Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Federal Election Results and New Ridings

Last night was a truly historic federal election. The governing Conservatives, who had a majority, were replaced with the Liberals who will be forming a majority government. At the beginning of the campaign, people weren’t even thinking that the Liberals would become the official opposition. This is almost a mirror of the election in Alberta this spring when the NDP, who no one thought would ever form government, swept into power.

While I will save the federal political pontification for others, I wanted to share maps of the 2011 and 2015 election results in Metro Vancouver.

2011 election results in Metro Vancouver from Elections Canada's map of official results for the 41st general election (2011). Select map to enlarge

2015 election result in Metro Vancouver from Elections Canada's map of the unofficial results for the 42nd general election (2015). Select map to enlarge.

New ridings were added for the 2015 election throughout Metro Vancouver. In the South of Fraser, Cloverdale and the City of Langley were put together to form a new riding. Other ridings in the South of Fraser were completely redrawn.

As a general rule of thumb, urban ridings tend to vote more progressive while suburban/edge ridings in city-regions tend to vote more conservative.

The updated ridings in the South of Fraser were split between urban and suburban/rural in 2015; more so than in 2011. At the same time, the South of Fraser has become more urban over the last four year. I have to wonder if the changes made to riding boundaries, and the urbanization of the South of Fraser, are some of the reasons why the South of Fraser’s political map is so different.

In Langley, I never thought I’d see a progress party get a seat. Langley Township and the City used to be one riding. But with Langley City now separated from the Township of Langley, it happened. As Willoughby becomes more urban, will the Township end up with progressive politicians in the future too? Only time will tell.

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