Canada

Clark wins Kings-Hants byelection

Even before he could give his victory speech, Joe Clark was faced with another disaster for the Tories.

After campaigning in the Kings-Hants riding for the past few weeks, Clark easily won the byelection giving him a seat as the new Tory leader in the House of Commons.

The CBC Decision Desk declared Clark elected less than 30 minutes after the polls closed on Monday night.

But just minutes later caucus chairman Rick Borotsik announced that two Quebec MPs were set to jump ship and join the Liberals.

The official announcement is expected on Tuesday -- effectively stealing the limelight from Clark and giving him no time to savour his byelection victory.

"We're disappointed with their decision," Clark told the crowd in his acceptance speech. "It's opportunistic. It will turn out to be wrong." But he didn't chastise the MPs further.

MPs David Price and Diane-St. Jacques are leaving the Tories to join the Liberals. They say they're doing it to save their seats from going to the Bloc Quebecois.

Clark defeated four opponents, including Gerry Fulton of the Canadian Alliance and NDP candidate Kaye Johnson.

Clark has been elected to the House of Commons six times for the riding of Yellowhead, Alberta, first entering the House of Commons in 1972.

RESULTS:

Kings-Hants
Candidate # of votes % of popular vote
Joe Clark, P.C. 14,525 53.4%
Gerry Fulton, Cdn.Alliance 4,385 16.1
Kaye Johnson, NDP 7,374 27.1
Alex Neron, Marijuana Party 697 2.6
John Turmel, Independent 222 0.8