On election night it’s the numbers – the ballot count details – that reveal the full story of the vote. Our interactive Results Map will show you who will form the next government and represent your home district in the next legislative session, but there’s more to the map than that.

Here’s an easy how-to guide to the CBC News election results map so you can take a simple surface dip or make a deep dive into the data.

The basic map

The CBC News election results map will be available on your desktop or tablet screen when live coverage begins on radio and television, after the polls have closed at 8:00 p.m.

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The interactive results map shows voting results, key races and tracks leaders in their home ridings. You can customize it to display your favourite locations.

The basic map allows you to click (or tap, on a tablet) a riding and see the list of all candidates and the number of votes counted so far.

Riding size is based on the number of people who live in the district. Typically, rural ridings can be geographically large. Urban ridings tend to be small and concentrated. You may need to click (tap) the built-in zoom function to see an urban riding.

As the results come in, each riding will change to the colour of the political party in the lead at that moment.  When the CBC News Decision Desk projects a certain candidate will win a riding, the colour of the riding will be locked. If there are no results yet in a riding, it remains grey.

Map features

The map has sliding tabs that let you look deeper into the results and personalize it so you can quickly focus on ridings of interest to you.

Easily track your home and other favourite ridings as the results come in:

  • Locate your riding on the map by clicking on it. You might need to use the zoom functions if you live in an urban riding.
  • When you have selected your riding, its results table will appear in a pane under the map.
  • Click “+ Add to Riding Tracker” and the name of this riding will appear under the “Riding Tracker” tab.
  • You can add up to 10 ridings in your favourites list. Many people like to do this for a quick link to their home riding and the districts where friends and family live.

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To set favourite locations and personalize the interactive results map, select a riding and click +Add.

See how a party leader is doing in their home riding:

  • Click or tap the “Party Leaders” tab.
  • Select a leader from the list that appears under that tab.
  • The map will zoom to that riding, slowly flash the current colour of that riding and show the results in a table.

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Track the leaders in their home riding in the interactive election results map. (CBC)

Follow results in key ridings that the CBC News election team has identified as districts that will illustrate trends:

  • Tap or click the “Races To Watch” tab.
  • Select a riding from the list that appears under that tab.
  • The map will zoom to that riding, slowly flash the current colour of that riding and show the results in a table.

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Track key races that reveal the trends that tell the story of how the vote is going.

About the map’s data stream

The numbers that power the CBC News election night live broadcast and digital coverage come via a live data stream from a government department with one main function: to ensure the smooth functioning of an election.

This department, Elections Quebec, does everything from registering candidates and voters to auditing party expense budgets and counting the ballots cast on election night. It provides the latest live results to the public so you can learn who has won and lost in every riding.

CBC News takes the data stream and breaks it down riding-by-riding to power the online and on-air maps. The numbers are also used to:

  • Extract statistics such as voter turnout and trends.
  • Make comparisons to previous voting patterns.
  • Allow the CBC news Decision Desk to make projections as to who is likely to win a district.

You’ll see various analytical data presentations online and on-air during CBC News’s election night coverage, but they all come from the same data source.