Ontario election 2014: Recount hands Thornhill to Tories

Elections Ontario declares the Progressive Conservatives the winner in the riding of Thornhill after a recount up-ends what was initially declared a Liberal victory.

PC candidate Gila Martow declared winner by 85 votes, LIberal rival requests judicial recount

Ontario PC candidate Gila Martow, seen here celebrating a byelection win in February, has won the Thornhill riding by 85 votes in a recount. (Galit Rodan/Canadian Press)

Elections Ontario has declared the Progressive Conservatives the winner in the riding of Thornhill after a recount up-ended what was initially declared a Liberal victory.

Spokesman Andrew Willis says that after Friday's recount the "official tabulation" has found PC candidate Gila Martow was the winner by 85 votes.

The initial count done on election night had given the seat, which sits north of Toronto, to Liberal Sandra Racco by that very same margin.

Willis says the new outcome was the result of a "very comprehensive review" of the vote calculation.

It's tough to go through this kind of emotional roller coaster.- Gila Martow

Elections Ontario caused some confusion, however, by announcing two versions of the final count. An English-language news release on Saturday put the spread at 85 votes, while the corresponding release in French said Martow had won by just 60.

Elections Ontario later confirmed that the former number was correct.  

"It's tough to go through this kind of emotional roller coaster," Martow told CBC News. "I did the best I could do in this campaign … I just couldn't have physically done more."

She added she wishes "all the best" for Racco and is looking forward to attending a Tory caucus meeting at Queen's Park on Monday. The Ontario Tories are looking for a new leader, now that Tim Hudak has said he will step down. 

"Obviously, we have to plan the future of the PC party," she said. 

The revised election results now have Ontario's Liberals with 58 seats compared to 28 for the Tories. The change doesn't affect the status of the Liberal majority government.

Racco said she was disappointed and “alarmed” at the errors described by Elections Canada. She said she will request a judicial recount of the votes. 

“When the results are as close as they were, it is imperative to ensure that every vote was counted properly,” Racco said in a statement. 

Two seats in GTA

The turnaround leaves the Tories with two seats in the Greater Toronto Area, which the Liberals dominated on election night. The Tories had three ridings in the GTA going into the election, but lost Etobicoke-Lakeshore with the defeat of incumbent and former Toronto deputy mayor Doug Holyday by Peter Milczyn. 

The Tories also held onto Whitby-Oshawa, well to the east of the city. 

Martow and Racco, along with NDP candidate Cindy Hackelberg, fought for the Thornhill seat earlier this year in a byelection that eventually went to the Tories by a margin of some six per cent. That win marked Martow's debut as an MPP. The riding has been held by the PCs since 2007. 

With files from The Canadian Press


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