6 new councillors elected in London as ranked ballot results finalized
Newcomers including Steve Lehman, Arielle Kayabaga and Elizabeth Peloza
City council chambers will have many new faces as Londoners elected six new councillors while welcoming back eight others in an election unlike any other in recent Canadian municipal history.
It took election officials two days of counting the ranked ballots, resulting in nail-biting races in some wards, before the roster of councillors was complete.
The moment <a href="https://twitter.com/ArielkeK?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ArielkeK</a> became London’s first ever female black councillor, after 7 rounds of ranked ballot voting: <a href="https://t.co/dyaiKTZrjB">pic.twitter.com/dyaiKTZrjB</a>—@meslin
The ranked ballot process, being used for the first time in the Forest City, requires candidates to win by a margin of 50 percent plus one vote or more of the total votes cast.
Counting resumed Tuesday at approximately 10 a.m. with the city clerk, Cathy Saunders, saying the count would proceed ward-by-ward until a winner was declared.
There you have it, London. Maureen is the first woman to be elected to the next city council. <a href="https://t.co/lgwe4XZSxT">https://t.co/lgwe4XZSxT</a>—@KateDubinski
Multiple rounds in some wards
The first to be declared a winner on day two of the count was incumbent councillor Maureen Cassidy in Ward 5. It went to six rounds of counting with Cassidy beating candidate Randy Warden by 106 votes.
A neck-and-neck race played out in Ward 8, going into 9 rounds of counting. In the end, former school board chair Matt Reid lost to Steve Lehman by approximately 150 votes.
Anna Hopkins, who was leading going into the second day of counting, handily won as the incumbent for Ward 9.
Shortly after noon Tuesday, officials started counting Ward 12. Newcomer Elizabeth Peloza knocked out 5 other candidates winning the seat.
In another multi-round race, Arielle Kayabaga won Ward 13 on the eighth round of counting. She won her seat by 139 votes, with candidate John Fyfe-Millar coming in a close second.
The final ward to be counted was Ward 14 where Jared Zaifman lost his council seat to Steve Hillier.
Voter turnout was down in London with 39 per cent of people casting a ballot, compared to 43 per cent in 2014.
Make up of London city council:
- Michael Van Holst, Ward 1
- Shawn Lewis, Ward 2
- Mo Salih, Ward 3
- Jesse Helmer, Ward 4
- Maureen Cassidy, Ward 5
- Phil Squire, Ward 6
- Josh Morgan, Ward 7
- Steve Lehman, Ward 8
- Anna Hopkins, Ward 9
- Paul Van Meerbergen, Ward 10
- Stephen Turner, Ward 11
- Elizabeth Peloza, Ward 12
- Arielle Kayabaga, Ward 13
- Steve Hillier, Ward 14