OTTAWA — The votes have been counted and Canada’s 43rd federal election has yielded a minority Liberal government. Yet just how close were the results on the ground? Here are the 10 closest ridings based on the number of votes separating first and second place, according to Elections Canada’s preliminary results:
1. Yukon — 72 votes — Liberal candidate Larry Bagnell appeared poised to retain his seat following a spirited fight from Conservative candidate Jonas Smith. This was by far the closest race across Canada, judged by the difference in votes between the two frontrunners, but like all the other ridings on this list, the results do not appear close enough to trigger an official recount. That happens if two candidates’ final totals are separated by 0.1 per cent or fewer of all the votes cast. In Yukon this time, the threshold is about 20 votes.
2. Richmond Hill — 112 votes — This Toronto riding stayed red on Monday as Liberal incumbent Majid Jowhari narrowly defeated Conservative candidate Costas Menegakis, who represented the area from 2011 to 2015. One could argue the upstart People’s Party of Canada hurt the Tories’ chances by capturing 507 votes, though the NDP and Greens likely did the same for the Liberals by drawing 4,425 and 1,695 votes respectively.
3. Quebec — 215 votes — Liberal cabinet minister Jean-Yves Duclos managed to hold onto his Quebec City seat in the face of a strong challenge from Bloc Quebecois candidate Christiane Gagnon. The Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats all suffered in Quebec as the Bloc surged to new relevance on Monday, though none was hurt worse than the NDP.
4. Kitchener-Conestoga — 273 votes — Confusion reigned Tuesday as Elections Canada’s preliminary numbers showed Liberal candidate Tim Louis with a narrow lead over Conservative incumbent Harold Albrecht but five polls remained unreported more than 12 hours after polls had closed. Elections Canada later blamed “human error” for the delay, adding once they were reported, the five polls did not change the result.
5. Hochelaga — 319 votes — Liberal candidate Soraya Martinez-Ferrada squeaked out a win over Bloc candidate Simon Marchand in this central Montreal riding. The New Democrats had held the seat since 2011 but placed a distant third this time around as the NDP saw itself all but swept out of Quebec eight years after the “orange wave” saw it become the official Opposition.
6. Port Moody-Coquitlam — 333 votes — This B.C. riding flipped from orange to blue on Monday as Conservative candidate Nelly Shin narrowly edged NDP candidate Bonita Zarrillo, who was hoping to succeed NDP MP Fin Donnelly after he opted not to seek re-election. Liberal candidate Sara Badiei followed close behind, suggesting Shin was able to capitalize on a vote split on the left.
7. Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam — 339 votes — Liberal incumbent Ron McKinnon held onto his seat in B.C. Lower Mainland in the face of a stiff challenge from Conservative candidate Nicholas Insley. As in Richmond Hill, the People’s Party of Canada had enough votes to cover the spread, though the NDP and Greens both had better results than the right-wing PPC.
8. Miramichi-Grand Lake — 414 votes — Four years after sweeping the province, the Liberals took a hit in New Brunswick by losing three of 10 seats to the Conservatives and one to the Greens. But despite a tough fight from Conservative candidate Peggy McLean, Liberal incumbent Pat Finnigan was able to hold onto his riding for his party.
9. Cumberland-Colchester — 453 votes — It might have seemed that the door was open for former Conservative MP Scott Armstrong to retake this riding after longtime MP Bill Casey decided not to seek re-election for the Liberals. Instead, Lenore Zann was able to keep the riding red, though the Liberals did suffer defeats elsewhere in the province after sweeping it in 2015.
10. Chicoutimi-Le Fjord — 614 votes — Former Quebec hockey coach Richard Martel beat a challenge from Bloc candidate Valerie Tremblay, who was forced to apologize during the election campaign for comments she made about Islam on Twitter. The Conservatives ceded two seats to the Bloc in Quebec while the Liberals lost six and the NDP 14.
This report was first published by The Canadian Press on Oct. 22.
Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press