Winnipeg voters head to polls for byelection to fill former premier's seat

WINNIPEG — Voters head to the polls today to pick a new representative in the Tuxedo constituency in Winnipeg.

The seat has been vacant since former premier and Progressive Conservative party leader Heather Stefanson announced her resignation in April and served her last day in office in May.

The Tories have nominated lawyer Lawrence Pinsky to represent the well-to-do area in west Winnipeg.

The New Democrats are hoping to flip the seat, which has been held by the Tories since its creation in 1981.

The governing NDP have nominated Carla Compton, a registered nurse who ran for the seat in 2019 and finished in third place.

The Liberals are putting up Jamie Pfau, a foster parent advocate, and Green Party Leader Janine Gibson will carry her party's banner in the race.

The Tuxedo constituency has only been held by two people - Stefanson and another former premier, Gary Filmon.

It was among the few Winnipeg seats to remain strongly Tory blue when the NDP racked up big majority governments in the early 2000s.

A shift occurred in last year’s provincial election, when the NDP’s Larissa Ashdown finished just 268 votes behind Stefanson. The race was so close, Stefanson was not declared the winner until after election day.

The NDP also started off the current byelection campaign on a more prepared footing, having Compton in place as a candidate from the start. The Tories nominated Lawrence Pinsky a few days later, while he was overseas.

The NDP currently have 34 legislature seats. The Tories have 21 and the Liberals have 1.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2024.

The Canadian Press