May 7, 2019 / 6:07 AM / 2 months ago

Rare win for Canada's Greens in special election deals blow to Trudeau

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s Green Party pulled off a rare victory on Monday in a special election for a parliamentary seat, provisional results showed, dealing a fresh blow to the ruling Liberals of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

FILE PHOTO: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 1, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

The win in the Pacific province of British Columbia was only the second time the Greens, who are a much less important political force than in Europe, have captured a federal seat in their 36-year history.

Green candidate Paul Manly won the constituency of Nanaimo-Ladysmith with about 38 percent of the vote.

Party leader Elizabeth May holds a seat in the same province.

The Liberals, trying to recover from a political scandal just months ahead of an October election, ran a prominent local candidate but trailed in fourth place with about 11 percent. They had come a close second in 2015, winning 23.5 percent.

The official opposition Conservatives and left-leaning New Democrats both took about 24 percent each.

Trudeau and the Liberals are mired in accusations of interference in a corporate corruption case that triggered the resignations of two cabinet members, the prime minister’s top adviser and the head of the federal civil service.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith became vacant after the sitting legislator from the opposition New Democrats quit.

The New Democrats, who, like the Greens, compete with the Liberals for center-left voters, have struggled under Jagmeet Singh, the first person from an ethnic minority to lead a major political party in Canada.

Polls show the Conservatives have a good chance to topple Trudeau in the October election.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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