Federal Election Polling Results – Old Ottawa East Voting Patterns Differ from City-Wide Balloting Trends

John Dance
So we all know that the Liberals formed a minority government last September and Yasir Naqvi was elected as the new Liberal Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre. And we know he bested his rivals by a considerable margin. But now that the detailed poll-by-poll results are available from Elections Canada, it’s clear that within Old Ottawa East (OOE) there were some notable variations in voting patterns.

Overall, OOE residents gave a larger margin of support to Naqvi than to his opponents, relative to all electors in Ottawa Centre. With 47 percent of the vote, Naqvi received two percent more votes in OOE than he did elsewhere. The Ottawa Centre riding is large, bounded by the Rideau Canal and Rideau River on the east but running beyond Baseline Road to the south and all the way west to Maitland Avenue. OOE votes constituted only six percent of the total cast in Ottawa Centre.

Conservative candidate Carol Clemenhagen received almost one percent more votes in OOE than riding-wide and the NDP’s Angella MacEwen, who finished second, had a correspondingly lesser share. The Green Party’s Angela Keller-Herzog had about the same share in OOE as in the whole riding while the People’s Party’s Regina Watteel had slightly more.

The detailed poll results of last fall’s federal election reveal varied voting patterns in different sections of Old Ottawa East. The Lees apartment buildings each had a separate poll; polls 14-18 were located at The Church of the Ascension and Canadian Martyrs; and the remaining polls, including the two advance polls 613 and 614, were at Saint Paul University. MAP: ELECTIONS CANADA

The detailed poll results of last fall’s federal election reveal varied voting patterns in different sections of Old Ottawa East. The Lees apartment buildings each had a separate poll; polls 14-18 were located at The Church of the Ascension and Canadian Martyrs; and the remaining polls, including the two advance polls 613 and 614, were at Saint Paul University.
MAP: ELECTIONS CANADA

Greater variations are apparent among the various polling stations within OOE. Basically, there were four groupings of polls: those in each of the Lees apartments; those living north of Hazel Street and in Greystone Village who voted at the Church of the Ascension and at Canadian Martyrs; those living in the southern area who voted at Saint Paul University; and those who voted in advance polls.

The NDP was the dominant party for the residents of the Lees apartments with 40 percent of the vote compared to 35 percent for the Liberals. The People’s Party did better there than elsewhere in OOE (3.3. percent vs 2.4 percent) while the Greens did a little worse.

Another notable variation is that at the church polls, the Conservatives pulled in about four percent more votes than their overall OOE share, while the Liberals were down about the same amount.

The poll for residents of Greystone Village and Corners on Main resulted in Naqvi doing slightly better than elsewhere in OOE, but the Conservative and NDP candidates each received 22 percent of votes cast. Keller-Herzog did better in this poll than she did elsewhere.

In OOE, about 40 percent of votes were cast at the advance polls, a percentage higher than in previous elections. According to CTV, nationally there was an increased advanced poll usage of 18.5 percent compared to the 2019 election and a 57 percent increase compared to the 2015 election. This stemmed from the provision of additional advance polls and the availability of mail ballots.

The Liberals did particularly well in the two advance polls which drew in people from throughout OOE. With about 52 percent of votes, the Liberals had five percent more than their overall OOE share. In this case, the Liberals’ added share reflected the NDP’s lost share.

This quick analysis shows some interesting differences in OOE voting patterns but what’s not clear is what drives these differences. It appears that apartment dwellers may have strong NDP sympathies while new development residents may be more supportive of Conservative policies or its candidate. The impact of growing advanced poll voting and how campaigns need to adapt to this trend are matters that have not been well studied. Elections Canada implemented additional advance voting options to increase the ease of voting and to increase overall turnout.

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