Ottawa

Tories win Ontario byelection

Tory candidate Gary Schellenberger won the federal byelection in the southwestern Ontario riding of Perth-Middlesex Monday night, overcoming the trend of conservative vote-splitting that has plagued PC candidates in the province for a decade.

Tory candidate Gary Schellenberger won the federal byelection in the southwestern Ontario riding of Perth-Middlesex Monday night, overcoming the trend of conservative vote-splitting that has plagued PC candidates in the province for a decade.

The riding had been held by the Liberals for the past 10 years, and was considered a safe seat for that party's candidate, Brian Innes.

Perth-Middlesex is located north and east of London, and includes the cities of Stratford and St. Marys.

Neither Schellenberger nor the Canadian Alliance candidate had been given much of a chance to win.

Throughout the 1990s, right-leaning candidates have largely been shut out in Ontario because they split the conservative vote, allowing the Liberals to cruise to victory.

The byelection was called after MP John Richardson stepped down last October for health reasons.

The Conservative victory gives the party a boost going into its leadership convention at the end of this month. It brings the number of PC seats in the House of Commons to 15.