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Progressive Conservatives win both Ontario byelections

Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative candidates won both elections in Ontario.

Progressive Conservative candidate Zee Hamid has a nine percentage point lead over Liberal Galen Naidoo Harris with more than 90 per cent of polls reported in Milton, just west of Mississauga.

Fellow PC candidate Steve Pinsonneault won 56 per cent of the vote with 90 per cent of polls reported in the Conservative stronghold of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex.

Milton has been vacant since cabinet minister Parm Gill resigned in February to join the federal Conservatives.

Hamid, a three-term Milton councillor, donated to the Liberals in 2022 and unsuccessfully sought a federal Liberal nomination in 2015.

Polls and observers suggested Milton would have been a closer race.

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex has been held in power since 2011 by Monte McNaughton, who served in the Progressive Conservative Opposition and was appointed cabinet minister in Premier Doug Ford’s government, and Conservative candidate Pinsonneault looks set to retain the seat. of the party.

The Liberal candidate is Cathy Burghardt-Jesson, mayor of Lucan Biddulph. Kathryn Shailer is running for the NDP, while Andraena Tilgner is the Green candidate.

In Milton, Edie Strachan is the NDP candidate and Kyle Hutton is running for the Greens.

Ford paid a lot of attention to Milton during and in the run-up to the midterms, with ads about GO Transit service and Highway 413, and has had many cabinet ministers and other caucus members campaign there.

While a Conservative defeat in Milton would not have affected Ford’s majority, the party already lost a seat in a by-election last year that had been held by another cabinet minister and does not want a repeat.

For the Liberals, the byelection marks the first real test for Bonnie Crombie, who was crowned leader in December. The former Mississauga mayor considered and then decided not to run for the Milton seat.