Voters in London West have re-elected Liberal MP Kate Young for a second term in office.
Young was first elected in the 2015 election, ending two terms of Conservative rule under future London Mayor Ed Holder.
The riding has seen a mix of Conservative/PC and Liberal representation since its creation in 1968, but Liberal MPs have held court for most of that time, with the longest stint under Sue Barnes lasting from 1993 until 2008.
Situated in the northwest corner of London, London West sits right above Southdale Road west and to the west of Wonderland Road. All of London’s Byron neighbourhood is captured in this riding.
The riding is home to 126,110 residents and 93,138 registered voters.
The current riding was created in 1966 with parts of the former London, Middlesex East, and Middlesex West ridings, all of which dated back to Confederation.
The first MP to represent the riding was Liberal Judd Buchanan, elected in 1968 as part of Pierre Trudeau’s government.
Buchanan would be elected four more times, including with a slim margin in 1979 and again in 1980, the federal election that saw the Trudeau Liberals regain power after less than a year of minority rule under Progressive Conservative (PC) Joe Clark. Buchanan, for years a member of Trudeau’s cabinet, was not given a cabinet role after the 1980 election. He resigned later that year, prompting a by-election.
In the 1981 by-election, voters again elected a Liberal, but again with a slim margin. Jack Burghardt, a former TV broadcaster in Hamilton and London, beat out the PC’s Tom Hockin with just 46 per cent of the vote to Hockin’s 44 per cent.
Three years later, when Brian Mulroney’s PC’s swept into power with a major landslide victory, Burghardt’s reelection chances were dashed, and Hockin, running again for the PC party, took office with 51 per cent of the vote to Burghardt’s 32 per cent. Burghardt would later leave federal politics and serve as London’s deputy mayor for several years, running for mayor in 1994.
Hockin, a professor and businessman, was reelected again in 1988 with 45 per cent of the vote, and ran for a third term in 1993 under the leadership of Kim Campbell but was defeated by Liberal Sue Barnes who was elected with 48 per cent of the vote as part of Jean Chrétien’s government. The election saw the PC party reduced to just two seats. Hockin would later go on to serve as executive director of the International Monetary Fund.
Sue Barnes, a lawyer and the first woman MP to represent the riding, would be reelected four more times, two of them under the leadership of Jean Chrétien and two under Paul Martin, serving the longest tenure of any MP in London West.
Barnes’s ran for reelection a fifth time in 2008, but was defeated by Ed Holder who won 39 per cent of the vote to Barnes’ 35 per cent.
Holder would serve a second term in office after being reelected in 2011 with a much larger victory margin — 44 per cent to the Liberal runner-up’s 26 per cent — and ran for a third term in office in the 2015 election but lost to the Kate Young who won with 45 per cent of the vote as part of Justin Trudeau’s majority Liberal government. Holder would later try his hand in provincial politics, before running for mayor in London in 2018 and winning in Canada’s first ever ranked ballot municipal election.
Young, a former London television journalist and communications manager of the Thames Valley District School Board, is seeking a second term.