Canada’s Justin Trudeau Latest Western Leader Facing Political Troubles After Toronto District Upset

‘This changes everything for the Liberals and for the PM,’ one political observer says.

AP via Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

In a stunning defeat that observers say “changes everything,” Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberal party lost a Toronto-St. Paul’s seat that it had held for more than 30 years, signaling trouble for Mr. Trudeau and his brand of politics. 

The by-election was closely watched as a test of the Liberal’s favorability among voters ahead of an expected 2025 federal election. Elections Canada’s data indicate that the conservative candidate, Don Stewart, received 42 percent of the vote, with 15,555 in total, compared to the liberal candidate, Leslie Church, winning 40.5 percent, with 14,965 votes. 

“This changes everything for the Liberals and for the PM,” a former advisor to Prime Minister Martin and political analyst, Scott Reid, wrote on X after the election results. “If St Paul’s is unsafe, there is no such thing as safe.”

“Justin’s position is seriously weakened inside the party,” a Canadian historian, Robert Bothwell, said, the Associated Press reports. The Toronto-St. Paul’s seat, one of 338 in the House of Commons, has been held by Liberals since 1993, the AP notes, as a loss in Canada’s largest city casts doubt on Mr. Trudeau’s political future. 

Mr. Trudeau’s test comes as other western leaders are finding themselves fighting to stay in power. The U.K. faces a heated election next week between the Labour and Conservative parties, with Prime Minister Sunak’s conservatives expected to be crushed

Ahead of the election, Mr. Trudeau was asked by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation what losing the seat would mean for the Liberals.

“It’s an important campaign,” Mr. Trudeau acknowledged. “People are getting out to the doors, people are working hard. We don’t take any corner of the country for granted.”

Mr. Stewart said ahead of the election that it would be a chance to “send Justin Trudeau a message.” He campaigned on reforming high taxes, inflation, crime, and Canadian cities overrun by homeless encampments. The upset comes as Mr. Trudeau and his party have faced growing discontent in the polls as voters express frustration over high inflation and housing costs, as the Sun has reported.

The New York Sun

© 2024 The New York Sun Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The material on this site is protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used.

The New York Sun

Sign in or  create a free account

By continuing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use