COMMENTARY: Liberals, Tories hold their seats in 4 federal byelections

Click to play video: 'Trudeau jabs Poilievre over ‘disastrous byelection’; Conservatives warn of mortgage defaults'
Trudeau jabs Poilievre over ‘disastrous byelection’; Conservatives warn of mortgage defaults
WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed that Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre quickly “pivoted away” from the “disastrous byelection results” of last night during question period on Tuesday – Jun 20, 2023

The Liberals and Conservatives have held onto their seats in four federal byelections that will keep the status quo in the House of Commons, according to preliminary results Tuesday morning.

As pollsters predicted, some of the races appeared tighter than in past elections.

Elections Canada is still treating the results as preliminary but almost 100 per cent of votes have been counted in Portage-Lisgar and Oxford, and 100 per cent counted in Winnipeg South Centre and Notre-Dame-de-Grace—Westmount.

Here’s how the vote counts stood in each riding as of 8 a.m. Eastern.


Conservative candidate and former Parliament Hill staffer Branden Leslie appears to have cruised to victory with a commanding lead over all challengers, earning nearly 65 per cent of the vote by Tuesday morning.

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People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier, whose fledgling party had its best showing yet in the riding during the 2021 federal election, came up short in his effort to regain a seat in the House of Commons, getting only 17.2 per cent of votes.

Click to play video: 'Federal byelections: Liberals come out ahead as Conservatives fail to expand support'
Federal byelections: Liberals come out ahead as Conservatives fail to expand support

In the last federal election, Bernier’s candidate got nearly 22 per cent of the vote in Portage-Lisgar. Prominent Conservative Candice Bergen still won with more than half the vote in 2021. She announced last fall she was stepping down after serving as interim party leader.

But all eyes were on whether the PPC could improve its 2021 showing by peeling away more votes from the Conservatives’ right-most flank.

As of Tuesday morning, 99.6 per cent of the polls were reported by Election Canada.

Winnipeg South Centre

Ben Carr made sure Winnipeg South Centre remains not just a Liberal-held riding, but that it also remains in the family of its most recent MP.

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Carr succeeded his father, the late Jim Carr, who died in December at the age of 71 after a battle with cancer and kidney failure. The former minister for natural resources and, later, international trade diversification, was first elected as a member of Parliament in 2015 and re-elected in 2019.

The younger Carr is the vice-president of a consulting firm called Indigenous Strategy Alliance, and used to be a teacher, coach and principal at a Winnipeg high school, as well as a senior federal Liberal government staffer.

He captured 55.5 per cent of the vote among a crowded field of candidates after 100 per cent of the polls were reported.


Another Liberal riding, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount, will remain red with prominent Liberal insider Anna Gainey grabbing 50.8 per cent of the vote with 100 per cent of polls tallied.

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Gainey is a former party president and served as the policy adviser to two national defence and veterans’ affairs ministers.

She will take over for former cabinet minister Marc Garneau, who announced his retirement in March.

Click to play video: 'Decision day approaching in Westmount federal byelection'
Decision day approaching in Westmount federal byelection


The tightest byelection race was in the rural Ontario Conservative stronghold of Oxford, which elected Arpan Khanna as its new member of Parliament with 43 per cent of the vote.

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Khanna fended off Liberal challenger David Hilderley, who got 36.2 per cent of the vote. As of Tuesday morning, 99.63 per cent of the polls had been reported.

Despite being a Conservative stronghold for nearly 20 years, the byelection became contentious after Dave MacKenzie, who announced he was stepping down from the seat in December, endorsed Hilderley.

He has alleged that Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre and House Leader Andrew Scheer meddled in their local association by influencing the nomination process and taking away grassroots power.

Khanna helped Poilievre’s campaign in Ontario during the leadership campaign and ran as a candidate for Scheer in a Brampton riding in 2019.

— with files from The Canadian Press 

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