Chow returns to Ottawa with NDP ‘surge’

Re-elected NDP MP Olivia Chow enjoys victory celebration at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Monday night. Photo – Geoff Mosher. (CHOWATVICTORY)

As Jack Layton took the stage at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, early Tuesday morning, newly re-elected Trinity-Spadina MP Olivia Chow stood to the side, smiling, holding his cane as NDP supporters chanted and applauded.

Monday night, Layton and the NDP won 102 seats across the country, including his Toronto Danforth riding and Chow’s Trinity-Spadina riding.

For Chow, Layton’s wife, it proved a victorious night, despite early rumours that the “condo factor” in Trinity-Spadina would derail her hopes for re-election.

Chow expressed to party faithful how their hard work had delivered such an historic victory to the federal New Democratic Party.

“Today I heard something amazing,” she said. “I heard your voices ring out louder than ever. Your voice is stronger and believe me with Jack as your leader your voice will be heard in Ottawa.”

Chow was able to capitalize on the recent NDP “surge” reported by pollsters in the last two weeks. Chow received 54 per cent of the votes, while her opponent Liberal candidate Christine Innes took 23 per cent.

The Toronto Star discussed early in the election that because of new condos, south of Queen Street, Trinity-Spadina now had 10,000-15,000 new potential voters …voters some suggested were more affluent and less likely to vote NDP.

Prior to the NDP “surge” of the last two weeks, Nanos polls had put Chow and Innes neck and neck. In 2008, Chow beat Innes by less than 4,000 votes.

At an all-candidates debate during the campaign, Innes discussed the problem of trying to reach these new voters.

“In the south end we had a lot of volunteers,” she said. “The people in the condos are harder to reach and have different lifestyles and traditionally (during) canvassing times you can’t find them at home.”