By West Annex News | According to Project Democracy, NDP candidate Olivia Chow and Liberal Christine Innes are running neck and neck in Trinity-Spadina. Projections based on the most recent polls say only 15 votes separate the two candidates out of an expected 60,000 to be cast on election day, May 2, 2011.
Close polls should make for a lively debate at the Trinity-Spadina all-candidates meeting on Wednesday, April 20 at 7:30PM at Trinity-St. Paul’s church, 427 Bloor Street West.
The riding of Trinity-Spadina encompasses most of the western part of downtown Toronto, and is one of the most ethnically diverse in Canada, containing Toronto’s Chinatown, Koreatown, Little Italy, and Little Portugal. More than 41 per cent of residents listed other than English or French as their first language. The Annex, West Annex and Seaton Village make up the northern part of the riding, from Bloor Street to the CPR tracks north of Dupont Street.
Although the riding has been described as the most left-leaning in all of Toronto, it has changed hands regularly between the NDP and Liberals since the riding was created in 1988 out of the former ridings of Trinity, Spadina, and smaller parts of Toronto Centre—Rosedale and Parkdale—High Park.
In the 2001 Canadian census, the population of Trinity-Spadina was 106,094 people, of which 74,409 were eligible to vote. Since then explosive growth has taken place in that part of the riding south of Queen Street where there has been a boom in residential condominium construction. The Star reports that twenty-seven new highrise condominium buildings containing 8,170 new units have been added since the last federal election alone. The Star, CBC.ca and others have speculated that young downtown condo dwellers bring right-wing voting tendencies with them from the suburbs where they grew up, and that Chow’s 3,475-vote margin of victory over Innes in 2008 is at risk.
Election results since the creation of the riding are:
- 1988: NDP incumbent from the Spadina riding Dan Heap eaked out a 483-vote victory over Liberal Tony Ianno.
- 1993: Liberal Tony Ianno won handily over NDP Winnie Ng with a 9,339 vote margin.
- 1997: Liberal incumbent Tony Ianno defeated NDP Olivia Chow by 1,802 votes.
- 2000: Liberal incumbent Tony Ianno defeated NDP candidate Michael Valpy by a 3,709 vote margin.
- 2004: Liberal incumbent Tony Ianno defeated NDP candidate Olivia Chow by 805 votes.
- 2006: NDP candidate Olivia Chow defeated Liberal incumbent Tony Ianno by a 3,681 vote margin.
- 2008: NDP incumbent Olivia Chow defeated Liberal Christine Innes by 3,745 votes.
Rachel Barney of the Green Party and Gin Siow of the Conservatives will also be participating in Wednesday’s debate. The Gleaner online has a good indepth overview of the riding, and interview with the candidates on the issues.