Close calls expected in several Ottawa ridings
In a tight election with a victory speech not expected until late into the night, several Ottawa ridings could be early indicators of who will form government.
The National Capital Region has historically voted Liberal in downtown ridings and Conservative in more suburban areas, but recent polls suggest the tides may be changing.
Before dissolution of Parliament Conservatives held 3 of the 6 Ottawa ridings, with the Liberals holding two and the NDP one. Now, after redistribution, the Ottawa area has 9 ridings, including new ridings such as Carleton, Kanata-Carleton and Nepean.
Ottawa-West Nepean, a suburban riding that was created in 1996, is considered to be a bellwether riding.
Voters there have only ever elected two MPs and both represented the party with the most seats federally. In 2006, the year Conservative leader Stephen Harper formed his first government, well-known MPP John Baird won the seat beating a prominent Liberal who held the riding for a decade.
Baird’s resignation left the riding without an incumbent for the first time in 15 years leading to a race that is expected to come down to the wire.
Liberal Anita Vandenbeld is considered the front-runner after an unsuccessful campaign in 2011. Her stiffest competition comes from veteran police officer Abdul Abdi who is running for the Conservatives. NDP Marlene Rivier has run in four federal elections and is hoping to beat her record of 19.72 % of the vote in 2011.
CTV’s Joanne Schnurr is there and will have updates throughout the night. (@JoanneCTV)
Another riding to watch is Orléans where long-time Conservative MP Royal Galipeau is in the midst of what many believe is the toughest battle of his political career. Galipeau has served the riding since 2006 after a long career as a city councilor.
Galipeau, who won the riding formerly known as Ottawa- Orléans with 44.6% of the vote in the 2011 election, is up against a new high-profile Liberal challenger. Former Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie is running in his first election after serving 35 years in the military. New Democrat Nancy Tremblay Winifeld, the owner of Brookson farm near Carlsbad Springs, is also running her first campaign.
CTV’s Eric Longley is at Andrew Leslie’s headquarters. (@EricCTV)
If you live in the downtown core, you have no doubt heard of Paul Dewar and his mother, former Mayor and MP Marion Dewar. This downtown riding is the NDP’s only seat in Ottawa, and one they have been able to count on winning since Dewar took his seat in the House of Commons in 2006.
Ottawa-Centre has a history of alternating between NDP and Liberal candidates. Voters in the riding also say it is unique because the candidates' platforms, personalities and history in the riding are often more important than the party they represent.
Liberal candidate Catherine McKenna, an international trade lawyer and past Vice President of the Glebe Community Association, has gained traction since she won the nomination last year.
Conservative candidate Damian Kostantinakos, who has worked in the telecom sector for 18 years, is hoping his second time out will be lucky.
CTV’s Katie Griffin is at Paul Dewar’s headquarters. (@KatieGriffinCTV)
Follow along live on Twitter at @CTVOttawa or @580CFRA.