OTTAWA—Liberal Jean Yip declared victory to keep the Scarborough-Agincourt riding in the family Monday night, with a win in a seven-person field.
The Liberals were on track to retain a second safe seat and the Conservatives on course to hang onto a safe seat of their own in three of four federal byelections held Monday.
The Scarborough-Agincourt riding was left vacant by the death of Yip’s husband, Arnold Chan, of cancer in September. Her nearest competitor was banker Dasong Zou, running for the Conservatives. But the outcome was widely expected: the Liberals have held Scarborough-Agincourt for three decades.
“I’m happy and I know Arnold would be happy with the kind of campaign we ran,” Yip said.
“I’m never going to stop meeting the residents of Scarborough-Agincourt. I’ll continue to knock on their door, hear their concerns, and work very hard for them in the constituency, as well as in Ottawa.”
In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Liberals easily retained Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, the safest Liberal seat in the country.
With all polls reporting, Liberal Churence Rogers captured 69.2 per cent of the vote — 46 percentage points ahead of his nearest competitor, Conservative Mike Windsor, who nevertheless managed to double his share of the vote from the 2015 general election.
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As impressive as Roger’s margin of victory was, he did not meet the standard set by his popular Liberal predecessor, Judy Foote, who retired from cabinet and federal politics citing family health concerns. She won the strongest majority in the country during the 2015 election, taking a whopping 81.8 per cent of the vote.
With 90 of 138 polls reporting in the safe Tory riding of Battlefords-Lloydminster in Saskatchewan, Conservative Rosemarie Falk enjoyed a commanding lead with 68.8 per cent of the vote, more than 50 points ahead of any of her competitors.
Battlefords-Lloydminster was left vacant following the retirement of veteran Conservative MP Gerry Ritz, who had held the riding for 20 years.
The B.C. contest was the only one where the seat could change hands.
Results were just starting to trickle in the one riding — British Columbia’s South Surrey—White Rock — where the Liberals were hoping to score an upset over the Conservatives.
With 75 of 199 polls reporting, that contest was still too close to call.
Liberal contender Gordie Hogg had an early lead with 47 per cent of the vote, just five percentage points ahead of Conservative Kerry-Lynne Findlay, a former Harper-era cabinet minister who represented a neighbouring riding for one term before being defeated in 2015.
South Surrey—White Rock was left vacant after Conservative MP Diane Watts resigned to run for the leadership of the B.C. Liberals. Watts, a high-profile former mayor of Surrey, narrowly won the seat in 2015 with 44 per cent of the vote, less than 1,500 votes ahead of the Liberal contender.
This time, the Liberals are running Hogg, a former White Rock mayor and B.C. MLA, against Conservative Kerry-Lynne Findlay, a former Harper-era cabinet minister who represented a neighbouring riding for one term before being defeated in the 2015 election.
Should Hogg prevail, it would be the second byelection loss in as many months for newly minted Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.
The four byelections mark the second electoral test for the newly minted leaders of the Conservative and New Democratic parties, Scheer and Jagmeet Singh.
Neither fared particularly well in their first test.
In October, the Liberals scored a stunning upset in a byelection in Quebec’s nationalist heartland, stealing the riding of Lac-Saint-Jean away from the Tories. The NDP, which had come a close second in the riding in 2015, wound up a distant fourth.
At the same time, Scheer found some consolation in another byelection in an Edmonton Tory stronghold, easily hanging onto Sturgeon River—Parkland with an increased share of the vote, while both the Liberals and NDP saw their vote share decline slightly.
With files from the Canadian Press