In what was a predictable result, all of B.C.’s Southern Interior, barring one exception, went Conservative blue on Monday night.
From the riding of Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies to the Fraser Canyon and Kootenay—Columbia, the Conservative candidates mostly rolled to easy victories.
That included three of the four ridings involving the Okanagan. The one exception was South Okanagan—West Kootenay, which stayed NDP orange, with Richard Cannings holding off Conservative challenger Helena Konanz.
In this riding, incumbent MP Mel Arnold rolled to an easy third term. With 307 of 308 polls in as of Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., he had 31,083 votes, or 46.7 per cent of the ballot.
In an interview with Global News, Arnold said the win feels good, adding, “The 36 days is behind us and now I can get back to work, looking after the issues here in the North Okanagan—Shuswap.”
“The all-candidates forums, they were all virtual, and we only had half as many of them. But we’ve been doing everything we can; we’ve been knocking on doors, we’ve been on Main Streets, talking to people.
“And I’ve been doing that for the last six years to make sure I know what’s important to the people of this riding.”
Well back in second was NDP candidate Ron Johnston at 19.1 per cent (12,686 votes), while Liberal candidate Shelley Desautels was third at 18.5 per cent (12,296 votes).
PPC candidate Kyle Delfing was fourth at 10.3 per cent (6,874 votes), with Andrea Gunner of the Greens in fifth at 5.4 per cent (3,603 votes).
Asked about Arnold’s victory, Johnston told Global News “it’s not too surprising in this riding; it’s a Conservative stronghold. If you look at past elections, it’s been similar results, fairly consistently.
“Our results, for the NDP, we’ve grown about five per cent, which is definitely making in-roads and I’m really happy with that performance.”
Conservative incumbent Tracy Gray rolled to an easy win and will represent the riding for a second term.
With 232 polls reporting as of Tuesday at 10 a.m., Gray had gathered 45.4 per cent of the ballot (27,947 votes).
“It’s an honour that the constituents in Kelowna—Lake Country have voted to allow me to serve and represent them in Ottawa,” Gray told Global News on Monday night.
Asked why voters elected, her, Gray said, “I think they’ve seen how hard I’ve worked in the community. They know that I’ve worked and lived and raised a family and volunteered here.”
Liberal candidate Tim Krupa was well back at 26.0 per cent, while NDP candidate Cade Desjarlais was third at 18.3 per cent (11,274).
PPC candidate Brian Rogers was fourth at 7.2 per cent (4,408) with Imre Szeman of the Greens in fifth at 3.1 per cent (1,932).
Conservative incumbent Dan Albas will be returning to Ottawa for a fourth term after securing yet another large win.
With 246 of 247 polls in as of Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., Albas had 28,051 votes, or 45.9 per cent of the ballot.
“It’s a big honour to represent this riding, so my thanks to all the people,” Albas told Global News on Monday night.
“And also, my thanks to all the candidates who stood for office. It’s not an easy thing and many of their friends and family would probably say it’s a big sacrifice; they know better than anyone.
“This has been a tough election. These past 36 days have been hectic. With COVID-19 and wildfires, it’s been more difficult than any election I’ve seen to be able to connect with people.
“But we did, and I think (Monday’s) final outcome shows that we did.”
Well back was Liberal candidate Sarah Eves at 23.5 per cent (14,337), while Joan Phillip of the NDP was third at 20.6 per cent (12,606).
Kathyrn Mcdonald of the PPC was fourth at 7.3 per cent (4,484) with Brennan Wauters of the Greens in fifth at 2.7 per cent (1,641).
South Okanagan—West Kootenay
This was the only riding in B.C.’s Interior not to vote in a Conservative MP.
Instead, and for a third term, Richard Cannings of the NDP will represent the region in Ottawa.
With 287 polls reporting as of Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., Cannings had 41.1 per cent of the ballot (24,759 votes).
Giving close chase was Conservative candidate Helena Konanz at 35.1 per cent (21,140). It was the second consecutive defeat for Konanz, who lost to Cannings in the 2019 election by 796 votes.
“I’m happy to see that our percentage has gone up from the last election,” Cannings told Global News. “I think people in this riding like the progressive message that the NDP brought in terms of what we’ve done over the last two years, looking out for Canadians.”
Asked about the Liberals winning a minority government, Cannings said “it means that we probably didn’t need to have an election. The seat numbers are very similar to the seat numbers that we had before this election was called.”
Cannings also said he was happy to see the NDP increase its seat total by three, adding “I would have been happier if we had gone up a dozen. But this was an election most Canadians wondered why we were having it.”
On Monday night, prior to the votes being tabulated, Konanz told Global News “$600 million later, I think a pandemic election probably was called at the wrong time when a lot of people are in need of help right now. It looks like it probably was a waste of money.”
Placing third in Monday’s election was Liberal candidate Ken Robertson at 12.3 per cent (7,402). Sean Taylor of the PPC was fourth at 7.7 per cent (4,646) with Tara Howse of the Greens at 3.9 per cent (2,322).
Elsewhere throughout B.C.’s Interior, the largest margin of victory belonged to Conservative MP Bob Zimmer in Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies.
Zimmer crushed the field with 60.8 per cent of the ballot (28,33 votes). Well back was the NDP candidate, Cory Grizz Longley, at 13.5 per cent (6,298). Placing third was PPC candidate Ryan Dyck at 10.5 per cent (4,917).