Burlington PC candidate did exceptionally well – was very close to Cam Jackson 2003 percentage levels

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  October 7, 2011  –  It was another provincial election campaign that never seemed to develop any energy or drive.  That was on the surface.  There was a hopeful feeling amongst the Liberals that this time they had it.  They felt they had a stellar candidate and the Premier had come to the riding and things looked great on the organizational side of things as well.

But that isn`t the way the numbers turned out at all.

Jane McKenna the Progressive Conservative Candidate took the riding with 40.4% of the vote – with 20,048 ballots having her name on them.  Karmel Sakran the Liberal candidate  got 36.1 % and 17,903 votes.  Peggy Russell, the NDP candidate got 18.8 % with 9347 votes.

McKenna got 2,165 more votes than Sakran.  When Joan Lougheed ran against Joyce Savoline in the 2007

She had the most signs, she got the most votes - and now she is your MPP.

by -election Savoline won by 1,778 votes and when Marianne Meed Ward, now a member of municipal  council ran against Savoline in the full 2007 election Savoline got just 1824 more votes than Meed Ward.

McKenna, the candidate that was acclaimed  at close to the last minute (I think she was the second to last candidate to get nominated in the province) and who many felt she really wasn`t qualified and certainly didn`t have the support of everyone in the Burlington Progressive Conservative Association – turns out to have done better numerically than any other Progressive Conservative in the last three provincial elections.

Talk about her inadequacies all you like – the lady can win elections.  The people who go looking for candidates for the other two parties, especially the Liberals will want to look at the numbers very closely.

Peggy Russell`s campaign was managed by Cory Judson – who had been the candidate in the 2007 by election where he got 5% of the vote and again in the 2007 full election where he got 11%.  Peggy Russell pulled in a solid 18.8% – nothing shabby about the Russell numbers.

Were they good enough for Burlington to grow to the point where the city will pick up whatever is in the air from the other side of the Bay and make our air orange  Not likely.

The voter turnout numbers were apparently very poor for Ontario this time out – we heard just 45% of the voters entitled to cast a ballot bothered to do so.

For McKenna to get the numbers she did – and make no mistake about her numbers – they are better than previous Tory candidates did in  the 2007 elections.  They were in fact as good as those that Cam Jackson posted in the 2003 election.

Peggy Russell did better than previous NDP candidates. Solid campaign as well.

So the city just might have a candidate that has traction.

The Progressive Conservatives who have almost always owned the Burlington seat in the provincial legislature got their leader Tim Hudak to make at least a pit stop in Burlington the last full day of the campaign – and the turnout wasn`t all that great.  didn’t matter, McKenna is doing something that connects with the people who put the X on the ballot.

A city that has elected Liberals federally but hasn`t elected a Liberal provincially since 1943 has  decided it will remain blue.   It looked like it was going to be an exciting election and it was – the province may find itself with a minority government – but in Burlington there is a new Progressive Conservative member going to the provincial legislture.  She may have more surprises for us.

One of the small pieces of election trivia – A source that has precious little validity, Community Media Burlington,  published the result of a straw poll from people that follow its tweets. had For the Burlington riding, by party, the votes were … NDP 23%, PC 32%, Liberal 43%

This same poll had Dave Bedini beating Marianne Meed Ward in the last municipal election.

The results for this were released just before 8:30 pm and must have had the Liberals ecstatic –

Sakran expected to win this election - it will take some time to figure out where and why he lost. Was it the blue machine? Sakran ran the better campaign and was the better candidate but Burlington was not ready for whatever it was Sakran had to offer.

the NDP numbers were probably close to the mark.

The advance poll in Burlington was up 38 percent over the last provincial election.  Just over 52% of the eligible voters came out in 2007.  The voter turn out numbers, not official yet, were said to be a very poor 45% this election.

Members of the different political parties gathered at different locations in the city; the Liberals at the Burlington Hotel and Convention Centre, the New Democrats at the Black Bull and the Progressive Conservatives at their campaign office on Fairview.

There were two occasions when the CBC computers had a clear 54 seat majority for the Liberals; once at 9:37 pm and again at 10 pm – but on neither occasion were they able to maintain the number.  And on neither occasion did the Liberals gathered at their location let out anything in the way of a cheer.  The Liberals had the largest crowd,  the Mayor plus Councillors Taylor and Craven put in an appearance.  Didn`t see any municipal people at the Tory chow down.  Mike Wallace, the Conservative MP was in attendance along with all the other Tory usual suspects.

It is traditional in Burlington politics for the defeated candidates to call on the winner and congratulate them.  Alyssa Brierley, the federal Liberal candidate paid a call on winner Mike Harris and hung around for some time.  Karmel Sakran is reported to have popped in and popped out of the McKenna campaign offices.

Return to the Front page