Abbotsford incumbent MP Ed Fast concedes the Conservatives won’t form the next government.
Speaking to The News after the projection of a Liberal majority shortly after 8 p.m. and with the majority of Abbotsford polls still to report results, Fast said “Canadians have spoken and we accept their judgment.”
“I look back with great pride at many of the accomplishments we achieved for Canadians,” he said, pointing to reductions in taxes as well as the government’s trade agenda, which Fast personally oversaw as Minister of International Trade.
He later thanked supporters in a speech, congratulated Justin Trudeau, and thanked Stephen Harper for appointing him to cabinet. Fast said he would continue to work to promote Abbotsford’s interests in Ottawa, even as he prepares for life in opposition – a first in his nine-year career in federal politics.
The final results saw, Ed Fast received 23,129 votes or 48 percent, leading Liberal Peter Njenga, who had received 15,773 or 33 percent. The NDP’s Jen Martel was in third with 6,583 (14 percent), Stephen Fowler of the Greens had 2,416 votes (five per cent) and Marxist-Leninist David MacKay had 109 votes.
By 8 p.m., Martel had conceded “the voters have made their decision.” She pointed out that the Liberals were still leading in many ridings, and not elected yet, but acknowledged that they had won.
“I really enjoyed meeting voters and hearing their stories, and to see so many young voters showing up was so inspiring and so encouraging.”
She said her campaign had worked hard to educate people how to take part and to help them get information they needed to vote.
She said the long campaign did make it easier for people to get informed, but many really did not tune in until the past few weeks.
“It was exhausting for a lot of people (the long campaign),” she said. “It was also expensive for all the parties and for Elections Canada, but it was good that young voters got more involved.”
In eastern Canada, where polls have now been closed for more than two hours, predictions are for a Liberal government.
Residents of Abbotsford were voting for candidates in one of three ridings.
The bulk of the city is in the Abbotsford electoral district, which includes most of of the city south of Maclure and Bateman roads. Most of those who live north of those roads live in the newly created Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding. There is also a small sliver of the western part of Abbotsford – the area west of Bradner Road north of Highway 1 and west of Mount Lehman Road to the south of the highway – that are included in the Langley-Aldergrove electoral district.
Five candidates are running in Abbotsford: incumbent Ed Fast of the Conservatives, Peter Njenga of the Liberals, Jen Martel of the NDP, Stephen Fowler of the Greens, and David MacKay of the Marxist-Leninist Party.
Njenga did not make an appearance at the combined Abbotsford and Mission Liberal candidates’ camp at the Abbotsford banquet hall.
Fast has served as the riding’s MP since 2006 and is a heavy favourite, having never garnered less than 60 per cent of the popular vote.
In the most recent election, in 2011, Fast garnered 65 per cent of the vote. The NDP’s David Murray came second, with 20 per cent of ballots cast, while Liberal Madeleine Heith won 10 per cent of votes and Green Daniel Bryce took four per cent.
For coverage of the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon results, click here.
More than 9,000 voters in the Abbotsford riding already cast ballots in advance polling. That figure is up by more than 4,000 over 2011 and mirrors a trend across Canada, where advance voting numbers were up more than 70 per cent.
Watch abbynews.com and the Abbynews Facebook page tonight for coverage from the local campaigns and results as they become available.