Trudeau Vows to Stay in Office After Liberals Lose Safe Seat in Special Election


OTTAWA, June 25 (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau affirmed on Tuesday his intention to remain in office amid rising questions about his future following the ruling Liberal Party’s loss of a traditionally safe seat in a special election.

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The official opposition Conservatives secured a victory in the Toronto-St Paul’s constituency for the first time since 1988. The special election was called after the previous Liberal legislator resigned.

This win marks the first time since 2015 that the Conservatives have breached the Liberal stronghold in vote-rich Toronto, which houses numerous parliamentary seats crucial to Trudeau’s grip on power.

“I hear people’s concerns and frustrations. These are not easy times and it is clear I and my entire Liberal team have much more hard work to do,” Trudeau told reporters in Vancouver. “My focus is on your success and that’s where it’s going to stay,” he added.

With the next federal election required by the end of October 2025, various polls indicate the Liberals, who have governed since November 2015, would face a significant defeat to the Conservatives.

This loss highlights the vulnerability of Liberals in other less secure Toronto area seats, underscoring the party’s challenges. “What a disaster for the Liberals,” commented Philippe Fournier, editor-in-chief of the 338Canada website, which models electoral projections across the country.

The Conservatives have set four main goals: eliminating the Liberal-introduced carbon tax, addressing the government’s budget deficit, tackling the housing crisis, and combating crime.

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre took to social media, stating: “Trudeau can’t go on like this. He must call a carbon tax election now.”

Some political analysts speculate that the Liberals might perform better with a different leader. Scott Reid, a media commentator and former chief spokesman to ex-Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin, emphasized the party’s need to respond to the evident desire for change. “The prime minister is surely going to have to reconsider his own future,” he said via email.

Potential candidates to succeed Trudeau include former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney and Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc. However, in Canada, party leaders are chosen during special conventions held on fixed dates, making it difficult to replace a prime minister who intends to stay.

In the Toronto-St Paul’s election, the Liberals secured 40.5% of the vote, while the Conservatives obtained 42.1%. In the 2021 election, the Liberals had won by 49% to 22%.

David Coletto of the Abacus Data polling firm noted that if the swing towards the Conservatives were replicated across Ontario, the country’s most populous province, the Liberals could be reduced to a mere handful of seats. A Liberal Toronto legislator who participated in the campaign suggested that dissatisfaction with Trudeau’s perceived lack of support for Israel among many Jewish voters in the constituency contributed to the loss. “I don’t think you can discount the dissatisfaction with the prime minister. But in this particular instance, there was a referendum on [our] position on Israel,” said the legislator, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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