Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com
PARRY SOUND-MUSKOKA — It will be four more years of local Conservative federal representation by Scott Aitchison as the MP easily won re-election last night.
The incumbent as expected won back his seat, while Justin Trudeau and the Liberals won national re-election in unofficial results that saw little change — and another minority government.
As of Tuesday morning, with 233 of 234 polls reporting, Aitchison had won with 24,906 votes, according to Elections Canada.
He returns to the Opposition bench in the House of Commons after two years with 2,061 more votes this time, even as voting numbers overall were down about 3,000 in the Parry Sound-Muskoka riding.
There were 52,209 votes cast among 85,831 eligible voters — a 60.83 per cent turnout.
Liberal parachute candidate Jovanie Nicoyishakiye — who was out of sight but not out of mind — was in a tight race all night with the NDP’s Heather Hay.
But she managed to beat the two other first-timers in the riding with 11,226 votes.
Hay received 8,849 votes, while James Tole, of the People’s Party, surprised most watchers by siphoning off 4,026 votes from the Aitchison with a strong showing.
The Greens’ Marc Mantha finished fifth, his supporters casting 2,907 ballots for him.
Independent Daniel Preddie Jr. dropped his vote count in his second straight election with 200 votes.
James Fawcett, of the National Citizens Alliance, was a distant seventh with the support of just 95 people.
Polls closed at 9:30 p.m. and counting was done “by hand,” said assistant Returning Officer Cathy Calvert. “Just like we’ve already done.”
Eligible voters in the riding were up by about 2,000, said Calvert, to 85,831 from 2019. The riding population is listed at 94,398.
Calvert said normally voter turnout in Parry Sound-Muskoka is 60 per cent.
As of last Thursday there had been 17,774 advance voters in the riding.
In addition there were 3,252 “special ballots” cast by late last week: 1,638 of them were filled out in person in Huntsville at the Elections Canada riding office; with 1,614 more either mailed in or dropped off at first-time drop boxes at polling stations by 9:30 p.m. Monday night.
Those special ballots will be counted Tuesday afternoon.
As well, some other voting results from outside the riding will be forwarded from Elections Canada in Ottawa. They were cast from abroad by voters in Canada and outside the country or by military members.
Due to the pandemic, Calvert said voters who opted for mail-in voting received pre-paid stamped envelopes. And until two weeks after the election was called they could get blank ballots and they would be accepted for counting with just a candidate’s name (or the closest spelling). No party affiliation was needed.
Calvert said as long as it was close and Elections Canada could determine their intention they will be counted.
Those who voted at the returning office, at Huntsville Place Mall, had their ballots placed in special envelopes, which they had to sign and promise not to vote again.
In 2019 advanced voting was 13,567.
2019 PS-M results:
Scott Aitchison — 22,845 — 41.8% of vote
Liberal Trish Cowie — 16,615 — 30.4%
Gord Miller — 8,409 — 15.4%
Tom Young — 6,417 — 11.7%
Daniel Preddie Jr. — 377
2019 PS-M riding voting:
82,930 eligible voters
54,663 total votes
392 votes spoiled
2019 federal results:
Liberals 155 — 33.12% of vote
Conservatives 119 — 34.34%
NDP 32 — 7.63%
Greens 2 — 6.5%
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