Trudeau was the kingmaker in Conservative bastion
BY RATTAN MALL
AFTER seven decades, the federal Liberals for the first time on Monday won in the South Surrey-White Rock riding which had always been considered a safe Conservative seat.
In October, the Liberals had wrested a Quebec riding from the Conservatives.
The results clearly show that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberals are comfortably on top even as the new Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer desperately tries to make a dent in their popularity and establish himself.
In the other three by-elections on Monday, the Liberals won in their safe seats in Newfoundland and Labrador (Bonavista-Burin-Trinity riding) and Toronto (Scarborough-Agincourt riding), and the Conservatives in their safe seat in Saskatchewan (Battlefords-Lloydminster riding).
In South Surrey-White Rock, Liberal candidate Gordie Hogg, a former mayor of White Rock and a former MLA and provincial minister, garnered 14,369 votes (47.5 %) as compared to Conservative candidate Kerry-Lynne Findlay’s 12,752 votes (42.1 %). Findlay is a former federal minister who represented the Delta-Richmond East riding.
The NDP’s Jonathan Silveira got only 1,478 votes (4.9 %) while the Green Party’s Larry Colero won 1,247 votes (4.1 %).
The riding fell vacant after Conservative MP Dianne Watts resigned to enter the BC Liberal leadership race. Watts, former Surrey mayor, had won the seat in 2015 by less than 1,500 votes against the Liberal candidate.
Both Trudeau and Scheer campaigned in the riding to give a boost to their party candidates.
Indeed, Trudeau, who got a rock-star reception in the riding, is the kingmaker. He made all the difference here.
FOR now, the Trudeau and his Liberals remain firmly on top in the country.
The latest Nanos federal ballot tracking (December 8) has the Liberals at 40.7 per cent support, followed by the Conservatives at 30.3 per cent, the NDP at 17.5 percent, the Bloc Quebecois at 3.8 per cent and the Greens at 6.7 per cent.
Nanos tracking has Trudeau as the preferred choice as Prime Minister at 45.4 per cent of Canadians, followed by Scheer (23.5%), NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh (8%) and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (6.4%). Fifteen per cent of Canadians were unsure who they preferred.
Six in 10 Canadians (64.7%) believe Trudeau has the qualities of a good political leader while 40.1 per cent believe Scheer has the qualities of a good political leader. One in three Canadians (36%) say Jagmeet Singh has the qualities of a good political leader, while 41.6 per cent believe the same about May. One in three (30.7) said BQ Leader Martine Ouellet has the qualities of a good political leader (Quebec only).