World News – CA – Liberals win two by-elections in Toronto despite tough challenges from Greens and Conservatives


The canadian press

Federal Liberals saw their share of the vote drop in two Toronto by-elections on Monday, a humiliating result for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the first electoral test of his government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic

The Liberals finally clung to downtown Toronto, where broadcaster Marci Ien pushed back a strong show from new Green Party leader Annamie Paul

They also clung to York Center, after a nerve-wracking few hours in which the head alternately alternated between Liberals and Conservatives before Ya’ara Saks finally took the lead by just over 700 votes.

« Results in two of the country’s safest Liberal seats show Canadians are losing faith in Justin Trudeau, » tweeted Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole

In last fall’s general election, the Liberals took Toronto Center with just over 57% of the vote, York Center with just over 50%

On Monday, Ien won 42% of the central Toronto vote – a steep 15-point drop from last fall’s result for former Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who abruptly resigned in August amid reports making state of tension with Trudeau over massive spending on pandemic relief measures and fallout from WE Charity

Paul, meanwhile, climbed to second with nearly 33 percent of the vote – more than quadrupling the meager seven percent she won in Toronto Center in the general election. The NDP’s share of the vote fell five points to 17 percent and the Tories’ share of the vote was cut in half to less than six percent

Paul had urged Trudeau to postpone the by-elections, arguing he was unsure of sending voters to the polls amid the second wave of the deadly coronavirus

York Center was left vacant last month by the resignation of Liberal MP Michael Levitt to become CEO of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies Although long regarded as one of the safest Liberal seats in the country, York Center is fell to the Tories in 2011 before Levitt took it over in 2015

In the end, Saks, a Jewish activist and businesswoman, won almost 46% of the vote for the Liberals, a drop of about four points from Levitt’s share. Under Julius Tiangson, a businessman and activist in the constituency’s large Filipino community, the Tory share of the vote rose five percentage points to almost 42%

The York Center race would probably have been even more choppy had it not been for the presence of former Conservative runner-up Maxime Bernier, who ran in the constituency for his Separatist People’s Party of Canada. He garnered just over 600 votes, less than 4%, most likely distant from his old party

The NDP lost four points at York Center to less than six percent of the vote, while the Greens lost almost a point to 26 percent

Voter turnout was above average for the byelection: 256 percent in York Center and 309 percent in central Toronto

A voter walks past a sign directing voters to go to a polling station for the Canadian federal election in Cremona, Alta., Oct 19, 2015 (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jeff McIntosh)

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Liberal Party of Canada, Toronto Center, by-election, Justin Trudeau, Marci Ien, York Center, Canada

News from the world – CA – Liberals win two by-elections in Toronto despite tough challenges from Greens, Conservatives


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