Ranked ballots in the 2014 Toronto mayoral election
The winner of Toronto's 2014 mayoral election was John Tory, with Doug Ford in second, and Olivia Chow placing in third. Tory has recently begun promoting the idea of ranked ballots in future elections. This proposal got me thinking about how a ranked voting system could have affected the outcome of the previous election. Of course, it is impossible to know who a voter will support after their first choice, but I thought it would be interesting to identify who came in second place and how close the win was.
The maps above show the results (first place and second place) from the 2014 mayoral election by voting percentage within each electoral subdivision. The most common competition between candidates was Tory - Chow or Tory - Ford. Very rarely are there instances where a subdivision was split Ford - Chow. The map below shows what subdivisions would have converted to the ranking system (in black) if Toronto inherited the instant-runoff or preferential voting method. Using this method, ranked ballots are only applied if an electoral district does not have a majority candidate (above 50% of votes). This new system would have forced 39% of Tory's, 37% of Ford's, and 72% of Chow's winning areas to the ranked ballot method.
Election subdivisions that would be ranked
Can any of these maps predict a changed outcome? Probably not, but it is interesting to think about how the new system could change future voting patterns.
Sources: City of Toronto, Tom Weatherburn