NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh holds onto Burnaby South
Federal NDP leader first won the riding last February after its former MP became Vancouver's mayor
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh won't be Canada's next prime minister, but he handily held onto his riding of Burnaby South and emerged with another victory Monday: a key role in shaping the direction taken by Justin Trudeau's Liberal minority government.
Singh emerged as the victor in a tight race on election day against Conservative candidate Jay Shin.
"This has been an incredible night," Singh said as he addressed a room full of supporters in Burnaby late Monday.
"We're going to make sure that the energy that we built over this campaign, the excitement that we built and that the focus that we put on people's struggles continues so that we can play a constructive and positive role in the new parliament that Canadians have chosen."
Singh made history in 2017 when he became the first non-white leader of a major Canadian political party. But until last winter, he led the NDP without a federal seat.
Singh first won Burnaby South in a byelection in February, held to replace Kennedy Stewart, the former NDP MP who vacated the seat after a successful run to become Vancouver's mayor.
Watch NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speak to his supporters:
That month, Singh beat the second-place Liberals and the third-place Conservatives by a handy margin.
In the general election campaign, the NDP leader led a loose, largely error-free campaign that received a surge of momentum late in the 40-day race, although the party couldn't turn it into seat gains — Singh's party won 24 seats in the election, as the count stood early Tuesday, fewer than the 39 the party had going into the election
But Singh vowed his party will play a constructive role in the new Parliament that Canadians have chosen, a message he also delivered to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in a phone call Monday night.
Singh held his seat in Burnaby South with 37.5 per cent of the vote, according to preliminary numbers.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May opted not to run a candidate in the earlier race, as a courtesy, but put forward veteran campaigner Brennan Wauters for the general election.
Liberal candidate Neelam Brar was a newcomer to the race. She has lived in Burnaby South for more than 20 years and claimed to have a long track record as an entrepreneur and a community leader.
Conservative Jay Shin also ran against Singh in February.
Shin, a lawyer, grew up in Burnaby and earned both a masters of business administration and a bachelor of laws. He was called to the bar in 1991 and has been practising business law for more than two decades.
Al Rawdah was the candidate for the People's Party of Canada.
Watch NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh's full speech to supporters:
With files from the Canadian Press