Liberal Kathryn McGarry defeated incumbent Progressive Conservative Rob Leone in a historic win in Cambridge, becoming the first female MPP in a riding that hasn't been held by the Liberals since 1943.

“As the first female MPP in Cambridge it’s just an incredible honour, it’s just an incredible feeling,” said McGarry Thursday night at her victory party at the Saginaw Golf Club. 

McGarry secured 38.9 per cent of the vote, beating Leone by 3,067 votes. 

The riding had been held by the Tories since 1995.

McGarry attributed her success to her persuasiveness while knocking on doors. 

“If people were not decided, after we’d a little chat at their door they were really turning my way. That really translated into the votes tonight,” said McGarry, who works as a nurse in Cambridge.

“I really think in the last week we sort of felt that momentum start to kick in. My canvassers were feeling it, we’ve had tonnes of sign request that we didn’t have last time, so it really felt like it was building,” she said.

This year's election was the third time McGarry had campaigned for the seat, and both previous times she was beaten by a PC candidate.

Leone, who was the PC education critic until the election was called in May, defeated McGarry in 2011 by 2,023 votes. In 2007, McGarry lost to PC Gerry Martiniuk by 3,238 votes.