Tradition ruled in the North Okanagan-Shuswap on election night, with a Conservative returned to power.
Preliminary election results showed incumbent Mel Arnold handily won the riding with 35,753 votes, 48.8 per cent of the popular vote.
Arnold was followed by Liberal Cindy Derkaz who won 22.7 per cent of the vote, followed by New Democrat Harwinder Sandhu with 15.3 per cent. Green Party candidate Marc Reinarz finished fourth with 10.5 per cent, while People’s Party of Canada candidate Kyle Delfing earned 2.7 per cent.
Arnold said he was pleased with his strong victory.
“I guess no great surprises in this riding. I felt I had the support. I had a huge volunteer team helping out that just made it possible,” he said.
“Without the volunteers we couldn’t have done all this, so I want to give a great big thank you to them.”
In 2015, when Arnold was first elected, the race was much closer, with Arnold collecting 39 per cent of the vote and Derkaz 30 per cent.
The riding has been Conservative, Alliance or Reform since 1993. Prior to that election, the NDP’s Lyle MacWilliam was the riding MP.
Liberal Cindy Derkaz thanked the community for supporting her, saying she was excited about the national outcome.
“I wanted to say this whole effort has been all about our community and about our team that has come together,” Derkaz said.
“We have had tremendous support and tremendous effort from volunteers from all over this riding who carried this vision and wanted to see a Liberal MP sitting at this table. But, that is not to be. Fair and square, the Conservatives have once again taken this riding and I acknowledge that and I am going to congratulate Mr. Arnold the second I can get him on the phone.”
NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu said the people sent a clear message by electing a minority government.
“They want to have their voices heard. A lot of Canadians were hoping for proportional representation, as Trudeau promised in the last election. Polls today show 72 per cent want proportional representation. So I think that’s a clear message being sent.”
Marc Reinarz said the Green Party makes inroads with every election, adding he’s pleased with the Liberal minority.
“I think it is good for the country that the Conservatives won’t rule — I think that is a vote against youth and against the future of the planet.”
He said if he can’t win, he’s glad the Liberals “have at least some intention” of battling climate change.
People’s Party candidate Kyle Delfing was happy his party had a chance to share its views.
“The supporters that we had in the beginning compared to now are, I’m going to say, tenfold. Maybe a hundredfold.”
He added that his party is in its infancy and voters will need time to get to know them.