By-election in Toronto—St. Paul’s | A liberal advance, but an uncertain outcome

By-election in Toronto—St. Paul’s | A liberal advance, but an uncertain outcome
By-election in Toronto—St. Paul’s | A liberal advance, but an uncertain outcome

(Ottawa) Liberal Party candidate Leslie Church held a slight lead late Monday evening in the Toronto—St. Paul’s. These are fragmentary results, the counting of votes having been laborious.

Updated at 12:03 a.m.

The results of the by-ballot arrived in dribs and drabs, particularly due to the large number of candidates. There were 84 in total, with dozens registered as independents for the Longest Ballot Committee, a group that challenges the current voting system.

At the time of publishing these lines, around 11:50 p.m., the Liberal candidate, a former chief of staff to ministers Mélanie Joly and Chrystia Freeland, was ahead of her conservative opponent Don Stewart, from the financial world, by a little less than 700 votes, with approximately 43% of the ballots counted.

The riding of Toronto—St. Paul’s, a Liberal stronghold since 1993, was represented in Ottawa by Carolyn Bennett since 1997. Except for a narrower victory in 2011 (8.2%), the former minister has always done very well, with margins fluctuating between 23.8% (2008) and 38% (2004).

Last January, Justin Trudeau appointed her Canadian ambassador to Denmark, since she did not intend to run for a mandate in the next federal elections – hence the by-election which gave the Liberals a cold sweat.

Next meeting: Montreal

Another test awaits the Liberal Party in the coming months, when a by-election will be held in the riding of LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, vacant since the resignation of former Minister of Justice David Lametti last February.

The Liberal nomination has not yet taken place; a few contenders are in the running.

Among the New Democrats, independent municipal councilor Craig Sauvé was selected as the color bearer. He is also scheduled to take a walkabout on Wellington Street alongside Chief Jagmeet Singh and Deputy Chief Alexandre Boulerice this Tuesday.

It might be easier here than in Toronto—St. Paul’s, projects survey specialist Philippe J. Fournier, from the site 338Canada. “The vote is divided. The NDP and the Bloc should easily have 20% each, so the Liberals can win with 36% of the vote, for example,” he says.

The date of the by-election in LaSalle—Émard—Verdun must be announced by July 30. The vote must take place on a Monday, at least 36 days and no later than 50 days after the partial is called, according to Elections Canada rules.



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