Edmonton Election 2010: Visualizing Results by Polling Station

Ever wonder where the candidates in last month’s municipal election received the most support? Which parts of the city supported which mayoral candidates? After seeing the maps that were created for Calgary’s top three mayoral candidates, I wondered about the same kind of thing here. Local software developer Josh Kjenner was also interested, and he has been busy visualizing the results by polling station ever since.

Josh wrote an application called Metroview for the City of Edmonton’s Apps4Edmonton competition, a project which he spent about 60 hours on. The tool is implemented in Processing, a programming language and environment that Josh called “a really really intense Java library.” He returned to the project after the City of Edmonton released the final election results by polling station, and spent another 20 hours or so improving it. Josh told me the biggest challenge he faced was conditioning the KML files from the open data catalogue (a common challenge that open data developers face…getting the data and the tools/technology working together).

The result is an interactive application that lets you visualize candidate support and other data on a map of Edmonton.

Here are a few of the data visualizations you can see in Josh’s metroview yegvote 2010 app (requires Java).

Eligible voters versus voter turnout:

Support for Stephen Mandel:

Support for David Dorward:

Support for Daryl Bonar:

You can see that Mandel received most of his support from the south part of the city, while Dorward received the most support from the north part. You can use the metroview tool to see similar results for every ward, public school ward, and catholic school ward too.

Thanks Josh for creating this tool! This is another great example of what can be created when the data is open and available.

UPDATE: It should be noted that you can’t really compare Mandel’s graph to Dorward’s. A dark area in Mandel’s is not equivalent to a dark area in Dorward’s, for example, because of the difference in the number of overall votes that each candidate received. The colors on each graph are in relation to the other areas on that graph for that candidate only. If you look at Josh’s app, you get the raw values as you hover over each area, and you can choose absolute instead of relative for the drawing mode.

Edmonton Election 2010: Election Result Statistics

By now I’m sure you’ve seen the unofficial election results (official results should be released tomorrow). I thought it would be interesting to look at those numbers in more detail, and with a little bit of context.

There were 14 data updates throughout the night. The first voting stations reported in at 8:31 PM, and the final one reported at 11:35 PM. Here’s what the updates looked like:

Time is along the bottom, the vertical axis represents the number of ballots cast, and the size of the balloon represents the size of the update (the data labels are the number of votes after the update). You can see that there was one very large update, at 9:48 PM.

Here’s what Stephen Mandel’s win looked like throughout the night – the difference in votes between him and nearest competitor David Dorward:

When all was said and done, Mandel had won re-election by 49,533 votes.

A total of 196,661 ballots were cast. Here are the number of votes per ward:

You can see that Ward 8 had the most votes. Because the wards changed this year from six to twelve, it doesn’t make sense to try to compare them to 2007. We can compare the winning candidates however. To get elected in 2007, a candidate on average had 12724 votes. To get elected in 2010, a candidate on average had just 8640 votes.

Here is the difference between first and second place for each ward:

You can see that the two closest races were in Ward 2 and Ward 3. Those two wards were among the busiest in terms of the number of candidates, along with Ward 6 and Ward 11. The biggest wins were in Ward 5, Ward 9, and Ward 10, all of which had strong incumbents and few competitors.

Here are the number of votes per Catholic School Ward:

And finally, here are the number of votes per Public School Ward, compared with 2007:

There were two acclamations this year, versus just one in 2007. In every other ward, the number of votes in 2010 was higher than in 2007. This isn’t surprising, given the increased interest in schools due to the closures.

Just 1217 ballots did not indicate a choice for mayor (compared to 2491 in 2007), where as 4456 ballots did not indicate a choice for councillor. A total of 44,121 ballots did not indicate a choice for school trustee (keep in mind there were two acclamations, but still).

I’ll leave you with this:

UPDATE: Official election results are now available.

Edmonton Election 2010: Candidates capture the moment on Twitter

Twitter is a great way to capture the moment, so I wondered, what did the candidates tweet after the results came in? Here are post-election tweets from the victorious candidates, followed by the tweets from everyone else (if an account isn’t listed below, it’s because either they haven’t yet updated, or the account has already been deleted).


Thank you Edmonton!

So proud of the citizens of Edmonton! Onward and upward!! #yegvote

Thank you Ward 3 !

I’d like to thank the voters of Ward 5 for their vote of confidence in me. Also, thank you to all the kind wishes 😀 #yeg

Thank you everyone for your support. All but one poll is in and it looks like I’m heading back to Council in Ward 8 #yegvote #yegcc #yeg

Touched by #yegvote results in the first batch of results.

We did it! Thanks to everybody. It’s an amazing feeling and I’m ready to get to work for folks. I’m honored. #yegvote

I’ve received a kind call from Ward C candidate Tony Henshall. My thanks to the #yeg Twitter community for all your help. #yegvote #epsb

I just removed the word "candidate" from my twitter bio. Thanks #WardG! #epsb #yeg #yegvote

Thanks to all the residents/supporters of Ward I. Best wishes to @PublicTrustTina. Ready for the leadership role as Trustee Cleary on EPSB!

Everyone has gone home, kids are all in bed, house is quiet and I am still way too excited to sleep! THANK YOU supporters ! #yegvote #epsb

A brave new world emerging within Edm. Public tonight. I say hurrah. Democracy delivers. #yegvote #yeg #epsb

Welcome Trustee-Elects Johner, Spencer, Mackenzie, Hoffman, Janz & Cleary, Congrats to Trustees Shipka & Colburn. Let’s get to work! #epsb

Thank you Edmonton for your support. It has been a great honour to have my name stand for Mayor of Edmonton. #yegvote

Hat’s off to @mandelformayor. My sincerest congratulations. #yegvote

Taking tomorrow off to spend with my family. Thanks for the support #yeg I will be back #yegvote

New day, New goals, "Defending Democracy" http://www.andrewlineker.webs.com

Thank you everyone for your support!

@serfx Thank you very much for the kind words and the campaign for 2013 starts tomorrow – today I will rest.

Thank you to all who supported me! We ran an honest upfront campaign and I am proud! #yeg #yegvote

Thanks for all your kind words everyone. Running for council was a privilege. Stay engaged, folks. Be well. #yegvote #yeg

a little disappointed in tonight’s results, but the road to 2013 starts Wednesday (Tuesday is nap time…) #yegvote

Took all my signs down Putting less up means taking less down Good luck 2 the others w/cleaning up your 1,000’s of pieces of litter #voteroxiemalone

Thank you everyone for listening, even if you elected someone else. Rami #yeg #yegvote

Its been a good fight. Hats off to @KerryDiotte for winning Ward 11. Thanks to all my volunteers. #yeg #yegvote

I want to thank all the volunteers and the voters. We ran a clean campaign and in 28 days, we fought hard had some fun & made new friends.

Thanks to all those in #yeg 4 their support and encouragement. The beginning of a new era for #epsb & the (cont) http://tl.gd/6i9uji

Beaten, but not defeated. I’ll be back so watch every steps and mind your mistake Mr Consoller for I will keep an eye on you the next 3 yrs

Oh so close! 1% difference. Recount! #epsb #yegvote #abed #yeg

Of course, candidates weren’t the only ones capturing the moment on election night! More on that in a future post!

Let us move forward, together

There were no major upsets last night. Mayor Mandel was re-elected to his third term. Every incumbent councillor was re-elected, including Kim Krushell in the close Ward 2 race.

Envision Edmonton made a lot of noise about 100,000 people wanting to have their say on the airport, yet they apparently didn’t care enough to show up at the voting stations.

By all accounts, yesterday was a victory for Edmontonians ready to move forward, beyond the airport and on to bigger and better things. Yet if you read today’s Edmonton Journal, that’s not the impression you’d get at all.

The Day After: Calgary Herald vs. Edmonton Journal

Here are the headlines/key phrases today on the front of the Calgary Herald:

  • It’s Nenshi
  • New mayor paints town purple with decisive win
  • Political newcomer vows change on the way for city
  • Best voter turnout in years ushers in new faces to council chamber
  • What’s next for council?
  • Big changes at City Hall
  • Calgarians flood polls

Here are the headlines/key phrases today on the front of the Edmonton Journal:

  • ‘Finally, we will move forward’: Mandel
  • Envision Edmonton vows to continue fight to save City Centre Airport

Turn the page, and on A3 you see in big bold letters, side-by-side:

I’m definitely not the first to point out the differences between the Herald and the Journal – this kind of thing happens far too often. And before you comment and say that the Journal is just trying to be balanced, let me say to that: I don’t buy it.

Is there really a division?

There’s no question that the airport has been a divisive issue in Edmonton in the past. But yesterday is not today, and today is not tomorrow. In his article on the airport issue dividing the city, David Staples wrote:

“A council bent on shutting the historic downtown airport won re-election, but the bitterness over issue will continue to fracture Edmonton.”

I humbly suggest that the only “fracture” left is the artificial one that David and his colleagues seem more than happy to perpetuate.

Let’s follow the logic here. Thousands of Edmontonians re-elect a city council that decided it was in the city’s best interests to close the City Centre Airport. Envision Edmonton’s Ed Schlemko says the issue “has divided the city”. As a result, we’re going to continue to be fractured?

This afternoon, the Herald’s website was full of stories about Nenshi. And the Journal? They’ve got a story about new ward 11 councillor Kerry Diotte pushing for an airport plebiscite. It’s not just the Journal either – CBC, the Edmonton Sun, and iNews880 also have similar stories.

Let’s move on

Edmontonians want to move forward – they voted for a council that decided to close the airport. Mandel wants to move forward, as he made very clear in his victory speech last night. Even David Dorward seems to want to move forward.

Envision Edmonton is heading to the courts, refusing to accept defeat. They and what few supporters they have left don’t want to move forward. Kerry Diotte has decided he doesn’t want to move forward either.

The City Centre Airport will close. And then the lands will be redeveloped. We need to focus our energies on making sure that redevelopment is positive for Edmonton.

Let us move forward, together.

Edmonton Election 2010: Unofficial Results

It took a while for the data to start flowing but that only added to the excitement of the evening! A total of 196,661 ballots were cast by Edmontonians in this election, giving us a voter turnout of just over 34%. Here is your new City Council (unofficial until finalized on Friday by Edmonton Elections):

  • Stephen Mandel (Mayor)
  • Linda Sloan (Ward 1)
  • Kim Krushell (Ward 2)
  • Dave Loken (Ward 3)
  • Ed Gibbons (Ward 4)
  • Karen Leibovici (Ward 5)
  • Jane Batty (Ward 6)
  • Tony Caterina (Ward 7)
  • Ben Henderson (Ward 8 )
  • Bryan Anderson (Ward 9)
  • Don Iveson (Ward 10)
  • Kerry Diotte (Ward 11)
  • Amarjeet Sohi (Ward 12)

Here are your new Public School Trustees:

  • Cheryl Johner (Ward A)
  • Ken Shipka (Ward B)
  • Christopher Spencer (Ward C)
  • Dave Colburn (Ward D)
  • Heather Mackenzie (Ward E)
  • Michael Janz (Ward F)
  • Sarah Hoffman (Ward G)
  • Catherine Ripley (Ward H)
  • Leslie Cleary (Ward I)

Here are your new Catholic School Trustees:

  • Becky Kallal (Ward 71)
  • Larry Kowalczyk (Ward 72)
  • Cindy Olsen (Ward 73)
  • Debbie Engel (Ward 74)
  • John Acheson (Ward 75)
  • Marilyn Bergstra (Ward 76)
  • Laura Thibert (Ward 77)

You can see full election results at ShareEdmonton.

The closest race tonight was in Ward 2, where Krushell defeated Don Koziak by just 539 votes. Aside from that however, I think tonight’s result is a clear vote of confidence in the direction City Council had been moving under Mandel’s leadership.

Congratulations to all the candidates who ran in this election!

Edmonton Election 2010: It’s election day!

There’s just a couple of hours left to vote today, so if you haven’t already done so, go vote! You can find out where your voting station is here. I voted this morning and spent the day with Dave visiting campaign offices and getting a feel for the election. So far, turnout is looking decent.

As of 4pm today, a total of 77,947 Edmontonians had voted. If you add the 17,658 who voted in advance voting, the total is 95,605, which is nearly 26,000 higher than the 69,638 for the same period in 2007.

If you’re looking for a place to see the results tonight, check out the ShareEdmonton election results dashboard!

There weren’t any lines to deal with when I voted at 10:30 this morning. I ran into a couple of Mandel supporters on the way back:

Mandel supporters

My next stop was City Hall, to get an update on the morning voter turnout from Edmonton’s Returning Officer Alayne Sinclair:

Edmonton Clerk Alayne Sinclair

Dave and I then began our tour of election campaign offices, starting with Mayor Stephen Mandel’s:

Stephen Mandel's Campaign OfficeStephen Mandel's Campaign Office

The mayor himself was pretty happy with the effort put in by his team!

Stephen Mandel's Campaign Office

Our next visit was David Dorward’s office, where we had a great chat with David MacLean. Most of the team was out getting people to the voting stations, but the office was getting setup for a party.

David Dorward Campaign OfficeDavid Dorward Campaign Office

From there we travelled to Daryl Bonar’s office, but there was no one there. They were out getting people to vote, as they should have been!

Daryl Bonar supporters

We headed back north of the river for our next stops, starting with Scott McKeen’s campaign office:

Scott McKEen Campaign OfficeScott McKEen Campaign Office

A short trip away was Tony Caterina’s campaign office. We caught him just as he was leaving!

Tony Caterina Campaign OfficeTony Caterina Campaign Office

We stopped at Don Koziak’s campaign office, but there wasn’t anyone there. Our last stop, on the way back to City Hall, was at James Johnson’s campaign office:

James Johnson Campaign Office

You can see the rest of my photos here.

Of all the campaign offices we visited today, I’d say that Mandel’s felt most like what I was expecting. There were lots of people there, phones were ringing, people were running around – there was energy!


We should start to see results coming in around 8:15pm tonight. Stay tuned to #yegvote on Twitter and check out the election results dashboard at ShareEdmonton. You can quickly see the overall results, and if you click on a ward, you can get more detail about just that race.

Edmonton Election 2010: Candidate Surveys

I think it’s much more interesting and useful to hear a candidate explain their position on something, but there is still value in reading the many candidate surveys that go out during an election. Here are the ones I’ve found:

And if you’d rather watch your candidates answer questions, check out the election videos at ShareEdmonton or the archived candidate forums.

Advance voting is on now!

Stephen Mandel for a greater Edmonton

Last Saturday morning I had the opportunity to sit down with Mayor Stephen Mandel and two of my fellow local bloggers (Dave, Jeff) for an informal chat. We talked about a variety of things, including a few issues that I am particularly interested in.

Mayor Stephen Mandel


I asked Mandel what he thought about the conversation he had at The Learning Centre, where the biggest issue was homelessness. He admitted that he found it frustrating, because many of the people didn’t know too much about the Edmonton Homeless Commission or the plan that has been put into place. I think that illustrates how much work there is still ahead, something Mandel mentioned a few times. He said that “we need partnerships to get it done” and said there is an increasing desire from people and organizations to get involved. He noted that the plan continues to evolve, and while I think Mandel recognizes that completely ending homelessness is definitely a stretch goal, he is truly committed to making a difference.

Working With Councillors

Mandel likes to say that our current council has been quite successful at moving things forward. We asked him why, and what it’ll take to continue that momentum, and he replied that it’s about building consensus. He talked about this at a different event a couple weeks ago, and noted that councillors often do and should want to do more than just deal with ward issues. Mandel seems to want a team of thirteen that can think about Edmonton as a whole, and that can work together to progress things.

Local Food

I wanted to know what Mandel thought about food security and other issues surrounding our local food system. He agreed that the Municipal Development Plan was a good start, and noted the successful push by the Greater Edmonton Alliance in helping that document evolve. He talked about our food processing industry, and said it would be good to help it expand (something others are thinking about right now too). When I asked about beekeeping or chickens within the city, he said “we need to make it possible for people to do these things” but noted that it’s a complex issue.

In the economic vision he released yesterday, Mandel pledged to pursue “a new program to accommodate and promote Edmonton’s Urban Agricultural Strategy as both a community and economic initiative.”

Danielle Smith

I asked Mandel if he had any regrets on how he handled the Danielle Smith airport issue, and he replied “absolutely not.” He was quite emphatic that he’d say the exact same thing if it were to happen today.


I think there are some incredible things happening in Edmonton related to entrepreneurship, whether it’s with Startup Edmonton, Keep Edmonton Original, or just creative people doing things. Mandel said it is important to find a way to effectively support entrepreneurs, noting that “it doesn’t even have to be that much money.” He talked about finding ways for small businesses to compete with big business for City contracts, something he mentioned in yesterday’s economic vision as well. He also brainstormed out loud that a startup fund or something like the Edmonton Arts Council for startups might be a good idea. From yesterday’s press release:

“There are leaders in this community already working to make Edmonton a hotbed for connected young creatives, engineers and entrepreneurs who can compete in a global creative economy,” says Ken Bautista, local tech entrepreneur and co-founder of next gen groups artsScene Edmonton and Startup Edmonton. “We are strong believers that under Mayor Mandel’s continued leadership and this vision, Edmonton will have the best environment for young entrepreneurs to connect, do and win in the economy of the future.”

The feeling I got from Mandel on this issue is that he sees the creative economy as very important to the future of Edmonton (indeed “creative” seems to be one of his favorite words) and that he’ll help if he can, but ultimately he doesn’t want to get in the way.

Open Data

I asked Mandel about open data and the City’s Apps4Edmonton competition, and he had nothing but positive things to say about the issue. He was familiar with a few of the apps, though he admitted the app he uses most is Sudoku! I mentioned that some departments at the City seem to be hesitant about releasing data, to which Mandel replied “I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t release it. I think we should just make it all open.”


As you may know, Mandel himself hasn’t been updating the @MandelforMayor Twitter account. Paul Mennier, who leads communications for the Mandel campaign, said “it’s his words, my fingers.” Mandel told me he found Twitter “interesting” and that he’d like to explore it more after the election is done.

Development in the River Valley

I think we should explore limited development in the river valley, something Mandel agrees with. He noted that the efforts we have made so far, such as Louise McKinney Park, are not enough. The two biggest roadblocks as Mandel sees it? Proper access, and more vocal public support.

Mayor Stephen Mandel

October 18

I think Stephen Mandel is the the right mayor for Edmonton for the next three years, which is why I signed this letter of support along with hundreds of other Edmontonians. I encourage you to consider voting for Stephen Mandel on Monday, October 18.

Edmonton Election 2010: Final Mayoral Forum Recap

Last night was the second and final mayoral forum, held at Eastglen School. It was extremely well-attended, so much so that the overflow seating was all gone shortly after the event began at 7pm (estimates put the total attendance at around 600). Dozens of people stood at the back of the theatre and in the lobby throughout the entire evening. There were large sections of supporters in the audience, most wearing t-shirts for their respective candidates.

Mayoral Forum

It was an evening full of surprises, heated discussion, and some comedy (perhaps unintentional). When Stephen Mandel delivered his opening remarks, he was greeted with boos and jeers from people in the audience who support his rivals. It would happen throughout the night. Probably the biggest surprise came when Andrew Lineker stood up to deliver his opening remarks. He accused David Dorward of stealing his platform, said Daryl Bonar had no platform, and finished with “this forum for myself is done” before he stormed out. Bob Ligertwood delivered a meandering and off-topic opening address, while Dave Dowling talked about democracy. Dan Dromarsky was strong all evening, and made a good impression with his opening statement. Daryl Bonar presented himself as the alternative to Dorward and Mandel, saying he was “beholden to no one but voters”.

Here are some of the more memorable quotes from the forum:

  • “Vote for the future of Edmonton.” – Mandel
  • “I’m Dan Dromarsky and I can count to seven.” – Dromarsky in response to Dowling suggesting there were only four viable candidates
  • “Being your mayor will be a tremendous challenge, no doubt.” – Dorward
  • “I would definitely support an inquiry, if not a criminal investigation.” – Dowling on EPCOR
  • “That’s a lot of plebiscites.” – Dromarsky commenting on Dowling’s love of direct democracy
  • “Closing the City Centre Airport was a vote against your democratic rights.” – Ligertwood
  • “I grew up in social housing. It doesn’t work.” – Bonar
  • “Our city is at a crossroads, make no mistake about it.” – Bonar
  • “The winds of change are upon us.” – Dorward
  • “We should be experts at snow removal, but the sad thing is, we’re not.” – Dromarsky
  • “We need to place needs before wants.” – Dromarsky
  • “It would be the biggest mistake we’ll make in our lifetimes.” – Ligertwood on the Downtown Arena
  • “We’ve found creative solutions and we’ve moved forward – all of us.” – Mandel
  • “I Dave Dowling…” – Dowling

There wasn’t much time for questions, which was unfortunate. I also thought it was odd that the first question came from Ward 6 candidate Adil Pirbhai. The candidates were surprisingly brief with most of their answers.

Mayoral ForumMayoral Forum

As is so often the case nowadays, Twitter played a role in the event. From 6pm to 10pm last night, there were 1225 tweets posted using the #yegvote hashtag or one of the candidates’ names. There has been consistent chatter on Twitter over the last couple of weeks, but the forum really stood out:

Here’s a wordle of those tweets, with only the #yegvote hashtag removed:

And here’s a wordle with the candidates, #yegvote, and Twitter names removed:

It doesn’t come out as clearly as I thought it might, but the key issues last night included the City Centre Airport, the EPCOR deal, LRT expansion, and transparency.

Here are all the tweets, from oldest to newest:

Hopefully that’s useful as you prepare to vote on Monday. You can read the Edmonton Journal’s recap here. Here’s the CBC’s recap. The recorded webcast will be available here shortly. Stay tuned to the Election centre on ShareEdmonton for updates, including live results on election night!

Edmonton Election 2010: Video Resources & Statistics

With less than five days to go until the election, time is running out for candidates to spread their message and for Edmontonians to get informed. I suspect there will be lots of people “cramming” over the weekend! Currently, 90 out of the 112 candidates running in this election have a website. Most of those websites have information on issues, platforms, etc. That information is great, but it can be hard to get a sense of someone through text alone.

Video can help you learn about a candidate in a different way. Body language, intonation, and emotion are all important aspects of communication that are lost when all you’ve got is text. From a practical perspective however, video is difficult to use. It can take significant time and effort to both create and consume. And if recent research is to be believed, it can be hard to justify the cost when nearly 20% of viewers abandon a video after just 10 seconds!

That might help to explain why just 12 of the candidates have YouTube pages. In total, they have uploaded 76 videos this election season, which in total have been viewed over 10,000 times (about 134 times each, on average).

In total, I have aggregated 1046 videos related to the election at ShareEdmonton (so far). You can see all videos, videos by ward, or videos by candidate. For example:

Here are some statistics on the aggregated videos:

  • Every video has been viewed at least once. In total, those 1046 videos have been viewed more than 26,000 times.
  • The average number of views per video is 25.
  • Daniel Dromarsky’s video on the Downtown Arena is the most viewed.
  • There are 104 videos with comments (9.9%).
  • The average number of comments on those videos is just under 2.
  • Daniel Dromarsky’s video on the City Centre Airport has the most comments.
  • There are 142 videos with ratings (13.6%).
  • The average rating on those videos is 4.2. There are 108 videos with an average rating of 5.

The vast majority of those videos have been uploaded within the last month or so.

That lonely video off to the left is from Ward 1 candidate Andrew Knack, who definitely started early.

There have been two key producers of election-related video: CTVnewsEdmonton and edpublicschools. Of the 1046 videos, those two users have uploaded 916. As a result, most candidates have some kind of video online, and a number of them have simply embedded CTV’s or Edmonton Public Schools’ videos on their own websites.

There are lots of other places to find election video (and audio):

And hey, what’s a post about video without an actual video! Here is one from the edmontonian on the basics of the municipal election:

You can watch part two here.

The final mayoral forum takes place tonight at Eastglen School, and election day is Monday! On election night, only CTV is planning to have live coverage on television, but there will be lots of online coverage. ShareEdmonton will be updating live with results, I’m sure #yegvote will be busy on Twitter, and the edmontonian will be broadcasting live.

Make sure you vote!