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Cablegate: Ontario by-Elections: Liberals Win Big As Expected

VZCZCXRO8227
PP RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHON #0074 0781352
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181352Z MAR 08
FM AMCONSUL TORONTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2392
INFO RUCNCAN/ALCAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TORONTO 000074

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: n/a
TAGS: PGOV CA
SUBJECT: ONTARIO BY-ELECTIONS: LIBERALS WIN BIG AS EXPECTED

Ref: Toronto 70

1. Prominent Liberals recorded convincing victories as expected in
two Ontario federal by-elections on March 17. Bob Rae, former NDP
Ontario Premier (1990-95) and current Liberal foreign affairs
critic, won overwhelmingly in Toronto Centre, a long-time Liberal
stronghold. With a voter turnout of only 28%, Rae took 59% of the
vote, or in raw vote terms, 14,187 votes out of 24,000 cast. More
notable than Rae's unsurprising victory was the relatively strong
performance by the Greens, who finished third with 14%, barely 65
votes behind the NDP, the traditional alternative choice in this
left-leaning riding. The Conservatives, who by most accounts did
not run a serious campaign and were beset by early controversy in
their candidate selection process, took just 12.5% of the vote.

2. In the northern Toronto riding of Willowdale, former Liberal
leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay also won big, easily
outpacing Conservative challenger Maureen Harquail 59% to 30%.
Turnout-typical for a by-election-was very low at 25%.

3. COMMENT: The Toronto Liberal by-election victories were no
surprise, and the wide margin of victory and lack of a serious
Conservative challenge only affirm the Liberal edge in Ontario urban
areas. Ontario's federal Liberals are sending two prominent
personalities and former leadership rivals of Stephane Dion to
Ottawa. Bob Rae in particular is viewed as a potential Dion
alternative for the Liberal leadership.

NAY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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