Monsef re-elected to a second term
Liberal wins with 39.5% of the vote, with a slimmer margin of victory over Conservative Michael Skinner this time
Liberal incumbent and cabinet minister Maryam Monsef won re-election to a second term Monday night in Peterborough-Kawartha riding.
With 200 of 283 polls counted Monsef had 16,666 votes, or 39.1 per cent, compared to 14,635, or 34.3 per cent, for Conservative challenger Michael Skinner. New Democrat Candace Shaw ran a distant third with 7,519 votes, or 17.6 per cent of the vote.
The Nexicom Studio at Showplace Performance Centre was packed with supporters all evening, and the cheers rose more and more often through the evening as the polls reported results showing Monsef ahead.
A hush fell over the room at one moment when Skinner pulled ahead by a very slim margin, but that was followed by many cheers as Monsef pulled ahead again.
Still, Monsef didn’t give a victory speech by deadline at midnight; of the 283 polls, there were still nearly 100 polls to report their results at that hour, although Monsef was leading.
It was a slimmer margin of victory than in 2015 when Monsef had 43.8 per cent of the vote with 29,159 votes to Skinner’s 35.1 per cent of the vote with 23,335 votes.
Green candidate Andrew MacGregor had 3,009 or 7.1 per cent.
“I am pleased that Peterborough has chosen a party that’s recognizing the seriousness of the climate crisis,” MacGregor said.
“Of course, I would have liked them to have chosen a party that would tackle it a little more strongly.”
The People’s Party of Canada candidate Alexander Murphy had just 574 votes, or 1.3 per cent.
“We’re very proud of how we ran our campaign … we came into this campaign with reasonable expectations and we exceeded them and we’re happy with the results,” Murphy said.
Ken Ranney, co-founder of the Stop Climate Change party, had 115.
“I’m disappointed there was not more discussion about climate change,” Ranney said.
Independent Robert M. Bowers had 123 votes.
“A minority government would be good for Monsef, she needs some challenges,” Bowers said. “I think she’s had it a little easy on herself.”
Monsef was declared the winner around 11:15 p.m. By midnight, many of the riding’s polls had still not been counted.
Monsef and Skinner seemed optimistic about winning Monday’s federal election earlier this week.
Monsef has been the women and gender equality minister and minister of international development in Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.
She thanked her campaign volunteers at a rally on Thursday and told them another win is within their grasp.
“I feel the momentum — I feel it!” she said. “Now let’s go get it!”
But Skinner, a local entrepreneur, was feeling momentum too last week.
He said on Thursday his campaign has knocked on 45,000 doors.
“I’m very optimistic — we went out and did the hard work,” Skinner said.
The two have faced off before.
Monsef beat Skinner in the 2015 election when she received 43 per cent of the vote compared to 35 per cent for Skinner.
Meanwhile the advance polls were busier than they were at the 2015 federal election.
Elections Canada said this week that 17,352 votes were cast at the advance polls in Peterborough-Kawartha, which is 2,101 more than were cast in the advance polls in 2015.
Supporters react to federal election results for Peterborough-Kawartha Liberal incumbent Maryam Monsef at Showplace Performance Centre on Monday night. Monsef was re-elected to a second term.
Campaign manager Jess Grover, left, is hugged by NDP candidate Candace Shaw Monday night.