Progressive Conservative candidate Greg Rickford was declared victor of the Kenora-Rainy River district race, after facing New Democrat Glen Archer and Liberal Karen Kejick in Thursday’s provincial election.
Soon after polls closed at 8 p.m., ballot numbers started pouring in, revealing a tight race between the NDP and PC candidates. Just under an hour after the count began, the number of votes separating the two was slightly over 500 votes.
But, the gap quickly started to grow, giving Rickford a comfortable lead of over 2,000 votes, ultimately securing his seat at Queen’s Park. The final tally was 9,693 votes, according to Elections Ontario’s unofficial results.
After nearly 3 decades of an NDP stronghold, Rickford will be taking a seat in the Assembly, now led by a Progressive Conservative majority government.
The PC’s, led by Doug Ford, won 76 of the possible 124 seats in the legislature. Andrea Horwath and the New Democrats will be the official opposition, securing 40 seats.
According to Elections Ontario, voter turnout in the province was just under 58 percent, an uptick from 51 percent in the 2014 general election.
Shortly after the results were announced, Kathleen Wynne declared she will resign as leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, even though the unofficial results show she will hold onto her Don Valley West riding by a mere 181-vote lead. The Liberals failed to establish official party status, gaining only 7 seats.
Two of northern Ontario’s new ridings have sent New Democrats to represent them in Queen’s Park. Guy Bourgouin of the Mushkegowuk-James Bay district took over 50 percent of the vote, with five polls yet to be tallied as of 1 a.m. Friday morning.
In Kiitwetinoong, Sol Mamakwa led over the PC candidate Clifford Bull by a margin of almost 1,500 votes, according to Elections Ontario’s unofficial results.