Kitchener Centre voters have spoken and Green Party candidate Aislinn Clancy has been unofficially elected as the new Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) in the riding.
“I am so incredibly grateful to the Kitchener community for putting their trust in me. To every single person who supported our campaign – thank you,” Clancy said in a statement. “I’m honoured to have you behind me, and I’m ready to be your voice at Queen’s Park.”
It was a historic night for the Greens as they now have two MPPs in the Ontario legislature, with Clancy joining party leader Mike Schreiner, who represents Guelph, in the legislature.
Clancy, who is a city councillor in Kitchener in Ward 10, collected 47.99 per cent of the vote while another city councillor, NDP candidate Debbie Chapman, finished with 26.73 per cent of the vote.
It was hotly-contested campaign between the Green Party and NDP with federal party leaders Elizabeth May and Jagmeet Singh both making appearances in Kitchener over the final week of the campaign to drum up support for their candidates.
The riding is also represented by the Green Party in Ottawa as Kitchener Centre voters elected Mike Morrice as their MP in 2021.
The PC Party named Rob Elliott, who resides north of Toronto in Keswick, as its candidate five days before they dropped the writ to open the campaign.
He finished third in the election, ahead of Liberal candidate Kelly Steiss, in a sign that the Liberals still have much work to do in repairing their relationship with voters.
The Liberal Party had previously held the seat from 2003 until 2018 when former NDP MPP Laura Mae Lindo was elected.
The seat, which is in the heart of Kitchener, had been vacant since Lindo resigned last summer.
In January, she announced she was resigning the seat less than a year after he had been re-elected to take a job at the University of Waterloo.
Voter turnout was low in the byelection as just 27.1 per cent of the 87,151 people who were eligible to cast a ballot actually voted.
Elections Ontario said that during the 2022 election, 46.2 per cent of registered voters in Kitchener Centre cast a vote.