BY RATTAN MALL
THE Conservatives have thrown every nasty projectile that they could at federal Liberal Justin Trudeau hoping against hope that something would hurt his standing. But the marijuana seems to have taken Trudeau’s popularity even higher and the shirtless image seems to have attracted even more people! Trudeau is still on the top, looking down at Prime Minister Stephen Harper and federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.
And the four by-elections in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec have reinforced that fact.
The Liberals increased their share of the vote in all the ridings, even giving Harper and his Conservatives a veritable scare in the Manitoba riding of Brandon-Souris. On the other hand, the Conservatives’ share of the vote declined in all four ridings.
The Conservatives easily won Provencher, but won in Brandon-Souris by only 391 votes. The Conservatives won both ridings overwhelmingly in 2011.
The Liberals kept the other two ridings.
Trudeau even had a dig at the NDP, saying: “The NDP is no longer the party of hope and optimism of Jack Layton. It’s now the negative, divisive party of Thomas Mulcair. Because it is the Liberal party tonight that proved that hope is stronger than fear, that positive politics can win out over negative.” (The Liberals accused the NDP of a negative campaign in Toronto Centre).
Although the NDP candidates had come second in all the ridings in 2011, this time they came second in two ridings and slipped to third place in the other two.
*** Toronto Centre
Liberal – Chrystia Freeland 17,081 49.1%
NDP – Linda McQuaig 12,643 36.4%
Conservative – Geoff Pollock 3,024 8.7%
Liberal – Emmanuel Dubourg 8,767 48.1%
NDP – Stéphane Moraille 5,716 31.4%
Bloc Québécois – Daniel Duranleau 2,387 13.1%
Conservative – Rida Mahmoud 852 4.7%
Conservative – Larry Maguire 12,205 44.1%
Liberal – Rolf Dinsdale 11,814 42.7%
NDP – Cory Szczepanski 2,037 7.4%
Conservative – Ted Falk 13,021 58.1%
Liberal – Terry Hayward 6,706 29.9%
NDP – Natalie Courcelles Beaudry 1,837 8.2%