Well, the Tories pulled off an improbable upset in the Liberal stronghold of Vaughan in Monday byelections, but the day's biggest loser was NDP leader Jack Layton. The Liberals pulled off an even more significant upset in Winnipeg North. The Dippers beat the Liberals by 54% in that riding in 2008, and despite Layton's "home heating tax" commercial blitz suffered a devastating defeat.
That being said, the Liberals can hardly claim any significant victory. The Tories won 2 of 3 byelections and were clearly the big winners on Monday. Considering that roughly half of the Liberal caucus hold seats in the Greater Toronto Area, they have to be concerned that the city is shifting the right. Some voices on the left tried to argue that the election of Rob Ford was an "anti-establishment" vote and therefore bad news for the federal Tories. Well Vaughan just voted for the establishment in a Liberal stronghold. That disproves the "good news for Rob Ford is bad news for Stephen Harper" Theory and suggests that Toronto is shifting right.
With the bad news of losing Vaughan, the unexpected win in Winnipeg North might just save Iggy's job. The Liberals aren't the big winners, but certainly are not the biggest losers. Jack Layton just took a hard shot on the chin. They spent all that money on a national ad blitz with Jack having a one on one with Canadians about their home heating bills with "send Stephen Harper a message" as the money shot. Instead, voters sent Jack Layton a message.