Liberals scoop up Dianne Watts's former riding in federal byelection
Gordie Hogg wins former Conservative stronghold of South Surrey-White Rock
The Liberal Party of Canada has snatched a seat in Parliament away from the Conservatives after a close byelection vote in B.C.
Liberal Gordie Hogg topped the polls Monday night in the former Tory stronghold of South Surrey-White Rock, earning 47.5 per cent of the vote, according to preliminary results.
The former MLA held a slim but consistent lead over Conservative candidate Kerry-Lynne Findlay for most of the night, winning 14,369 votes to Findlay's 12,752 once all the polls were counted.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/gordiehogg?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#gordiehogg</a> receiving line <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/byelection?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#byelection</a> victory for the federal liberals in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SouthSurreyWhiteRock?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SouthSurreyWhiteRock</a> <a href="https://t.co/WHjkTaO9YO">pic.twitter.com/WHjkTaO9YO</a>—@Meerakati
Hogg addressed supporters at a packed Boston Pizza restaurant in Surrey, saying he was proud to represent the community where he's spent his whole life.
"I want to be sure that we take the issues of this community forward to our national government," he told the cheering crowd.
But he was reluctant to give specifics about his priorities when he spoke with reporters later.
"I don't think it's a night to get into policies; it's a night to be celebrating," he said.
The suburban seat was left vacant by Conservative Dianne Watts, who stepped down from the position to run for leader of the B.C. Liberals. The riding has long been a sure bet for the Conservatives and their predecessors.
Hogg served as B.C. Liberal MLA for Surrey-White Rock for two decades before announcing he would not seek re-election in 2017.
His closest competition was Findlay, a one-term MP for the Conservatives in the nearby riding of Delta—Richmond East.
Monday's vote placed the NDP candidate Jonathan Silveira in third place with just under five per cent of the vote, closely trailed by the Green Party's Larry Colero with about four per cent.
Just 38 per cent of registered voters in the riding turned out to vote.
The B.C. byelection was one of four held across Canada on Monday. The Liberals held onto seats in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario, while the Conservatives are expected to hold onto their riding in Saskatchewan.