Toronto’s Davenport riding remained a nail-biter Wednesday as Elections Canada reported Liberal incumbent Julie Dzerowicz defeating NDP rival Alejandra Bravo by only 165 votes.
But Bravo’s campaign manager told the Star that the updated tally on Elections Canada’s website might not be the final result after all.
“We still don’t know,” who won, said Denise Hammond. “It’s a closer margin and we are waiting on absentee ballots. There is discrepancy within the tallies” and the winner might not be confirmed until Thursday, she said.
Nasser Haidar, an official with Dzerowicz’s campaign, said her team was on the phone with Elections Canada trying to establish if the result was final and included all “special ballots,” including local mail-in votes tallied Wednesday.
For most of the day, Elections Canada showed Dzerowicz with a razor-thin lead over Bravo, before updating around 9 p.m. to show all voting stations had reported and the 165-vote advantage — 19,860 votes to 19,695 — for Dzerowicz.
On election night, the lead flipped several times between the two candidates.
Davenport is New Democrats’ last hope of winning a Toronto seat in this election, after NDP candidates lost other close races in Spadina-Fort York and Parkdale-High Park.
The Davenport candidates and their parties campaigned furiously, with visits by both Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. Observers pegged it as the Toronto riding most likely to switch allegiances.
Bravo is a multilingual social activist well-known in the riding. She ran in Davenport after the NDP’s Andrew Cash, who wrested the seat away from the Liberals in the 2011 election, was beaten by Dzerowicz in 2015 and 2019.
It is Bravo’s first federal campaign after narrowly losing three tries at the local city council seat between 2003 and 2014. This time she campaigned on issues including an NDP promise to make Canada’s “ultra-rich” citizens and corporations pay more taxes to fund social programs.
Dzerowicz urged voters to stick with the Liberals and leader Trudeau, who won a new minority mandate on Monday, to fight climate change and build affordable housing. She promised as MP to reintroduce her private member’s bill to have the government study and then move to implement guaranteed basic income.
David Rider is the Star’s City Hall bureau chief and a reporter covering city hall and municipal politics. Follow him on Twitter: @dmrider