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By-Elections November 27, 2006 – Official Voting Results


The November 27, 2006, by-elections in London North Centre (Ontario) and Repentigny (Quebec)

Introduction

This section of the Chief Electoral Officer's report on the federal by-elections held on November 27, 2006, describes the circumstances leading to the call for the by-elections, the electoral districts involved, the candidates, the numbers of registered electors and polling stations, and the results.

The following section presents further information and summary data on the official voting results, in the form of tables. The concluding section gives the poll-by-poll results for the by-elections.

Information on the administration of the November 27, 2006, by-elections will appear in a report to be published in March 2007:

The report will be available at www.elections.ca.

Calling the by-elections

On September 20, 2006, the Honourable Joseph Frank Fontana, the Liberal Party of Canada Member of Parliament for London North Centre since November 21, 1988, resigned, leaving his seat in the House of Commons vacant. A writ ordering a by-election in London North Centre was accordingly issued on October 22, 2006.

On August 28, 2006, Benoît Sauvageau, the Bloc Québécois Member of Parliament for Repentigny since October 25, 1993, passed away, leaving his seat in the House of Commons vacant. A writ ordering a by-election in Repentigny was accordingly issued on October 22, 2006.

At that time, the seat distribution in the House of Commons was: Conservative Party of Canada – 124 seats; Liberal Party of Canada – 101 seats; Bloc Québécois – 50 seats; New Democratic Party – 29 seats; Independent – 2 seats; and vacant – 2 seats.

The electoral districts

The boundaries of the electoral districts of London North Centre and Repentigny were the same as those in effect during the 2006 federal general election. They coincide with the boundaries defined in the Representation Order of 2003, issued in accordance with the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act.

Table 1. Returning officers
Electoral district Name Occupation Place of residence
London North Centre Donna Kelly University Professor London
Repentigny Michel Carignan Legal Repentigny

London North Centre (Ontario)
Population based on the 2001 census: 107,672

London North Centre

Repentigny (Quebec)
Population based on the 2001 census: 103,977

Repentigny

Registered political parties and nomination of candidates

The candidates in the by-elections had until 2:00 p.m. on November 6, 2006, to file their nomination papers in accordance with the date published in the Notice of Election by Returning Officers.

In London North Centre, six registered parties nominated candidates: the Canadian Action Party, the Conservative Party of Canada, the Green Party of Canada, the Liberal Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party and the Progressive Canadian Party. One candidate ran as an independent. None of the candidates withdrew during the period in which this was permitted.

In Repentigny, five registered parties nominated candidates: the Bloc Québécois, the Canadian Action Party, the Conservative Party of Canada, the Liberal Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party. Two candidates ran as independents. None of the candidates withdrew during the period in which this was permitted. The Green Party candidate's nomination was not accepted; the potential candidate arrived at the office of the returning officer shortly before the deadline of 2:00 p.m. on November 6 and did not have all of the documents required by the Canada Elections Act.

Registration of electors

For the November 27, 2006, by-elections, there were 89,880 names on the preliminary lists of electors in London North Centre and 85,032 names on the preliminary lists for Repentigny. The lists were produced from information in the National Register of Electors. During the revision period, which extended from October 25 until November 21, 2006, 7,130 electors were registered in London North Centre (5,100 supplemental registrations sent from the Chief Electoral Officer and 2,030 as part of the revision process). In Repentigny, 4,713 electors were registered (3,384 supplemental registrations sent from the Chief Electoral Officer and 1,329 as part of the revision process). These figures included electors who were already on the lists but had changed addresses.

The names recorded on the final lists of electors (that is, the lists prepared after election day) numbered 90,797 in London North Centre and 85,366 in Repentigny.

These lists included the names of 2,358 electors who registered on election day in London North Centre, some of whom had changed addresses. In Repentigny, 277 electors (including those with changes of address) registered on election day, including 4 electors who moved into the electoral district before the start of revision.

Polling stations

The Canada Elections Act, section 131, sets 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. as the hours of voting for
by-elections. The ordinary polling stations were accordingly open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Eastern Time, on election day in London North Centre and Repentigny.

The returning officer in London North Centre set up 240 ordinary polling stations, 235 of which were stationary. In Repentigny, the returning officer set up 204 ordinary polling stations, 202 of which were stationary.

In addition, the Act provides for the establishment of mobile polling stations to collect the votes of seniors and persons with disabilities confined to institutions. These polling stations, which serve polling divisions with at least two institutions, travel from institution to institution, and they remain open at each place only as long as necessary to enable the electors present to vote. In the November 27, 2006, by-election in London North Centre, 5 mobile polling stations collected the ballots of 806 electors. In Repentigny, there were 2 mobile polling stations serving 289 electors.

The returning officer in the electoral district is required to set up advance polling stations to collect the votes of electors who do not wish to go to their ordinary polling stations on election day. The electoral district of London North Centre had 10 advance polling stations, all of which were open from noon to 8:00 p.m. (local time) on November 17, 18 and 20, 2006. On the same dates in Repentigny, 11 advance polling stations were open, also from noon to 8:00 p.m.

Polling results

A total of 38,273 electors cast a ballot in the by-election in London North Centre, a participation rate of 42.2%. Of these electors, 35,050 (or 91.6%) voted on election day at their ordinary polling stations.

In Repentigny, a total of 31,636 electors cast a ballot in the by-election, a participation rate of 37.1%. Of these electors, 27,981 (or 88.4%) voted on election day at their ordinary polling stations.

Table 2. Number of electors who voted, by voting method
Voting method London North Centre Repentigny
No. % No. %
Ordinary polling stations
35,050
91.6
27,981
88.4
Advance polling stations
2,782
7.3
3,169
10.0
Special Voting Rules – Group 1*
38
0.1
16
0
Special Voting Rules – Group 2**
403
1.0
470
1.5
Total
38,273
100***
31,636
100***

* Includes Canadian citizens temporarily residing outside Canada, members of the Canadian Forces (except members of the Canadian Forces who voted at the polling station established for the polling division of their place of ordinary residence) and incarcerated electors.
** Includes Canadian citizens residing in Canada who voted by special ballot in or outside their electoral districts.
*** Due to rounding, figures do not add up to total shown.

Candidates elected

In the November 27, 2006, by-elections, the Liberal Party of Canada candidate, Glen Pearson, was declared elected in London North Centre once the validation of results was completed. The Bloc Québécois candidate, Raymond Gravel, was declared elected in Repentigny once the validation of results was completed.

Following the by-elections of November 27, 2006, the distribution of seats in the House of Commons was:

Conservative Party of Canada
124
Liberal Party of Canada
102
Bloc Québécois
51
New Democratic Party
29
Independent
2
Total
308

Special adaptations

The Chief Electoral Officer may adapt the Canada Elections Act under subsections 17(1) and 178(2) to address an emergency, an error, or an unusual or unforeseen circumstance. During the 2006 London North Centre and Repentigny by-elections, he used the authority under these provisions on five occasions.

The Canada Elections Act prohibits voting by prisoners in federal institutions, and it does not describe a process for such prisoners to vote. Since the 2002 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Sauvé, which struck down the prohibition, the Act has had to be adapted in every subsequent federal election to extend the statutory process for voting by the Special Voting Rules in provincial institutions to federal institutions.

While there is a growing number of electors who are choosing to vote at advance polls, the Canada Elections Act provides for fewer election officers at advance polls than at ordinary polls on polling day. The Canada Elections Act was therefore adapted to enable returning officers to appoint additional poll clerks, information officers, registration officers and central poll supervisors to assist at the advance polling stations.

To prevent electors from erroneously using the voter information card as a means to identify themselves at the poll, information officers were given the responsibility for collecting them at the entrance to polling places. However, because the Canada Elections Act only permits the appointment of information officers at central polling places and not at places where there is only one polling station, an adaptation was required to have information officers present at single polling places as well.

Special ballots were given in error to three persons who did not reside in the electoral districts of Repentigny or London North Centre, and the Special Voting Rules as Adapted for the Purposes of a By-election did not provide for a special ballot officer to set aside an outer envelope in such a case. The Special Voting Rules as Adapted for the Purposes of a By-election were therefore adapted to permit a special ballot officer to set aside an outer envelope when he or she ascertained that a special ballot had been given in error to a person who did not reside in the electoral district in which the by-election was held.

A mobile polling station in the electoral district of London North Centre was established to receive electors between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. only at Granite House, 311 Central Avenue, London, Ontario, before moving to other institutions. As a result, one or more electors registered to vote at that mobile polling station were unable to vote during that limited time period. The Canada Elections Act was adapted to permit the returning officer or the assistant returning officer to issue transfer certificates to those electors so that they could vote at another polling station located nearby at Community of Christ, 615 Colborne Street, London, Ontario.