July 14th, 2024

Polls have closed in must-win byelection for Liberals in Toronto

By The Canadian Press on June 24, 2024.

Toronto—St Paul's residents will head to the polls today to vote for a new member of parliament to represent their riding, which the Liberals have won in the last 10 elections. Liberal Party candidate Leslie Church, third from left, and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speak to supporters at a campaign volunteer event, in Toronto on Thursday, May 30, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey

TORONTO – The polls have closed in Toronto-St. Paul’s but Elections Canada is warning results may take longer than normal.

While the national elections agency still expects results tonight there are a record-breaking 84 candidates on the ballot which may delay counting.

The ballot itself is almost one-metre long thanks to a protest group calling themselves Longest Ballot Committee in a bid to draw attention to the negatives of the first-past-the-post system.

The byelection is considered a must-win for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.

It is a riding the Liberals haven’t lost since 1988.

The Conservatives have been signalling for days that they don’t expect to win but the results are expected to be much closer than usual.

Leslie Church, a long-time Liberal staffer is on the ballot for her party, facing off mainly against Don Stewart, a financial professional who has previously worked at a lobbying firm owned by Conservative adviser Jenni Byrne.

The byelection was prompted by the resignation of former Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett, who held the seat for more than 25 years and was recently appointed ambassador to Denmark.

Bennett won the seat in every election since 1997, most often with more than 50 per cent of the vote.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2024.

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