Four byelections have returned seats back to the Liberals and Conservatives in strongholds many observers expected to remain status quo.

The federal Conservatives' Branden Leslie cruised to victory in the southern Manitoba riding of Portage-Lisgar over People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier. Leslie captured nearly 65 per cent of the vote. Bernier, whose fledgling party had its best showing yet in the riding during the 2021 federal election, came up short in his effort to regain a seat in the House of Commons, getting only 17.2 per cent of votes.

The race for Winnipeg South Centre saw Ben Carr, son of the late Jim Carr who held the riding for the Liberals and had served in cabinet, easily recapture the seat with a little more than 54 per cent support from voters.

Anna Gainey, a former Liberal party president and former policy adviser to cabinet ministers, nabbed 50.8 per cent of the vote to keep Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Westmount red, following the resignation of former cabinet minister Marc Garneau.

The tightest byelection race was in the rural Ontario Conservative stronghold of Oxford, which elected Arpan Khanna as its new member of Parliament with more than 43 per cent of votes tallied.

However, a stronger-than-usual Liberal vote emerged after controversy erupted when David MacKenzie, the riding's former Tory MP, announced he was backing the Liberal candidate, following his disapproval of the party's handling of Khanna, who he said parachuted into the community.

In the 2021 federal election, the Conservatives nabbed about 47 per cent of the vote, compared to the Liberals' roughly 20 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2023.

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