Peterborough—Kawartha’s longstanding streak as a bellwether riding remains intact after Liberal incumbent Maryam Monsef earned a slim victory in Monday’s federal election.
The end result was a repeat of the 2015 federal election, as Monsef again defeated Conservative candidate Michael Skinner — only this time the political contest was much closer in what was a back-and-forth affair early into the vote counts.
Monsef, who served as the Minister for Women and Gender Quality, received 26,979 votes (39.2 per cent) through 282 of the 283 polls reporting as of late Tuesday morning. Skinner had 24,096 votes (35 per cent).
That’s a comparably slimmer margin than the 2015 election, when she earned 29,159 votes out of 66,732 cast (43.8 per cent) compared to 23,335 votes for Skinner (35 per cent).
“It was a bit of a nail-biter, wasn’t it?” she asked the crowd.
The NDP’s Candace Shaw finished third, garnering 11,698 votes (17 per cent) through 282 polls, followed by the Green Party’s Andrew MacGregor (4,857 votes or 7.1 per cent), Alexander Murphy of the People’s Party of Canada (876 votes or 1.3 per cent), independent candidate Robert Bowers (176 votes or 0.3 per cent) and Ken Ranney of Stop Climate Change (172 votes or 0.2 per cent).
In front of supporters, Monsef said she was grateful for the support once again but was disappointed to see some “dedicated colleagues” lose as the Liberals earned a minority government.
“Every single vote matters and you guys brought it home tonight,” she said.
Monsef, 33, was initially named Minister of Democratic Institutions in November 2015, becoming one of the youngest Canadians ever to be appointed to a ministry and the first Muslim to serve in Cabinet.
“I’m going to keep taking your voice all the way to Parliament Hill,” she said.
Skinner congratulated Monsef and said it’s important to support her because the community is facing a number of issues and one individual can’t solve all of them.
“It will be a collective effort,” he said.
He also said he’s not sure what the future holds for him in politics but he has not ruled out a third run if he receives support from the riding association
— More to come.
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