NDP gain only 1 seat in Saskatchewan election
The Saskatchewan NDP have picked up just one seat in a provincial election which saw the party's leader lose his own constituency.
A tense night finished with just 10 seats for the New Democrats. That's up from 2011 when the NDP were crushed under former party leader Dwain Lingenfelter and ended up with only nine seats, the lowest number in the party's history. The minor gain was a disappointing result for New Democrats.
"I am disappointed and I know that you are as well," NDP leader Cam Broten said to supporters in Saskatoon. He made the statement at around 10:30 p.m. CST while waiting for word on the tight race in his own constituency.
"This is the not the night we were hoping for" <a href="https://twitter.com/Sask_NDP">@Sask_NDP</a> leader Cam Broten speaking right now. <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCSask">@CBCSask</a> <a href="https://t.co/Jcm66yuVbG">pic.twitter.com/Jcm66yuVbG</a>—@Devin_Heroux
This was the first election for Broten as party leader. Broten took the job after narrowly beating Ryan Meili in a leadership race in 2013. Broten won the leadership by a margin of just 44 votes.
"This isn't quite the night we were hoping for," Broten said. "This is not the results that so many of us worked so hard for. But in a democracy the election belongs to the voters."
Broten lost in Saskatoon Westview to the Saskatchewan Party's David Buckingham.
The Sask. Party also took more than 62 per cent of the popular vote, while the NDP took just over 30 per cent.
The province has had a two-party legislative assembly since 2003, in the wake of a controversial 1999 coalition agreement between the minority NDP government of then-premier Roy Romanow and the Liberal Party.
During that time, the number of NDP seats in the legislature has declined from 30 in government (to the opposition Saskatchewan Party's 28), to 20 seats when it moved across the aisle to opposition in 2007, to the disastrous results in 2011.
Throughout the night at NDP headquarters in Saskatoon at the Bessborough Hotel people attentively watched the tight race in Saskatoon Westview, Broten's riding. Earlier in the evening, NDP spokesperson Erin Morrison said that Broten was "cool as a cucumber" when it came to the the night's results.
Saskatoon Centre NDP MLA David Forbes took to the stage after winning his own riding, saying that he stood by Broten.
In Regina, NDP's Nicole Sarauer took back the Regina Douglas Park seat, which former NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter lost in 2011. Before that upset, it was an NDP stronghold.
NDP deputy leader Trent Wotherspoon held onto his constituency of Regina Rosemont, even with redrawn border lines. Wotherspoon had 55 per cent of the vote while Sask. Party's Kevin Dureau was close behind with 40 per cent.
The NDP held onto Cumberland with Doyle Vermette maintaining his seat and beating out Thomas Sierzycki, mayor of La Ronge and a star candidate for the Sask. Party.
The NDP were unable to reclaim the Battlefords, which historically was mostly New Democrat until the Sask. Party's Herb Cox won the seat in 2011. Cox held onto the seat with 61 per cent of the vote. The riding of Moose Jaw Wakamow went to the Sask. Party in 2011, and it will stay that way after this election.
The NDP were also unable to take Moose Jaw North back from the Sask. Party's Warren Michelson, who took the NDP stronghold in 2007.
This election saw 61 constituencies, up from 58 in 2011, and the Sask. Party was able to win all the newly created ridings.
Whether Broten will maintain his position as party leader has not been announced.