What Will Turnout Be in Mississauga?

Posted by David Valentin
— 3 min read
What Will Turnout Be in Mississauga?
Photo by Jason Ng / Unsplash

With early voting in the Mississauga Mayoral byelection now concluded it's worth wondering - what will turnout be on Election Day?

There are certainly parallels from the Toronto mayoral byelection that took place last year to the mayoral by election taking place now.

A well known female politician who used to be a member of parliament for the city and sat on city council runs for mayor and leads all the polling - this is a bio of both Carolyn Parrish and current Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow.

That being said, Chow saw the race tighten at the end in Toronto following an endorsement from John Tory to Ana Bailao. Our last poll found Parrish on a downward trajectory and it remains to be seen if the race has continued to tighten.

In Toronto, Olivia Chow won the advance vote - but lost the vote on Election Day.

So far, 25,000-26,000 people have voted in advance according t0 the Mississauga Elections office (I gave them a call). There was a press releasing highlighting that advance poll voting was up 42% for the first weekend, but there was no press release about how many people voted on the second weekend. The office informed me that 25,000-26,000 people voted across both weekends, so this is the total votes cast so far.

You might be wondering - why was there no press release for the second weekend? Well, while voting was up for the first weekend, it was actually down for the second. In 2022, 28,052 Mississaugans voted in advance.

Advance Poll Turnout in Recent Mississauga Elections

You can see from the chart above that Mississaugans actually cast many more votes in advance in recent elections than either municipal election.

In Toronto, turnout for the advance polls was up. In 2022, it was 115,911 and that grew to 128, 745, an increase of 11%. In Mississauga, the advance vote decreased by 7%.

This despite the fact the election in 2022 was not competitive and the current by election is.

OK - so what might turnout be next Monday then? To consider this, here is a chart showing what percent the advance polls were of the total vote for recent elections:

Advance Poll Share of the Total Vote

So we can see that 38% of the vote was cast before Election Day ever took place federally - and only 22% of the vote was cast in Toronto before Election Day came around.

Advance Poll Chart

It's reasonable then to think that we are probably looking at the advance polls being anywhere from 20% to 30% of the total vote - and if it ends up being as high as the 38% we saw federally this will mean an extremely low turnout in the race.

If the advance is 24%, total turnout will be just 22%.

We can take the last poll we published and see what those vote totals would look like... Carolyn Parrish at 29%, Dipika Damerla at 24% and Alvin Tedjo at 19%.

Carolyn Parrish - 31,416
Dipika Damerla - 25,999
Alvin Tedjo - 20,583

This assumes the campaigns each will have an equal turnout rate - so if one campaign outperforms another the numbers will change. This is why campaigns invest so much into voter identification and volunteers - they are not there for window dressing! The margin of error was 3.22% which is roughly 3,500 votes.

With the race being so close - and with polls being a snapshot in time, voters have likely continued to move in all directions since our last poll was published, it really is possible for an upset to take place.

We will publish one final survey on Friday for the Mississauga byelection but it's worth keeping in mind, turnout will determine just how much of the vote is already baked in.