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Findlay sweeps to victory in Delta-Richmond East
Kerry-Lynne Findlay is off to Ottawa.
The Vancouver lawyer and Conservative candidate for Delta-Richmond East swept to victory in imposing fashion in Monday night's (May 2) federal election.
Findlay led from the opening results, widening the gap throughout the night as the ballots were counted.
With results from all 221 polls Findlay had racked up 26,059 votes (54.2 per cent).
Her nearest rival was NDP candidate Nic Slater with 11,189 (23.3 per cent).
Liberal candidate Alan Beesley was far behind in third spot with 8,112 votes (16.9 per cent).
Findlay said the message from voters in her riding and across the country has drawn the lines for the political future of the country.
"I think it's going to be very clear for Canadians now because there's more differences between the Conservatives and the NDP than there at times seems to be between the Conservatives and the Liberals," Findlay said.
She added the majority now allows the Tories to go forward with their economic plan.
"As far as this riding is concerned, I'm very excited by the results. As I said I didn't want to just win, I wanted to win well and I think I've done that tonight," she said. "I'm very excited about taking the message from Delta Richmond-East to Ottawa and these are great people here. This is a great community."
Retiring Conservative MP John Cummins had held the seat for several elections before stepping down last month to become the leader of the B.C. Conservative Party.
"It's certainly great to see Kerry-Lynne win tonight, and winning so well," Cummins told the group of Conservative supporters gathered at the Coast Tsawwassen Inn for a victory party. "It's a very significant win."
Cummins added he knows Findlay will serve the riding well.
"I know your record and I am just delighted that you're going to carry the banner to Ottawa."
Asked what role she would like to play in the Harper government, Findlay said that decision was up to the prime minister.
"But he knows my background and he knows I'm supportive of him and his policies, so we'll have to see what happens in the next couple of weeks."
Asked if she had a house picked out yet in South Delta—Findlay had promised to move to the riding if she won—she said laughing, "I've had realtors calling. They know I'm moving. But I've been a little busy over the last five weeks."
The NDP's Slater said he was encouraged by his party's showing at the polls and its new status as the official opposition.
"I think it's the result of people finally realizing the NDP is not the boogeyman, that it is a legitimate party," he said, adding the results have already had a profound effect on the political landscape of Canada.
The NDP has arguably saved the country from separatism, he said, as the Bloc Quebecois mustered only enough support for a handful of seats.
The people in Quebec just didn't believe in Harper, but they believed in the NDP and that's pretty clear, Slater said.
Commenting on the Conservative Party's majority, Slater said, "I think it's an unfortunate thing, obviously—we're at extreme ends of the political spectrum. It's the way politics goes, and it's one reason why we need to have more proportional representation in this country."
Liberal candidate Alan Beesley said the results that saw his party reduced to third party status provided some important political campaign lessons.
He hoped that in the future a party short on ideas refrain from using attack ads.
Beesley said he feels that tactic backfired on the Grits, although he praised the party's commitment to a fiscal policy not to reduce taxes when Canada is facing a sizable debt.
"I think that (debt) is something that our grandchildren will be paying for," he said.
Beesley added he had the "time of his life" over the past 30 days campaigning and meeting constituents.
Despite the almost landslide result, Beesley said he doesn't believe the Delta-Richmond East riding is a formidable Tory stronghold, but was caught up in a Conservative tide that swept across much of the country.
Green Party candidate Duane Laird said he was personally disappointed in the results in Delta-Richmond East, but happy for the party as it elected its first MP, Green Party leader Elizabeth May.
"I think it's the best possible outcome for the Green Party to have its leader in Parliament," he said.
When asked why, Laird said the media will now have to listen to what May has to say on issues such as global warming.
He added that perhaps in the next election, the Green Party will gain even more seats.
As for the Conservative majority, Laird said it is probably one of the worst things to have happened and that many Canadians may be quite shocked by the Conservative agenda.
Independent candidate John Shavluk was not available for comment.
—with files from Kristine Salzmann