Voting today in new South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding.

ELECTION 2015: NDP’s Richard Cannings declared winner in South Okanagan-West Kootenay

NDP candidate Richard Cannings declared winner after almost 74 per cent of electors cast a ballot.

The red wave that swept across the country last night didn’t flow into the newly formed South Okanagan-West Kootenay (SOWK) riding.

This area remained orange for a fourth straight federal election as the Liberals took hold of most of Canada.

NDP Richard Cannings was declared the winner after garnering 24,823 votes after almost 74 per cent of electors cast a ballot. By 9:45 p.m. Cannings had arrived to the celebration at his Penticton headquarters.

“I pledge to not only take your concerns to Ottawa, but also to seek out your ideas on how we can make this a better place to live,” Cannings told the crowd. “Together we can build a better country and a Canada we can be proud of once again.”

By the time all votes were tallied Conservative Marshall Neufeld gained enough to move into second with 19,894, Liberal Connie Denesiuk slipped into third with 18,727 votes, followed by Samantha Troy from the Green Party, 2,851 and Independent Brian Gray, 432.

By the time B.C. voting stations closed at 7 p.m. the Liberals already had a near majority government. By 7:15 p.m., the east to west sweep had Justin Trudeau named the next Prime Minister with a majority government, which at that point, was projected at 172 seats and counting.

The trend ended in the South Okanagan-West Kootenay as Cannings took an early lead and maintained about 600 votes over Liberal Connie Denesiuk. Behind her by about 600 votes was Conservative Marshall Neufeld, with Samantha Troy from the Green Party and Independent Brian Gray trailing.

During the course of the night, the NDP lead widened, and after 150 polls, Cannings pulled ahead by over 1,200 votes. Notably at the half way point, Denesiuk already had 6,700 more votes than the Liberals received in the 2011 election.

“We’re thrilled to see that Canada’s back on the right track,” Liberal candidate Connie Denesiuk told Dan Walton of the Penticton Western News. “He’s the only leader that offered real change, now. The Conservatives said the status quo is good enough and the NDP said they’ll balance the books and then maybe fulfill their promises later. People want change and they want it now. And that’s what Justin Trudeau offered.”

 

UPDATE 9:30 p.m.

Media projects NDP Richard Cannings the winner.

219 polls

Richard Cannings NDP    15,042

Connie Denesiuk Liberal  12,382

Marshall Neufeld  Conservative 11,835

Samantha Troy, Green   1,849

Brian Gray, Independent  294

 

UPDATE 9:14 p.m.

175 polls

Richard Cannings NDP    11,313

Connie Denesiuk Liberal  9,506

Marshall Neufeld  Conservative 8780

Samantha Troy, Green   1440

Brian Gray, Independent  252

 

 

UPDATE 8:45 p.m.

140 polls

Richard Cannings NDP    8663

Connie Denesiuk Liberal  7511

Marshall Neufeld  Conservative 6820

Samantha Troy, Green   1081

Brian Gray, Independent  166

 

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.

85 polls reporting

Richard Cannings NDP    5235

Connie Denesiuk Liberal  4551

Marshall Neufeld  Conservative 3920

Samantha Troy, Green   615

Brian Gray, Independent 99

 

UPDATE 8:20 p.m.

45 polls reporting and NDP Richard Cannings lead widens

Richard Cannings NDP    2,921

Connie Denesiuk Liberal  2,386

Marshall Neufeld  Conservative 1,840

Samantha Troy, Green   332

Brian Gray, Independent 54

 

UPDATE 8:05 p.m.

25 polls reporting and NDP Richard Cannings takes slim lead

Richard Cannings NDP 1,649

Connie Denesiuk, Liberal, 1,410

Marshall Neufeld, Conservative, 1,066

Samantha Troy, Green, 185

Brian Gray, Independent, 39

 

 

UPDATE 8:00 p.m.

Five polls in the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding, and Liberal Connie Denesiuk has taken an early lead.

So far:Liberal Connie Denesiuk         309

Conservative Marshall Neufeld  237

NDP Richard Cannings             298

Green Party Samantha Troy     33

Independent Brian Gray             4

More to come on what is already a Liberal Majority Government.

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Whether Canadians show up and vote ABC or not, today’s results will be a first in the Trail area.

Whether it’s orange, red, blue, green or Independent Brian Gray, whomever receives the most votes will be the inaugural leader for the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding.

The candidates, Liberal Connie Denesiuk, NDP Richard Cannings, Conservative Marshall Neufeld, and Gray, all hail from the Okanagan. Samantha Troy, a political newcomer who was the last to announce her candidacy (mid-September) for the Green Party, lives in Rossland.

With the traditionally Conservative Okanagan intertwining with the long time West Kootenay NDP base, and a strong Liberal candidate, the MP seat is up for grabs pending the direction of 91,000 electors from Castlegar, Trail, Rossland, and Grand Forks, through the Central Kootenay and Okanagan-Similkameen to Penticton.

And, with three-term NDP MP Alex Atamanenko passing the torch to Cannings, rookie Conservative Marshall Neufeld taking party reins from Dan Albas from the former Okanagan-Coquihalla riding, and first time Liberal candidate Denesiuk, no matter who prevails, a new face will be representing the region in Ottawa.

Electoral boundaries in the West Kootenay and Okanagan have changed many times throughout the years, but no matter where the Greater Trail area has fallen in the mix, its Member of Parliament has been either NDP or Conservative.

The exception is Jim Gouk, a three-term MP who held the seat for the Reform Party from 1993 to 2000 in what was then the Kootenay West-Revelstoke riding. A boundary change moved the region into the West Kootenay-Okanagan riding that year, with Gouk retaining the position for the Canadian Alliance Party until 2003, and finishing his political career as a Conservative in 2006.

Since then, Atamanenko won the seat by a large margin, serving as NDP MP for B.C. Southern Interior until his retirement earlier this year.

Notably, there’s never been a Liberal MP since the Kootenay West riding was created in 1914. (Kootenay West was abolished in 1987 when it merged into Kootenay West-Revelstoke)

And, there hasn’t been a Liberal MP in the Okanagan since 1972.

So Oct. 19 could make history if Denesiuk topples the Conservative and NDP strongholds.

Looking to past results, Atamanenko called the 2011 election a “two-way race” between his party and Conservative candidate Stephen Hill. The former school teacher won his third term after he out-polled Hill by 10 per cent and left Green candidate Bryan Hunt and Liberal Shan Lavell trailing far behind.

Overall votes were 22,729 for the NDP, the Conservatives with 17,352, the Green Party, 2,896 and Liberals, 1,695.

In 2008, Atamanenko won with 22,693 votes, followed by Conservative Rob Zandee with 17,122, Andy Morel from the Green Party with 4,573 votes, Liberal Brenda Jagpal, 3,292 votes, and Marxist-Leninist candidate Brian Sproule, 80 votes.

Prior to Atamanenko’s first term win in 2006, Conservative Jim Gouk held the riding leadership nine years.