By a narrow margin, Randy Boissonnault won back the riding of Edmonton Centre for the Liberals, ousting Conservative incumbent James Cumming.
With all polls reporting on Wednesday afternoon, Boissonnault took 33.7 per cent of the vote, while Cumming took 32.5 per cent. Boissonnault won by just under 600 votes.
In a speech on Facebook Live early Tuesday morning before the final results were in, Boissonnault thanked everyone who helped him with his campaign and said his team knew recapturing the seat would require heavy lifting.
Boissonnault said he believes voters in his riding showed “progressives are here” and their “voices will be heard.”
He suggested the federal Liberals have taken a different approach to dealing with COVID-19 than federal Conservatives have called for and that he believes many in his riding were not happy that “our calls for compassionate, science-based solutions to the challenges of our time were openly mocked by the provincial conservative government.”
Residing in the middle of the city, Edmonton Centre is bordered in the north by Yellowhead Trail and the CN Rail line, in the east by 97 Street, in the south by the North Saskatchewan River and in the west generally by 156 Street. The riding was initially drawn in 2003, then again in 2013 to its current dimensions.
The Conservative Party’s James Cumming was elected to represent Edmonton Centre in 2019. Cumming collected 41.4 per cent of the vote, with the incumbent Randy Boissonnault of the Liberal Party coming in a close second with 33 per cent.
The 2015 federal election saw a tightly contested race in which Boissonnault won by 1,199 votes. Conservative Laurie Hawn represented Edmonton Centre for three terms before Boissonnault. In 2004, Hawn lost a narrow race to former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan of the Liberals by just 721 votes.
This riding is home to 109,941 residents and 83,112 registered voters. Close to 25 per cent of this riding’s population consists of immigrants. Popular non-official languages in the region include Tagalog, Mandarin and Spanish.
Conservative: James Cumming (incumbent)
Liberal: Randy Boissonnault
NDP: Heather Mackenzie
PPC: Brock Crocker
Marxist-Leninist Party: Merryn Edwards
—With files from Adam Toy