abolished, and Uxbridge and Scott are transferred to the Ontario riding.

Ontario South (1882-1925) [Reach]

 * F.W. Glen, Liberal (1882-1887)
* Wm. Smith, Cons. (1887-1891)
* J.I. Davidson, Liberal (1891-1892)
* Wm. Smith, Cons. (1892-1896) 2nd time

Note: In 1896, Scugog Twp is added to the riding.  

* Leonard Burnett, Liberal (1896-1900)
* Wm. Ross, Liberal (1900-1904)
* Peter Christie, Cons. (1904-1908)
* F.L. Fowke, Liberal (1908-1911)
* Wm. Smith, Cons. (1911-1921) 3rd time 

* L.O. Clifford, Liberal (1921-1925)

Ontario (1925-1988) [Reach & Scugog] 
* T.E. Kaiser, Cons. (1925-1930)
* W.H. Moore, Liberal (1930-1945)
* W.E.N. Sinclair, Liberal (1945-1947)

* A.H. Williams, C.C.F. (1948-1949)

Note: Uxbridge and Scott Twps added to the riding

* W.C. Thomson, Liberal (1949-1951)

* Michael Starr, Prog. Cons. (1952-1968)
* N.A. Cafik, Liberal (1968-1979)

Note: The new Scugog Twp (Scugog and Reach Twps) removed from riding and added to Durham.
* T.S. Fennell, Prog. Cons. (1979-1988)

List of MPs since 1988

Durham (1988-present)
The Municipalities of Clarington (then called Newcastle), Scugog and Uxbridge would first be united in one riding 1988. Uxbridge was removed from the riding between 1997 and 2004. The riding would briefly be named “Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge” for the 2004 election.  

* K.R. Stevenson, Prog. Cons. (1988-1993)
* A.J. Shepherd, Liberal (1993-2004)
* Ms. B.J. Oda, Cons. (2004-2012)

Pickering—Ajax--Uxbridge (1997-2004) [Uxbridge]
Uxbridge would be briefly in this riding.
* D.P. McTeague, Liberal (1997-2004)

Poll maps

2004 election

In 2004, the Tories targeted this riding because the combined Canadian Alliance-Progressive Conservative vote from the 2000 election was higher than the Liberals. The result would have been close though, with the Liberals losing by 2,000 votes in a hypothetical match up. The 2004 elected featured Orono journalist Bev Oda for the Conservatives against Uxbridge executive Tim Lang of the Liberals. The race would be very close, with Oda edging out Lang by 1,300 votes. Oda won the race by carrying her home turf in rural Clarington, rural Scugog Twp as well as Newcastle. Lang would win his home territory of Uxbridge, as well as Port Perry. Bowmanville and Courtice, the two largest communities in the riding would be split between the two candidates. Oda's best poll would be 59, in rural Scugog Township where she got 52% of the vote. This poll is located on the shores of Lake Scugog, and is centered on the community of Aldreds Beach. The Liberals' best poll would be 49 which is located in Port Perry. The Liberals scored 59% of the vote there. Interestingly, the area, which is known as Highland Beach appears to be quite an upscale part of town, and is located on the western shores of Lake Scugog.

2006 election

By 2006, the popularity of the Tories in exurban Ontario would increase dramatically, and Oda would find little trouble winning her second election. Her main opponent was former NDP MPP and Scugog mayor Doug Moffatt, who was running for the Liberals. Oda beat Moffatt by nearly 10,000 votes. Oda won nearly every poll in the riding, including sweeping Uxbridge (where she had lost in 2004), and the rural parts of Scugog and Clarington. The Liberals would be relegated to a few urban polls in Clarington and Port Perry. Moffatt being mayor of Scugog didn't help him much in the township where he won just two polls, and tied in another. Oda's best area was once again her home base of rural Clarington. Her best poll however was 66 in Scugog where she won 58% of the vote. This poll is in the rural southern part of Scugog and is adjacent to Clarington. The area is mostly rural farm land and is centered on the community of Purple Hill. The Liberals' best poll was once again 49 in Port Perry where they actually tied the Conservatives at 45%. The Liberals won a number of other polls, but with less share of the vote.

2008 election

By 2008, the Liberals had totally written of the riding and Oda won an easy election. The Liberals with candidate Bryan Ransom still finished 2nd however, but lost the seat by a margin of 16,000 votes. This time Oda did win every single poll in the riding, and getting large majorities in much of the rural areas. Her weakest areas continued to be urban areas, and her worst part of the riding was central Bowmanville. Her best poll was 164 this time, in Wilmot Creek, a subdivision on Lake Ontario near Newcastle. Oda won 68% of the vote there, a symbol of finally winning over many Liberals in the riding, as her previous best poll from 2006 was just 58%. Oda's worst poll, which she still happened to win was 95 in central Courtice right at the main intersection of Courtice Rd and King St. In this poll, she won just 37% of the vote, but benefited from vote splitting between the Liberals, NDP and Greens who won 33%, 18% and 12% of the vote respectively in that poll.

2011 election

In 2011, the riding was firmly considered a safe seat for the Tories, and Oda went on to win the election with only a slight increase in her vote share. This time her main opponent was the NDP's Tammy Schoep, whom she defeated by nearly 20,000 votes. The Liberals were relegated to 3rd place for the first time in the riding's short history. Oda once again won every poll in the riding, and dominated the rural areas. Once again, her weakest parts of the riding were in the urban areas, specifically Courtice and Bowmanville. This time, Oda's best poll was 27-1 in rural Uxbridge where she won 77% of the vote. This poll includes a new subdivision next to the Wyndance Golf Club at Coppins Corners on Goodwood Rd. Oda's worst poll was also in Uxbridge Twp, but this time in the town. This was poll 22 where she won 42% of the vote. This poll is located near the centre of the town, and is centered on Victoria Dr. The NDP came in a distant 2nd in the poll with 27% of the vote. The Liberals won 21% and the Greens 8% in that poll.

The by-election
Tomorrow's by-election was spurred upon the resignation of Bev Oda back in July amidst a scandal involving her spending habits. Nonetheless, the seat is still considered a safe Tory seat. Running for the Conservatives is lawyer and pilot Erin O'Toole, who lives in Courtice. The NDP is running former MPP and Brock Twp mayor Larry O'Connor. The Liberal candidate is Grant Humes, an executive from Bowmanville. And the Green candidate is field technician and previous candidate (2004 and 2006) Virginia Ervin, who resides in Hampton. The most recent Forum Research poll in this riding showed O'Toole well in the lead with 42%. O'Connor was in 2nd place with 26%, Humes had 22% and Ervin was at 7%. This would be good news for the New Democrats, who won 21% of the vote here in 2011. This result would also be an increase for the Liberals who received 18% in 2011. I don't expect the Tories to lose, but it will be interesting to see who finished 2nd, and whoever does will have bragging rights for sure.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Federal by-elections: Part 1 (Victoria)

Voters in three federal ridings go to the polls Monday in by-elections to fill vacancies in the ridings of Victoria (BC), Calgary Centre (AB) and Durham (ON). I will be doing a profile on each riding between now and when the polls close. Part 1 is Victoria.

The riding of Victoria consists of British Columbia's capital city of Victoria, plus the suburban District of Oak Bay and part of the District of Saanich.

Guide map

The riding is 86% White, with Chinese being the largest visible minority at 4%. Aboriginals make up 3% of the population. 84% of the riding has English as their mother tongue. 3% have Chinese as their mother tongue, while just 2% have their native language as French. 35% of the riding is Protestant and 15% is Catholic, but a plurality (41%) of the riding has no religion at all. Buddhism is the largest non-Christian faith at 2%. In 2005, the median income of the riding was $24,022, making it the 15th poorest riding in BC.

The riding has been in existence since BC joined confederation in 1871. The riding elected two members of parliament until 1904. The riding is currently a safe-NDP seat, but is not historically an NDP seat. The NDP did not win the riding until 1988. It has only been a safe NDP seat since the election of Denise Savoie in 2006. The NDP strength in the riding has more of a history in provincial politics. For most of its history, the riding has swung back and forth between the Tories and the Liberals.

List of MPs:

* Amor De Cosmos, Liberal (1871-1882) & Henry Nathan, Jr., Liberal (1871-1874)
* F.J. Roscoe, Ind. Liberal (1874-1878)
* Sir J.A. Macdonald, Lib-Cons. (1878-1882)
* Noah Shakespeare, Cons. (1882-1888) & E.C. Baker, Cons. (1882-1889)
* E.G. Prior, Cons. (1888-1902)
* Thos. Earle, Cons. (1889-1904)

* Geo. Riley, Liberal (1902-1906)
* Wm. Templeman, Liberal (1906-1908)

* G.H. Barnard, Cons. (1908-1917)
* S.F. Tolmie, Cons. (1917-1928)
* D.B. Plunkett, Cons (1928-1936)
* S.F. Tolmie, Cons. (1936-1937)
2nd time
* R.W. Mayhew, Liberal (1937-1953)
* F.T. Fairey, Liberal (1953-1957)
* A.D. McPhillips, Prog. Cons. (1957-1963)
* D.W. Groos, Liberal (1963-1972)
* A.B. McKinnon, Prog. Cons. (1972-1988)
* J.F. Brewin, N.D.P. (1988-1993)
* D.A. Anderson, Liberal (1993-2006)
* Ms. Denise Savoie, NDP (2006-2012)

Poll maps

2004 election

11 year Liberal incumbent David Anderson would face a difficult contest against the NDP's David Turner, the former mayor of Victoria. Anderson kept his seat by just 2300 votes. The electoral map of Victoria was just as divided as the election. The map shows a divide between the NDP-leaning western half of the riding and the Liberal-leaning eastern half. The western half of the riding is the City of Victoria, where Turner was mayor. Turner didn't do very well at all in Saanich and Oak Bay, however. Most of Victoria went for Turner, however Anderson did win the neighbourhoods of Gonzales, Fairfield, Rockland, Harris Green and also did well in James Bay. Anderson's strongest part of the riding was in Oak Bay, while Turner's strongest area was in Fernwood, Hillside-Quadra and North Park. Anderson's best poll was poll 98 where he won 56% of the vote. This poll is located in Oak Bay, directly adjacent to the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the upper-class neighbourhood of Uplands. Turner's best poll was poll 110 where he won 60% of the vote. This poll is located in Fernwood and includes William Stevenson Park, and has a number of small apartment complexes.

2006 election

By 2006, Anderson had retired, leaving the seat open, and it automatically became an NDP target. Former Victoria city councillor Denise Savoie won the NDP nomination, defeating Turner for the nod. Her main opposition came from Liberal candidate David Mulroney who was hoping to keep the seat for the Liberals. On election day, Savoie became the first female MP to represent the riding, and only the 2nd New Democrat. She defeated Mulroney by 6800 votes. Savoie won most of the polls across the City of Victoria, as well the Mt. Tolmie and Camosun neighbourhoods of Saanich. She was also able to win the neighbourhood of North Oak Bay (in Oak Bay) and did well in South Oak Bay as well. Her best areas were the same strong areas in the north end of town as Turner (Fernwood, Hillside-Quadra and North Park). The rest of Oak Bay and Saanich were an enigma for Savoie, and were claimed by Mulroney and her Conservative opponent, Robin Baird. Mulroney won the neighbourhood of Estevan in Oak Bay and the Cadboro Bay area of Saanich. Baird won Henderson and Uplands in Oak Bay as well as Ten Mile Point and Queenswood in Saanich. Once again, the best NDP poll was 110 in Fernwood where Savoie increased the NDP share of the vote to 69%. The strongest Liberal poll this time was 157 in the neighbourhood of Harris Green in Victoria. This poll was a small sliver of red surrounded by orange. This poll consists of the up-scale Regent Park condominiums on View St. Mulroney won 57% of the vote in this poll. The best Conservative poll was 98, the same poll that was the Liberal's best one in 2004. The Tories won 51% of the vote here, while the Liberals dropped to 34%.

2008 election

In 2008, the Liberals had dropped out of favour in BC, and the race in Victoria became an NDP-Conservative fight for the first time since 1988. Savoie won the election easily, defeating Conservative candidate Jack McClintock by 10,000 votes. Savoie won in much of the same areas as 2008, just padding her vote totals. However, she did expand more into Oak Bay, and in Saanich, picking up the neighbourhoods of South Oak Bay and Cadboro Bay. Her best areas once again were in the North end of the city, as well as in James Bay. The Tories won in the same areas they did in 2006, plus added some Liberal territory too. Their strength came along the Oak Bay coast, and did especially well in the neighbourhoods of Uplands and Henderson in Oak Bay as well as Ten Mile Point and Queenswood in Saanich. The strongest NDP poll in 2008 was 115 this time, still in Fernwood. This poll is located between Denman and Pembroke Streets, and Savoie won 69% of the vote there. The best Tory poll this was was 9, in West Victoria. The NDP dominated most of this neighbourhood, except for two polls in the south where the Tories dominated. Poll 9 is located on the south coast of West Victoria, adjacent to Victoria Harbour. This poll, as well as neighbouring Poll 11 includes a number of upscale waterfront condos.

2011 election

With the NDP wave of 2011, Savoie increased her vote margin over the Tories to 16,000 votes over her opponent, former Nova Scotia MLA Patrick Hunt. Savoie's support mostly came from increasing her margins in already strong NDP territory, but also continued to encroach on Tory territory in Oak Bay. In this election, she was able to win the waterfront polls of Oak Bay which had previously gone Conservative. Her best area continued to be the north side of the city. The Tories held on to their two neighrbourhoods in Oak Bay (Uplands and Henderson) and their two in Saanich (Ten Mile Point and Queenswood). The Liberals won just one poll, 85 in Uplands, Oak Bay. Liberal candidate Christopher Causton lucked out to win the poll with just 35% of the vote thanks to an even split between the NDP and Tories at 28% and 31% respectively. The best NDP poll in the riding was once again 110 (in Fernwood), which was their best poll in 2004 and 2006. They won this poll with 71% of the vote. The best Tory poll came in poll 84, in Uplands, Oak Bay. The Tories received 48% of the vote there. Poll 84 is right next to poll 98 where the Tories did the best in 2006 and the Liberals in 2004.

The by-election
Monday's by-election was triggered when Savoie resigned in August for health reasons. The NDP will running prominent environmental and aboriginal rights lawyer Murray Rankin. His opponents are technologist Dale Gann of the Conservatives, economist (and former NDP candidate) Paul Summervile of the Liberals and law professor Donald Galloway of the Greens. The most recent Forum Research poll showed Rankin well ahead of the pack at 47%. Interestingly, the Greens were in 2nd at 26% followed by the Liberals at 14% and the Tories at 12%. It's not surprising that the Greens would do well, considering that Green leader Elizabeth May holds the neighbouring riding of Saanich—Gulf Island. But what is interesting is how poor both the Liberals and Tories are doing, considering their history of going back and forth in holding this riding. With those two parties polling so low, it will be interesting to see which ones will win in the anti-NDP areas in Oak Bay, Ten Mile Point and the condos of West Victoria.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Saskatchewan municipal elections, 2012

Saskatchewan urban residents will be heading to the polls today to elect mayors and councillors in each of Saskatchewan's 15 cities, 145 towns and 270 villages and in half of the province's 296 rural municipalities and for school boards. The rest of Saskatchewan's municipalities hold elections on other dates. But the major races will be today, as residents of most of Saskatchewan will elect municipal governments to serve for the next 3-year term.

With around 600 elections happening across the province, there are too many races to keep track of, so I will highlight the major races, specifically in the province's two largest cities of Saskatoon and Regina. The mayoral races in both cities are expected to be quite interesting. Regina is seeing an open seat, while Saskatoon's mayoral race is too close to call.


Saskatoon's 10 wards

Saskatoon City council is headed by a mayor and consists of 10 councillors elected from 10 wards across the city. The mayor of Saskatoon is Don Atchison, who has headed the city for the last nine years. Atchison has been a controversial mayor, and has been dubbed by Rick Mercer as “Canada's craziest mayor” (that was before Rob Ford was elected). Atchison is right wing mayor, having been focused on being tough on crime and freezing property taxes in the past. Interestingly, he is running on the slogan of “for a progressive Saskatoon”. His main competitor in the race for mayor is public servant, Tom Wolf. Wolf is an outsider to city politics, but has a good chance at defeating Atchison. He is running a moderate, pragmatic platform that might be considered ever so slightly on the left. He certainly is to the left of Atchison. A poll from last week shows Atchison ahead of Wolf by six points (38% to 32%). There is a third candidate, Clay Mazurkewich who is polling at 1%. 21% of Saskatoonians are still undecided.
Saskatoon 2009 mayoral race

Back in 2009, the last election, Atchison won 8 out of 10 wards in the city against left wing candidate, councillor Lenore Swystun. The two wards she won were in the most left wing part of the city, in the southwest, an area the NDP still holds in the provincial legislative assembly. Atchison did especially well in the outer suburban part of the city, which corresponds to the best Saskatchewan Party areas provincially.

Regina's 10 wards

Like Saskatoon, Regina is also a city of 10 councillors, elected from 10 wards and headed by a mayor. Current Regina mayor Pat Fiacco is retiring, and so the race to succeed him is wide open. There are three main candidates. The favourite at this point is right wing city councillor Michael Fougere. Fougere is the former president of the Saskatchewan Construction Association and has represented the suburban Ward 4 (in the southeast part of the city) on Regina City Council since 1997. The other two main candidates are to the left of Fougere. Perhaps his main rival is Marian Donnelly, the former executive director of the Saskatchewan Recording Industry Association and has deep roots in the arts community. She appears to be the most left wing of the three main candidates. Not to be outdone is the (not to sound racist) dark horse in this race, Nigeria-born Meka Okochi. Okochi appears to be the superstar of the mayoral race, and that could propel him to a surprise result today. He is running a popular, pragmatic platform that is attracting many supporters. Okochi and Donnelly are fighting over the left in the city though, which means Fougere has the best shot at winning over a divided opposition. The most recent poll from last week showed Fougere at 30%, Donnelly at 17% and Okochi at 15%. 25% of voters are still undecided.

Regina 2009 mayoral race

In 2009, mayor Fiacco won the mayoral election easily with 84% of the vote. However, the turnout in the city was quite low, at just 25%. In fact, in Fiacco's worst ward (Ward 3, in the central part of the city) saw a turnout of just 14%! Fiacco had the support of 64% of those who bothered to vote in that ward. Meanwhile, Fiacco broke 90% in two suburban wards on opposite ends of the city, including Fougere's Ward 4.

Prince Albert
Prince Albert's 8 wards

There are three candidates running for mayor of Saskatchewan's third largest city. Jim Scarrow is the current mayor of the city and is running for re-election. He has been mayor for the last six years. His main competitor is 3 term city councillor Greg Dionne. Also running is Dean Link. In addition to mayor, Prince Albert has an 8 member city council, elected from 8 wards. One ward, Ward 7 has been acclaimed.

Moose Jaw
Moose Jaw's mayor Glenn Hagel will be retiring, opening the seat up to one of two candidates. The most high profile candidate for mayor is Deb Higgins, who represented the riding of Moose Jaw Wakamow in the Saskatchewan legislature from 1999 to 2011 for the NDP. The only other candidate running for mayor is city councillor Fraser Tolmie, who is a one term councillor. The council is made up of six city councillors, all elected at-large.

That's a wrap for now. Polls close at 8pm (10pm Eastern).

Friday, October 19, 2012

Nova Scotia municipal elections 2012

Voters in Nova Scotia will be heading to the polls tomorrow (October 20) to elect municipal councils in all of Nova Scotia's 54 municipalities as well as members of Nova Scotia's 8 school boards to be elected for the next four-year term.

Map of Nova Scotia's 54 municipalities

Nova Scotia's municipalities can be divided into 3 types. Regional Municipalities, Towns and Municipal Districts/Counties. Nova Scotia hasn't had any incorporated cities since a series of amalgamations in the 1990s. There are three Regional Municipalities in the province, including the two largest municipalities, Halifax and Cape Breton. These are unlike the Regional Municipalities in Ontario, for example, in that they are are no lower levels of government in those areas. They are quite large in size, having been created out of the former counties that existed in their place. Each of the three regional municipalities are headed by a mayor, elected at-large and have a number of councillors elected from “districts” (usually called wards in other provinces).

The second form of municipalities are towns, which are very small in geographic size compared to the regional municipalities and the counties and municipal districts. There are 30 towns in Nova Scotia. Each are headed by mayors, elected at large and have a number of councillors. 5 towns are divided into districts or wards, while the rest of the towns have their councillors elected at large.

The final form of municipalities are the counties and municipal districts. The only difference between counties and municipal districts are that the municipal districts are generally smaller than the counties, having been created out of counties themselves. However, their form of government is much the same. There are 9 county municipalities in Nova Scotia and 12 municipal districts. All but two of these jurisdictions are headed by wardens, while the remaining 2 (Lunenburg District and Colchester County) are headed by mayors, elected at large. The wardens are elected from among the elected councillors. Each county and municipal district are divided into a number of districts from which their councillors are elected.

Now that I have explained how municipal elections work in Nova Scotia, I will talk about the two main races in the province, in the Halifax Regional Municipality and in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Both councils are seeing a reduction in their size. Halifax has reduced the number of councillors from 23 to 16, while Cape Breton's is being reduced from 16 to 12. Both municipalities are also seeing open races for mayor, as in both cases, the incumbent mayors are retiring.

2008 Halifax Regional Municipality mayoral election - results by district

While the mayoral race is technically open (conservative mayor Peter Kelly is retiring), even with no sitting councillors vying for the job, the result of tomorrow's election is all but a certainty. Former Liberal MP Michael Savage (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour) is running for mayor, and all polls show him way ahead. The last poll taken in September showed Savage at 67%. His nearest rival is retired police man Tom Martin at 15% and businessman and activist Fred Connors at 10%. Martin for the record, managed the mayoral campaign of Sheila Fougere (also a Liberal) in the last mayoral campaign in 2008. She however has endorsed Savage. With the mayoral race a foregone conclusion, much of the interest surrounds some of the district races. The reduction in size of the council has meant a lot of incumbents will be facing off against one another:

Halifax's 16 new electoral districts to be used in this election

In District 1 (Waverley-Fall River-Musquodoboit Valley), two right leaning incumbents (Barry Dalrymple and Tory Steve Streatch) are going at it against eachother. In District 3 (Dartmouth South-Eastern Passage), two left leaning incumbents hope to win the seat, Bill Karsten and Jackie Barkhouse. In District 6 (Harbourview-Burnside-Dartmouth East), left leaning incumbent Darren Fisher is going up against former NDP MLA Jerry Pye. District 8 (Peninsula North) is also seeing to left leaning incumbents go against each other with Dawn Sloan against Jennifer Watts. District 12 (Timberlea-Beechville-Clayton Park West) sees incumbent conservative Mary Wile against moderate Reg Rankin. Only one district lacks any incumbents (District 15, Lower Sackville).

Cape Breton
Cape Breton's 12 new electoral districts to be used in this election

Cape Breton's mayoral seat is also open. 12-year incumbent John Morgan is retiring. The candidate who is widely expected to pick up the mayor's seat is former PC MLA Cecil Clarke (Cape Breton North). Clarke left the Assembly last year to run for the federal riding of Sydney—Victoria for the Conservatives. He narrowly beat incumbent Liberal MP Mark Eyking. Clarke's main challenger is activist Rankin MacSween. Only 2 districts in Cape Breton will be seeing 2 incumbents facing off against eachother (Districts 6 & 10), while three seats will actually be open (2, 5 & 11). However, in District 11, only one candidate (long time school principal Lowell Cormier) declared, and therefore he has been acclaimed. The incumbent in District 9 was also acclaimed.

Across the province, 10 mayors have been acclaimed, meaning no elections for that position in those municipalities (Clark's Harbour, Digby, Kentville, Mahone Bay, Middleton, Mulgrave, Stewiacke, Trenton, Windsor and Colchester County). In fact, there will be no elections at all in Middleton and Mulgrave, as the entire councils in those towns have been acclaimed. In addition, the race for mayor in Hantsport will be the only one on the ballot, as the entire rest of the council has been acclaimed in that town.

School board
I wont get much into detail about the school board elections, just to note that there are 7 English school boards across the province and one French one spanning the entire province. Each school board is divided into a number of electoral districts. But, perhaps the most interesting thing about the races are that in the 7 English board races, there are seats reserved for “African Nova Scotians”. That is, if you're Black in Nova Scotia or have children that are, you get to vote for a special African Nova Scotian seat in whatever school board you live in. This is true for all 7 boards, not just the Halifax School Board (most Black African Nova Scotians live in the Halifax area).

Polls close at 7pm Atlantic time (6pm Eastern).

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.