Liberals retake Outremont, Tories hold York-Simcoe in byelections

Liberals retake Outremont, Tories hold York-Simcoe in byelections

Liberals retake Outremont, Tories hold York-Simcoe in byelections

New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh says he will use his new position as a member of Parliament to pressure the Liberal government to take action on the affordable housing crisis in British Columbia.

With just 40 of 196 polls reporting in Burnaby South, Singh had just over 38 per cent of the vote, compared to 27 per cent for Liberal Richard T. Lee and nearly 22 per cent for Conservative Jay Shin.

Singh became NDP leader in 2017, but a win in the Vancouver-area riding would give him his first chance to lead his party from within the House.

While many NDP eyes will be glued to Burnaby South tonight, an arguably better gauge of the party's election-year viability will be going on in Outremont - the Montreal riding vacated last summer by Singh's predecessor, Tom Mulcair.

Liberal candidate Rachel Bendayan speaks at her election night party following her win in the federal by-election for the Outremont riding, as Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie Melanie Joly, right, looks on in Montreal, Que., on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019.

Many pundits believed his leadership of the party would be in serious jeopardy should he lose, with the NDP lagging behind in a distant third in most national polls.

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But his problems go well beyond his low profile on the main stage of federal politics.

The SNC-Lavalin affair may have had an impact on the results. The party is mired in debt and its fundraising is sluggish.

Liberal candidate Shaun Tanaka had 30 per cent of the vote. At least 11 of the 44 MPs who won seats for the party in 2015 have announced they won't seek re-election this fall.

The Conservatives also held onto seat in the Ontario constituency of York-Simcoe.

The Greens, who've watched their vote share increase in a number of other recent byelection contests, came third in Outremont with some 13 per cent of the vote - up 10 points from the 2015 election. The B.C. riding is not a natural home for Singh, who formerly represented Brampton in the Ontario legislature.

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