Conservatives take southwestern Ontario’s rural ridings while the Liberals and NDP split Windsor

From left to right: Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek and MP Karen Vecchio on Oct. 21, 2019.
From left to right: Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek and MP Karen Vecchio on Oct. 21, 2019. 980 CFPL

Global News has declared many southwestern Ontario ridings either remained or returned to blue in the wake of Canada’s 43rd election.

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Karen Vecchio of the Conservative Party was re-elected to Elgin-Middlesex-London and celebrated her victory at the Boston Pizza in St. Thomas alongside supporters. She also took the time to reflect on her campaign.

“I think my ground game here in Elgin-Middlesex-London was really focused in making sure we talked to all of the Conservatives, talked to all of the voters, talked to all of the constituents that had different issues and I think that’s what we need to continue to do,” she told 980 CFPL.

She also stressed that affordability remains a key focus for her, noting the unique needs of rural areas.

“There is that rural/urban split, right? What transportation looks like is so different when it’s in London compared to when it’s in Dutton-Dunwich,” she explained.

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“So, affordability is something that we see across. Looking at continuing to make sure that the cost of living, that we actually get that reduced or so it’s simple because we know that those people who are on fixed incomes can’t make it work.”

READ MORE: The Liberals dominated many battleground Greater Toronto Area ridings

Elsewhere in the region, Lianne Rood of the Conservative Party was elected in Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, taking over from longtime Conservative MP Bev Shipley who decided not to seek re-election.

In Huron-Bruce, the Conservative’s Ben Lobb was elected for the fourth consecutive time. Prior to his first victory in 2008, the riding was held by Liberal Paul Steckle for 15 years.

In Sarnia-Lambton, the Conservative Party’s Marilyn Gladu was re-elected for a second term. The riding had been Conservative since 2006 under Pat Davidson, who she took over from in 2015. Before that, the Liberal Party’s Roger Gallaway had been representing the region from 1993 to 2006.

Chatham-Kent-Leamington remains Conservative as well with voters newcomer Dave Epp, who took over the Conservative ticket from David Van Kesteren, elected in 2015, who chose not to seek re-election.

Essex will be represented by Chris Lewis, a former Kingsville councillor. His election marks a return of the riding to the Tories following one term with the NDP’s Tracey Ramsey, who was elected in 2015 but failed to retain her seat in 2019. Prior to Ramsey’s 2015 win, the riding had been held by the Conservative’s Jeff Watson from 2004 to 2015.

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While Global News has declared that New Democrat Brian Masse will retain his Windsor West seat — which he’s held since a by-election 2002 — the riding of Windsor-Tecumseh will be represented by the Liberal’s Irek Kusmiercyzk. Prior to the 2019 election, Windsor-Tecumseh had been represented by the NDP since 2000.