The Unity Call in York South-Weston
We have done our best, throughout this effort, to incorporate as much data - both quantitative and qualitative - into our assessment as possible, and to be as accurate as we can, even knowing that predictions are extremely difficult.
In York South-Weston, it's been even harder than usual. An incredibly fluid race, a PC surge under the Ford brand, dynamic and capable candidates, and an incumbent with deep roots to the community and remarkable organizing skills have made this call extremely difficult.
Our aim is to identify the candidate with the best chance of beating the PCs. A look at polling alone would give the Liberal candidate, Nadia Guerrera, a slight edge - Toronto has shown a strong reversion to pre-2018 polling strength for Liberal candidates over the past weeks.
But our model incorporates more than just polls, because campaigns are much more than just polls, and polling aggregators are not well equipped to capture local dynamics.
Both candidates impressed our volunteers as energetic, intelligent, and capable.
But there are further factors.
The incumbent, New Democrat Faisal Hassan, has been an active and visible leader over the past four years, making good use of his time in office to deliver for his constituents. He has deep roots to the community and has a track record of showing up when the chips are down. Furthermore, he is a tenacious and effective organizer, whose campaign has hundred of volunteers actively reaching out and turning out voters. In tight races, that kind of voter turnout ground game can make the difference, especially given what is, unfortunately, a recent PC lead.
Our job at Not One Seat is unequivocally not to persuade people to vote strategically. Our job is to inform people who already wish to do so, as accurately as we can, based primarily on the criteria of who is best positioned to defeat the PC.
Recent polling trends clearly favour the Liberals in Toronto. That said, we believe that the incumbent's ground game, connection to the community, and years of leadership in the riding likely give him an essential advantage which may overcome those trends. Taken together, we feel that in this riding, we are unable to make a safe call. We are inviting strategic voters in York South-Weston to make their own judgment call, but note that in places where we cannot make a safe call, we tend to lean towards the incumbent.