Ed Holder elected as mayor of London

Mayor Ed Holder says he's "horribly disappointed," but "unfortunately not surprised" after Ward 1 Coun. Michael van Holst spoke at an anti-vaccine mandate rally on Saturday. Matthew Trevithick / Global News

Ed Holder has been elected as mayor of London in an historic municipal election.

Holder emerged victorious on Tuesday from a field of 14 candidates. Paul Paolatto came in second place, followed by Tanya Park, and Paul Cheng.

“This is a city for all Londoners, and I look forward to putting my shoulder to the wheel with our members of council,” said Holder during a speech outside the Central Library in downtown London.

READ MORE: London election returns incumbents, introduces fresh faces to city council

The final results of Canada’s first ranked ballot election came out just before 2 p.m., almost 18 hours after the polls closed Monday night.

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“It wasn’t without its challenges,” said Holder, addressing the ranked ballot system.

“[City staff] stood tall through this process… they worked very hard and very diligently, and I want to salute city staff for making that effort.”

Though pleased with the outcome, Holder wouldn’t say whether he’d support the ranked ballot system moving forward and noted that he’d like to speak with Londoners, administration, and new council about its pros, cons, and what needs to be changed to make it work better.

Holder also didn’t go into specifics about London’s contentious bus rapid transit (BRT) plan, a $500 million project he campaigned against.

READ MORE: Ed Holder opposes bus rapid transit during London mayoral campaign launch

“My stand on bus rapid transit has been clear from the beginning,” Holder said. “It’s my intention to meet with the new council very soon, and discuss what the options are going forward. I think we will let that play out, and I’m confident that we’ll come up with the right solutions for London.”

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He also acknowledged that he only gets one vote at city hall.

“Yes, one vote. But what we’ve always said is that we wanted to use our collaborative strengths to be able to bring this council together and move London forward.”

Holder spent time thanking a “phenomenal” volunteer team who helped to drive his campaign, acknowledged the support of his wife, grandkids, and family, and gave nods to the other candidates, their volunteers, and the media.

Holder secured 44,373 votes in the 13th round, compared to Paolatto’s final total of 31,061. Tanya Park dropped off the ballot before Paolatto with a total of 22,415 votes, and Cheng dropped off the ballot before Park with a total of 19,616 votes.

Each time a candidate was eliminated, their votes were re-distributed to second and third options. There was a noticeable jump in the number of exhausted ballots after the first of the four major candidates was cut: after Cheng’s name was removed from the running, the number of exhausted ballots jumped from 304 to 8,431.

Holder will be sworn in in December.

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