Former CTV host Marci Ien will represent the riding in Toronto’s city centre
The Liberals held on to Toronto Centre in the byelection Monday night, with stiff competition coming from the Greens.
MP-elect Marci Ien won with 42 per cent of the total vote, while new Green party leader Annamie Paul came in second with 32.7 per cent of the vote. For much of the evening the candidates were neck and neck in the polls, with results too close to call. With more than half the polls reporting, Ien surged ahead.
The byelection comes after former finance minister Bill Morneau resigned on Aug. 17. The seat has been vacant since then. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the byelection on Sept. 18, despite calls from Paul to suspend byelections due to rising cases of COVID-19.
“Congratulations to Annamie Paul, her campaign team and all the volunteers who worked so hard during this unprecedented campaign,” said Green party interim executive director Anik Lajoie in a media statement. “Voters across the country are resonating with the Green message and we will keep building on this momentum.”
The Greens made historic gains in last night’s byelection as Toronto Centre has historically been a Liberal stronghold. The party only secured 7.1 per cent of the vote in the 2019 general election. This is the first time the Green party made significant strides in the riding.
“A lot of young people who said that (they don’t see themselves)… I want to tell all of them that I will not leave them behind,” said Ien at a press conference in front of her campaign office. “You are talking to the daughter of immigrants who landed in St. James Town to give their children a chance, and here I stand. If I can stand here, so can they, and they will not be left behind. It’s time to get to work.”
The Liberals also won the byelection in York Centre, with Ya’ara Saks holding on in a tight race against Conservative party challenger Julius Tiangson.