It was a "big honkin' win" for the Sask Party across the Northwest region, with Jeremy Cockrill winning the Battlefords to complete a clean sweep of the region for the governing party.
The latest returns show Cockrill as the projected winner for the Saskatchewan Party over NDP candidate Amber Stewart.
The latest returns, with all 54 polls reporting, have Cockrill winning with 4140. Stewart has 1701, Harry Zamonsky of the PC Party trailed with 212, and Joey Reynolds of the Green Party brought up the rear with 114. A total of 601 vote-by-mail ballots were sent out and are still to be counted.
This is the third election win in a row for the Saskatchewan Party in the Battlefords, after Herb Cox held the seat for the party in the last two elections. The victory was along the same lines as Cox's win in 2016, with Cockrill sweeping most of the polls reporting results Monday.
It was a subdued scene at Cockrill's campaign headquarters compared to Cox's victory celebrations in 2011 and 2016. There were few people in the room to celebrate due to pandemic restrictions, but it was nevertheless a joyous scene for Cockrill and his family and supporters.
"It's encouraging to see the hard work in the last number of months come to fruition," said Cockrill, who acknowledged once again the challenges of campaigning during a full-blown pandemic.
"It was obviously a much different campaign just given obviously we were in the midst of a pandemic, and the guidelines around social distancing and so on. I would say the reaction at the doors was great here in the Battlefords, both on the Battleford side and northtown. People were excited I think just to have someone at their door and then excited to hear about our plans for another four years in government."
Cockrill is a graduate of Trinity Western University and manages his family’s business Fortress Windows and Doors; he has also been a basketball coach with the North Battleford Comp Vikings.
In a statement on Facebook, NDP candidate Stewart thanked "friends and neighbours in Battleford and North Battleford for their support."
"It's been great to be part of Ryan Meili's team this election. I'm so proud that we were able to stand up together for a government that puts people first."
Overall, it is the fourth majority Saskatchewan Party government in a row. The last time a party had won four majority governments in a row was the Tommy Douglas CCF, who actually won five majorities in a row from 1944-60.
With results and mail-in ballots still coming in the Saskatchewan Party was leading or elected in 50 seats, the New Democrats in 11.
Mail-in ballots were to be counted on Wednesday which could still impact the final seat total. One of the seats still in doubt was NDP leader Meili's own seat of Saskatoon Meewasin, where he was trailing. As of Tuesday morning the Sask Party was assured of at least 44 seats, the NDP nine.
Cockrill’s election win completes a sweep for the Saskatchewan Party in the northwest area. Other results from surrounding area ridings include the following:
Ryan Domotor has won Cut Knife-Turtleford, holding the seat for the Saskatchewan Party. Domotor is a former Turtleford town council and administrator for the RM of Mervin. The seat is a longtime Saskatchewan Party stronghold and was held by Larry Doke the last two terms.
According to the late returns Domotor was winning with over 76 percent of the vote. Matt Fedler of the NDP was a distant second and Richard Nelson of the Buffalo Party ran third.
Randy Weekes has easily won another term capturing roughly 75 percent of the vote in Biggar-Saskatchewan Valley. Weekes has been a member of the legislative assembly since 1999.
The incumbent Premier has held Rosthern-Shellbrook. As expected, Scott Moe is again the winner by a wide margin in a riding he has held since 2011, a riding that has long been a Sask Party stronghold.
Moe spent election night in Saskatoon where he accepted victory, calliing the result a "big honkin' election win" -- in reference to the "big honkin'" car rallies held by the party the previous week in Regina and Saskatoon.
In other area ridings, Jeremy Harrison has held Meadow Lake for the Saskatchewan Party. And in Lloydminster, Colleen Young has also held the seat for the Saskatchewan Party capturing 84 percent of the vote.