Gerard Kennedy Elected in Parkdale-High Park
Gerard Kennedy bested incumbent Peggy Nash in the Parkdale-High Park riding, turning one of Toronto's - and the country's - most hotly contested ridings from orange to red. With almost all polls reporting, Kennedy enjoys a nearly 3,000 vote (8 point) lead over Nash, which is actually not as close as I expected.
Many riding residents headed into their polling place still unsure how they would vote, and it appears the now all-but-confirmed reality of another Harper government weighed heavily on voter's minds.
It's kind of disappointing that Parkdale-High Park was likely decided based on party leadership and not the candidates, as both Kennedy and Nash offer great things to the community. The real shame is that only one of the candidates can go to Ottawa.
The NDP will feel the sting of this loss. There's no doubt that Peggy Nash has been considered one of the stars of the 2006 MP freshman class and to lose a seat in the heart of Toronto is a big blow - especially in light of the strong campaign run by Jack Layton and the NDP.
But Gerard Kennedy's combination of a long track record in the neighbourhood and the sentiment that a vote for the Liberals was a vote against Harper and the Conservatives was enough to catapult Kennedy right into Ottawa.
It's safe to say that we can look for Kennedy in a plumb position if Stephane Dion retains the leadership. Kennedy's fit within the Liberal party will be less clear if Dion steps down from the leadership as there are still memories of the 2006 leadership election.
Photo: Gerard Kennedy campaign.
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