Bay of Quinte has a Progressive Conservative incumbent for this election, but redistribution has made this a far different riding than the one represented by Todd Smith for the past two terms.
The new riding’s boundaries include the city of Prince Edward, the city of Quinte West and part of Belleville, but it no longer includes Hastings or Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
Census data from 2016 shows a population that’s older than the provincial average, with lower-than-average incomes and a relatively low unemployment rate.
The new riding of Bay of Quinte is only about one fifth of the size of the former Prince Edward-Hastings riding. The remainder of that riding makes up 70 per cent of Bay of Quinte, while 30 per cent of the land came from former Northumberland-Quinte West riding.
PC incumbent Todd Smith was first elected to represent Prince Edward-Hastings in 2011.
In the last election Smith defeated the Liberals by a margin of more than 4,000 votes. But a poll-by-poll count of votes cast only in the area that constitutes the new Bay of Quinte riding would have resulted in a much different outcome — a PC win by fewer than 600 votes, or about one per cent of the popular vote.
Smith’s Liberal challenger is Robert Quaiff, the current mayor of Prince Edward County, while Joanne Belanger, a high school chaplain, is running for the NDP.
Mark Daye is running for the Green Party, James Engelsman is running for the Trillium Party, Cindy Davidson is on the ballot for the Ontario Libertarian Party and Paul Bordonaro is running as an independent.