Rosemarie Falk is the winner in the Battlefords-Lloydminster federal by-election.
She was one of five by-election contenders: the others were Larry Ingram of the Liberals, Matt Fedler of the NDP, Yvonne Potter Pihach of the Greens and independent Ken Finlayson.
With 138 of 138 polls reporting, and 8,665 of the 12,889 votes cast, Falk is a clear winner with a 69.6 per cent of the total vote.
The runner up was Fedler, who had 1,698 votes, 13.2 per cent of the vote.
Coming in third was Ingram with 1,345 votes, 10.4 per cent.
Fourth was Finlayson was 681, 5.5 per cent, and, finally, Potter-Pihach had 200, 1.6 per cent of the vote.
The total vote was 12,889 out of 47,651 registered electors, or 27.05 per cent (not including those who registered election day).
Notably, Falk’s overall percentage of the popular vote -- almost 70 percent -- was the best result for the Conservatives since the riding was created in 1997.
Meanwhile, the NDP vote fell over four percent from 2015; the Liberal vote fell by over six percent.
Falk, a social worker who also has experience on staff on Parliament Hill, celebrated in her home city of Lloydminster on election night. Her celebration at Travelodge Lloydminster included several members of her family as well as party supporters and other elected officials from the community, including Lloydminster MLA Colleen Young and mayor Gerald Aalbers.
In her victory statement, Falk thanked the constituents of Battlefords-Lloydminster “for placing their trust in me for serving with honesty, integrity and respect.”
She also thanked her husband Adam, and her two children, as well as her team of volunteers.
In speaking to the News-Optimist, Falk said she was “elated. I feel very honored to represent the people of Battlefords-Lloydminster in the House of Commons.”
As for the size of her victory, Falk attributed it to the voters of Battlefords-Lloydminster “being sick and tired of what the Prime Minister is doing, and they want change. They don’t want what’s in Ottawa right now with Prime Minister Trudeau.”
Falk also outlined the message she took away from the voters on the issues.
“People are concerned about the legalization of marijuana; our carbon tax, people do not want to pay a carbon tax, you’re paying enough taxes as it is with everything being inflated,” said Falk.
“Whatever the people want, I’m here to serve the people and I’m here to serve the constituents of Battlefords-Lloydminster. Ultimately, I have to listen to them to be an accurate advocate.”
Falk’s victory comes after a remarkably short campaign period of 36 days. It was also a late-starting campaign as Falk captured her party’s nomination on Nov. 11, just a month prior to the vote.
The nomination was also not without some controversy as Finlayson was left off the Conservative nomination ballot; according to party officials, he was rejected because of an incomplete nomination application. Finlayson decided to run as an independent soon after.
The Liberal campaign had made a particular push, bringing in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a rally in North Battleford on Thursday.
Despite that effort, it failed to produce a changeover in a riding held by Gerry Ritz for 20 years.
The Trudeau visit may have even served as additional motivation for the other parties. Falk said she believed Trudeau’s visit “rallied our Conservative people to come out and vote.”
Falk has pledged to “hit the ground running” as MP. The early indication is that Falk would head to Ottawa right away “so I could try and catch some of this last session, and get working right away.”
The new MP also indicated the constituency office would be in North Battleford for at least the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately for the Conservatives, Falk’s success in Battlefords-Lloydminster was their only win in the four federal by-elections held Dec. 11. The Liberals captured the three other seats in Newfoundland, metro Toronto and in BC, taking away a seat there that had been held by the Conservatives.
For complete results visit the Elections Canada website at http://www.elections.ca/home.aspx.