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2014 Toronto Mayoral Election - Gradient Map

After seeing multiple maps created after our recent municipal election, I felt like something was missing from the picture. Many of them would represent the wards as being ‘won’ by one candidate or another, forming strict division lines. Even those that linked the opacity of one colour to the margin of victory didn’t tell the whole story as it's unclear what part the other two candidates played.

I created this map by associating each of the three major candidate with one primary colour:

Ford - Red
Tory - Blue
Chow - Green

They are blended colours based on popular vote to get a more accurate representation of the votes cast in each Ward. This process produces a more nuanced way of seeing the election results.

The more primary the colour, the more favoured that candidate was. This is especially evident in Wards 16, 25 & 22 for Tory. Wards 1 2, 7, 8, 9 & 12 leaned heavily towards Ford. Chow's biggest win was in Ward 18. The rest are more subtle gradients.

The purple tones represent Ford-Tory splits as in Wards 3, 4, 33, & 44. Cyane tones are Chow-Tory splits like Wards 20, 28 & 30. There is a rare yellow tone in Ward 17 which shows a Chow-Ford battle. While it was not as much of a diad as the previously mentioned Wards, it is only one of two wards where Tory came in third place (the other being Ward 8, where the Ford win was by a larger margin.)

Interestingly, there was one ward that was evenly split among the three candidates: Ward 31 Beaches-East York. It is the only one shown in grey, which is something that was not represented on any other map I've seen.

The overall picture of Toronto gets a bit clearer. Unlike what other maps have suggest, Ford's best showing was only in the north-west of the city. In Scarborough, voters were even split between Ford versus not-Ford. Tory did indeed get most votes of the centre of the city, but in the north voters were similarly split between Tory versus the rest of the slate. Meanwhile, the south of Old Toronto, Tory was split with Chow or, in the south-west of downtown, overtaken by her.

Through this visualization I hope to add more information to the complex picture of Toronto's political landscape. I feel like this calls into question the idea that Ford Nation is a strong and unbreakable force in Scarborough at least. But it also puts in perspective what the Tory win actually means in Old Toronto and North York. Of course, all of these numbers and visualizations do not take into account strategic voting, which would be eliminated if we had a ranked ballot system.

Alas, here's to the next four years of Toronto politics.