August 1, 2013 9:00 pm
Updated: August 2, 2013 12:03 am

NDP win in Windsor, London, Liberals hold Ottawa, Scarborough

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Watch: Ontarians head to the polls in five ridings in a mid-summer byelection blitz. Alan Carter reports. 

Updated 11:15 p.m.: The NDP won Windsor-Tecumseh and London-West. The Liberals won in Ottawa-South and Scarborough-Guildwood and the Conservatives won in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. 

TORONTO – The NDP took a decisive lead in Windsor-Tecumseh and London-West early on Thursday.

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Meanwhile Progressive Conservative candidate Doug Holyday widened his lead in Etobicoke-Lakeshore and Liberal John Fraser held on to a small lead in former Premier Dalton McGuinty’s seat in Ottawa South. Liberal Mitzie Hunter held onto a narrow lead in Scarborough-Guildwood.

The five byelections had Premier Kathleen Wynne, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and NDP leader Andrea Horwath making a last minute push for votes Thursday before the polls closed.

Four of the ridings were held by members of Dalton McGuinty’s cabinet;the former premier himself held Ottawa-South since 1990.

Six months into her premiership, the byelections may be a litmus test on Wynne’s young and embattled government.

The Liberals have been plagued by the ongoing gas plants scandal for almost a year and Hudak is hoping he can turn a purported disillusionment in the Liberal brand into Conservative seats.

And with PC Candidate and Toronto Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday poised to take Etobicoke-Lakeshore, the Conservatives could insert themselves into traditionally staunch Liberal territory.

In a recent poll conducted by Forum Research, 47 per cent of 539 Etobicoke-Lakeshore residents polled plan to vote for Holyday. Just 43 per cent prefer Liberal candidate and fellow city councillor Peter Milczyn and seven per cent prefer NDP candidate PC Choo.

The poll is considered accurate within five per centage points, which puts Holyday and Milczyn potentially neck-and-neck. But Nelson Wiseman, a politics professor at the University of Toronto, thinks the Tories will take the riding.

The NDP is widely expected to take Windsor-Tecumseh but London-West may be a close race between the NDP and the Tories despite well-known former union leader Ken Coran running for the Liberals.

The Liberals may hold on to three of their five seats, Wiseman said.

“I think that the Liberals are going to win Ottawa-South and Scarborough,” he said adding, that they will “thank their lucky stars if they win three seats.”

Live-coverage: Queen’s Park Bureau Chief Alan Carter will be live-blogging results from Thursday’s five byelections. 

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