TORONTO - Created in 1999, the electoral district of Davenport, located in the west end of the old City of Toronto. It has been a traditional working-class district.
The constituency is home to 108,475 residents (as per the 2016 Census, the most recent data available). As with other districts in the GTA, immigrants make up a considerable portion of the local population.
Those who self- identify as of Italian descent make up 11% of Davenport. That represents 11,900 of the constituents and one of the largest ethnic groups who originate from Europe.
Historically, the riding has shifted between the Liberals and the NDP. Marit Stiles, the incumbent, seeks her second term in office and to hold the seat for the NDP. In 2018 she took the seat from the Liberals when she won with 60.3% support of the electorate (27,613 votes). The Liberals only managed 18.7% of the vote, and the NDP’s margin of victory was 19,055 votes. That year, the PC took 16.1%.
This time around, Stiles’ closest contender is Liberal candidate Jerry Levitan. He acknowledged the riding’s “robust and historic Italian community” along with the district’s ethnically diverse residents. “They are hard working and creative with a wide range of incomes, trades and professions”, he told the Corriere.
“I have made it a point of understanding and being responsive to the needs and concerns of all people and sectors of Davenport”, he said, and added that his focus is to “serve them with sensitivity and effectiveness”.
Meanwhile, candidate Paul Spence aims to boost support for the PC. He and Stiles did not return our request for input as at time of going to print.
So far, it would appear that electors seem content with the current representative. According to the latest projections by 338Canada.com (May 14), the NDP maintain the lead at 44%. The prediction model uses algorithms and considers all major polls. It shows the Liberals at 29%, trail by 15-points, followed by the PC at 15%.
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P. Pajdo is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter