With an election coming next year, parties are starting to line up their candidates and nomination races are beginning across the country.
Star Liberal recruits are getting spots at this weekend's convention in Montreal.
But for all parties, 2015's new electoral map – including 30 new seats – leaves a lot of open ground for fresh faces.
One such newcomer is Zach Paikin, the son of television host Steve. Mr. Paikin, who is currently pursuing a master's degree in global affairs at the University of Toronto, announced on Tuesday that he is going to seek the Liberal nomination for the new riding of Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas.
This isn't the first time he has taken a stab at politics. Two years ago, at the age of 20, Mr. Paikin ran unsuccessfully to be the Liberals' national policy chief.
What's in the new riding
Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas is made up of chunks of three current ridings that mix traditionally conservative territory with parts of a city that has long been friendly to social democrats.
The bulk of the new electoral district – an estimated 74,000 of 110,000 people – comes from Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, a mostly rural and suburban area represented since 2006 by Conservative MP David Sweet. (The population numbers are bigger than the actual number of people who are eligible to vote, let alone those who actually cast a ballot on election day.)
The rest of the new riding takes a bite out of Hamilton's city centre. About 24,000 people come from the current boundaries of Hamilton Centre, represented since 2004 by NDP MP David Christopherson. The last part comes from about 13,000 people in what is now Hamilton Mountain, represented since 2006 by NDP MP Chris Charlton.
(It's not clear yet which riding the incumbent MPs will run in in 2015.)
Which parties have the edge
Elections Canada recently transposed poll-by-poll numbers from 2011's actual vote to 2015's new electoral map. The transposition simulates what the results would have looked like if the 2011 election had occurred with the new ridings.
Of course, it's not safe to assume that every person who voted in 2011 will vote again in 2015, and vote for candidates of the same party. But, if they did, the Liberals would be in last place in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas. The Tory candidate would win with 42 per cent of the vote, with the New Democrats securing 28 per cent and the Grits 25 per cent.
Most of the Liberal vote would come from what is now Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale. The Conservatives would take almost half of that region – which, again, constitutes most of the new riding – while the Grits would take about a third of the vote. The NDP would get the most votes from the regions already represented by a New Democrat MP.
It's hard to guess yet what Mr. Paikin's odds are of winning the Liberal nomination in this Southern Ontario riding. But what is more clear is that whoever carries that party's banner next year will have a tough contest.
Chris Hannay is The Globe and Mail's digital politics editor.