After 36 days of campaigning and promises, Canadians, as a nation, seemed to have one singular thought: The government is working exactly the way we want. On Monday, Canadians went to the polls and voted for a government that looked very much like the government that was dissolved on August 16, and Guelph and area kept up with that trend returning many incumbents back to their seats in Ottawa.
In Guelph, Liberal candidate Lloyd Longfield was re-elected for his third term with 41.6 per cent, which, percentage-wise, represents a 1.3 per cent gain for Longfield, but in terms of the number of votes, he actually received about 3,200 fewer votes than in 2019. Longfield secured 27,269 out of the over 65,600 total votes cast in Guelph.
Although his vote totals were down, Longfield still beat his nearest competitor, Conservative Dr. Ashish Sachan, by 11,200 votes. Sachan did increase his total share of the vote over 2019 getting a 5 per cent increase on Monday in terms of the total vote share, and about 1,500 more ballots. It was, in effect, the strongest Conservative showing in Guelph since Bill Winegard’s re-election in 1988.
NDP candidate Aisha Jahnagir also increased her support winning a 7 point bump in the percentage of votes, and winning 13,918 total votes, which is an increase of over 4,600 from her fourth place finish in 2019. Dr. Michelle Bowman and the local Green Party took the biggest loss of support over the last election, securing just 7.5 per cent or 4,946 votes. That’s the worst showing for the Federal Greens in Guelph since 2011, and represents a loss of 15,000 votes over Steve Dyck’s second place finish in 2019.
People’s Party candidate Josh Leier grew his party’s support by a factor of three, still finishing in fifth place but finishing with 4.7 per cent of the vote and nearly 3,100 votes when compared to 2019 when Mark Paralovos secured 1.4 per cent, and nearly 1,100 votes. Animal Protection Party candidate Karen Levenson finished sixth with 252 votes, and Communist candidate Tristan Dineen finished seventh with 178 votes.
Voter turnout in Guelph was just 61.99 per cent for this election, which is a pretty big dip from 72.33 per cent in 2019, and is actually the lowest voter turnout in Guelph since the 2000 Federal Election.
In nearby Wellington-Halton Hills, Conservative Michael Chong sailed to his seventh consecutive election victory and grew his share of the vote in the process. Chong won 52.3 per cent with nearly 34,000 votes cast while in 2019 he won with 47.4 per cent and a little over 33,000 votes. It’s Chong’s best showing since 2011 when we was returned to Parliament Hill with 63.7 per cent of the vote.
The night was not as bright for Liberal candidate Melanie Lang who finished second with 26.8 per cent and 17,343 votes cast. Lang lost some support when compared to 2019 Liberal candidate Dr. Lesley Barron who placed second with 28.4 per cent of the vote, and nearly 19,800 votes. Green candidate Ran Zhu also loss support from 2019, finishing in fifth place with 3.9 per cent and 2,504 votes compared to a third place finish with 12.7 per cent and 8,851 votes for Green Party candidate Ralph Martin in 2019.
Two Wellington-Halton Hills candidates did see gains. NDP candidate Noor Jahangir finished third with 10.5 per cent and 6,812 votes, which is is a slight bump from 2019 when NDP Andrew Bascombe finished with 9.3 per cent and 6,499 votes. Meanwhile, People’s Party candidate Syl Carle saw a big bump in support to finish fourth with 6.6 per cent and 4,247 total votes. That’s an increase from 2019 when Carle secured 2.2 per cent and just over 1,500 votes.
Voter turnout in Wellington-Halton Hills for 2021 was 64.05 per cent, which is also a decrease from 70.8 per cent in 2019.
Across the rest of the region, it was much of the same story.
Former Olympian and Liberal incumbent Adam van Koeverden won re-election easily with 51.6 per cent of the vote, which is almost 10,000 ballots more than his nearest competitor, Conservative Nadeem Akbar. This was a very strong showing for a Liberal candidate in a former Conservative stronghold in the GTA.
Liberal cabinet minister Bardish Chagger was acclaimed early on Election Night, ultimately winning 44.5 per cent of the vote, including 9,100 more votes than Conservative candidate Jonathan Cassels.
Liberal Bryan May will hold on to the Cambridge riding after defeating his nearest competitor, Conservative Connie Cody, by a little over 1,600 votes.
In a squeaker, Liberal Tim Louis looks likely to remain the Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga and is right now narrowly defeating Conservative challenger Carlene Hawley by less than 200 votes.
Kitchener-South Hespler, the riding now previously held by Marwan Tabbara, was won again by the Liberals. Valerie Bradford beat Conservative candidate Tyler Calver by less than 500 votes in another very competitive race in the Waterloo Region area. Tabbara was expelled from the Liberal Party last year after being arrested in Guelph on a number of serious charges.
History was made Kitchener Centre where Mike Morrice became the first Green Party Member of Parliament to be elected from Ontario. Morrice secured 34.5 per cent and 16,804 votes, an increase of nearly 2,500 votes from his second place finish in 2019. Morrice nearest competition was Conservative Mary Henein Thorn who actually lost support with just over 12,000 votes when compared to Stephen Woodworth’s third place finish in 2019 with nearly 13,200 votes.
Kitchener Centre is the riding formally represented by Liberal Raj Saini, who resigned from the race after several allegations of inappropriate behaviour were reported, but his name remained on the ballot because this information came out after the close of nominations.
In terms of the big picture, the Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau are returned to government and are right now leading or have been declared the winner in 158 ridings with 32.2 per cent of the vote. The Conservatives and Erin O’Toole once again secured the biggest portion of the total vote with 34 per cent, but they presently have only won or are leading in just 119 ridings.