Ward by ward, Smitherman’s margin over Ford was greatest in the core of the old City of Toronto, while Ford’s margin over Smitherman was greatest in his Etobicoke base, western North York, and western Scarborough. Margins were smaller in East York and central North York. The strength of Ford’s support was stronger than Smitherman’s — in his best showing, he beat Smitherman by 67 points in his home base, Ward 2. In his best wards, 27 and 28, which corresponded to his provincial riding, Smitherman bested Ford by only 36 points.
Figure 8: Margins of election-day support, Ford versus Smitherman, by ward
This pattern is repeated in greater detail at the VSD level. Figure 9 affirms that Ford’s support was strongest in his Etobicoke base and also in parts of northwest Scarborough. Building on the findings in Figure 1, the map also shows that the former City of Toronto was hardly a Smitherman bastion. The margin between the two candidates is small in many core area VSDs and, as Figure 5 shows, Ford received 25–50% support in large portions of the core.
Figure 9: Margins of election-day support, Ford versus Smitherman, by VSD
Figure 10 displays the same information in a different way, showing the competitiveness of VSDs — the tightness of the race expressed as the size of the spread between the two candidates, regardless of who won. The most competitive areas were East York, eastern North York, and the western and eastern flanks of the former City of Toronto. While very little of the area that Ford won was competitive, much the area that Smitherman won was. It is reasonable to conclude that while there may be an identifiable “Ford Country”, as it has been called in the media, there was no solid “Smitherman Country.”
Figure 10: Competitiveness of VSDs on election day – spread between Ford and Smitherman