By Caroline Brown
The Liberals came out winner in Monday’s four federal byelections. Prime Minister Stephen Harper called for the byelections on Oct. 20 to fill four empty seats.
Political pundits say the Liberals increase in popular vote over previous byelections.
The Conservatives held on to two of their long time Tory ridings in Manitoba while the Liberals maintained their two strongholds in Toronto and Montreal.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said the byelection results show Canadians are fed up with Harper’s scandal-plagued Conservative government and are looking to the Liberals, not the NDP, to replace it.
“Canadians grow weary of the deceit, the mistrust and the cover-ups of the Conservatives,” Trudeau told Liberals at the campaign headquarters of Bourassa riding winner Emmanuel Dubourg.
Chrystia Freeland, Liberal candidate in Toronto-Centre came out on top with 49.1 per cent of the vote. “My message for Stephen Harper is: watch out, we’re on the rise, our party’s united,” she said Monday night. “Canadians want an alternative to the Conservatives and they have found that alternative in the Liberal party.”
Donna Cansfield, MPP, Etobicoke-Centre told Humber News, “It’s always a good day when the Liberals win … I am excited for her (Freeland) and proud to support her.”
Conservative Candidate Ted Falk won the Provencher riding. In Provencher, Tories were down about 12 percentage points from 2011, there was a drop in NDP support from 18 per cent of the vote in 2011 to eight per cent yesterday, and the Liberals increased their vote to 30 per cent from seven.
According to the CBC, “in Brandon-Souris, a riding that has voted Conservative in all but one election over the last 60 years, Tory Larry Maguire barely eked out a victory over Liberal Rolf Dinsdale. He captured about 44 per cent of the vote, a 20-point drop from 2011.”
Conservative party candidates were not available for comment.