Casey takes Charlottetown, credits Liberal government record
'The discourse between the candidates was civil. It was focused on the issues,' says Sean Casey
Sean Casey spoiled speculation of a four-way race in Charlottetown Monday night.
The Liberal incumbent was looking to earn his third mandate to represent the capital area in P.E.I., and turned what some projected to be a four-way race into a runaway victory.
Casey said he believes the election in Charlottetown was decided on the record of the Liberal government.
"The fact that the Liberal government has been so good for Charlottetown mattered," he said.
"Starting with the Canada Child Benefit and the cable over to New Brunswick. It was those things that I think made the biggest difference."
With 75 of 77 polls reporting, Casey had won more than 44 per cent of the vote, well ahead of second place Green Darcy Lanthier with 23 per cent of the vote.
Conservative Robert Campbell had 20 per cent of the vote, and New Democrat Joe Byrne had 11 per cent.
Casey congratulated the other candidates in Charlottetown.
Here’s Sean Casey. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/peipoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#peipoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/fCSHNtRF0i">pic.twitter.com/fCSHNtRF0i</a>—@kerrywcampbell
"I'm actually proud of the campaign that was run by all of the candidates in this riding," he said.
"The discourse between the candidates was civil. It was focused on the issues."
Scandal not a factor
Casey said he didn't believe the revelation that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau had appeared in blackface on several occasions changed a single vote in Charlottetown.
"What I heard repeatedly was, 'I did things 18 years ago that I wouldn't want to see on CNN. I may or may not vote Liberal, but it won't be because of this.' For people that didn't like Justin Trudeau the day before it broke, it gave them one more reason," he said.
CBC decision desk has projected Casey will win. Someone here saw the check mark on tv but there’s been no moment here when it sank in yet. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/peipoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#peipoli</a> <a href="https://t.co/WnR5AYECLl">pic.twitter.com/WnR5AYECLl</a>—@kerrywcampbell
The four main parties all had reason to believe they had a shot in Charlottetown on election day.
Federal elections in the province have typically been Conservative versus Liberal battles. But twice in Charlottetown, in 1997 and in 2015, the New Democrats have pushed aside the Tories for a second-place finish.
After the 2015 election, in which Casey won re-election with 56 per cent of the vote, there was little to suggest the Liberals might be facing a serious challenge in the riding just a few years later.
But after four years of Liberal government, a poll in August found the Conservative Party had a five-point lead over the Liberals on the Island.
The Green Party was coming off a provincial election where they won the most votes in Charlottetown. The NDP was also a threat with candidate Byrne — who took second place for the New Democrats in 2015 — back for another try.
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With files from Kerry Campbell