Ottawa: In a huge setback for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Party lost the by-elections in the party's long time stronghold, Toronto-St. Paul constituency, on Tuesday, CBC News reported.

Stewart's victory is shocking because the seat has been held by the Liberals for more than 30 years -- even through the party's past low points, such as the 2011 federal election that returned just 34 Liberal MPs to Parliament.

Before Monday's vote, a Conservative candidate hadn't been competitive in Toronto-St. Paul's since the 1980s. The party hadn't won a seat in urban Toronto since the 2011 federal election.

In a closely-contested election, Conservative candidate Don Stewart, a consultant, claimed victory with about 42 per cent of the vote against Liberal candidate Leslie Church, a former Parliament Hill staffer and lawyer, who took roughly 40 per cent of the ballots cast.

The poor showing by the Liberal Party in a stronghold like this could prompt some soul-searching for Trudeau, who has seen his popularity plummet amid inflation, the cost of living crisis, high home prices and surging immigration levels, driving voter discontent, as per CBC News.

This Conservative upset is likely to cause some anxiety in the Liberal caucus because such a dramatic vote swing could put other supposedly "safe" seats in play for the Conservatives in the next general election.

The outgoing Liberal MP, Carolyn Bennett, beat her Conservative opponent by some 24 points in this riding in 2021. Church lost by about two points. If that same sort of vote swing was applied to other ridings in the province, dozens of Liberal MPs could lose their seats at the next election.

Roughly 55 Liberal MPs won their Ontario ridings by a smaller margin than what Bennett posted here in Toronto-St Paul's in the last general election, according to a CBC News analysis of past election data.

Bennett, a popular figure in the party with a strong local following, resigned last year after 26 years in Parliament to become Canada's ambassador to Denmark.

Justin Trudeau reacted to the shock results and said he hears people's "concerns and frustrations", adding that he and his team have a lot of hard work to do.

"This was obviously not the result we wanted, but I want to be clear that I hear your concerns and frustrations," Trudeau said in a media statement. He did not take questions from reporters.

"These are not easy times. And it is clear, I and my entire team have much more hard work to do to deliver tangible, real progress that Canadians can see and feel," he added.

Trudeau's main rival, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievr, reacted to the results and asked PM Trudeau to call an early election.

"Here is the verdict: Trudeau can't go on like this," Poilievre posted on X. "He must call a carbon tax election now."

Amid concerns among voters, Trudeau's approval ratings have fallen to a record low of 30 per cent, just a year ahead of the election year. Several reports have even claimed Trudeau's Liberal Party badly losing to the Conservatives in the next elections.

The general elections in Canada are expected to be held sometime next year.

Despite plummeting ratings, Trudeau has vowed to lead the Liberal Party into the elections next year.

This report is auto-generated from a syndicated feed