Monday, May 16, 2011

The new Liberal constituency: less wealthy, less diverse and very East Coast

Two weeks ago, the Liberal Party of Canada had its representation in the House of Commons reduced by more than half. The Grits did not gain any new seats but only managed to hold on to 34 of the 77 ridings they held when the election was called. But in addition to being culled to less than half its size, the constituency that the Liberal Party now represents has also changed. It is poorer, less ethnically diverse, and more concentrated on the Atlantic coast.

You can read the rest of the article on The Globe and Mail website. There is a condensed version of the article in today's print edition, as well.

This piece is an analysis of the demographic profile of all ridings held by the Liberals before and after the election. I will be looking at the New Democrats next week and the Conservatives the week after that. It's based on the 2006 Census, which can be found here.

Here are a few highs and lows for the 34 Liberal ridings:

Largest population: Markham - Unionville (127,000)
Smallest population: Charlottetown (32,000)
Oldest median age: Cape Breton - Canso (45.5 years)
Youngest median age: Etobicoke North (34.8 years)
Highest median household income: Markham - Unionville ($78,500)
Lowest median household income: Papineau ($32,500)
Ridings in which French is the largest language group: 2
Ridings in which neither English nor French is the largest language group: 8
Ridings in which immigrants are the majority: 5
Riding with the largest aboriginal population: Winnipeg North (15,150)

The difference between the New Democratic constituency before and after the election should be remarkable, as the party has gone from having 3% of their seats in Quebec to 57%.