Map of the Week: The Toronto Centre byelection
|TORONTO STAR STAFF|
This week's maps are a detailed poll-by-poll look at the February 4 byelection in Toronto Centre.
(On the back of an envelope: the byelection was called when George Smitherman resigned from the Legislature to run for mayor. Former Winnipeg mayor Glen Murray won for the Liberals with 47%, fending off a strong challenge from New Democrat Cathy Crowe's 33%. Tory Pamela Taylor polled 15%. The riding is historically Liberal, federally and provincially.)
Most discussions of Toronto Centre mention the riding's sharp contrasts - the leafy streets of Rosedale, the hardscrabble poverty of Moss Park, the exuberance of Church and Wellesley. It is sometimes said to contain the richest and poorest postal codes in the city, which is close to true (richest and fourth-poorest).
So it's not at all surprising that the party maps show clear patterns - Toronto Centre can be summed up as Tories at the top, New Democrats at the bottom, and Liberals all over the place.
First, the Tories (map). Conservative voters in the riding cluster in Rosedale, Moore Park and the Yorkville condos, and become very scarce a few blocks south of Bloor. A condo in the Bay St. canyon at Charles St. went Tory, but that's about it.
Next, for contrast, the NDP (map), who have an almost completely inverted map. New Democrats are strong in Cabbagetown, Ryerson, Victoria College, Moss Park, Corktown and especially in the St. Lawrence co-ops, where several polls showed strong NDP majorities, some above 70%. North of the Rosedale Valley ravine, the party has almost no presence.
The Liberals (map) have a strong presence in all parts of the riding, crossing socioeconomic boundaries, which seems to be the basis of their secure long-term lock on it.
Turnout (map), at 26%, was not exactly a civics-class ideal. Cabbagetown had a higher turnout rate, as did the St. Lawrence complex and the area north of Bloor. South of Bloor, high-turnout polls show strong results for the NDP.
Just for fun, I used Google Earth to split the polls to make Toronto Centre two ridings, divided by Bloor Street. This kind of exercise has its limitations: if they really were two ridings, other factors would also be different, like the personalities of the candidates and the resources parties would be willing to put into the election. With that in mind, here are the graphs:
North of Bloor
South of Bloor
All polls in all four versions of the map have an individual pie graph, as seen below:
The blank spaces on the map are polls which exist geographically but had no voters.