Saskatchewan

Sask. NDP Leader Ryan Meili claims victory in his riding, results not yet confirmed by Elections Sask.

Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili has projected a win in his own constituency, but the final results of mail-in ballot counting have not yet been posted. His constituency was not declared on election night because of outstanding ballots.

CBC now projects 2 Sask. Party wins, 2 NDP wins in ridings too close to call on election night

Meili was flanked by candidates Erika Ritche, Betty Nippi Albright, Jennifer Bowes, Matt Love and Vicki Mowat when he jumped the gun and announced victories before Elections Saskatchewan released its data. (Ryan Meili)
  • CBC Decision Desk projects winners in four out of eight ridings that were too close to call on election night.
  • Meili projects his own win, not verified by Elections Saskatchewan or CBC.
  • Final vote count will begin on Nov. 7​​​​​​.​

Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili has projected a win in his own constituency, but the final results of mail-in ballot counting have not yet been posted.

"I'm so honoured to be able to represent, to continue to represent the people of Saskatoon Meewasin," Meili said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. "We will do everything we can to serve the needs of Saskatoon Meewasin and all people across Saskatchewan."

Meili's Saskatoon Meewasin constituency could not be called on election night because 1,656 mail in ballots had yet to be counted. Meili trailed the Sask. Party's Rylund Hunter by 83 votes when advance and day-of ballots were tallied.

"We had made a special effort on encouraging our supporters to vote by mail, which made election night look funny, but in the long run is playing out in our favour," Meili said Wednesday.

Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili claimed victory in his riding on Saskatoon Meewasin Wednesday afternoon, but Elections Saskatchewan has not yet released its final count. (Don Somers/CBC)

Data posted by Elections Saskatchewan shows Meili leading by 209 votes after the current mail-in ballots were counted. However, there still could be as many as 591 votes left to count, as Elections Saskatchewan will still count ballots it receives as long as they were mailed before 8 p.m. CST on election day. CBC News has not yet projected the outcome for Meili.

Meili also declared NDP candidates Jennifer Bowes, for Saskatoon University, and Matt Love, for Saskatoon Eastview, victorious before results were posted. 

After Meili's announcement, Elections Saskatchewan released more numbers. CBC's Decision Desk then projected that Love and Bowes will indeed win their seats. 

Love was up against the Sask. Party's ​Chris Guérette, who was parachuted into the constituency midway through the campaign after former-candidate Daryl Cooper resigned after engaging with conspiracy posts online. Guérette congratulated Love on Twitter Wednesday. 

Bowes defeated the Sask. Party's Eric Olauson, who made headlines for allegedly ordering a background check on a concerned constituent. He also liked a Facebook page called Boobzone and a post that appeared to condone violence against Justin Trudeau supporters.

Four of 61 ridings remain too close to call.

Sask. Party knocks off NDP incumbent, keeps another seat

Eight ridings were too close to call on election night: Saskatoon Meewasin, Prince Albert Northcote, Regina Coronation Park, Regina Pasqua, Regina University, Saskatoon Eastview, Saskatoon Riversdale and Saskatoon University were all determined too close to call by CBC News on election night, due to the volume of mail-in ballots still to be counted.

CBC News has projected that Sask. Party candidate Alana Ross will win in the riding of Prince Albert Northcote, knocking out NDP incumbent Nicole Rancourt, and that Sask. Party candidate Mark Docherty will win in the riding of Regina Coronation Park, defeating NDP candidate Noor Burki. 

Ross won a contested nomination to run for the party in 2019 and works in the healthcare sector. Docherty was elected in 2011 and most recently acted as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

Docherty has said one of the reasons he wanted the responsibility was to invite the public into the Legislature, specifically newcomers and people from the Indigenous community. 

The NDP had been hoping to make big gains this election in order to become a stronger opposition. It only had 13 of 61 seats in the Legislature at the time of dissolution. The voter share for the party was low this time around. 

"Change is a bit of a hard sell right now, and we understand that, but we're very pleased with the support we've had," he said. "It's the first time in a while we get to return our leader to the Legislature."

Sask. NDP leaders lost their seats in the previous two provincial elections. Rookie candidates for the Sask. Party defeated party leader Cam Broten in 2016 and party leader Dwain Lingenfelter in 2011. In 2016, the New Democrats won 10 seats. The election prior they won nine.

A spokesperson for the Sask. Party responded in a statement to Meili claiming victory before official results were posted. 

"While the Saskatchewan Party also has scrutineers to observe the counting of ballots, we respect Elections Saskatchewan's role in reporting and verifying polling results," the statement said.

Elections Saskatchewan CEO Michael Boda oversees mail-in ballot counting on Oct. 28. (Elections Saskatchewan)

Michael Boda, chief electoral officer for Elections Saskatchewan, said the latest results of the count will be released twice a day. He anticipates that counting the mail-ins may take up to three days to finish. 

There are 26 counting stations in total. Counting will be done in Regina. Boda did not know Tuesday how many ballots Elections Saskatchewan will have to go through in total. 

A final count will begin on Nov. 7 and could take several days. Saskatchewan residents may not know the result of a few ridings until every last vote is counted.

Candidates can also contest results in close races. After all that, the results will become official on Nov. 18. 

Corrections

  • A previous version incorrectly stated the time votes would be counted. In fact, they will be counted starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
    Oct 28, 2020 1:42 PM CT

About the Author

Kendall Latimer

Journalist

Kendall Latimer is a Saskatchewan-based reporter for CBC News who loves to explore and share compelling stories with words, photos and sound. Story idea? Let's connect: kendall.latimer@cbc.ca.

with files from Guy Quenneville and Adam Hunter

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