UPDATE 1-Canada's top court lets Conservative keep his seat

Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:58am EDT
 
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* Liberal had challenged victory by Conservative candidate

* Conservative won constituency by 26 votes

* Officials made errors; no fraud alleged before the court

* Conservative government retains substantial majority

* Liberal says people don't have confidence in system

By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA, Oct 25 (Reuters) - The Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday upheld the election of a Conservative member of Parliament whose narrow victory was challenged by his Liberal opponent on the grounds that election officials had mistakenly allowed some people to vote.

The court ruled that administrative errors by Elections Canada officials should not disenfranchise the 52,794 people who voted in a west-end Toronto electoral district in the 2011 general election. Conservative candidate Ted Opitz won the Etobicoke Centre constituency by 26 votes.

"It should be remembered that annulling an election would disenfranchise not only those persons whose votes were disqualified, but every elector who voted in the riding," the court said in its 4-3 decision.   Continued...