Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Five Fun Facts about the 2010 Ontario Municipal Elections

#1: Of the 21 incumbent races in the Greater Toronto Area, 14 won re-election, and 7 lost, a 2-1 split. Including other major cities like Hamilton, Ottawa, Windsor, Kitchener-Waterloo, and London, it's 17-10.

#2: Of those 10 races that incumbents lost, plus Toronto, 8/11 were won by either candidates that had run before and ended up in the top three, or were backed by local establishments (eg. London, Vaughan), and 3/11 were won by candidates that were unexpected successes (eg. Toronto, Hamilton). This actually reflects the "Tea Party" phenomenon in the United States, where despite all the major media stories and big names taken down, between 80-90% of incumbents or establishment candidates survived their primaries, if not more.

#3: Contrary to popular belief, Rob Ford has the third-highest number of votes in a direct election, at 383,501 votes. He is bested two times by former Mayor Mel Lastman, who in 1997 in a competitive election with Barbara Hall, won 387,848 votes, and in 2000 in a non-competitive election where Lastman managed 483,277 votes.

#4: Rob Ford will most likely not face a receptive council, as 20 combined elected councillors supported either Smitherman or Pantalone, compared to around 10 that openly endorsed Ford. There are 44 Toronto City Councillors.

#5: Of all mayors of cities with 150,00+ citizens in Ontario, you could justifiably label 9 "left-wing," and 5 "right-wing." Interestingly, of the 5 largest cities in Ontario (Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga, Hamilton, and London), the race is slightly closer, with 3/5 mayors being "left-wing," and 2/5 being "right-wing."

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