Category: Infographics

Who were the most-Googled party leaders in every riding in August?

Stephen Harper’s down a little, and Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau are up a little, but in general the order of the most-searched party leaders is the same as a month ago: Canadians are still Googling the Conservative Leader (who has been prime minister for nine years) the most (54 per cent of ridings), followed by the Liberal Leader (33 per cent) and the New Democrat (10 per cent). Elizabeth May and Gilles Duceppe were the most-searched leaders in a handful of ridings each.

While we’re all closely watching the polls — and while who’s Googled does necessarily translate into support — this does provide another data point for which leaders Canadians are interested in.

The most contested turf in 2015 will be these purple ridings

Click on a riding to see the results in the 2011 federal election and 2014 provincial election.


  • Blue = riding voted Conservative in both elections.
  • Red = riding voted Liberal in both elections.
  • Orange = riding voted NDP in both elections.
  • Purple = riding voted Conservative federally and Liberal provincially.
  • Magenta = riding voted Conservative federally and NDP provincially.
  • Yellow = riding voted NDP federally and Liberal provincially.

The Conservatives have traditionally blue seats in rural Ontario, and the Liberals have held on to a few red strongholds in Toronto. But the biggest focus of action in this year’s election is likely to be in a swath of ridings across the sprawling Greater Toronto Area that have recently voted both blue and red.  The most contested turf in 2015 will be these purple ridings.

These are the electoral districts that voted for Mr. Harper’s federal Conservatives in 2011, but picked Kathleen Wynne’s provincial Liberals in last year’s Ontario election. There were 38 Ontario ridings that did that blue-red switch. Most of them are in an east-west strip from Belleville to Brantford that skirts around Toronto’s core.

Now it’s a three-way federal race, and this turf is likely to be telling.

These ridings were the path to Mr. Harper’s majority government in the 2011 election, and he probably can’t win another majority without taking most of these seats. In the last weeks of the 2011 campaign, he travelled Highway 401 warning Liberal voters against a surging NDP – swaying enough to his side.

For the NDP’s orange wave, they are a critical test. The New Democrats have rarely been competitive in these ridings, where races have usually been run between the Conservatives and Liberals. But they can’t expect to break out of opposition unless they can appeal to voters here, and gain substantial ground.

For Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, they are vital: they remain the largest group of ridings where his party are in relatively close races to gain seats. They represent his best bet to lead his party out of third-party status, and must-win territory if they hope to take power.

Most are in bedroom communities, often places that have boomed rapidly from small town to suburban sprawl. They tend to be ethnically diverse, and many are reasonably affluent. And there will be even more of them in 2015: Ontario will gain 15 new federal seats under electoral redistribution, many in this strip.