Sex (And Ethnicity) in the City: Affinity Voting in the 2014 Toronto Mayoral Election Academic Article uri icon

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  • AbstractDo women vote for women and men for men? Do visible minorities vote for minority candidates, and white voters for white candidates? And what happens when a minority woman appears on the ballot? This study tests for the presence of gender and ethnic affinity voting in the Toronto mayoral election of 2014, where Olivia Chow was the only woman and only visible minority candidate among the three major contenders. Our analysis, which draws on a survey of eligible Toronto voters, is the first to examine the interactive effects of sex and ethnicity on vote choice in Canada in the context of a non-partisan election and in a non-experimental manner. We find strong evidence of ethnic affinity voting and show that Chow received stronger support from ethnic Chinese voters than from other minority groups. Our results also reveal that gender was related to vote choice but only when connected with race.


  • Bird, Karen Lynn
  • Jackson, Samantha D
  • McGregor, R Michael
  • Moore, Aaron A
  • Stephenson, Laura B

publication date

  • June 2016