Liberals Lost A “Guaranteed” Seat In Toronto-St. Paul’s Byelection

In a blow to Liberal’s election prospects, the Conservative Party secured a significant victory in the Toronto-St. Paul’s byelection held on June 24, 2024. Conservative candidate Don Stewart narrowly defeated Liberal contender Leslie Church by a margin of 590 votes, marking a historic win in a riding that has been a Liberal stronghold for over three decades.

The election night was tense and extended into the early morning hours due to a high number of independent candidates and a protest against the first-past-the-post voting system. Initially trailing behind Church, Stewart saw a dramatic turnaround just before 4 a.m. when the final ballots were counted, securing his win with the Conservatives taking the lead as the last three polls were tallied​.

Stewart’s victory is a notable achievement for Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, as the party has not won a seat in Toronto since 2011. This win is being seen as a critical blow to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has led the Liberal Party for 11 years. Analysts suggest that the result could spark discussions about Trudeau’s leadership and the direction of the Liberal Party moving forward.

“Congratulations to Common Sense Conservative candidate, @donstewartTO, on a shocking upset in Toronto-St. Paul’s, where people voted to axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime,” Polievre posted. “Here is the verdict: Trudeau can’t go on like this. He must call a carbon tax election now.”

Political analyst Greg Lyle of Innovative Research noted the broader implications, stating, “A negative outcome of this election for the Liberals could have serious implications for Trudeau’s future political plans.”

The byelection was not just a local contest but a barometer of national political sentiment. Ipsos Public Affairs’ Daryl Bricker highlighted that key issues such as the cost of living and housing were particularly influential in this riding. “These issues are no more pronounced than they are in a riding like St. Paul’s,” Bricker said, pointing out the socio-economic diversity of the area​

Stewart, a financial executive and long-time Conservative organizer, was new to electoral politics but leveraged his party connections and experience to clinch the win. Church, a veteran Liberal staffer and former chief of staff to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, faced a tough battle trying to maintain the Liberal hold on the riding.

The defeat marks a significant moment for the Liberals, who had comfortably won the seat in previous elections, most recently with former MP Carolyn Bennett. Bennett’s retirement and subsequent appointment as Canada’s ambassador to Denmark left the seat open, leading to this high-stakes byelection​.

Information for this briefing was found via Toronto Sun and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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