POLITICS

Byelections to be held Thursday in five Ontario ridings

07/31/2013 05:38 EDT | Updated 09/30/2013 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - Byelections will be held Thursday in five Ontario ridings. Despite the results, the Liberals will remain a minority government. They were one seat short of a majority government before five Liberals resigned earlier this year.

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ETOBICOKE-LAKESHORE: The Progressive Conservatives, who have not elected a member in Toronto since 1999, are hoping for a breakthrough in this riding. Toronto deputy mayor Doug Holyday, the last mayor of the old city of Etobicoke, is the Conservative candidate running against fellow city councillor Peter Milczyn for the Liberals. The Liberals call Holyday a puppet of controversial Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

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SCARBOROUGH-GUILDWOOD: The Liberals have hopes of retaining this riding with well-known community activist Mitzie Hunter, who is running against Progressive Conservative candidate Ken Kirupa and former city councillor Adam Giambrone, who's running for the New Democrats. Building a subway to Scarborough has been the key local issue in the byelection.

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WINDSOR-TECUMSEH: The NDP opened an early lead in this riding, held by former finance minister Dwight Duncan, after they nominated veteran television reporter and city councillor Percy Hatfield as their candidate. The Liberals failed to convince Mayor Eddie Francis to be their candidate, and quietly admit they will likely lose the riding.

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LONDON WEST: The Liberals went for a star candidate in this riding with Ken Coran, the former head of the high school teachers' union who had campaigned hard against the government's efforts to impose a wage freeze on public school teachers. However, Coran's byelection campaign faltered early, and the riding is seen as a two-way race between the Conservatives and New Democrats.

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OTTAWA SOUTH: The Liberals hope they can retain Ottawa South, which was represented for over 20 years by former premier Dalton McGuinty and his father, Dalton Sr. But the Tories feel they have a real chance because of voter anger with the way McGuinty quit under a cloud of controversy because of the scandal surrounding the costly cancellation of two gas plants. The riding is represented federally by McGuinty's brother, David.