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Byelection called for Durham, Ont., seat vacated by Erin O'Toole retirement

Workers set up voting location signs during the 2021 federal general election. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Workers set up voting location signs during the 2021 federal general election. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)

A federal byelection has been called in Durham, Ont. to fill the seat left vacant by former Conservative leader Erin O'Toole's retirement from politics.

Election night for the Durham byelection will be March 4.

Conservatives have nominated commentator and author Jamil Jivani to try to retain the seat. The governing Liberals have put forward local councillor Robert Rock, while the NDP have nominated labour executive Chris Borgia.

Conservatives have held Durham for the past two decades, though some elections have seen their grip on the riding tested. Former cabinet minister Bev Oda represented Durham from 2004 to 2012, before O'Toole won a byelection following Oda's resignation.

O'Toole won re-election by at least nine percentage points in 2015, 2019 and 2021.

The result of the byelection in Durham won't shift the balance of power in the House of Commons, but it could prove a key test of the strength of the different parties in the key 905 region in Ontario — a term for the belt of largely suburban ridings surrounding Toronto.

There are two other vacant seats in the House of Commons, which will require byelections to be held in the future. Toronto-St. Paul's has no representative, following the retirement of former Liberal cabinet member Carolyn Bennett.

The retirement of former minister David Lametti also leaves a seat vacant in the Montreal riding of LaSalle-Émard-Verdun.