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By-elections November 17, 2014 – Official Voting Results

November 17, 2014, by-elections

Introduction

This first section of the Chief Electoral Officer's report on the federal by-elections held on November 17, 2014, describes the circumstances leading to the calling of the two by-elections, the electoral districts involved and the nomination of candidates. It also presents the numbers of registered electors, the polling stations, the voter turnout rates and the candidates elected.

The second section provides more information on the official voting results and summary data, in table format. The concluding section presents the poll-by-poll results for the electoral districts.

Further information on the November 2014 by-elections will appear in a report to be published in March 2015, covering the administration of all by-elections held in 2014. That report will be available at www.elections.ca.

Calling the by-elections

On April 10, 2014, the Conservative member of Parliament for Whitby–Oshawa passed away, leaving his seat in the House of Commons vacant. The Honourable Jim Flaherty was a member of Parliament for over eight years. A writ ordering a by-election in Whitby–Oshawa was accordingly issued on October 12, 2014.

On September 17, 2014, the Conservative member of Parliament for Yellowhead resigned, leaving his seat in the House of Commons vacant. The Honourable Rob Merrifield was a member of Parliament for almost 14 years. A writ ordering a by-election in Yellowhead was accordingly issued on October 12, 2014.

The seat distribution in the House of Commons on October 12 was: Conservative Party of Canada – 161 seats; New Democratic Party – 97 seats; Liberal Party of Canada – 37 seats; Bloc Québécois – 2 seats; Green Party of Canada – 2 seats; Independent – 7 seats; and vacant – 2 seats.

Electoral districts

The boundaries of the electoral districts of Whitby–Oshawa and Yellowhead were the same as those in effect during the 2011 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
Whitby—Oshawa Sharon Steel Retired Teacher Oshawa, Ontario
Yellowhead Norma Fahl Retired Hinton, Alberta

Whitby—Oshawa
Population based on the 2011 Census: 146,307

Map of Whitby—Oshawa

Yellowhead
Population based on the 2011 Census: 105,526

Map of Yellowhead

Nomination of candidates

The candidates in the by-elections had until 2:00 p.m. on October 27, 2014, to file their nomination papers in accordance with the date published in the Notice of Election by the returning officers.

In Whitby–Oshawa, four registered parties nominated candidates: the Conservative Party of Canada, the Green Party of Canada, the Liberal Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party. There were two independent candidates. None of the candidates withdrew during the period in which this was permitted.

In Yellowhead, four registered parties nominated candidates: the Conservative Party of Canada, the Liberal Party of Canada, the Libertarian Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party. There was one independent candidate. None of the candidates withdrew during the period in which this was permitted.

Registered electors

For the November 2014 by-elections, there were 109,108 names on the preliminary lists of electors in Whitby–Oshawa and 78,330 in Yellowhead. The lists were produced from information in the National Register of Electors. During the revision period, which extended from October 15 until November 11, 1,199 electors were registered in Whitby–Oshawa and 1,012 were registered in Yellowhead. These figures include 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 109,327 in Whitby–Oshawa and 78,641 in Yellowhead.

The final lists included the names of electors who registered on election day, some of whom had changed addresses. In Whitby–Oshawa, 464 electors registered on election day, while 599 registered in Yellowhead.

Polling stations

On election day, the ordinary polling stations were open from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) in Whitby–Oshawa and from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Mountain Time) in Yellowhead.

The returning officer in Whitby–Oshawa set up 263 ordinary polling stations, 261 of which were stationary. In Yellowhead, there were 258 ordinary polling stations, 250 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 who live in long-term care facilities. These polling stations, which serve polling divisions with at least two institutions, travel from institution to institution and remain open at each place only as long as necessary to enable the electors present to vote. In the by-election in Whitby–Oshawa, 2 mobile polling stations were established and served 555 electors. In Yellowhead, 8 mobile polling stations served 749 electors.

The returning officer is required to set up advance polling stations to collect the votes of electors who cannot or do not wish to go to their ordinary polling stations on election day. The electoral district of Whitby–Oshawa had 15 advance polling stations, while Yellowhead had 24. All advance polling stations were open from noon to 8:00 p.m. (local time) on November 7, 8 and 10.

Voter turnout

A total of 34,746 electors cast a ballot in the by-election in Whitby–Oshawa, a participation rate of 31.8%. Of these electors, 29,032 (or 83.6%) voted on election day at their ordinary polling stations.

In Yellowhead, 12,652 electors cast a ballot in the by-election, a participation rate of 16.1%. Of these electors, 10,943 (or 86.5%) voted on election day at their ordinary polling stations.

Table 2
Number of ballots cast, by voting method
Voting method Whitby–Oshawa Yellowhead
No. % No. %
Ordinary polling stations 29,032 83.6 10,943 86.5
Advance polling stations 5,148 14.8 1,636 12.9
Special Voting Rules – Group 1* 20 0.1 3 .0
Special Voting Rules – Group 2** 546 1.6 70 .6
Total*** 34,746 100.0 12,652 100.0

* 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 2014 by-elections, the Conservative Party of Canada candidate, Pat Perkins, was declared elected in Whitby–Oshawa once the validation of results was completed. The Conservative Party of Canada candidate, Jim Eglinski, was declared elected in Yellowhead after the validation of results.

Following these by-elections, the distribution of seats in the House of Commons was:

Conservative Party of Canada 163
New Democratic Party 96
Liberal Party of Canada 35
Bloc Québécois 2
Forces et Démocratie 2
Green Party of Canada 2
Independent 7
Vacant 1
Total 308