Advance voting for March 4 Durham Riding by-election ends today in Bowmanville and north Oshawa

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Published February 26, 2024 at 10:04 am

Voters will go to the polls in Durham Riding March to elect a replacement for former Conservative leader Erin O'Toole

Advance voting for the Durham Riding by-election ends today, with the election set for next Monday – March 4 – to elect a replacement for former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole.

This will be the last time voters go to the polls in Durham Riding, as an election re-distribution in 2022 carved off the Scugog portion in the north and awarded it to the newly created riding of York-Durham. The remaining portion, containing Clarington and north Oshawa, will be remained Bowmanville-Oshawa North and will be in place for the next full federal election, likely in 2025.

Housing and the economy will be the main issues in what has already been a bitterly contested campaign, with an appearance by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at an event for Liberal candidate Robert Rock bringing out plenty of alt-right hate and threats to a local brewer’s supply store for hosting Trudeau.

The riding has voted Conservative since its inception 20 years ago, with Bev Oda (2004-2012) and O’Toole (2012-2023) keeping the area blue – usually by a wide margin.

Jamil Jivani, Conservative

O’Toole captured the seat with a 46.4 per cent approval rating in 2021, beating Liberal Jonathan Giancroce by more than 11,000 votes. O’Toole and Giancroce squared off in 2019 as well, with the Conservative winning by 7,205 votes.

Robert Rock, Liberal

O’Toole was ousted as Conservative leader two years ago and stepped down as MP for Durham last June, following the end of the spring session of Parliament, prompting the need for the by-election.

Chris Borgia, NDP

The demographics in the riding has been in flux in recent years, with plenty of immigration, but Conservative candidate Jamil Jivani, a political commentator, is hoping he can ride the wave of tradition into another victory for his party.

His main rivals are Rock, a Scugog councillor who carrying the Liberal flag, and NDP candidate Chris Borges, an electrician and labour executive who ran for the party in the 2022 provincial election.

Other candidates in a full slate on the ballot are Grant Abraham (United Party), Patricia Conlin (People’s Party), Pranay Gunti (Independent), Kevin MacKenzie (Green Party), Khalid Qureshi (Centrist Party) and Adam Smith (Rhinoceros Party).

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