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Official recounts triggered in two Ontario ridings

A man casts his vote for the federal election in a polling station on Toronto's Ward Island on Monday, May 2, 2011.

Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Official recounts are planned for two Ontario ridings where Conservative candidates eked out slim wins, Elections Canada says.

The margins of victory in the ridings of Etobicoke Centre and Nipissing-Timiskaming are small enough to trigger automatic judicial recounts, said spokeswoman Diane Benson.

Conservative Ted Opitz won Etobicoke Centre by just 26 votes over Liberal incumbent Borys Wrzesnewskyj, with 21,661 ballots to Mr. Wrzesnewskyj's 21,635.

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And Jay Aspin of the Conservatives took Nipissing-Timiskaming by 14 ballots over Liberal incumbent Anthony Rota, with 15,507 votes to Mr. Rota's 15,493.

Under Elections Canada rules, judicial recounts are required in cases of ties or when the leading candidates are separated by less than one one-thousandth of total votes cast. In Etobicoke Centre, a recount would be trigged with a spread of 42 or fewer votes. In Nipissing-Timiskaming, the threshold is 52 votes.

Candidates in close races that do not fall within the automatic threshold can also request vote recounts.

The Conservative Party won a majority government in Monday's election, winning 167 seats. The New Democrats became the Official Opposition with 102 seats, putting the Liberals in third place at 34 seats.

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