Canada Liberal stars including Guilbeault lead in central Montreal ridings
The GTA's toss-up ridings could tell the story of the election
According to the most recent polling data, races in nine GTA ridings are toss-ups — eight of them in the critical 905, where Conservatives and Liberals are finding themselves in a dead heat. Those tight races matter because the region, which sends more MP's to Ottawa than Manitoba and Saskatchewan combined, is "a critical part of any winning formula for any of the parties," says political strategist Jaskaran Sandhu. "The density and the population obviously plays a significant impact on the seat counts that you need to form government," he told CBC Toronto.
As predicted by recent polls, most Liberal incumbents in central Montreal won by large margins in Monday’s federal election that gave the Liberals another minority government.
However, in Laurier—Sainte-Marie, Steven Guilbeault — elected as the environmental star candidate for the Liberals in 2019 and then named minister of Canadian Heritage — was headed for victory last night. But it was no cakewalk. As recent polls had predicted, the NDP’s Nimâ Machouf proved a much stronger challenger to him this time than in 2019.
Too close to call: Quebec ridings to watch on election night
Until late last week, polls were indicating the federal election results in this campaign in Quebec would look very similar to the last, in which the Liberals won 35 seats, the Bloc Québécois 32, the Conservatives 10 and the NDP just one. But then Premier François Legault suggested a Conservative minority led by Erin O’Toole would be the best outcome for Quebec . And then the English leaders’ debate stirred controversy, with questions directed at Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet asking why he supports “discriminatory” Quebec laws like Bills 21 and 96, fanning the flames of outrage among many . Suddenly, the outlook for Quebec became much less clear.
Machouf, a respected epidemiologist and community activist, saw her profile rise during the pandemic, as media outlets sought her comments on public health issues and her community looked to her for reassurance. Machouf has a long political history with progressive parties on the municipal and provincial levels, winning a seat for Projet Montréal back in the 2009 municipal election here. In the 2019 federal election, she took just shy of 13,000 votes, Bloc candidate Michel Duchesne took almost 12,000, while Guilbeault won by 21,551 votes.
After that vote, Guilbeault, a former campaigner for Greenpeace and co-founder of Montreal-based environmental organization Equiterre, was passed over for the environment portfolio. He was nonetheless instrumental in developing the Liberals’ current policies and platform on the climate crisis.
ANALYSIS: How the ‘905’ earns its outsize influence on national politics
The 3.8 million people who live in the 30 ridings that form a horseshoe around the city of Toronto are exactly the kind of persuadable voters that can sway Canada's election.Voters in the 30-odd seats in Durham, York, Peel and Halton regions -- the horseshoe-shaped region that borders Toronto and which has been given the nickname the "905" for the area code many there have -- have mostly picked Liberals in the last two elections and, sure enough, Liberals have formed the government in Ottawa. But when those same voters start electing Conservatives, then Conservatives can usually count on claiming the government benches.
Guilbeault had been favoured to win again this time but by a smaller margin than in 2019, according to the 338Canada project’s most recent projection. The website builds projections based on opinion polls, electoral histories of each riding and demographic data.
That modelling had Guilbeault heading for 38 per cent of the vote in Laurier—Sainte-Marie, while Machouf seemed, surprisingly, within striking distance at 30 per cent, with margins of error of 9 and 8 per cent respectively. The riding was described by the site as “Liberal likely,” while other central Montreal ridings were described as “Liberal safe.”
With 56 per cent of polls reporting in Laurier–Sainte-Marie, Guilbeault had 38 per cent of the vote, to Machouf’s 31.4 per cent, not the comfortable win many had expected for a fairly high-profile minister. Reached shortly before the polls closed last night, Guilbeault defended Justin Trudeau’s decision to call the election, even if it resulted in a second minority Liberal government.
Battle for Quebec ends with Legault front and centre
QUEBEC – It started as the election about nothing until the premier of Quebec waded in hip deep. If in the 2019 federal election François Legault took a few well-placed jabs at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau over Quebec’s secularism law, Bill 21, in this campaign a Scud missile was his weapon of choice for the attack. As a result, the uneasy truce between Legault and Trudeau on display in the early part of the federal election campaign went down in flames as Legault, donning his father-to-the-nation cap, offered free advice to Quebecers on how they might want to vote Monday. His suggestion was that the vote not be Liberal, New Democratic Party or Green.
“It was becoming, not impossible, but very, very difficult to move legislation along in that parliament,” Guilbeault said Monday night. “And Canadians had a right to decide how they want the recovery (from the pandemic) to happen.”
These six other central Montreal ridings, described as “safe Liberal” by the projections, unsurprisingly, stayed Liberal:
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount : Former astronaut Marc Garneau, who was minister of Foreign Affairs when parliament was dissolved in August, was well ahead with 53 per cent of the vote in this riding, with 65 per cent of polls reporting. The NDP’s Emma Elbourne-Weinstock was heading for a distant second place with 20 per cent, while Conservative Mathew Kaminski was on his way to third with 14 per cent of the votes.
LaSalle—Émard—Verdun : Liberal David Lametti, who held the minister of Justice and Attorney General portfolios in the last parliament, was cruising to victory with 43 per cent of the vote, with 67 per cent of polls reporting. The Bloc’s Raphaël Guérard had 22 per cent and the NDP’s Jason De Lierre was at 19 per cent.
Canada votes today - here's what to watch when results roll in
When polls close Monday night, results will provide answers to some of the most pressing questions of the federal election campaign.The CBC's Poll Tracker shows a statistical tie between the Liberals and Conservatives in the popular vote, but today is when that political cliché becomes the truth — the only poll that matters is the one on election night.
Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Sœurs : Incumbent Marc Miller, recently minister of Indigenous Services in the Trudeau government, had 48.6 per cent of the vote with 65 per cent of polls reporting Monday night. His nearest rival, the NDP’s Sophie Thiébaut, was running a distant second place, with 19.8 per cent of the vote in that riding. The Bloc’s Soledad Orihuela-Bouchard was almost tied for third place with 12.5 per cent, while Conservative Steve Shanahan, a former Montreal city councillor, was at 12.4 per cent.
Ahuntsic–Cartierville : Mélanie Joly, whose most recent portfolio with the Liberal government was minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, was winning comfortably at 49 per cent of votes, with 14 per cent of polls reporting. Her closest rival looked to be the Bloc’s Anna Simonyan with 23 per cent, followed by the NDP’s Ghada Chaabi with 14 per cent and the Conservatives’ Steven Duarte with almost 8 per cent.
Mount Royal : With 77 per cent of polls reporting, Liberal incumbent Anthony Housefather had 56.3 per cent of the vote in that riding, where he enjoys strong name recognition. The former Côte-St-Luc mayor was parliamentary secretary to the minister of Labour in the most recent parliament. His closest rival was the Conservatives’ Frank Cavallaro, who had 23.4 per cent of the vote at that point, with the NDP’s Ibrahim Bruno El-Khoury running a distant third at 10 per cent.
Canadian Press NewsAlert: PPC Leader Maxime Bernier loses in Beauce
OTTAWA — The latest on developments and results in the federal election. All times are eastern. 10:45 p.m. The Canadian Press is projecting that People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has lost his bid to get elected in the Quebec riding of Beauce. Bernier previously represented the riding south of Quebec City from 2006 to 2019. He was a cabinet minister in the Conservative government of former prime minister Stephen Harper, where his portfolios included industry and foreign affairs. He ran for the Conservative leadership in 2017, placing second to former leader Andrew Scheer.
Outremont : Rachel Bendayan, who was elected in a February 2019 by-election necessitated by former NDP Tom Mulcair’s resignation in 2018, was projected to win this riding handily. Bendayan had 45 per cent of the vote Monday night with 81 per cent of polls reporting Monday night. Her closest rival was the NDP’s Ève Péclet at almost 29 per cent of the vote, and the Bloc’s Célia Grimard was headed for third at 14 per cent.
Power of incumbency, low turnout may have led to big Conservative win in northern Sask. riding, experts say .
The federal riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River was expected to have one of the closest races in Saskatchewan, but Conservative incumbent Gary Vidal held onto his seat in the province’s northern riding with a commanding win on Monday.Conservative incumbent Gary Vidal held onto the seat, with 49 per cent of the votes cast. The Liberals' Buckley Belanger, the former MLA for Athabasca, placed second, with 27 per cent of the vote, and the NDP's Harmonie King came in third, with 18 per cent.