ON the campaign trail: The day after (September 21)

TVO.org updates Ontarians on federal election news relevant to the province
By Daniel Kitts - Published on Sep 21, 2021
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks with TV host Julie Snyder on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

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Throughout the election, TVO.org has been regularly publishing primers breaking down what to watch for in the federal-election campaign.


Well, it’s over. Here’s some of what sticks out from Monday's election result.

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Liberal minority: As of this morning, the Liberals are leading and elected in 158 ridings, followed by the Conservatives with 119, the Bloc Québécois with 34, the NDP with 25, and the Green party with 2. That’s very similar to the way the House of Commons looked when the election was called (Liberals 155, Conservatives 119, Bloc Québécois 32, NDP 24, Greens 2, with 5 independent MPs and 1 vacancy). The Conservatives are actually beating the Liberals in the popular vote at this stage, 34 per cent to 32 per cent, but did not win as many seats, because their support is heavily concentrated in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Ontario: The province of Ontario was the backbone of the Liberal victory. As of this morning, the Liberals are leading or elected in 78 Ontario ridings, followed by the Conservatives with 37, the NDP with 5, and the Green Party with one.

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Mail-in ballots: A caution about all of the above: The counting isn’t over yet. Hundreds of thousands of ballots sent in by mail have yet to be counted by Elections Canada. That may affect both the seat count and the popular vote. However, it’s highly unlikely the mail-in ballots will change the result from a Liberal minority to something else. Pollsters have predicted the mail-in votes will benefit the Liberals and the NDP, since surveys found their supporters expressed more interest in voting by mail.

Maryam Monsef: One prominent Ontario Liberal to lose her job last night was Maryam Monsef, Peterborough–Kawartha MP and minister for women and gender equality and rural economic development. She lost to Conservative candidate Michelle Ferreri. It’s only the second time in 60 years that Peterborough–Kawartha has elected a candidate who is not a member of the party that won the election.

Kitchener Centre: The people of Kitchener Centre made a bit of history last night by electing the province’s first-ever Green party MP. "I'm both exhausted and kind of exhilarated,” Mike Morrice told CBC News early this morning. The race in Kitchener Centre was thrown into confusion a few weeks ago when Liberal incumbent Raj Saini ended his campaign over allegations of sexual harassment. (He continues to deny he did anything improper.) Saini’s name remained on the ballot, however, as he quit after the Elections Canada deadline for nominations. Last night, he finished fourth. Morrice’s lone Green party colleague in Ottawa will be Elizabeth May, who was re-elected in the B.C. riding of Saanich–Gulf Islands. Green party leader Annamie Paul lost to incumbent Liberal Marci Ien in Toronto Centre.

Spadina-Fort York: A second Liberal candidate dropped by his party in Ontario had a different result from Raj Saini. As it stands this morning, Kevin Vuong is leading in the Toronto riding of Spadina–Fort York. Vuong was cut loose by the Liberals after it was revealed by the Toronto Star that he had been charged with sexual assault in 2019. The charge was ultimately dismissed, and Vuong denies the allegations against him. While it was too late to take Vuong’s name off the ballot when the allegations surfaced, the Liberal party said in a statement last week that “should he be elected, he will not be a member of the Liberal caucus.”

Kathleen Wynne (sort of): The former premier of Ontario wasn't on the ballot last night, but two of her cabinet ministers tried to enter federal politics for the first time, and were successful. Yasir Naqvi was elected Liberal MP for Ottawa Centre, and Michael Coteau was elected Liberal MP for Don Valley East. You can read a look at Coteau's decision to leave provincial politics and move to Ottawa by TVO.org's John Michael McGrath.  

Which polling firm had the best guess?

Prior to the vote, a number of pollsters and polling aggregators made predictions on how many seats each party would win. Who had the best guess? No one got it exactly right, but these three firms, in my view, got the closest:

  • LeanTossup: Liberals 158, Conservatives 114, NDP 33, Bloc Québécois 32, Green Party 3.
  • Mainstreet/iPolitics: Liberals 159, Conservatives 117, NDP 30, Bloc Québécois 29, Green Party 3.
  • CBC Poll Tracker: Liberals 155, Conservatives 119, NDP 32, Bloc Québécois 31, Green 1.

More election coverage on TVO

For more election analysis, watch The Agenda tonight on TVO at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. The program will discuss the results of the 2021 federal election and what they will mean for Ontario. And Erin Kelly of Advanced Symbolics will talk about how Polly, the AI algorithm, did with her predictions — and whether enough questions were answered for voters during the campaign.

Update: The section on Yasir Naqvi and Michael Coteau was added after this article was first published. 

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