West-end Toronto ridings teeter between NDP and Liberals as vote counting drags on

·2 min read
The City of Toronto's tightest race remains in Davenport, where the NDP and Liberals were neck-and-neck as votes were counted early Tuesday morning.  (Kate McGillivray/CBC - image credit)
The City of Toronto's tightest race remains in Davenport, where the NDP and Liberals were neck-and-neck as votes were counted early Tuesday morning. (Kate McGillivray/CBC - image credit)

It's still not clear if the NDP will be able to pull off a breakthrough win in Toronto this election.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, vote counting continued for Parkdale-High Park, Spadina-Fort York and Davenport in the city's downtown west end, with the Liberals and NDP showing close numbers.

Late Tuesday night, the CBC News Decision Desk projected that Liberal Arif Virani will win in Parkdale-High Park.

Davenport was particularly tight, with NDP candidate Alejandra Bravo and Liberal incumbent Julie Dzerowicz trading off leading their riding through the night.

According to Denise Hammond, campaign manager for Bravo, Elections Canada staff have said counting of mail-in votes in Davenport is set to begin on Wednesday afternoon.

In Spadina-Fort York, NDP candidate Norm Di Pasquale is also trading off a leading position with candidate Kevin Vuong — who was dumped by the Liberals last weekend but remained on the ballot, which cannot be changed after Aug. 30.

You can check the latest vote counts here.

The other riding that was considered to be a possible NDP breakthrough, Toronto-Danforth, was called earlier in the night, with Liberal incumbent Julie Dabrusin declared the winner over NDP candidate Clare Hacksel.

Toronto-Danforth was previously held by former NDP Leader Jack Layton.

"Ever since 2015 hit, it's become fortress Toronto for the Liberals," said political studies professor David McGrane in an interview with CBC Toronto.

McGrane, who works for the University of Saskatchewan, is the author of Building the Orange Wave: The Inside Story Behind the Historic Rise of Jack Layton and the NDP.

Evan Mitsui/CBC
Evan Mitsui/CBC

"It seems like whatever the NDP throws at the Liberals in these ridings in Toronto, nothing seems to be able to break down that fortress," he said.

If the NDP is unable to break through, "it would be devastating for the party," he said.

However, if an NDP candidate is able to win, "it would be huge," he said. "It's a moral victory, it shows the party's in the game."

So when will we know who won? It's not clear yet.

"The NDP did invest quite a bit in the mail-in ballots," said Jaskaran Sandhu, a senior consultant with State Strategy.

"So depending on how close this thing is, we may not know until [later on Tuesday] morning."

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