Election 2008: No change in East York’s political landscape

By East York Observer staff

It’s more of the same in the three ridings that converge in East York.

Despite what appeared to be photo finishes in two of the ridings, the ensconced Liberals built up comfortable winning margins in both Don Valley West and Beaches-East York when the votes were counted.

In Toronto-Danforth, meanwhile, incumbent Jack Layton – the federal NDP leader – finished more than 7,000 votes ahead of his nearest rival, translating into 45 per cent of the votes cast.

That’s down from the 48 per cent he won in the Jan. 23, 2006 federal election, but Layton competed against seven other candidates this time, compared to five last time.

Few observers predicted anything other than a decisive local victory for Layton. The marquee matchups were elsewhere: between Liberal Rob Oliphant and Conservative John Carmichael in Don Valley West – where the retirement of Liberal MP John Godfrey leveled the playing field somewhat – and in Beaches-East York, where incumbent Liberal Maria Minna faced off against New Democrat Marilyn Churley, who was once neighbouringToronto-Danforth’s representative in the provincial legislature.

Minna and Churley also faced off in the 2006 federal election, when Minna beat Churley, 40 per cent to 35.

Many expected this election to be closer, but Minna actually opened up her lead this time around, garnering 41 per cent of the vote to Churley’s 32 per cent.

It was closer in Don Valley West, where the Liberal, United Church minister Rob Oliphant, got 44 per cent of the vote, versus 39 per cent for the Conservative, John Carmichael. That’s an improvement for Carmichael over 2006, when he got 33 per cent compared to then-Liberal MP John Godfrey’s 53 per cent. But it still wasn’t as close this time around as some predicted.

Voter turnout in the ridings settled in at around 63 per cent as the final votes were counted early this morning. The last tallies from Beaches-East York were finally filed shortly after 2:30 a.m.

So across the country, it’s a continuation of minority Conservative government. And in East York, it’s a continuation of Liberal representation in Don Valley West and Beaches-East York – and NDP representation in

The raw results, with all polls now reporting:
In Don Valley West: Oliphant – 22,112 votes (44 per cent); Carmichael – 19,441 (39 per cent); New Democrat David Sparrow – 5,102 (10 per cent); Green Georgina Wilcock – 3,155 (six per cent); Communist Catherine Holliday – 162 (0.3 per cent).
In Beaches-East York: Minna – 18,928 (41 per cent); Churley – 14,893 (32 per cent); Conservative Caroline Alleslev – 7,920 (17 per cent); Green Zoran Markovski – 4,402 (10 per cent); Marxist-Leninist Roger Carter – 153 (0.3 per cent).
In Toronto-Danforth: Layton – 20,416 (45 per cent); Liberal Andrew Lang – 13,291 (29 per cent); Green Sharon Howarth – 5,934 (13 per cent); Conservative Christine Perreault – 5,274 (12 per cent); the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada’s Marie Crawford – 177 (0.4 per cent); Independent John Richardson – 129 (0.3 per cent); Marxist-Leninist Marcell Rodden – 98 (0.2 per cent); the Canadian Action Party’s Bahman Yazdanfar – 55 (0.1 per cent).