Canadian federal elections 2021 and 2019 in maps : some actual changes

Now that some judiciary recounts have been completed lately, we can deep diver into the Canadian federal election 2021 results, per party, and per riding. Not only little did change from 2019 to 2021 with regards to the share of seats and the national vote results, which became very clear early into election night, mapping each major party’s result reveals how impressively irrelevant this election was also at the ridings level… minus a few differences.

If anything, it’s as if the Greens and Maxime Bernier’s PPC swapped their vote shares, more or less.

The following maps show all the riding-level results for each of the 6 biggest political parties (Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats, Bloquistes, the People’s Party, and Greens), for 2019 and 2021. I also included the combined votes of every other party’s runners or independent candidates, if applicable.

One big change for the two smallest big political parties

The share of votes really changed for the two smallest big political parties: the Greens and The People’s Party of Canada, and you will see why.

But, aside from this, I have had several before-and-after looks myself just to make sure there really was no mismatch or data entry error, but no. You can see only a few slight changes for most political parties, especially the bigger four.

Some ridings did change seats, only to see those gains and losses compensated by a corresponding change elsewhere on most occasions.

And yes, the Conservatives did lose a lot of votes (and a few seats) in Alberta, melting soviet majorities into soviet-ish ones. Those are still very cozy victories.

You can slide the maps horizontally to see the (very modest) differences between the 2019 results and the 2021 ones. The darker the riding colors, the higher the vote share for the party.

Note that these maps were made to be zoomed in, which allows you to explore the data more deeply and see the percentages of votes within the ridings (click on the links below each map to have a look at them individually).

Liberals : just get back to work already

Before Image : Liberal Party of Canada 2019 vote shares per riding
After Image : Liberal Party of Canada 2019 vote shares per riding

Click to enlarge the 2019 results

Click to enlarge the 2021 results

As columnist Chantal Hébert said, it is clear that the main message from the voters in 2021 was: “just get back to work already”. The maps above show little significant change. A higher vote share (darker) in one riding usually was compensated by a lower share somewhere else.

Let’s just go to the next party.

Conservatives: we’ve recentered ourselves yet we practically got the exact same outcome

Before Image : Conservative Party of Canada2019 vote shares per riding
After Image : Conservative Party of Canada 2021 vote shares per riding

Click to enlarge the 2019 results

Click to enlarge the 2021 results

The Conservatives didn’t lose much in terms of seats and their national vote share. But the Western parts of the country are somewhat less blue than for 2019. They still won what they usually win, thanks to their larger-than-life majorities.

As we will see below, those lost votes seemed to benefit the NDP. But the now-stronger-than-ever People’s Party also attracted more votes this election. Obviously, those hypothetical voters that went PPC or NDP after voting Conservative in 2019 probably didn’t hesitate between the two formers, but rather between the Conservatives and the PPC, and the Conservatives and the NDP (the Liberals still seem to be a cursed brand in the province outside the two biggest cities).

The Tories did win more votes in the East though, which seems to compensate for their losses in the West. They obtained somewhat higher vote shares in the Maritimes and some parts of Eastern Québec.

New Democrats: a slightly more orange West

Before Image : New Democratic Party of Canada 2019 vote shares per riding
After Image : New Democrats Party of Canada 2021 vote shares per riding

Click to enlarge the 2019 results

Click to enlarge the 2021 results

There isn’t much to say about the New Democrats’ performance. They improved slightly their vote shares in some parts of Alberta and British Columbia, and that’s pretty much it. Their scores are impressively similar in Québec and Ontario between 2021 and 2019 if we put 4 or 5 ridings aside, out of like 200.

Bloquistes: Y’a pas grand chose dans l’ciel à soir

Before Image : Bloc Québécois 2019 vote shares per riding
After Image : Bloc Québécois 2021 vote shares per riding

Click to enlarge the 2019 results

Click to enlarge the 2021 results

One has to look really, really close to observe any change for the Bloc between 2021 and 2019. I double-checked the data several times just to make sure I didn’t map the same data twice or something. There are only a few slight, insignificant changes in some ridings, and you’ll have to go mad with the slider before you can even notice them.

People’s Party : the biggest winner?

Before Image : People's Party of Canada 2019 vote shares per riding
After Image : People's Party of Canada 2021 vote shares per riding

Click to enlarge the 2019 results

Click to enlarge the 2021 results

This is where it gets somewhat interesting. Maxime Bernier’s People Party fared quite well in the West. And not only there, if we keep in mind this party was created 2 years ago. There’s a lot more purple in Manitoba south of Winnipeg but also about everywhere in Ontario outside the biggest cities.

Now, there are only a couple of ridings where this shade of purple is worth double digits, and it stays below 20 % in most cases, but that is still a significant improvement compared to 2019, the party’s first race.

But the picture is more telling when we look at the numbers. In 2019, the only two digits vote share the party could get was in the riding where the leader Bernier ran. In this year’s election though, this number jumped to 25.

And completely on the other side of things, a party that will soon celebrate its 40th anniversary did really bad.

Greens : what was that?

Before Image : Green Party of Canada 2019 vote shares per riding
After Image : Green Party of Canada 2021 vote shares per riding

Click to enlarge the 2019 results

Click to enlarge the 2021 results

The Greens used to have double digits percentages in several places at both ends of the country, even in a few ridings in Ontario, but it’s all gone now.

Including their wins, the Greens got above 10 % of all votes in six ridings nationally. In 2019, that figure was 49.

One can only wonder why the party’s leader decided to put all efforts and resources into her own race of Toronto Center, where she scored 7.1 % in 2019 and 8.6 % last September. Looking at the 2019 results, opportunities were clearly in British Columbia and the Maritimes.

All other parties combined : some change up north

Before Image : All Canadian federal non-major parties' combined 2019 vote shares per riding
After Image : All Canadian federal non-major parties' combined 2021 vote shares per riding

Click to enlarge the 2019 results

Click to enlarge the 2021 results

In the 2019 election, all of the other parties’ combined votes (including independent candidates) were negligible at best, except for one win in Vancouver which was Judy Wilson-Raybould, the former Liberal minister.

But there are some yellow shades up north following the 44th election, in Yukon and the Northwest Territories. These are the only two ridings where a candidate not running with any of the six biggest parties made it past 10 %. In both cases, the candidates were running as independents.

Now, after all this hassle for little more than some moderate entertainment for political geeks like me, I do believe some of the major leaders when they publicly opined that this legislature can probably last a bit longer than two years this time.

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