The Liberal Party’s Seamus O’Regan reclaimed his seat as the member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl Monday night as voters overwhelmingly supported the incumbent candidate.
By 11:45 p.m., 180 of 185 polls had reported and of 39,134 votes, O’Regan had 20,080, more than 50 per cent of votes in the riding.
O’Regan told reporters at his Glendenning Golf Course headquarters that he believes he won because he had a reputation for working hard for the riding.
“It’s an affirmation because you’ve been tested — you’ve had four years — so now people say, ‘Well, boy, are you good enough?’ And they’ve at least given me four more years.”
He said his first order of business will be to deal with affordability in Newfoundland and Labrador, and mitigation of electricity rates from the Muskrat Falls project specifically.
O’Regan said rate mitigation will take some time — perhaps with a plan in place by January or February — because it’s “complicated finances, and we need to be effective.”
He surpassed New Democratic Party candidate Anne Marie Anonsen by at least double the votes.
Anonsen may have been runner-up, but she was pleased with the results, especially considering she was recovering from chemotherapy when the campaign began.
“I am not rich, powerful, famous, even very healthy. And I did so well. I did so very well. That’s my big message is that you don’t have to be the rich and famous and powerful in Canada to do awfully bloody well.”
It was Conservative candidate Terry Martin’s first time putting his name on a ballot; for that reason, he said his expectations were tempered, but he was still a little disappointed with the results.
“We would have loved to have seen a different outcome, but the people have spoken.”
Martin said he will not rule out future political ambitions, but for now he’s looking forward to getting back to work as director of fund development with the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association – Newfoundland and Labrador after he took annual leave during the campaign.
The other three candidates in the campaign were trailing late Monday night: Alexandra Hayward for the Greens, Benjamin Ruckpaul for the People’s Party of Canada and David Jones for the Christian Heritage Party of Canada.
Voters in St. John’s South-Mount Pearl have elected a range of candidates since the riding was created in 2003, going from Conservative Loyola Hearn in 2004 to Liberal Siobhan Coady in 2008, then New Democratic Ryan Cleary in 2011 before returning Liberal with O’Regan in 2015, and now again in 2019.