Political maps and data for Canadian electors!

Here’s something that should give every political nerd hours of material to pore over. The Stephen Taylor Data Project is releasing some political maps, graphs, and census data for your consumption during this latest Canadian general election.

This efforts is the culmination of months of spare-time effort to package historical election results in an easy-to-digest format for Canadians during this 44th general election. You can browse every general election from 2019 back through the year 2000 (7 elections) and look at historical trends on each, with every riding map broken down by polling division.

Canada’s 43rd Parliament as elected in the 2019 General Election

Furthermore, you can create maps of each riding based on the relative strength of the party in each poll of each riding

If you’ve ever wanted to understand Liberal voting patterns, appreciate Conservative strongholds on a granular level, be facinated by the NDP’s local strategy, or track the Green Party’s and Bloc’s ebbs and flows, now you can! We’ve even got Alliance and PC results from the days of yore to bookend a re-emerging trend of some vote-splitting on the right that began again in 2019.

The riding of Burnaby South by polling division, after the 2015 general election

In 2000, Joe Clark led the PC Party prior to their merger with the Alliance. This map shows where he was strong (green) and weak (red) in Calgary Centre.

I’ve also combined data from the last census – perfectly segmented by riding – to give insights on what motivates voters. For example, income and affordability are top-of-mind issues for a lot of Canadians during this election. This project helps you consider these factors in each riding and compare these trends both nationally and provincially.

The population distributions of Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River (left) and Nanaimo–Ladysmith (right)
The differences between rental vs ownership in the riding of Spadina–Fort York (left) versus the province of Ontario as a whole (right)

I’ve also put up historical polling data that you can browse and I have a visualization demonstrating the rise, fall, and sustained dominance of Canada’s various political parties, as elected by voters to Canada’s federal Parliament.

A streamgraph visualization of Canada’s history of elections.

You can take a snapshot of each map by clicking the camera icon 📷 at the top of each geographic visualization. The images I’ve shared in this post were created this way. Go ahead and take snapshots of your favourite ridings (and favourite elections!) and share these images on social media. If you’re writing for a news outlet and you find any of this useful, please link to this post and to the Stephen Taylor Data Project! If you’re an avid twitter user, please tweet about this project.

So, please take a look and I hope that you enjoy! This work is being made available to general public and to every partisan of every party. I believe very strongly in a more representative democracy and believe that when more data becomes available and accessible that describes the shape of the Canadian vote, the more responsive our candidates can be in meeting that representation.

The riding of Nanaimo–Ladysmith in British Columbia, 2015 results

The project was coded using ReactJS, using both NoSQL (MongoDB) and relational (MySQL) databases to serve data through a common GraphQL layer facilitated by Apollo client on a Node.js server. Four gigabytes of GeoJSON files were constructed locally using some more of that server-side javascript magic. Those files are served via AWS S3, and are visualized for the end-user using the Leaflet library. Infographics SVGs are assembled using D3JS.

Ruth Ellen Brosseau returning to politics?

Ruth Ellen Brosseau is a former NDP Member of Parliament whose origins in Canadian politics are a favourite tale among political observers and staffers in Ottawa. She was a ‘paper candidate’ for the NDP in 2011, putting her name on the ballot in a longshot riding just so her favourite political party could fill a slate of candidate during the election that year. Famously, she was in Las Vegas during the campaign and never set foot in the Quebec riding where she was ostenibly carrying the NDP banner.

Then the so-called ‘orange crush’ happened with a wave of support for an ailing Jack Layton propelling a number of Quebec NDP candidates – including Brosseau – into Parliament. The unilingual English-speaking Brosseau now represented Berthier-Maskinongé, a 98% francophone riding in Quebec.

Would her victory be a one-off? She learned French and impressed her constitutents enough that she went on to hold the seat through until 2019 when the NDP was wiped out in Quebec save for one seat held by MP Alexandre Boulerice. Brosseau lost her seat to Bloc candidate Yves Perron.

Now Brosseau tells TVA in response to their inquiry on her political future – with an expected election call to occur on Sunday – that she will have some news to announce in the coming days and that if she were to run, it would be with the NDP. The Liberal Party actively sought to recruit Brosseau with the former MP rejecting these overtures, according to TVA’s reporting.

If she chooses to represent the NDP in Berthier-Maskinongé, she’ll be up against the Liberal’s second choice, Alexandre Bellemare and Conservative candidate Léo Soulières.

Brosseau’s political career has certainly had its ups and downs. Brosseau served as deputy national caucus chair with her party but was also elbowed by Prime Minister Trudeau in the House of Commons in a scandal dubbed ‘Elbowgate’. Brosseau faced verbal harrassment by Liberal supporters for days after the incident. Conservatives rallied to her defense.

Rona Ambrose addresses ‘Elbowgate’ in the House

Will Brosseau return to the House of Commons? Will she announce that she intends to run?

Conservatives recruit Dominique Vien

LaPresse’s Joël-Denis Bellevance received a tip (likely from an eager Conservative war-room) that the O’Toole Conservatives have recruited the former Quebec minister of Labour to run for them in the upcoming – and if reports are true – imminent federal election.

Dominique Vien was a cabinet minister in Jean Charest’s Quebec Liberal government. She served the riding of Bellechasse from 2003-2007 and then from 2008 to 2018. Vien notably served as Quebec minister of Tourism and Quebec minister of social services.

Now she will be running for Steven Blaney’s seat in Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis. Blaney held ministerial portfolios in the Harper government – first in public safety and then in veterans affairs.

Conservatives have ties into three provincial parties in Quebec which often proves to be a difficult balancing act. This candidate pickup is from the Quebec Liberals, but federal Conservatives have also cultivated ties with the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) and the provincial Parti Conservateur du Québec (PCQ).

Dominique Vien is a former radio journalist who used to work for CFIN FM Radio-Bellechasse and for Radio-Canada. Most recently she was working as the Director General for the regional municipality of des Etchemins.