Eric Grenier created a pretty graph covering the Danforth's electoral history, but it's safe to say that this far out, we can call it a nominally safe NDP seat. While it was held by a Liberal not too long ago (well, almost a decade), the then-MP didn't hold on to it very well anyways, and it was always at risk of falling to the NDP when that party ended up surging from its <10% numbers of the 1990's. So let's not get our hopes up.
The current candidates for the by-election are as follows:
Craig Scott - NDP
Grant Gordon or Trifon Haitas - Liberals
Andrew Keyes - Conservatives
Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu - Greens
John Recker - Libertarians
Christopher Porter - Canadian Action Party (actually he's their leader)
February 9th is the date of the Liberal nomination meeting, and only Grant Gordon and Trifon Haitas are declared candidates. Not the "star candidates" everyone was throwing rumours about for, but there's a few reasons for that, none of them really doing with the Liberal's inability to attract high-profile candidates. We still have two quality candidates in the form of two small business owners in the media/communications field. Similar to what CPC candidate Andrew Keyes is, so shove it Conservatives.
Let's say one thing right now: this is not the Liberal's to lose, this is the Liberal's to gain. For all the bru-ha-ha out of the PMO about how the Danforth is a "historically Liberal riding," it's not. It's historically a Liberal-NDP fight. Guess which party is in ascendance right now, and guess which one is in decline. How this riding becomes ours to lose when we haven't held it in nearly a decade I don't know.
But let's consider how we can win this riding. Where would Liberals need to focus? Where are the Liberal-friendly constituencies? Let's see:
Right off the bat from this map you can see where the Liberals in 2011 did the, erm, "best" - Greek Town and the the northern area between the DVP and Danforth Ave, plus a few polls in the south near Leslieville and what's named "East Chinatown" (Broadview and Gerrard).
Going back to 2008's somewhat-respectable result, when the Liberals actually won polls, we won them in these areas. So it's clear where Liberal-friendly people are, the question is whether or not we can get them to vote Liberal again.
That depends somewhat on the candidate, of course. Grant and Trifon are both excellent candidates and they're local. Trifon is Greek - goes over well in Greek Town, I assume - and Gordon has amusing political ads that I've come to appreciate. Whoever the candidate is, they need to be ready to storm these areas and give the residents of Toronto-Danforth reason to vote Liberal again.