By the numbers: How College ward sent Johnson and Sutcliffe to city hall in the municipal election

Laine Johnson won the seat on city council for College ward in the Oct. 24 municipal election, making her the first new face for the ward in 20 years. But voter turnout was low, and the races for the council seat and mayor were tight. The Algonquin Times crunched the data from the official results, […]
Photo: Nathan Drescher
College ward residents chose Laine Johnson to represent them at Ottawa City Hall. The municipal election happened on Oct. 24.

Laine Johnson won the seat on city council for College ward in the Oct. 24 municipal election, making her the first new face for the ward in 20 years.

But voter turnout was low, and the races for the council seat and mayor were tight.

The Algonquin Times crunched the data from the official results, and here is what we found.

Voter turnout

Unsurprisingly for municipal elections, voter turnout for College ward was only 46 per cent. There were 36,958 registered voters in the ward, but only 16,906 people actually cast a ballot.

There is a silver lining. College ward had a higher voter turnout than the city average, where overall only 44 per cent of voters participated in the elections.

Some of the polling stations around this ward received extremely low turnout. For example, the Minto Sportsplex only had one voter show up. Of the 271 registered voters for the polls at West End Villa, only 23 people turned out.

City council

It was a hard-fought race and Johnson overcame her closest contender, Pat McGarry.

Johnson took 8,899 of the votes cast, while 5,652 people voted for McGarry. Wendy Davidson finished a distant third with 1,338 votes.

McGarry did well at a few polls, beating Johnson at Meadowlands Public School and Michelle Heights Sports Centre. Otherwise, Johnson led at every single polling station.

Granda Kopytko managed to garner 649 votes, while Vilteau Delvas brought up the rear of the pack with 368 votes.

Mayor

Mark Sutcliffe won the race for mayor city-wide with a clear majority, and he also took the most votes in College ward. He took 7,620 votes compared to Catherine McKenney’s 5,562 votes.

Sutcliffe’s vote share city-wide was just over 51 per cent, and College ward was not too different, where Sutcliffe won 52 per cent of the vote. McKenney took 38 per cent of the vote both city wide and across College ward.

Some of the polls were extremely tight. Sutcliffe beat McKenney by only one vote at Agincourt Road Public School, while McKenney beat Sutcliffe by only five votes at Westcliffe Park Community Building.

There were 2,206 fewer votes for mayor than for city councillor in College ward. Only eight of those were rejected ballots, which can happen when a ballot is improperly filled out or spoiled intentionally. Elections Ottawa said this is common when people only check off their vote for councillor without filling out the other selections on the card.

Bob Chiarelli was in third place with 858 of the votes cast in the ward, or just under six per cent.

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