Our first and second waves of endorsements reflected ridings where both history and trends had made the landscape fairly clear.
For our third wave, things have been much more difficult. Most of these ridings have two strong progressive candidates, making the decision challenging; a more collaborative effort between the progressive opposition parties might have made the choice for the best candidate to defeat Ford’s PC much clearer. That said, with just days to go before the election, the trends are unlikely to change, and we are ready to make our final endorsements. Here are our third wave of Unity candidates.
Etobicoke–Lakeshore: Lee Fairclough (Liberal)
Historically, Etobicoke-Lakeshore has been a strong Liberal riding with a well-organized Liberal operation. But a very strong NDP showing in 2018 coupled with a strong candidate and campaign operation this year has made for a tight race, reflected in the polling that has fluctuated throughout the campaign.
However, in the final days, the vote has begun to consolidate in a solidly Liberal trend. This puts the Lee Fairclough in the best position to unseat the PC incumbent in this riding.
Scarborough North: Anita Anandarajan (Liberal)
Scarborough North has been a difficult race to call with the PC incumbent in the lead, but a full consolidation of the opposition parties could pull it off. Trends are lining up behind the Liberal party in second place, and therefore, they are best positioned to win with a united progressive vote. Anita Anandarajan has deep roots in Scarborough and needs our support to take this seat back.
An excellent NDP candidate in Scarborough–Rouge Park has run a strong campaign and kept the race close, but as the election draws to a close, the trends have shaken out and are solidifying behind Liberal candidate Manal Abdullahi, a community advocate and educator. At present, the PCs are leading but the Liberal party is within striking distance: a strategic consolidation of the vote could put this one over the top.
Humber River–Black Creek: Ida Li Preti (Liberal)
A very tight race in Humber River–Black Creek, but we are seeing similar trends here as with other ridings: namely, that voter consolidation has finally begun, and is gathering behind the Liberal party. This was a difficult decision, but we find the safest vote to defeat the PCs is with Liberal candidate Ida Li Preti–a business owner, school board trustee, and director on the Toronto Board of Health.
In addition, our model has determined three more ridings where the PCs are unlikely to pose a threat.
Don Valley East - our model predicts that this historically Liberal riding remains a relatively safe seat for Liberal candidate Adil Shamji
Don Valley West - Premier Kathleen Wynne’s former riding, this one remains a relatively safe seat for Liberal candidate Stephanie Bowman
Scarborough Guildwood – incumbent Mitzie Hunter survived the 2018 Liberal vote collapse and is a strong contender, we anticipate they will win handily this time
Finally, in York South Weston, we are still evaluating the situation, which is incredibly fluid.
Our unique model looks at a variety of sources, including historical data, campaign assets, candidate strengths, the polls and more. We have done all we can to make the right call, and focus on ridings where uniting the vote will make the key difference. Many of these ridings are close races, and every vote counts.
We know there have been many polls predicting that Ford will once again win a majority government, and that there is no sign of cooperation from the opposition parties so far. We understand that it might feel frustrating or even pointless to vote. But remember, polls don’t decide elections, people do. Already, there has been more than a million ballots cast in the advanced polls, which is up more than 50% from the previous provincial election. It's not over until it's over. Toronto will have its say, and together, we will be heard.