Note: On October 2, I wrote a follow-up to this post, including a few new maps, some additional insights. All three races — Toronto Centre, University-Rosedale, and Spadina-Fort York, remain interesting and close Liberal-NDP battles.
As I mentioned on this blog previously, describing the “Drawing the Lines” ward boundary review now underway, there are new federal electoral district boundaries for the upcoming Fall 2015 election. Toronto will have 25 Members of Parliament (MPs) after the next election; Downtown Toronto and North York both get an additional seat and Scarborough gets half a seat (it currently shares a electoral district with Pickering).
As a downtown resident, I wanted to explore how the new electoral map might look like in the next election, and see whether the New Democratic Party (NDP) would have a chance at picking up one of those three downtown seats, as both Toronto Centre and Trinity-Spadina are currently represented by high-profile Liberals.
(An aside: my politics have long leaned left and towards the New Democrats; though I am not my any means a strict or loyal partisan. I have friends who are loyal Liberals, New Democrats, and Greens; my own voting decision depends on the race – in the 2011 general election, I voted Liberal, as I lived in York Centre, a riding held by NHL Hall of Famer, lawyer and great Liberal Ken Dryden, who sadly lost to Conservative Mark Adler. I soon moved to Davenport, joking that I had traded Dryden for [newly elected NDP MP Andrew] Cash. Brampton West Liberal MP Colleen Beaumier earned my very first vote when I was 18 years old, but I have since voted NDP provincially and federally in most other elections.)
2011 General Election
In the 2011 general election, in which Stephen Harper’s Conservatives won a majority government (and Jack Layton led the NDP to its greatest federal victory, winning 103 seats and official opposition status), both Toronto Centre and Trinity-Spadina re-elected their popular incumbents – Olivia Chow in Toronto Centre, former Toronto city councillor and Layton’s spouse, and Bob Rae, former New Democrat and Premier of Ontario, later a Liberal MP and leadership candidate. Chow won with 54.5% of the vote in Trinity-Spadina; Rae won with 41.0% of the vote in Toronto Centre.
As you can see in the map below, Chow placed first to most polls in in Toronto Centre, except for a few polls near the Waterfront (the Conservatives came in first in the Harbour Square condo complex), in the east Annex closest to Yorkville and a few condominium and seniors’ residences buildings elsewhere. Christine Innes, running for the Liberals, came in a distant second with 23.4% of the vote.
In Toronto Centre, Liberal Bob Rae won with 41.0% of the vote; the NDP’s Susan Wallace took a respectable 30.2%, while Conservative Kevin Moore took 22.6% of the vote. In Toronto Centre, the Conservatives took several polls in the wealthiest parts of the riding; the “old money” Rosedale neighbourhood and several polls in Bloor-Yorkville, home of many of the most expensive condominium high-rises in Canada. The Liberals did well in polls throughout the riding (in Rosedale, Yorkville, Cabbagetown and St. Lawrence), while the NDP came in first most polls in Church-Wellesley, St. Jamestown, Moss Park, and Regent Park.
Results by poll in the 2011 federal election in Trinty-Spadina and Toronto Centre