‘Bittersweet’ victory for McLeod

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo 'There was certainly a mood from Canadians – it was time to change'

Incumbent Conservative MP Cathy McLeod held onto her seat in the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo in the federal election on Oct. 19, but saw a double digit decline in her support from the previous election.

Voter turnout was at least 74 per cent in this riding with 69,534 of 93,877 registered electors casting a ballot.

McLeod won with 35.2 per cent of the vote (24,444 total), a close to 17 per cent decline from 2011.

A big Liberal surge split the centre-left vote in the local riding.

NDP candidate Bill Sundhu was second place, receiving 30.8 per cent (21,400) and Liberal candidate Steve Powrie got 30.5 per cent (21,197), a dramatic increase from the party’s five per cent in the riding in 2011.

Green Party candidate Matt Greenwood took 3.8 per cent (2,493).

Nationally, the Liberal Party, with Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau at the helm, made a rather impressive ascension, from third place in 2011 to a first-place majority government with 184 seats in 2015.

The Conservatives won 99, the NDP 44, the Bloc Quebecois 10 and the Green Party one.

Preliminary results show more than 68 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot across the country, a more than seven per cent jump from 2011, the highest turnout since 1993.

McLeod, who was first elected in 2008, has never been a member of the official opposition.

She says her re-election is “bittersweet” considering the national result.

Her message to voters in the 100 Mile House area is a thanks to her volunteers, adding she will ensure the needs of rural and Interior communities will be “well-voiced” in Ottawa.

Asked if it will be more difficult now that she’s no longer a member of the ruling party, McLeod says she will find out over time, and she’s not going to “pre-judge” anything.

“What I always did appreciate was a number of my caucus represented rural areas, so that was always part of our discussions. It’s my job as a member of the opposition to ensure all voices of Canada are heard.”

Stephen Harper resigned as Conservative Party leader following the election.

McLeod agrees it was time for Harper to step down after nearly a decade as Prime Minister.

She says it’s too early to speculate who will replace him.

“There was certainly a mood from Canadians – it was time to change.”




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