After assessing the election results, I think it’s fair to say that considering Abbotsford’s unique context, Mr. Fast and the CPC arguably lost the symbolic confidence of the constituents on election night.
The voter turnout was higher than it has been in decades, and though he earned an endorsement of just over 48 per cent of the vote, it was by far the lowest number of votes the Conservatives have received in the history of this riding (since at least 2004).
In 2011, he had 65 per cent, and it had never dropped below 60 per cent. This was essentially a referendum on the Harper government and on the question of change. He’s just lucky the side for change was split three ways, despite a remarkable second-place showing by the Liberals – whose out-of-town candidate sadly never even showed up to the debates.
Let this be a sobering lesson for him and the Conservatives. Abbotsford’s loyalty to his party brand cannot be taken for granted any longer. We are not afraid to vote for progressive values and a positive alternative. And electoral reform, among other things, is coming down the pipe.