Ford Nation 2014: 14 things demographics tell us about Toronto voters

Mayoral candidate Doug Ford speaks to supporters after losing to fellow candidate John Tory at Ford's election night headquarters in Toronto on Monday, October 27, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

John Tory emerged the winner of last months Toronto election, but former councillor Doug Ford came closer than many expected. Four years after Rob Ford became mayor, and a year after his crack cocaine admission, who is Ford Nation?

We plugged poll-level voter data from last week’s Toronto’s municipal election into demographic data from the 2006 census (the most recent, reliable long-form census) and income data from 2011 tax returns. (Here’s how)

The result: fresh insights into the city’s political tribes. Each dot represents a poll; the colours correspond to plurality winners by poll.

Compare and contrast: What demographics tell us about Ford Nation in the 2010 election

Ford Nation has:

More immigrants:

More single parents:

More people on social assistance:

More low-income earners:

More people in neighbourhoods with falling incomes:

More people who commute by car:

Fewer people who commute by transit:

Fewer people with university degrees:

Fewer people whose first language is English:

Fewer people living alone:

Fewer people who’ve never been married:

Fewer people who’ve moved within the past five years:

Fewer people in neighbourhoods built before 1946:

There doesn’t seem to be any relationship between highrise living and political preference. (It would be interesting to break out condos from rental apartment buildings, but the census doesn’t give us that information):

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One major change since the 2010 election is income: Four years ago, there wasn’t a major correlation between income and Ford support. This year Ford voters were much more likely to have lower incomes than others.

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We used a GIS program to find the centre point of each poll, then plugged those into a geographic file showing Toronto census tracts to place each poll in, or acceptably close to, its corresponding tract.The dots show polls – in many cases, more than one poll falls in one census tract. (Back to the top)

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