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Liberals hold on to Toronto-Centre, York-Centre ridings

Last Updated Oct 27, 2020 at 5:09 am EST

Federal Liberal candidate for Toronto-Centre Marci Ien speaks to the media on Oct. 26, 2020.

Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have hung on on to two normally safe Liberal seats in Toronto.

But their reduced share of the vote is a humbling result for the prime minister in the first electoral test of his government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Broadcaster Marci Ien retained Toronto Centre for the Liberals in yesterday’s byelection, but had to fend off a strong challenge by newly minted Green party leader Annamie Paul.

Business woman and Jewish activist Ya’ara Saks also held on to York Centre for the Grits, but ended only 700 votes ahead of her Conservative challenger.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says the results are a sign that Canadians are losing faith in Trudeau.

During last fall’s general election, the Liberals took Toronto Centre with just over 57 per cent of the vote, York Centre with just over 50 per cent.

Yesterday, Ien took 42 per cent of the Toronto Centre vote — a15-point drop.

Saks captured almost 46 per cent, a four-point drop.