Map release day is always a good day. I’ve been griding away putting together a provincial map of the 2019 Alberta provincial election results. In this election, the newly formed United Conservative Party won a majority government under the leadership of Jason Kenney, defeating incumbent Premier Rachel Notley and the NDP.
You can browse the provincial result riding by riding and click/tap each riding to zoom in and view the results poll-by-poll at a level which describes how different neighbourhoods in Calgary and Edmonton (for example) voted in this election.
Expanding the “poll winner” control will allow you to colour code the riding polls by the strength of each party which contested the riding. Even the relative strength of parties and candidates with little hope can be discerned with ease.
A helpful tooltip that shows a pie chart of each riding – and at the poll level, each poll – can be expanded to list the candidates and voter turnout for each part of the province.
You may also find it useful to search for ridings by name or by candidate using the search bar at the top of the maps page. Each riding also shows adjacent ridings at the bottom of the page which makes it easy to browse other contests nearby.
The unification of the Progressive Conservative party and the Wildrose certainly changed the political map if you compare the results to 2015 and to 2012. In 2019, a sea of blue with one island of orange in Edmonton with a peppering of orange in Calgary and Lethbridge is the sum of the 2019 map.
So, do take a look! The United Conservative Party’s leadership race is underway after the resignation of Jason Kenney as party leader. How will the party fare against the NDP in the upcoming 2023 Provincial election? Party strategists may find these maps helpful to understand the historical context of politics in each region of Alberta and how the vote has evolved over the past decade.
On a technical note, I switched the maps over from raster to vector format meaning they should look smooth at any magnification. I hope to talk more about that in a later post. As a fun side-effect, you can also tilt the maps!
The second half of the Conservative Party leadership race is now underway. Midnight on June 4th represented the cut-off for new memberships sold for party members to be eligible to vote for the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
What’s the Pierre Poilievre news? Have Jean Charest and Patrick Brown merged campaigns yet? How’s Leslyn Lewis released her platform yet? Who is Roman Baber and what does he believe? Will Scott Aitchison end up endorsing anyone?
A source insider the Conservative Party told the CBC that the party expects to process over 600,000 new or renewed memberships sold by the leadership campaigns of Pierre Poilievre, Jean Charest, Patrick Brown, Leslyn Lewis, Roman Baber, and Scott Aitchison. A few of those membership will have been sold generally via the Conservative Party website during this period.
At $15 per membership, this means the party expects to rake in over $9,000,000 in revenue from this leadership race. This is a welcome winfall after spending tens of millions establishing abandoned branding exercises of Andrew Scheer and Erin O’Toole.
Campaigns will boast (and inflate) their numbers for various reasons. Some will try to establish themselves as the front-runner of the race and the candidate-to-beat. Psychologically, people like voting for the winner, so it helps to project this sort of confidence early-on. This will be Pierre Poilievre’s strategy as he’s been running a bit of a scorched-earth campaign with Jean Charest. In a ranked ballot contest, winning down-ballot support is critically important. That is, unless you are looking to win over 50% on the first ballot, making everyone’s second choice a moot point.
Poilievre’s campaign has been focused on exciting new members who have never before been active within a political party. His support of the trucker rally and position against vaccine mandates has attracted new people who have felt like they’ve been outside of the political process, while overtures to the cryptocurrency Bitcoin enthusiasts have inspired younger support. Pierre Poilievre’s principle campaign proxy Jenni Byrne has claimed that the campaign has sold 311,958 memberships. Byrne, perhaps knowing that campaigns inflate their numbers also called for transparency from the party on the process.
Jean Charest for his part will be looking to rally the anybody-but-Pierre vote. For the former Quebec Premier, that number may be large or small, but will exist given Pierre is the perceived front-runner. Charest will be banking on Poilievre to be running at under 45% on the first ballot and will hope to gather second choice support. Boasting strong second-place numbers will rally support for this purpose behind Charest. At this time, Charest’s campaign has not released their numbers.
For his part, former PC Party of Ontario leader and current Brampton mayor Patrick Brown boasted early on June 3rd, a total of 150,000 memberships were sold by his campaign with a day-long push later in the day to nudge this total higher. Brown has shown himself to be a formidable organizer in the past, shocking the Christine Elliott campaign during the 2015 PCPO leadership race – a campaign whose success was seen to be inevitable at the time. Brown has been selling memberships to new Canadian communities and hopes to diversify the party base by adding new membership to its rolls. We shall see how many of those new memberships from Brown were added versus renewed.
Leslyn Lewis is the only candidate in the 2022 Conservative Party leadership race who ran in the previous contest versus Erin O’Toole. Lewis stunned the O’Toole and McKay campaigns with a stronger-than-expected showing on the first ballot, showing exceptional strength in the prairies. She has also positioned herself as the standard-bearer of the small but disproportionately active contingent of social conservatives in the party’s base – all other candidates declared themselves to be pro-choice on the issue of abortion. Lewis’ position against vaccine mandates suggest that her down-ballot support will eventually go to Poilievre. Her campaign has not yet released their numbers.
Roman has yet to release his numerals. Roman Baber – the former PC MPP who was kicked out of Doug Ford’s governing caucus in Ontario for standing against lockdowns – will likely be a long-shot for leadership as he is not very well-known in the federal party or in the rest of Canada. Rising to national prominance on a single issue has its own shelf-life as well. However, Baber has since taken strong conservative-pleasing stances against communism and against leftwing authority, so he may surprise if he has a good ground game to sell memberships.
Finally, Scott Aitchison, has been congenial-as-a-brand during this leadership race. Hope is an emotion that spurs people to act politically, though fear and anger are stronger. And potential for change is the glue that holds it all together. Will Aitchison’s strategy help him? If he’s running #2 or #3 in this race, down-ballot support has the potential to crown him victorious. However, running at the end of the pack, as many suspect he is, may show a missed opportunity to grab more attention by taking more contentious takes on hot-button issues and personalities.
But yet for the front-runners, this post-cutoff period of the leadership race will likely see more congenial behaviour. Such a shift in tone from Poilievre may indicate less confidence on the first ballot. Candidates will also downplay their more woolly and outlandish appeals to members as they’re not able to chase any new sign-ups. The rest of this game will be about projecting a perceived position in candidate rank, and gathering that all-important down-ballot support from others; appealing to voting blocs banked with other candidates becomes all-too-important.
Some of you may be up to more interesting things on the Victoria Day long weekend, but given that we’re into the most important period of a provincial election in Ontario at the moment – I thought I’d take some time and mash-up, clean-up, and mark-up data from Elections Ontario of the last provincial election to give us some important historical context for the vote coming up on June 2nd.
As with my previous mapping efforts, I’m sharing these as a non-partisan resource for all political volunteers who find a lot of use for political maps in campaign offices. If you appreciate that effort, write a nice tweet about the project, or better yet blog about it – if you still do that kind of thing.
The 2018 provincial election saw the end of the 19-year Ontario Liberal dynasty with the election of the newly-minted Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford after the dramatic ouster of Patrick Brown from the job just months earlier. Ford won a majority government in 2018 and is now looking to increase his seat total in this year’s contest.
Ford struggled – as all government leaders did – with administration during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve just seen Alberta Premier Jason Kenney fall to populist discontent within his own party due to his own balancing of individual liberties versus public health during the crisis. Ford has faced similar criticism but looks to have wealthered the storm. Calling an election during a downtime in COVID cycles – and as Ontarians are off to the cottage – will likely see Ford return to the Premier’s Office when all of the votes are counted. We’re also expecting lower-than-usual voter turnout which usually favours incumbents.
As I’ve mentioned, the Ontario Liberals were wiped-out in 2018, being reduced to 7 seats. Putting the results on the map shows us their Toronto and Ottawa urban strongholds and where they may seek to increase their totals this year with their new leader Steven Del Duca.
Organized labour could also be a factor in redrawing the map. Labour Minister Monte McNaughton’s work in his portfolio has split up Progressives and the dreaded Working Families Coalition. Many of the founding members of the coalition – including the Ontario Pipe Trades Council, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – have endorsed the re-election of Progressive Conservatives and a refreshed mandate for Ford as Premier.
By most accounts, Green Party leader Mike Schreiner impressed the province during the Ontario Leaders debate. His opposition to highway 413 and greenbelt issues may translate into additional seats for the Greens. With a split on the left between Liberal and NDP support, we could see Ontario progressives rally with strong green representation in some ridings. However, it’s more likely that this will clear the way for additional Progressive Conservative gains.
I’ve mapped out areas of strength in each riding for each candidate that ran in 2018. Whether your party was successful or not in your local riding, you can see where it’s strength is growing or declining and these maps can help you focus on neighbourhoods where you can get out the vote. Whether you’re actively campaigning or not, you can also use these maps to see the distribution of party strength geographically within a riding using these strength/weakness settings for the poll-by-poll maps. How did your neighbours vote? Find out!
There’s a search bar at the top of the app as well so you can easily zoom around the province if you know the riding you want to look at but can’t exactly remember its geospatial position. Future updates will include a method to jump around to neighbouring ridings and to look at the results of previous Ontario elections in context. I’ve already added these features to my federal maps, so do check those out as well if you believe that the 2021 federal election provides some helpful context for this current provicial election.
Hopefully you find this to be a useful resource if you’re colouring in maps in a campaign office, or if you just can’t get enough of Canadian politics. If you are neither, I hope you’ll still find the visualization of Ontario electoral politics to give you some bearings on the priorities of your community.