Moving to Ontario with the swingometer

In a previous post I analysed the likely consequences of a swing in the votes from the Bloc to the other parties in Québec and suggested that only a small number of seats were likely candidates for a shift from the Bloc to the Liberals, and an even smaller number of seats that might change hands from the Liberals to the NDP or Conservatives. Lets now extend the analysis to Ontario.The following ridings were won last election with less than 10% margin of difference between the winning candidate and the candidate of the party that finished second.

Riding                     winning party             2nd party                  margin

1.)Ajax Pickering             Liberal                 Conservative                  6.6%

2.)Beaches East York              Liberal                 NDP                        8.9

3.)Bramlea Gore Malton        Liberal         Conservative                 8.0

4.)Brampton Springdale          Liberal         Conservative                1.7

5.) Brampton West                     Liberal        Conservative               0.4

6.) Don Valley West                  Liberal           Conservative              5.6

7.) Eglington Lawrence             Liberal          Conservative               4.7

8.) Guelph                                    Liberal          Conservative               3.0

9.) Haldiman Norfolk                Conservative   Liberal                       8.4

10.) Kenora                                    Conservative   Liberal                        8.9

11.) Kingston and Islands            Liberal           Conservative                6.6

12.) Kitchner centre                     Conservative     Liberal                         0.8

13.) Kitchner Waterloo                Conservative     Liberal                          0.1

14.) London North Centre            Liberal            Conservative                  6.1

15.) London West                         Conservative   Liberal                              3.7

16.) Missisauga Erindale             Conservative Liberal                                 0.7

17.)Missisauga South                   Liberal    Conservative                             4.6

18.) Oak Ridges Markham          Conservative  Liberal                                o.7

19.)Oakville                                   Conservative     Liberal                              9.9

20.)Oshawa                                    Conservative   NDP                                   6.7

21.)Ottawa Orleans                       Conservative Liberal                                6.1

22.) Ottawa West Nepean             Conservative Liberal;                             8.9%

23.) Parkdale high park                  Liberal        NDP                                     7.0

24.)Sault Ste.Marie                          NDP            Conservative                      2.7

25.)Sudbury                                       NDP              Liberal                              4.9

26.)Thornhill                                     Conservative  Liberal                           9.8

27.Trinity Spadina                              NDP     Liberal                                        5.8

28.Welland                                          NDP     Conserv/ Lib.                             0.6/4.5

29.York Centre                                    Lib.       Conserv.                                     5.5

So in Ontario there are 29 ridings where the the winning party defeated the second party by a margin of less than ten percent. In one of these the third party was also within less than 10 % of the victor , the riding of Welland.

In 13 of these the Liberals came first. In 4 of them the NDP came first and in the remaining 12 ridings the Conservatives came first. So the nature of the swing in Ontario is critical. If it is from the Conservatives to the Liberals or the NDP then at maximum there are 12 possible switches to the opposition parties. If the swing is not uniform, in other words in some ridings it is from the Conservatives to the Liberals or NDP in others the other direction then very few net differences will be possible. But if the swing is more uniform but less than 5 % then some of the 12 might switch from the Conservatives. There are 6 that are more likely in such circumstances. They are Kitchener Centre and Kitchener Waterloo, London Centre, Oakridge Markham, Oshawa and Ottawa Orleans. On the other hand there are three ridings the  two in Brampton and Guelph where the Liberals would be vulnerable to a small shift in the vote to the Conservatives or from a shift from the Liberals to the NDP.

The latest polls which have however a high margin of error for regions show that in Ontario the expressed preference  for the Conservatives seems stable at about at the level of 39 % that they scored in Ontario last election. The Liberal expressed preference is slightly higher but well within the margin of error trending at about 3 to 4 % points above the last election where they scored 34 % and the NDP is trending a bit below their 2008 result of 18 % except in a two very recent  polls where they score 24 % in one poll and 25 % in another..

Hence if current trends continue there is not likely to be a large shift in the seat  outcome in Ontario. The Liberals might gain several more seats but the Conservatives could just as easily hang on to almost all of their current ones and even gain a couple of new ones from the Liberals. the New Democrats will probably hang on to most,if not all of their seats, possibly winning several more since only 4 of them are vulnerable to a shift in the vote and they themselves ran second in close contests in 3 ridings. The Conservatives in the 2008 election won 51 seats in Ontario, the Liberals 38 and the NDP 17.


About haroldchorneyeconomist

I am Professor of political economy at Concordia university in Montréal, Québec, Canada. I received my B.A.Hons (econ.&poli sci) from the University of Manitoba. I also completed my M.A. degree in economics there. Went on to spend two years at the London School of Economics as a Ph.D. student in economics and then completed my Ph.D. in political economy at the University of Toronto. Was named a John W.Dafoe fellow, a CMHC fellow and a Canada Council fellow. I also was named a Woodrow Wilson fellow in 1968 after completing my first class honours undergraduate degree. Worked as an economist in the area of education, labour economics and as the senior economist with the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation for the Government of Manitoba from 1972 to 1978. I also have worked as an economic consultant for MDT socio-economic consultants and have been consulted on urban planning, health policy, linguistic duality and public sector finance questions by the governments of Manitoba, Saskatchewan,the cities of Regina and Saskatoon, Ontario and the Federal government of Canada. I have also been consulted by senior leaders of the British Labour party, MPs from the Progressive Conservative party, the Liberal party and the New Democrats on economic policy questions. Members of the Government of France under the Presidency of Francois Mitterand discussed my work on public sector deficits. I have also run for elected office at the municipal level. I first began to write about quantitative easing as a useful policy option during the early 1980s.
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