From east to west, there are dozens of ridings that could change hands in the 2015 election. Thirty ridings have been added as a result of population growth and redistricting. Retirements and the winds of political change also could mean changes in many more. Here are battleground ridings that our politics team will be keeping an eye on Monday night.
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NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Incumbent: Scott Andrews (Liberal / Independent)
Incumbent Scott Andrews fended off a strong challenge from Conservative senator Fabian Manning. Andrews is running as an independent in this election after he left Liberal caucus after a sex scandal.
St-John’s South — Mount Pearl
Incumbent: Ryan Cleary (NDP)
Former TV host Seamus O’Regan is a Liberal star candidate but he’ll be in a tough fight with popular NDP incumbent Ryan Cleary, who took 47 per cent of the vote in the 2011 election. O’Regan’s opponents have taken advantage of a well-publicized gaffe where the TV host was unable to answer a question during an interview with NTV.
Incumbent: Megan Leslie (NDP)
Popular NDPer Megan Leslie has a strong challenger in well-known Liberal candidate and city planner Andy Fillmore. See our full story on the riding.
Incumbent: Peter MacKay (Conservative, not running)
Peter MacKay is bowing out of political life and it appears that his riding may swing towards the Liberals’ Sean Fraser. But don’t count out the fact that MacKay’s family has deep roots in the province and the fact that the seat has been Tory blue for decades.
Incumbent: Scott Armstrong (Conservative)
Liberal candidate Bill Casey was kicked out of the Conservative Party in 2007 for voting against his party’s budget. He’ll be going head-to-head against his former campaign manager Scott Armstrong. Casey held this seat for most of the 1990s and 2000s.
South Shore—St. Margarets
Incumbent: Gerald Keddy (Conservativ, not running)
Conservative MP Gerald Keddy isn’t running again which means this riding outside of Halifax is up for grabs. The Conservative candidate, Richard Clark, is a staffer in Keddy’s office. Could the Liberals and the NDP split the centre-left vote in this riding?
Dartmouth Cole Harbour
Incumbent: Robert Chisholm (NDP)
This Halifax-area riding was one of the closest races in the 2011 election. The NDP’s Robert Chisholm edged out Liberal Mike Savage, now mayor of Halifax. With the recent Liberal surge in the polls Chisholm could be in another tough fight.
Incumbent: Bernard Valcourt (Conservative)
Both the Liberals and the NDP are looking to take down vulnerable Aboriginal Affairs minister Bernard Valcourt. The NDP have fielded former journalist Rosaire L’Italien to try to take the riding. But this riding was held by a Liberal for most of the 2000s.
Incumbent: Tilly O’Neill-Gordon (Conservative)
How bad is the Conservative free fall in Atlantic Canada? If the Tories plummet this seat might be up for grabs. The Liberals are fielding local businessman Pat Finnigan while the NDP are represented by labour leader Patrick Colford. A vote split could still lead to a Conservative win.
Incumbent: Keith Ashfield (Conservative)
The Tories will look to former fisheries minister Keith Ashfield to hold this seat. Ashfield had a recent history of health trouble but has been campaigning hard on the fact that he’s been able to secure funding for local projects. But one political analyst told CBC that the riding has shifted and may actually be more of a bellwether.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Incumbent: Gail Shea (Conservatives)
In 2008, Gail Shea won this riding with a razor-thin margin. Shea was able to build on this lead in 2011 but will be in a three-way race in this election. The Liberals are hoping that former provincial cabinet minister Bobby Morrissey can take back the seat for Trudeau. The NDP are even fielding a strong candidate in Dr. Herb Dickieson, the only NDPer elected as an MLA on the island.
A new Montreal-area riding, this one will be a fight between the NDP and the Liberals. Former Bloc MP Maria Mourani joined the NDP after being expelled from the Bloc caucus. The Liberals are running Mélanie Joly, a former Montreal mayoral candidate and a friend of Justin Trudeau's.
Incumbent: Irwin Cotler (Liberal, retiring)
Mount-Royal has been a Liberal bastion since 1940. But with the Tories targeting the Jewish vote, Conservative candidate Robert Libman might win over Liberal candidate Anthony Housefather. See our full story on the riding.
Incumbent: Hélène Laverdière (NDP)
Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe lost his seat to the hands of NDP candidate Hélène Laverdière in 2011. Now, he's battling to get his seat back thanks to his performances in the French debates.
Former astronaut Marc Garneau has been a Liberal MP in Westmount-Ville-Marie since 2008. He's now competing against a popular NDP candidate, James Hughes, in the new riding of NDG-Westmount. See HuffPost Quebec's article on the riding (in French).
Incumbent: Alexandrine Latendresse (NDP, not returning)
The Tories recruited provincial deputy Gérard Deltell, who has been one of the most active candidates in this election and could become a member of Cabinet if the Conservatives are re-elected. This riding outside Quebec City, however, turned its back to the Conservatives by voting NDP in 2011.
Incumbent: François Choquette (NDP)
Thanks to the orange wave, the NDP won by more than 14 000 votes in 2011. Star candidate Pascale Déry, who lost the nomination in Mount-Royal, is running in this riding east of Montreal for the Conservatives. Stephen Harper and Conservative MPs, such as Denis Lebel, have visited the riding numerous times to make sure she gets elected.
Incumbent: Charmaine Borg (NDP)
NDP candidate Charmaine Borg is running against two star candidates : Conservative Michel Surprenant, a victims' rights advocate, and Liberal Michèle Audette, an advocate for missing and murdered native women. See HuffPost Quebec's story on the riding in French.
Incumbent: Royal Galipeau (Conservative)
Conservative MP Royal Galipeau has a fight on his hands for this Ottawa-area riding. The Liberal candidate is retired Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie. The former head of the army does have a few blemishes on his record, most notably a spending scandal when he left the army.
Incumbent: Frank Valeriote (Liberal, retiring)
The Liberals won this southwestern Ontario seat easily in 2011, but they went into this election with a new candidate. Local business leader Lloyd Longfield will be facing off against the Conservatives’ Gloria Kovach, a city councillor.
Incumbent: Greg Rickford (Conservative)
It’s a true three-way battle in this northern Ontario riding. Incumbent Greg Rickford, the Conservative natural resources minister, will have to fight off Bob Nault, a Chretien-era Liberal Cabinet minister and the NDP’s Howard Hampton, who formerly led that party provincially.
Incumbent: Joe Oliver (Conservative)
Is finance minister Joe Oliver vulnerable in his midtown-Toronto riding? Both the NDP and the Liberals think so. The NDP have parachuted Andrew Thomson, a former Saskatchewan finance minister, to do battle there. While the Liberals settled on Marco Mendocino after a high-profile nomination fight with former Conservative MP Eve Adams.
Incumbent: Bernard Trottier (Conservative)
Conservative candidate Bernard Trottier beat former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff in this Toronto riding in 2011. The riding was a former Liberal stronghold so lawyer James Maloney will be looking to win it back . The NDP candidate, Phil Trotter, may prove to be the wrinkle in this race. His name is similar to the incumbent’s and could lead to ballot box confusion.
Incumbent: Adam Vaughan (Liberal)
NDPer Olivia Chow left this seat for a failed run as mayor of Toronto. She’ll be looking to take it back from Liberal Adam Vaughan, who won the seat in a by-election. Both candidates have represented parts of the riding as city councillor. Read our full story on the riding.
Incumbent: Chris Alexander (Conservatives)
Immigration minister Chris Alexander stumbled at the start of the election with his handling of the Syrian refugee file and even paused his re-election campaign. It remains to be seen whether the issue, which dominated headlines for days, will have an effect on the ballot box. Liberal candidate Mark Holland will be looking to take back this riding which was once a Grit stronghold.
Incumbent: Stephen Woodworth (Conservatives)
Kitchener Centre has been a bellwether in provincial and federal elections for more than 20 years. MP Stephen Woodworth has held the seat since 2008 but the Liberals will be looking to take this one back. They’ve fielded Raj Saini, a local pharmacist. The riding has also been the focus of a strategic voting campaign.
Incumbent: Peter Braid (Conservative)
Waterloo could be a three-way race. Braid has solidified his grip on the riding after being elected by a narrow margin in 2008. The Liberal candidate Bardish Chagger is a relative neophyte but could tap the city’s growing multicultural communities. The NDP’s Diane Freeman is a local councillor and former Liberal dissatisfied with her former party’s stance on bill C-51.
London North Centre
Incumbent: Susan Truppe (Conservative)
Another potential pick-up for the Liberals in western Ontario. Incumbent Susan Truppe won the riding by fewer than 2,000 votes. The Liberal candidate Peter Fragiskatos is a political science professor. Truppe got into a bit of trouble when she opted not attend a debate organized by students at Western University. Debate organizers left an empty chair for her on stage.
Incumbent: Chungsen Leung (Conservative)
Conservative Chungsen Leung nabbed this seat from Liberal Martha Hall Findlay in the last election. The Liberal candidate Ali Ehsassi will be looking to rebuild the Liberal’s strong grip on the Toronto area. The riding has a significant percentage of new Canadians making it an interesting litmus test for the election’s focus on issues such as the niqab and refugees.
Incumbent: Gordon O’Connor (Conservative, retired)
This riding was held by Conservative whip Gordon O’Connor who recently retired. This time around, local businessman Walter Pamic will be flying the Tory banner. The Liberals have an intriguing candidate in Karen McCrimmon, a retired air force commander.
Another recently redrawn Ottawa-area riding, Nepean could be a fierce fight. The Conservatives’ treatment of the civil service could be a bigger issue in this riding. The Conservatives are putting businessman and former staffer Andy Wang in the field. The Liberal candidate Chandra Arya has connections with a number of economic development bodies in Ottawa.
John Baird’s former riding, the Conservative candidate Abdul Abdi is an Ottawa police officer and Somali immigrant. The Conservative’s stance on the niqab may have hurt Abdi. The Liberal candidate is human rights and international relations expert Anita Vandenbeld.
Sault Ste. Marie
Incumbent: Bryan Hayes (Conservative)
Conservative incumbent Bryan Hayes could be facing two tough contenders in the Soo. The Liberals’ Terry Sheehan is a city councillor and well-known in the community. The NDP are fielding Skip Morrison, a financial planner.
Incumbent: Phil McColeman (Conservative)
Brantford-Brant appeared to be a three-way race at the start of the election but seems to have narrowed to a battle between Conservative Phil McColeman and Liberal Danielle Takacs. The riding is home to the Six Nations reserve so native issues, something the Conservatives have struggled with, could be an issue.
Incumbent: Pat Martin (NDP)
The NDP’s Pat Martin is known as one of the House’s more feisty MPs, that didn’t change much on the campaign trail. The Liberal candidate Robert Falcon-Ouelette was on the receiving end of some colourful language from Martin. But the challenge for Martin’s seat is real. Falcon-Ouelette, an army veteran turned professor, is regarded as a star candidate by the Liberals and recently even staged a strong run for Winnipeg mayor.
Incumbent: Lawrence Toet (Conservative)
Will the Blaikie name translate into electoral success for the NDP? Conservative Lawrence Toet will have to fend off a challenge from the NDP’s Daniel Blaikie, son of long-time MP Bill Blaikie. Blaikie beat NDP MLA Jim Maloway for the party’s nomination in that riding.
Incumbent: Brad Trost (Conservative)
The NDP’s Claire Card, a professor and veterinarian, is mounting a strong challenge to take this seat away from Conservative Brad Trost. But a late Liberal surge could work in candidate Cynthia Block’s favour. Block, a former CTV journalist, also has some profile in the riding.
Incumbent: Joan Crockatt (Conservative)
The Liberals could flip this riding in the heart of Conservative country. Their candidate Kent Hehr is a former MLA and polls have him in a tight race with Conservative incumbent Joan Crockatt. Crockatt faced controversy after dropping out of the city’s Pride Parade after her voting record on transgender rights was revealed.
NDP candidate Fin Donnelly will be trying to get elected in this riding, after being elected in nearby New Westminster-Coquitlam. But other parts of this riding elected Conservative MP James Moore so this could be a tough battle for the NDP. The Conservative candidate Tim Laidler is a veteran and has done advocacy work for the veterans.
A new riding that encompasses some of Vancouver’s most affluent neighbourhoods, this could be a three-way fight. The NDP candidate, Mira Oreck is a long-time political consultant and works for the Broadbent Institute. The Liberal candidate Jody Wilson-Raybould was a former regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations and Crown prosecutor. While the Conservatives are fielding lawyer and businessman Erinn Broshko.
Incumbent: Murray Rankin (NDP)
This riding will be a rare NDP vs. Green battle. Former CBC host Jo-Ann Roberts will be trying to grow the Green’s seat count in the House. The Greens staged a solid by-election battle here against eventual NDP winner Murray Rankin. The Liberal candidate Cheryl Thomas withdrew her candidacy due to some controversial media comments. Her name remains on the ballot, which could be a factor.
Incumbent: Nina Grewal (Conservative)
The Vancouver suburb of Surrey is home to a few battleground ridings, and Fleetwood-Port Kells is one of them. Conservative incumbent Nina Grewal will have to fend off strong challenges from the NDP Garry Bregg, a retired RCMP inspector and Liberal Ken Hardie, a former TransLink spokesman. Bregg’s roots in law enforcement could be an asset as gang violence is an issue in the riding.
North Island-Powell River
This northern Vancouver Island riding was held by veteran Conservative John Duncan, who’ll be running in neighbouring Courtenay-Alberni. Rachel Blaney will be trying to take this riding for the NDP, they came a strong second in 2011. The Conservative candidate, Laura Smith, is a former advisor to Duncan which can only be an asset as he held the riding for decades.
Cabinet minister John Duncan will try to hold this riding for the Conservatives. The riding is dominated by seniors which could play well for the Conservatives but the NDP are fielding a strong candidate in Gord Johns, a former Tofino city councillor and former chair of that town’s chamber of commerce. Environmental issues are also a factor in this picturesque riding.
Incumbent: Ryan Leef (Conservative)
This one will be a rematch for Conservative Ryan Leef. He beat Liberal candidate Larry Bagnell by a little more than 100 votes in 2011. The wrinkle this time around will be NDP candidate Melissa Atkinson a human rights lawyer and member of Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation.
Incumbent: Leona Aglukkaq (Conservative)
Health minister Leona Aglukkaq is facing not one but two tough challengers. The NDP candidate Jack Anawak was MP for the area in the 1990s. The Liberal candidate Hunter Tootoo was an MLA in the northern territory. Aglukkaq could be vulnerable due to her party’s stance on First Nations issue as well as the environment.
With files from Althia Raj and Catherine Levesque
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