Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Most Exciting Ridings in Canada

We've now had 4 elections under the current 308 riding electoral map, a period over which the Canadian political landscape has completely transformed itself.



Still, that doesn't mean every local election has been exciting - after all, if you live in Calgary East or York West, your vote hasn't been overly meaningful at any point over the past decade.

For interests sake, I've calculated an "excitement score" for every riding based on how close the last four elections have been and how many times they've shifted hands. Yes, this is a fairly arbitrary exercise, but consider it like those "best places to live" lists...only for political junkies.

Most Exciting Ridings in Canada

1. Brossard-La Prairie: The riding where I grew up has changed hands every election - from Liberal to Bloc to Liberal to NDP. In 2008, it took a recount to sort it out.

2. Louis-Hebert: You'll notice a few Quebec seats on this list, for obvious reasons. Like Brossard, it has switched hands each election.

3. Vancouver Island North: A perpetual Conservative-NDP battle, the margin of victory has been under 5% in each of the last four elections.

4. Parkdale-High Park: This riding has made headlines during the last two campaigns due to the high profile and often nasty Gerard Kennedy-Peggy Nash battles. But even before then, the Liberals and NDP each pulled off narrow victories in 2004 and 2006.

5. Newton North Delta: Gurmant Grewal's old riding has not been a warm comfy mat with lots of fur for incumbents, with the Tories losing it in 2006 to the Liberals, who in turn were turfed in 2011.

6. Papineau: Believe it or not, Justin Trudeau's margin of victory in 2011 was by far the most lopsided result in Papineau over the past decade, with no other election won by more than 3 percentage points.

7. Surrey North: From Chuck Cadman (Ind) to Penny Priddy (NDP) to Dona Cadman (CPC) to Jasbir Sandhu (NDP).

8. Jeanne-Le Ber: Turned into an NDP rout this election after three close Liberal-BQ battles.

9. Ahuntsic: No party has won this riding by more than 3 points in any of the past four elections.

10. Esquimalt-Juan De Fuca: Keith Martin always clung to victory and, with his departure, the riding quickly morphed into a tight CPC-NDP duel.

Those are the most exciting ridings. The least? Well, it should be no surprise that all 10 are in Alberta, with Crowfoot topping the list. The closest Crowfoot has been over the past decade was in 2004, when Kevin Sorenson won it by a measly 73 percentage points, earning over 10 times as many votes as the second place candidate.



  • Solberg was always in medicine hat, not crowfoot.

    By Anonymous bill B, at 9:12 AM  

  • "Solberg was always in medicine hat, not crowfoot."

    See how strong his margin of victory was? :)

    By Blogger Paul, at 9:26 AM  

  • My bad. It's been Sorenson for a while there.

    One of the drawbacks of being an un-exciting riding is you pay less attention to them.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:02 AM  

  • I remember when Albertans, of all people, used to bitch about Quebecers voting en bloc for the Trudeau Liberals.

    Which they did, what, twice?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:22 PM  

  • Yep, in '79 and '80 where they got 67/75 and 74/75, respectively.

    Of course, they also got a not-too-shabby 60/74 in '74 and 56/74 in '65, '68 and '72.

    Compare to the PC/Reform/Alliance/CPC track record in Alberta since 1957:

    1958 - PC 17/17
    1962 - PC 15/17
    1963 - PC 14/17
    1965 - PC 15/17
    1968 - PC 15/19
    1972 - PC 19/19
    1974 - PC 19/19
    1979 - PC 21/21
    1980 - PC 21/21
    1984 - PC 21/21
    1988 - PC 25/26
    1993 - Ref 22/26
    1997 - Ref 24/26
    2000 - CA 23/26
    2004 - CPC 26/28
    2006 - CPC 28/28
    2008 - CPC 27/28
    2011 - CPC 27/28

    There's only one 'one-party state' in Canada, and it ain't Quebec.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:44 PM  

  • In fairness, Alberta turned on the PCs fairly quickly in '93 after Mulroney.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:39 AM  

  • Calling Alberta a "one-party state" is just a lazy way to make excuses for not even trying.

    Some parties used Alberta as a pinata, but it's ok because there are no winnable seats, right?

    It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    The truth is that Alberta is ripe. Harper comes up short on both fiscal conservatism and ethics. You might not tear away Crowfoot, but a good campaign could win the cities.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 2:47 PM  

  • No, calling Alberta a one-party state is more accurate than calling any other province one, especially given the propensity of many Albertans to accuse other provinces of being one.

    However, it is a mathematical fact that Alberta has the least competitive electoral politics, federal and provincial, of any province. Not saying it's bad. Not saying it's good. But it is. Even good Albertans who try to change this from within keep running up against that fact.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:58 PM  

  • Would there be a way to identify which ridings have had the wildest swings between "exciting" to/from "boring" in the last four elections? Parry Sound-Muskoka comes to mind.

    By Anonymous Daniel, at 4:47 PM  

  • it is a mathematical fact that Alberta has the least competitive electoral politics, federal and provincial, of any province

    In absolute terms, sure.

    But relative to the amount of campaigning done in the province (in terms of dollars and/or time)? It is most assuredly not!

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:33 AM  

  • Hey, if Albertans want to waste their time and money that's none of my beeswax.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:46 PM  

  • Wow, there is really much useful data here!

    By Anonymous www.muebles-en-las-rozas.com, at 9:24 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home