Buffalo Party runs fraction of candidates, yet outdraws Greens in preliminary election count
No third party able to gain any seats
The newly-formed Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan pulled ahead of the Green Party during the 2020 Saskatchewan election despite having fewer than one-third of the candidates, according to Elections Saskatchewan counts Monday night.
The 17 Buffalo Party candidates received 2.9 per cent of the votes counted Monday. The 60 nominated candidates of the Sask. Green Party had 2.4 per cent.
"We feel this was absolutely great for our party after only being three months old," said Buffalo Party Leader Wade Sira.
In March, Elections Saskatchewan announced that Wexit Saskatchewan had achieved official party status. This summer party members voted to change its name to the Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan. Sira was appointed as interim leader in July.
"We're going to continue on and working for 2024 at this moment in time," he said.
Sira was defeated in the Martensville-Warman constituency by Terry Jenson of the Saskatchewan Party. The NDP's Carla Streeton also received more votes than Sira Monday.
"I'm planning to work with the party in any capacity that they want me to work," said Sira Monday night.
"I will stay the leader of the party until we have a founding convention because COVID has stopped that."
If at that point several people want to run for leadership, "we'll have that conversation at that time," he said.
Sira's party, formerly known as Wexit Saskatchewan, was tracking in second place in some ridings as polls came in, including in Cannington, Cypress Hills, Estevan and Kindersley.
The Saskatchewan Green Party was also unable to send its leader to the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan.
Naomi Hunter didn't win a seat in Regina Elphinstone-Centre. The NDP's Meara Conway won the riding with 59 per cent of the votes counted Monday.
The Saskatchewan Green Party sent 60 candidates into this year's race, two more than in the 2016 general election.
"Right now I'm seeing a higher percentage in a couple of ridings for the Greens than we have seen in a very long time," said Hunter Monday night before all polls were counted.
"I'm seeing this is a win for us and I expect the media to take us seriously."
The Green Party saw an increase from 1.84 per cent in 2016 to 2.4 per cent in 2020, but remained fourth behind the Buffalo Party, according to the Monday's count.
"There is lots of time left to go," said. Hunter.
"My people are probably mail-in voters."
More media coverage of her party would make a difference, Hunter said.
Being invited to the televised debate would allow her to show the province what the Green Party has to offer, she said.
"The liberals were in that debate for two elections after they didn't have any seats in the house…. Saskatchewan people should have seen that there was a valid third option."
After the projected defeat in her constituency, Hunter said she is still the leader of the Saskatchewan Green Party.
"We have important issues that we are bringing forward…. The climate crisis isn't going away."
Liberal Party and PC Party
Both Saskatchewan Liberal Party interim Leader Robert Rudachyk and PC Party of Saskatchewan Leader Ken Grey were defeated in their ridings.
Elections Saskatchewan will begin counting mail-in ballots Wednesday, with a final count due 12 days after the election day.