The political landscape looks very familiar for Lethbridge voters after Monday’s federal election, both locally and nationally.
The Liberals secured a second straight minority government.
In Lethbridge, Conservative Rachael Harder will continue to represent the riding in Ottawa.
“I don’t take this for granted. My team and I worked really hard for that, so we’re really excited about this victory,” Harder said.
Harder won comfortably, securing nearly 56 per cent of the vote. However, that was at least 10 per cent lower than her Conservative colleagues in southern Alberta’s three other ridings.
That’s also down from her results in 2019, when she received 65.7 per cent of the vote, with the NDP, Liberals and PPC all improving on their results from two years ago.
University of Lethbridge political sociologist Dr. Trevor Harrison says that’s reflective of the west changing politically.
“I think that’s a warning for the party.”
NDP candidate Elaine Perez finished second, with more than 19 per cent of the vote and says the gains reflect the different perspectives within the riding.
“There are lots of people here who believe in the NDP and the things they want to do,” she said.
Coming in third, Liberal candidate Devon Hargreaves says while the result wasn’t ideal, he believes there is an opportunity for future growth.
“We do have a hunger for a progressive voice in Ottawa, so it’s great to come together with like-minded individuals and make that an option on the ballot,” Hargreaves said.
Lethbridge’s biggest jump went to the PPC. Kimmie Hovan received 7.2 per cent of the popular vote compared to Grant Hepworth, who received just 1.6 per cent for the party in 2019.
The party passed the Greens with 5.1 per cent of the national vote, qualifying them for the next federal leaders’ debate, but Harrison doesn’t believe the party’s local momentum will carry forward.
“I think we can view this as… a pretty safe protest vote,” Harrison said.
In a video posted to her Facebook page, Hovan called the result an “amazing accomplishment.”
“The support I received in such a small amount of time was overwhelming,” Hovan said.
Independent candidate Kim Siever finished fifth with 1.9 per cent of the vote, while the Christian Heritage Party’s Geoffrey Capp finished with just one per cent.
According to Elections Canada, with 254 out of 255 polls reporting Tuesday afternoon, 62.9 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot.
That’s down from 2019 when voter turnout was 69.1 per cent.