federal swing ridings in Ontario

Federal electoral districts in Ontario where swing votes likely determine the 2006 outcome require judgement to determine. An attempt is being made below to identify the ridings up for grabs in the Canadian federal election, 2006 in spring 2006.


Several predictors of vulnerability apply across all ridings in Ontario. Please note that the degree to which each applies is going to change based on the overall shift in support. For instance, a 3% loss in the 2004 votes for the Liberals, split 1% to the NDP and 2% to the Conservatives, will cost the Liberals at least ten seats in Ontario but there will still be a different list of vulnerable EDs - Liberal seats won with more than 2% but less than 4% support.

And riding by riding factors determine success in many cases more than the overall trend. That said:

Green votes greater than difference between winner and runner up

Clarington - Scugog - Exbridge
Dufferin Caledon
Hamilton East - Stoney Creek
Hamilton Mountain
Niagara Falls
Niagara West-Glanbrook
Northumberland-Quinte West
Ottawa West-Nepean
Parry Sound - Muskoka
Sault Ste Marie
Simcoe North
Timmis James Bay
Toronto Danforth
Wellington Halton Hills

Of the 25 ridings, 19 of them have NDP placed the third. Exceptions:
C, NDP, L: Oshawa
L, NDP, C: Trinity Spadina, Hamilton Mountain (34.8, 32.9, 29.3) and Sault Ste Marie
NDP, L, C: Timmis - James Bay, Toronto Danforth
A total of 6.
Aurora probably can be ruled out as one of the marginal ridings since Belinda is now switched to Liberals.

Oshawa is the only 3 way race in 2004 (all 3 parties> 30%), among the 25 ridings.

Essex and Hamilton Mountain are only pseudo 3 way race since not all 3 parties cross 30%.

See below on this.

lack of incumbents

Close ridings without incumbents are often not so close once they have incumbents. Of the 25 contests, 8 of had no incumbents. They are:

Wellington Halton Hills
Niagara West-Glanbrook
Clarington - Scugog - Exbridge
Niagara Falls
Timmins James Bay

Of these 8, only 1 of them is won by Liberals: Brant.

Outside Ontario, there are 30 other ridings where Green votes > victor - runner up. 1 in the North, 8 east of Ontario mostly in Quebec, 21 west of Ontario. See also federal swing ridings in BC.

Green plus Liberal vote close to Conservative

The federal electoral districts in Ontario where Green plus Liberal vote exceeds Conservative vote (or very nearly so, within margins as noted) as evidenced by the Canadian federal election, 2004 results, are as follows.

These are a subset of the ridings up for grabs: a shift in public sentiment of a few percent (and thus a few hundred votes) changes the ridings that are most likely to change outcomes based on the swing vote or tactical votes on election day. For instance, a riding where the Green plus Liberal vote add up to within 500 votes of the Conservative, can be won if there is a general depression in the Conservative and Green votes and a general upsurge in the Liberal vote. If the opposite, a general upswing in Green and Conservative, it can't be won.

This analysis assumes that the NDP vote is stable as the argument for NDP voters to vote Liberal has been made in every election since 1962 and if it was going to work, it would have worked by now. By contrast the Green vote is new and thus soft by definition.

Rod Hetherington 1845
2004 Liberal-Conservative swing ridings influenced by Green vote (from Wikipedia)
federal districtLiberalConservativeNDPGreen
(Northumberland - Quinte West) LiberalConservativeNDPSteve Haylestrom
Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry -408Bob Kilger 17,779Guy Lauzon 21,678Elaine MacDonald 5,387Tom Manley 3,491
Durham (former Clarington) LiberalConservativeNDPerVirginia Ervin
Lambton-Kent-Middlesex LiberalConservativeNDPerGreen
Chatham-Kent-Essex LiberalConservativeNDPerGreen
Essex LiberalConservativeNDPerGreen
Ottawa West-Nepean LiberalConservativeNDPerGreen
Barrie LiberalConservativeNDPerGreen
Ottawa-Orléans LiberalConservativeNDPerGreen
Dufferin-Caledon +2234 Murray Calder 17557David Tilson 19270Rita Landry 3798Ted Alexander 3947
Simcoe-GreyLiberalConservativeNDPerPeter Ellis
Chatham-Kent-Essex+2252 Jerry Pickard 17435 Dave Van Kesteren 17028 Kathleen Kevany 7538
CambridgeLiberalConservativeNDPerGareth White
Haldimand-NorfolkLiberalConservativeNDPerColin Jones
WellingtonLiberalConservativeNDPerBrent Bouteiller
Niagara West - GlanbrookLiberalConservativeNDPerTom Ferguson
Niagara FallsLiberalConservativeNDPerTed Mousseau
Prince Edward- HastingsLiberalConservativeNDPerTom Lawson

Since it is not only Green votes that are weak but also specific candidates of the NDP, and (region by region) sentiments prevailing against the Liberal or Conservative party that will shift seats, there are other factors to consider. As the ruling party is much more suspectible to shifts in opinion based on events of the day, it is important to look at the vulnerability of ruling party seats:

least Liberal winning margin

The least Liberal winning margin in the Canadian federal election, 2004
  1. Jeanne-Le Ber QC + 72 +0.2%
  2. Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beau. AB +134 +0.3%
  3. Lambton-Kent-Middlesex ON +164 +0.3%
  4. Western Arctic NT + 53 +0.4%
  5. Northumberland-Quinte West ON +313 +0.5%
  6. Chatham-Kent-Essex ON +407 +0.9%
  7. Papineau QC +468 +1.1%
  8. Edmonton Centre AB +721 +1.4%
  9. Trinity-Spadina ON +805 +1.5%
  10. Gatineau QC +830 +1.8%

least Liberal winning vote share

Another way to gauge the vulnerability is to look at least Liberal winning vote share
  1. Hamilton Mountain ON 18,548 34.8%
  2. Victoria BC 20,398 35.0%
  3. Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca BC 19,389 35.3%
  4. Kenora ON 8,563 36.2%
  5. Hamilton East-Stoney Creek ON 18,417 37.7%
  6. Brant ON 20,455 38.1%
  7. London-Fanshawe ON 15,664 38.1%
  8. Pontiac QC 15,358 38.4%
  9. Thunder Bay-Rainy River ON 14,290 39.4%
  10. Western Arctic NT 5,317 39.4%

party momentum

As of 2005-09 the Liberals seem to have recovered momentum and all Conservative gains from spring of 2005 seem to be wiped out. The NDP gains also seem to be evening out and the Greens despite high poll numbers are in chaos and have lost GPC Deputy Leader Tom Manley and also approved splitting all their funds among all GPC EDAs so they can't be used in a central coordinated way.

snapshot as of September 2005

Since the federal EDs in Ontario with very low winning vote share (indicating a heavily split vote) aren't the ones with very low winning margins, it may be fair to assume in general that the overall trend to the NDP determines the outcome in the ridings with very low winning vote share while the much smaller Green vote determines the outcome in the ridings with very low winning margin. In other words, the long wave of NDP support and the short waves of Green support add up to the overall tide of votes for or against the Liberals, either giving or denying them the votes needed to beat Conservatives.

It is also generally irrelevant to policy outcomes whether a Liberal or NDP member takes a seat, since the two parties co-operate in the Canadian House of Commons and always will.

Looking at each riding in turn, starting with the special situations:


electionprediction.org snapshot

Special situation where Belinda Stronach barely won a riding with no incumbent but then quit the Conservative Party of Canada to join the Liberal Cabinet. Swing votes will be from Conservative to Liberal and Stronach will likely win with no difficulty: the Liberals vote as they are told, and the Conservatives have no strong enough candidate to put up against her to win. Her shift was apparently in part a response to what her constituents asked her to do. She will win by a larger margin this time.


electionprediction.org snapshot

Weird situation where GPC Deputy Leader Tom Manley is now seeking Liberal nod. His 4000 votes plus the Liberal 2004 vote plus a trend towards the Liberals would add up to a win. Lots of ifs. Probably can't be analyzed right now.

Probably not in play at the same time as Chatham-Kent-Essex as that is only in play with a Liberal dropoff, and such a dropoff would seem to doom the Liberal here.


electionprediction.org snapshot

Weird situation where Jim Flaherty has moved up from provincial politics. He is much despised and many trolls want him to reach federal politics to embarass the Conservative Party of Canada in the House of Commons, or at least to stop embarassing the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, whose lunatic fringe he speaks for. A favourite target of OCAP, Mr. Flaherty is known for statements against the homeless especially in Toronto, proposing at one point to arrest them all. Accordingly many NDPers and Greens want him to win and even to become leader of the Conservatives. He would get no urban votes nor any votes in Quebec or the East.

NDP or near-NDP

Ridings that vote NDP are weird by definition, so are treated separately from those that swing Liberal/Conservative:

Timmins James Bay

electionprediction.org snapshot

No incumbent in 2004, went NDP


electionprediction.org snapshot

No incumbent in 2004. Oshawa is the only 3 way race in 2004 (all 3 parties> 30%), among the 25 ridings. It went Conservative but this seems mostly due to chance. Despite the Conservative now having incumbent edge, Stephen Harper is unpopular and this may be an opening. The NDP will not give up this seat voluntarily due to tradition (former leader Ed Broadbent held it many years) and with any upsurge in their numbers they can take it or give it to the Conservatives again.

Hamilton Mountain

electionprediction.org snapshot

Not all 3 parties cross 30%. NDP potential more than Conservative: NDP lost by less than 1000 votes. Moderate upswing in NDP vote plus NDPers shifting home after voting Liberal out of panic gives it to the NDP.

Trinity Spadina

electionprediction.org snapshot

Seemingly high NDP potential but Olivia Chow - wife of Jack Layton - has lost there already twice. Even popular Michael Valpy was not able to be elected. Due to high motivations to win to keep the couple together, and to highlight the other husband-wife pair in the Canadian House of Commons, Gary Grewal and his wife, expect the NDP to pour resources into this to win it.


Niagara Falls

electionprediction.org snapshot

No incumbent in 2004, went Conservative

Niagara West-Glanbrook

electionprediction.org snapshot

No incumbent in 2004, went Conservative


Wellington Halton Hills

electionprediction.org snapshot

No incumbent in 2004, went Conservative


electionprediction.org snapshot

Very odd riding where John Tory won the Ontario provincial by-election here after becoming head of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario to a 14% NDP and 10% Green Party of Ontario vote (the federal and provincial boundaries are the same in Ontario). But also where Green Party of Canada's Ted Alexander got 150 more votes (3947) than the NDP (3798) and where the combined Green plus Liberal vote is over the Conservative total by 2234. Hard to predict and seems to depend on the GPC performance and candidate.




Simcoe Grey

electionprediction.org snapshot

Southwestern Ontario


electionprediction.org snapshot

Only no-incumbent riding won by Liberals in 2004.


electionprediction.org snapshot.

Close win for the Liberal of just over 400 votes. With a Liberal vote drop of 500 votes, they need NDP and Green shift to win. Probably not in play at the same time as Stormont-Dundas as that is only in play with a Liberal surge.


electionprediction.org snapshot

Not all 3 parties cross 30%. NDP vote is high, over 12000 votes, but not high enough to win. Liberal lost by less than 900 votes. Some NDPers may swing to Liberal to remove a Conservative who won with a very low vote.


electionprediction.org snapshot

Southeastern Ontario

Durham (formerly Clarington - Scugog - Exbridge)

electionprediction.org snapshot

No incumbent in 2004, went Conservative

The source of all numbers above is the results of the Canadian federal election, 2004 all on one page article at Wikipedia. If you see any errors please correct that article before you correct this page. Thanks.