How did your Manitoba neighbours vote in the 2019 federal election?
New data from Elections Canada provides an in-depth look at how the battle for your votes played out
Canadians knew the results of the Oct. 21, 2019, federal election that night — but the poll-by-poll numbers are just now being made public.
Elections Canada made the preliminary results for each polling station and its associated map available this week, giving voters, parties and political junkies an in-depth look at how the races played out within ridings.
David Johnson, the director of operations of the Manitoba arm of the Liberal Party of Canada, said the results reflect what his party experienced on the ground.
"[For Manitoba ridings] we had 26 per cent of the vote approximately in the last election, and we had 43 per cent in 2015, so it was a disappointing drop," said Johnson.
In 2015, Robert-Falcon Ouellette won Winnipeg Centre, unseating longtime NDP incumbent Pat Martin, who had held the seat since 1997. However, just one election cycle later, the riding flipped back to the NDP's Leah Gazan.
"We obviously try very hard to retain seats we've held in the past," Johnson said.
"Robert-Falcon Ouellette worked very hard and we're very disappointed about losing the seat, but we certainly knew the NDP were targeting that seat and there was a lot of effort in there."
Johnson said his party uses historical polling data to help identify patterns to bolster its campaign strategies.
"That gives us a pretty good indication of where there is potential for growth."
Visually, it is evident that nearly all of rural southern Manitoba polls were handily won by Conservative Party candidates, including the city of Brandon, which ceded only three polls to non-Conservative contenders.
The map reveals small pockets of Liberal or NDP support throughout the proverbial "sea of blue," which, for the most part, represent First Nation communities.
"First Nations communities historically have not supported the Conservative Party," ," said Johnson, "and if you looked at voter propensity maps over the past number of elections, you would see those little islands that are not blue."
Wayne Benson, who was the official agent for the highly successful campaign for Conservative candidate Raquel Dancho in the riding of Kildonan-St. Paul, is happy with the gains made by his party.
"I'm looking at this map right now for Kildonan-St. Paul and I'm quite pleased. We thought the rural areas would be solid blue and as we got closer to the core area a little bit less blue, but we managed to … make an impact closer to the core area of the city."
Benson said Dancho's riding — which was previously held by Liberal MP MaryAnn Mihychuk — has about 40,000 private households, all of which his team visited at least once.
"Looking at [the map], I'm happy to see the gains we made. I think … at the doors in 2019, there was a message we heard in Kildonan-St. Paul — a huge message for change," he said.
About the map
The polling subdivision maps reflect only votes cast on election day. Any votes cast by mail-in-ballot or through advanced voting are not represented in these results. In addition, votes cast by electors who registered on election day are not reflected.
According to Elections Canada, about 4.7 million electors voted at the advance polls in the 2019 general election, which represents about 25 per cent of all votes cast.