Jewish voters overwhelmingly went Conservative in Toronto—St. Paul’s byelection: poll
Jewish voters overwhelmingly went Conservative in Toronto—St. Paul’s byelection: poll

Jewish voters supported the Conservative candidate in the Toronto—St. Paul’s byelection in large numbers, a new poll shows.

The poll from Mainstreet Research found that 62.8% of Jews in the riding said they intended to vote for the Conservatives, compared with a mere 20.7% who intended to vote for the Liberals. Only 8.9% of Jews intended to vote for the NDP’s Amrit Parhar.

Candidate Don Stewart won the riding for the Conservatives in a stunning upset after more than 30 years of Liberal representation.

The poll was conducted between the end of the advance polling period and the election day and accurately predicted the byelection result, showing Stewart would win the byelection by 1%.

About 15% of Toronto—St. Paul’s residents are Jewish, according to the 2021 census.

This marks a shift in Jewish-Canadian voting patterns, with Justin Trudeau enjoying strong support from the Jewish community in years past.

In the 2018 Survey of Jews in Canada, 36% of Canadian Jews indicated support for the Liberals, compared to 32% for the Conservative party. However, after the Oct. 7 attack against Israel, the Liberal party has been criticized mixed messaging regarding support for Israel and condemnation of antisemitism.

Prominent Jewish MP Anthony Housefather had considered abandoning the Liberals after his party had helped pass a motion considered to be “anti-Israel,” though he ultimately decided to remain in the caucus.

During the campaign, Conservative candidate Stewart repeatedly expressed his support for the Jewish community.

Stewart attended the Yom Hazikaron ceremony at Beth Tzedec synagogue, condemned the vandalizing of Anshei Minsk synagogue, and attended the Walk With Israel rally to demand Hamas release Israeli civilians held hostage in Gaza.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has taken a strong pro-Israel stance since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, attending several rallies, visiting synagogues, and supporting Israel’s effort to defeat Hamas.

This marks a seismic shift in the voting intentions of Canada’s Jewish community, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals had once been popular among Jews.

In the 2018 Survey of Jews in Canada, 36% of Canadian Jews indicated support for the Liberals, while 32% said they supported the Conservative Party. This is no longer the case, as a May 2024 Angus Reid poll found that 42% of Jewish-Canadians indicated support for the Conservative Party, while only 33% would vote for the Liberals.

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