This one is all about the two 2020 Canadian federal by-elections taking place on October 26.
Both of them are taking place in the GTA, or the Greater Toronto Area for those outside the loop. Each one is also a Liberal seat that has become vacant, putting the Trudeau government on defence. Will it be a tough defence? Perhaps not in at least one riding. They are Toronto Centre and York Centre. These will take place on the same day as Saskatchewan’s expected provincial election.
Here, you’ll be able to find more information on each of the two 2020 Canadian federal by-elections. When candidate lists are announced, we will have those as well. Finally, as is our wont, we may have a prediction (or two) to offer.
Prior to the 2020 Canadian Federal By-Elections…
The official House of Commons standings prior to the by-elections were as follows: Liberal 154, Conservative 121, Bloc Quebecois 32, NDP 24, Green 3, 2 Independent, and two vacancies. The Liberal government is 16 seats short of an outright majority.
Toronto Centre By-Election
Toronto Centre became vacant when Bill Morneau, former finance minister, resigned in August in the wake of the WE Charity scandal.
Not since the Mulroney days has Toronto Centre been blue; in fact, it has also never been orange. This riding is red all the way, and has been since 1993. In that time, its Liberal MPs have tended to be high-profile. Bill Graham was a defence minister and briefly Leader of the Opposition. Bob Rae was also a Liberal leader and is a former Ontario premier. Chrystia Freeland shifted ridings, but went on to become Canada’s deputy prime minister. Then, of course, Morneau was finance minister for five years until his resignation.
Liberals will have an edge here even in years when their fortunes are bleak. After all, in the Liberals’ nightmarish 2011 federal election, this was one of the 34 seats they kept. It would take some serious doing for an opposition party to knock the Liberals off in this riding.
Toronto Centre Candidates
- Baljit Bawa (PPC)
- Dwayne Cappelletti (Free)
- Brian Chang (NDP)
- Marci Ien (Lib)
- Annamie Paul (Green) – party leader
- Above Znonofthe (Ind)
Toronto Centre: 2019 Federal Election Results
York Centre By-Election
The by-election in York Centre is as a result of the resignation of Michael Levitt, a Liberal first elected in 2015.
Of the 2020 Canadian federal by-elections, this is the more competitive, but will it be competitive? Like Toronto Centre, this riding has a history of Liberals representing it, but there are two key differences. First, dating back to the 1960s, York Centre has spent a lot more time coloured in red. Second, their last Tory MP was much more recent: following the aforementioned disastrous 2011 federal election in which the Liberals were almost annihilated.
If there is any possibility of a flip, it’s in York Centre. Even though we doubt it will happen now, this seat could be a good measuring stick for the popularity, or lack thereof, for new Conservative leader Erin O’Toole. One could also say it may serve as a gauge of Justin Trudeau’s popularity in the GTA, the region that helped him avoid calamity in 2019’s vote. Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives were let down by Ontario less than a year ago, but their new leader is from there.
York Centre Candidates
- Maxime Bernier (PPC) – party leader
- Ya’ara Saks (Lib)
- Julius Tiangson (CPC)
- John Turmel (Ind)
- Sasha Zavarella (Green)