Hamilton Centre (031)
This southern Ontario riding takes in the western part of Hamilton, part of the West Mountain and part of the downtown core. It runs from Hamilton Harbour in the north to the Niagara Escarpment, West 5th Street and Lincoln Alexander Parkway in the south, between Ottawa Street North and South and Highway 403.
A large part of the population lives in apartment complexes in the downtown area. Renters outnumber homeowners in the riding 56 per cent to 44 per cent.
The economy relies on the manufacturing industry and service sector. Stelco and part of Dofasco steelworks fall within the riding. The average family income is $52,769 and the unemployment rate is 8.9 per cent. The 1999 redistribution added almost two-thirds of the old Hamilton Centre riding, previously abolished in 1996, to almost all of the old Hamilton West riding. In 2007, Hamilton West and Hamilton East combined with a sliver of Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot to create this riding.
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The old riding of Hamilton Centre was consecutively held by the NDP father-son duo of Norm and Michael Davison. The senior Davison was elected in 1967 and 1971, while his son won in 1975 and 1977.
Michael Davison was unseated in 1981 by Liberal Sheila Copps, but not by much: she won by a scant 14 votes. Copps resigned to run federally in 1984, and Michael Davison recaptured the seat by a 55-vote margin in the ensuing byelection.
The Liberals reclaimed the riding in the elections of 1985 and 1987, followed by the New Democrat David Christopherson in 1990, and 1995. Christopherson won in Hamilton West after Hamilton Centre was eliminated in 1996.
In the riding of Hamilton West, Liberal Stuart Smith won in 1975, 1977 and 1981. Smith also served as Ontario's Liberal leader from 1976 to 1982. The NDP held the riding from 1982 through to 1995, when they lost to the Tories. In 1999, David Christopherson reclaimed the redistributed riding for the New Democrats.
Christopherson chose not to run in the 2003 election, instead embarking on an unsuccessful run for mayor of Hamilton. Liberal Judy Marsales captured the seat in a tight race, beating New Democrat Roy Adams by 2,132 votes.
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|Last Update:October 11, 2:25:56 AM EDT|