Several media outlets, including the Canadian Press, CBC News, and Global News, have projected Conservative Party of Canada candidate Chris Warkentin to win the right to represent Grande Prairie—Mackenzie for the sixth time. As of 10:06 p.m. on September 20th, the incumbent candidate has 67.3 per cent of the vote, with 128 of 239 polling stations reporting.
With the news of his likely return to Ottawa, Warkentin says he takes nothing for granted and believes the mandate from voters in Grande Prairie—Mackenzie is clear.
“I do believe and have always had the steadfast knowledge that this is the seat of the Peace Country residents. It’s not my seat; it’s a seat I am privileged to serve in.”
“I look forward to continuing to serve them, but obviously I don’t take it for granted, and I do feel a debt of gratitude for everyone to got out and supported me and elected me to continue to serve this role,” he adds.
Many major media outlets are also projecting the Liberal Party of Canada will again form a minority government, which Warkentin calls a carbon copy of what he left when the writ was dropped in August. Warkentin says once the result is official, it could lead to a deep dive into what happened for his party.
“We do know people were looking for alternatives across the country, and it’s concerning to me we didn’t meet the need people were looking for,” he says.
“When people looked at our party partway through the campaign, they identified with us; they recognized that we were a place they wanted to land, but something happened during the campaign that people lost their trust with our party, and I think that’s something our party needs something to recognize.”
In particular, Warkentin nods to the People’s Party of Canada and the Maverick Party as having bled some of the votes from the Tories. In 2019, he received an overwhelming 84 per cent, and has never received less than 56 per cent since he was first elected in 2006 when his riding was called Peace River.
Official totals are expected to be tabulated and released by Elections Canada later this week, with the counting of mail-in ballots not starting until Tuesday.
As of 10:06 p.m. September 20th, the vote count for Grande Prairie—Mackenzie with 128 of 239, or 53.56 per cent of polls reporting is:
Conservative – Chris Warkentin: 15,139 votes – 67.3 per cent
New Democratic Party – Jennifer Villebrun: 2,880 votes – 12.8 per cent
People’s Party of Canada – Shawn McLean: 2,424 votes – 10.8 per cent
Liberal Party of Canada – Dan Campbell: 1,002 votes – 4.5 per cent
Maverick Party – Ambrose Ralph: 904 votes – 4.0 per cent
Rhino Party – Donovan Eckstrom: 149 votes – 0.7 per cent