by Angus Reid | September 20, 2021 12:09 pm
Election night can be chaotic. Results come in quick and stories unfold fast. As you watch the polls close from coast-to-coast, these are 22 of the most important ridings to watch this year. The election will likely be won and lost based on how the parties perform in each. Follow along, from east to west, and keep an eye on these key races.
Fredericton made waves by electing the first Green party member outside of B.C.—only to have them cross the aisle to the Liberals. While the Greens are not out of the equation just yet, most see this as a tight two-way race between the Liberals and the Conservatives.
The riding went overwhelmingly to the Liberals (63%) in 2015 and then swung narrowly – by three per cent – to the CPC in 2019. It was also the only seat the Conservatives won in Nova Scotia in 2019.
Maxime Bernier won this riding easily from 2006 onwards when he represented the Conservatives, only losing in 2019 when he started the newly formed People’s Party of Canada. While the PPC has seen a surge in support across the country in recent weeks, Beauce is likely the only riding where they have any chance of clinching a seat.
This riding changed hands after a by-election, but a narrow Conservative win in the 2019 federal election makes this one to watch. The Liberals initially controlled the seat after the 2015 election, winning by just one per cent over the NDP. Then Liberal MP Denis Lemieux quit politics and the CPC took control in a 2018 by-election. The CPC held on in the 2019 election, but only by two per cent over the Bloc Quebecois.
For the last two elections, Hochelaga has been within a single point at final call. The Liberals won in 2019 by less than one per cent over the Bloc. In 2015, the Liberals lost by less than one per cent to the NDP.
The Liberals claimed this riding from two-term NDP MP Pierre-Luc Dusseault by just a single point in 2019. Notably, the Bloc have also been competitive in the last two elections, and previously won this riding in 2008.
The last two elections have been close in this Southern Ontario riding: the CPC won by just four per cent in 2019, beating the Liberals who themselves won by less than half a per cent in 2015. The CPC come into the race without their incumbent, MP Derek Sloan, who was kicked out of caucus after he accepted a donation from a white supremacist.
Through this riding’s brief history – it was formed initially before the 2004 election – it has only had Liberal or CPC MPs, but the NDP have also been competitive in the last two elections. The CPCs claimed Kenora in 2019 from Liberal incumbent Bob Nault, who won by less than two per cent over the NDP in 2015.
Another riding created just prior to the 2004 election, Kitchener—Conestoga has been within less than one per cent in 2019, when the Liberals won with 40 per cent of the popular vote, and in 2015, when the CPC held onto the seat with 43 per cent.
This riding has been a tight race in the two elections it has been contested for. In its 2015 debut, the Liberals claimed it by three points over the Conservatives. Then the CPC won by less than four points in the 2019 election.
In all but four elections since this riding was created in 1953, Peterborough—Kawartha has been won by a member of the governing party. The trend held for its 11th straight election after Liberal MP Maryam Monsef held onto her seat with a five-point win over her CPC competitor.
The Liberals took this seat by only 112 votes in 2019 — the lowest margin in the Greater Toronto Area — and will be squaring off against the Conservatives who previously controlled this riding from 2011 to 2015.
The riding of embattled Green Party leader Annamie Paul, the Greens are currently a distant third after the Liberals and the NDP. Incumbent Liberal MP Marci Ien claimed the riding — vacated after the resignation of former finance minister Bill Morneau — with a win by nearly 10 points over Paul in a 2020 by-election.
The riding formerly known as Windsor—St. Clair has only known NDP and Liberal MPs, including five-term MP Joe Comartin. Last election, the Liberals took it from Comartin’s successor Cheryl Hardcastle by just one per cent of the vote. Though they’ve never won the seat, the CPC have been competitive in the last two elections, claiming at least 27 per cent of the vote each time.
Traditionally, this has been an overwhelmingly CPC riding. Former MP Steven Fletcher won the riding with at least 44 per cent of the vote in four straight elections before the Liberals broke through in 2015 with a majority of the vote. It returned to the CPCs in 2019, but by a narrow five-point margin.
Since the riding was formed in 1988, the party that formed government also won Winnipeg South, a streak of 10 consecutive elections. Liberal MP Terry Duguid is seeking his third term in office, while his CPC competitor, Melanie Maher, was within four per cent of the popular vote in 2019.
The incumbent Jody Wilson-Raybould, the once-Liberal candidate who successfully ran as an independent in 2019, is not running for another turn. A microcosm of Vancouver’s concerns over housing unaffordability, the Liberal candidate may be hamstrung by a history of flipping houses around the city leaving this riding a tight three-way race with the CPC and the NDP.
As support for the Liberals has retreated across B.C., the relatively new riding of Burnaby North—Seymour looks like the most likely for an NDP breakthrough — a goal Jagmeet Singh has personally invested a lot in, having spent much time campaigning in the riding.
While Nanaimo-Ladysmith flipped Green in 2019 with 34.6% of the vote, it remains to be seen if they can hold on to this seat after a turbulent campaign plagued by internal political strife and increasing dissent among the party’s rank and file. Current polling suggests this is a tight three-way race between the Greens, the NDP, and the CPC.
One of the closer races in Metro Vancouver, the riding went Liberal in 2015 and CPC in 2019. During the recent provincial election, however, voters flipped from the Liberals to the NDP. Another factor to consider is that this time there is no Green candidate, meaning that 6.4% of voters are up for grabs.
One of the closest races in 2019, Port Moody-Coquitlam is again shaping up to be a tight three-way race between the CPC—who won in 2019—the NDP, and the Liberals. Of note, if the Liberals want to win a majority government, taking Port Moody-Coquitlam will be an important step.
Traditionally viewed as a Conservative stronghold, the long-time provincial MLA Gordie Hogg flipped the constituency to the Liberals in the 2017 by-election before losing to the CPC in 2019.
Source URL: https://angusreid.org/election-44-ridings-to-watch/
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