About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Election 2010: I Was Two-Thirds Right!

I got to City Hall with one minute left before the polls closed and excitement was in the air. It was a small crowd in the council chambers. Many of the people there were candidates and their family and supporters. Together we waited for the hourglass to run out, anticipating the returns as the polls closed. And then the screen went dark in the council chambers and it was almost showtime.
And then it was five minutes after and we were playing the waiting game. Rogers and CFRU got their coverage underway, although they, like me, had nothing to report. Even a half-hour later, there was still nothing to report.
But the crowds were getting larger. There was more and more activity in the council chamber. Maggie Laidlaw came over to say that it looked like it was going to be called for Rob Ford as Toronto’s Mayor. And suddenly the coolness factor of Toronto went down about 50 per cent. Shortly after that the room perked up with some results of our own.
At quarter to nine, my mayoral prediction seemed to bear out. Karen Farbridge was beating David Birtwistle by about 700 votes. Ray Mitchell and Scott Nighingale had about 200 combined.
In Ward 1, Bob Bell held on to a slight lead over his 10 competitors, but Jim Furfaro, Seán D. Farrelly and Karolyne Pickett were a close second, third and fourth respectively.
Ward 2 had some surprises with Ian Findlay finishing first with challenger Andy Van Hellemond coming in second. Finley’s fellow incumbent Vicki Beard was in a distant fourth.
Incumbents stayed strong in Wards 3 and 4 with Maggie Laidlaw and June Hofland ahead in Ward 3 and Gloria Kovach in first place in Ward 4. Christina Boumis held second place for Ward 4, at least until Cam Guthrie leap frogged over both ladies about 10 minutes later.
In Ward 5 it seemed that Lise Burcher and Leanne Piper were on their way to easy re-elections. Karl Wettstein was also looking safe in Ward 6, but it was a tight two-way race for second between Todd Dennis and Susan Ricketts.
As we approached 9 ‘o’ clock it seemed that the mayoral race was Farbridge’s to lose as she was beating Birtwistle by about 1,300 votes. At this point about half the tabulators were reporting, and it seemed that unless there were stacks of supporters one way or the other, the races as they stood might be more or less locked. Of course, there were a lot of tight races, and it would be interesting to see just how tight all those races would remain.
The race for mayor stayed pretty static as Farbridge kept her 1,300 vote lead over Birtwistle. Meanwhile in Ward 1 Furfaro overtook Bell for first, and Pickett zipped past Farrelly for third.
Coming up 9:30 it seemed that things were pretty much cemented with 48 out of 64 stations reporting. Farbridge’s lead was fairly secured with over 3,000 votes between her and Birtwistle. Mike Salisbury’s council career seemed more or less done with exactly half the amount of votes as frontrunner Guthrie in Ward 4. Wettstein and Dennis were trading back and forth for first place in Ward 6, while Van Hellemond seemed assured for Ward 2, with Ian Findley and Ray Ferraro neck-in-neck for second place. Ward 3 and 5, meanwhile, seemed locked for both incumbents.
Things really seemed set by the time the tally reached 61 tabulators reporting, and then it was a bit of a long wait for the final votes to come in for the people that chose to stick around in the Council Chamber, especially since it seemed that all fates were sealed. In the end, seven incumbents returned to their seats in the horseshoe, along with Mayor, now Mayor-Elect, Farbridge. Five new city councillors will step up and determine our fate for the next four years.
And despite any occasionally heated discourse, or inadvertent wise-crackery on my part, I wish the members of the 2011-2014 Guelph City Council the best of luck. I’ll be back tomorrow with some (hopefully) thoughtful analysis. In the meantime, here are the unofficial election results:

  • Karen Farbridge 14,902
  • David Birtwistle 10,576
  • Ray Mitchell 1,182
  • Scott Nightingale 878
Ward 1
  • Bob Bell 1,758
  • Jim Furfaro 1,696
  • Seán Farrelly 1,175
  • Karolyne Pickett 1,109
  • Russell Ott 779
  • Gary Walton 601
  • Linda Murphy 527
  • Peter Bortolon 361
  • Tamara Williams 306
  • Allan Boynton 235
  • Eugene Gromczynski 221
Ward 2
  • Andy Van Hellemond 2,538
  • Ian Findlay 2,180
  • Ray J. Ferraro 1,853
  • Vicki Beard 1,757
  • Paul J. Mahony 403
Ward 3
  • Maggie Laidlaw 2,296
  • June Hofland 2,202
  • Craig C. Chamberlain 1,680
  • Mark Enchin 799
  • Dimitrios “Jim” Galatianos 498
  • Missy F. Tolton 320
Ward 4
  • Cam Guthrie 2,381
  • Gloria Kovach 1,979
  • Christina Boumis 1,694
  • Mike Salisbury 1,199
  • Steven Petric 207
Ward 5
  • Leanne Piper 3,451
  • Lise Burcher 2,932
  • Douglas O’Doherty 2,331
Ward 6
  • Karl Wettstein 2,719
  • Todd Dennis 2,654
  • Susan Ricketts 1,932
Total Voter Turnout: 33.90 per cent

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