NEWS
09/21/2015 10:51 EDT | Updated 09/21/2016 01:12 EDT

Some facts and figures about the federal riding of Peterborough-Kawartha

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. — Things to know about Ontario's Peterborough-Kawartha riding:

Worth watching: The race is on to elect a new MP in the riding of Peterborough-Kawartha, most recently held by disgraced former Conservative Dean Del Mastro. The district has been redrawn and replaces the old Peterborough riding. It will get a new MP for the first time in nearly a decade because Del Mastro, a former parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, stepped down after he was convicted in October 2014 of election spending violations in the 2008 campaign. In June, Del Mastro was sentenced to a month in jail. News cameras captured a rare sight after his sentencing: a former MP in shackles. Cameras rolled as Del Mastro, wearing handcuffs and leg irons, was marched by guards to a waiting van.

Population: 115,269 including the communities of Peterborough, Lakefield, Ennismore, Havelock and Buckhorn.

Incumbent: Del Mastro, who won three times in Peterborough, is not running.

Main challengers: The Tories have chosen local businessman Michael Skinner to try and hold the seat. Skinner owns event spaces, a restaurant and a property management firm, according to his campaign website. NDP candidate Dave Nickle is described on his website as a retired teacher and former district president of a teachers' federation. It also says Nickle, the runner-up to Del Mastro in 2011, is chair of a Peterborough community group that offers free legal advice and representation for lower-income residents. Liberal hopeful Maryam Monsef's profile says she is a former Peterborough mayoral candidate who represented the city at a United Nations commission on the status of women.

Election history: This bellwether riding has often elected MPs from the parties that win power, swinging back and forth between the Conservatives and Liberals for decades. Del Mastro first won the seat, previously held by the Liberals, in January 2006 and held it until he resigned in November 2014. He left the Tory caucus in September 2013 after being charged under the Canada Elections Act and sat as an Independent until his resignation.

Fun Fact: Walter Pitman won the riding in the 1960 byelection under the banner of the New Party, which later became the New Democratic Party. Pitman, a founder of the NDP, held the riding for nearly two years before losing the 1962 election to Progressive Conservative Fred Stenson.

The Canadian Press