Tories take late lead to win Toronto byelection: Elections Canada


Published June 25, 2024 at 7:41 am

In a stunning early morning upset, Conservative candidate Don Stewart secured a byelection victory in the longtime Liberal stronghold of Toronto — St. Paul’s.

Stewart won by just 590 votes over Liberal Leslie Church in a surprise win for Pierre Poilievre and his Conservatives once all the polls reported early Tuesday morning.

Stewart trailed Church for hours overnight as poll workers slowly counted ballots that were stacked with independent candidates, thanks to a protest group trying to make a point about the first-past-the-post system.

But the results flipped just before 4 a.m. when Tories jumped into the lead with just three polls left to be counted.

The seat was considered a must-win for Trudeau and the loss is a massive blow that could trigger calls for him to step down after 11 years as Liberal leader.

The resignation of former Liberal cabinet minister Carolyn Bennett triggered the byelection. Bennett won the seat nine times for her party, and all but once by more than 20 percentage points.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 25, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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