By Colin Burrowes
Although Huron-Bruce voted to send conservative incumbent Ben Lobb back to parliament, nationally Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal party maintain power, with a minority government.
Prior to the election, the Liberal Party held a majority with 177 seats, but they suffered some key losses, especially in the prairie provinces. They now have 157 seats.
The Conservative Party, cemented their status as official opposition by raising the number of seats they control in the House of Commons from 95 to 121.
The Bloc Quebecois gained 22 seats giving them a total of 32, and the Green Party added another seat for a total of three. The NDP ended up with 24 seats, a loss of 15.
According to information gathered by Elections Canada, overall voter turnout dropped from 68.3 per cent in 2015 to 65.95 per cent. However, Huron-Bruce voters represented in higher numbers that the national average with 70.03 per cent voter turnout. It must be noted that these numbers do not include voters who registered on the day of the election at the polls. A total of 60,867 valid votes were cast across the riding.
The official results for Huron-Bruce in this election were Conservative candidate Ben Lobb with 29,512 votes, Liberal candidate Allan Thompson with 20,167 votes, NDP candidate Tony McQuail with 7,421 votes, Green Party candidate Nicholas Wendler with 2,665 and People’s Party candidate Kevin M Klerks with 1,102 votes.
“It’s a great result,” said Lobb. “We’re very happy.”
Lobb thanked the voters for having faith in him.
“I tell people what we’re going to do and what we’d like to do,” he said. “I think that resonates with a lot of people.”
He was not surprised Canadians elected a minority government. In the run up to the election, he had been suspecting it would turn out that way, although he said he wasn’t sure whether it would be a Conservative or a Liberal minority.
“Andrew (Scheer) really did the best he could with his national campaign,” said Lobb. “Justin Trudeau pretty well has 100 per cent name recognition in Canada.”
Over the next four years he said he would push health care, infrastructure, trade and agriculture.
“They are our wheelhouse in Huron-Bruce,” said Lobb. “We just have to continue to push on them … push the Liberal government to do better.”
Liberal candidate Allan Thompson felt his loss echoed the national result of the election.
“Clearly the Liberals did not do well in rural ridings across the country,” he said. “So, Huron-Bruce was no different from the national pattern.”
Thompson will be returning to Ottawa, not as an MP, but he will be going back to his position as a professor at the journalism school at Carleton University.
“I’m very grateful for the 20,000 or so people who did support me, all the volunteers, friends and family who put so much into the campaign,” he said. “You don’t always get the result you want but that’s politics.”
By Colin Burrowes