Liberal Carla Qualtrough is heading back to Ottawa.
With 131 of 181 polls reporting, Qualtrough has 10,927 votes, Conservative Garry Shearer has 8,182 votes, and the NDPs Monika Dean has 5,003 votes.
The race for fourth is tight with Green candidate Jeremy Smith at 667 votes, People’s Party of Canada candidate Paul Tarasenko at 640 votes and Independent candidate Hong Yan Pan (also known as Melody Pan) 222 votes.
Qualtrough won the 2019 election with 21,969 votes with the Conservatives Tanya Corbet second with 17,638 votes and Randy Anderson-Fennell from the NDP with 8,654 votes.
Across the country, the Liberals will form a second consecutive minority government as they are leading or elected in 156ridings, Conservatives are leading or elected in 121 ridings, BQ 32 ridings, NDP 27 ridings and the Green Party in two ridings.
When reached for comment at her small election night gathering at Sunbury Hall in North Delta, Qualtrough said she was thrilled with the result.
“This is quite an emotional victory for me. It has been a tough 18 months for Delta and for our country. I’m just thrilled, honoured and touched that I can continue to do this,” she said. “What immediately comes to mind, as much as this is a minority government, there is a clear mandate to move forward with the things that we put out to Canadians in the last five weeks - $10 a day childcare, finishing the fight against COVID, job creation, banning the export of thermal coal out of Deltaport – so as much as it is feels the same, it’s different because we had a different agenda in 2019 before the world was turned upside down with COVID and now we have put our post-COVID plans to Canadians and they liked what they saw, so that’s what excites me to really dig in on those things.”
When asked if this election was worth it, now that the results are similar to the last election in 2019, Qualtrough said absolutely.
“In terms of the vision that we put forward for Canada moving forward, Canadians have embraced that,” she said. “They have asked us to do these hard things. I like to solve big problems and there are a lot of them that we are facing. I’m excited to get going.”
As for as the campaign locally, Qualtrough said she missed the in-person engagement.
“There were candidates who I saw only seen in person once or twice during the campaign. I missed the events and the people in the audience asking their spontaneous questions,” she said. “The level of engagement wasn’t as it has been, but we had more than 50,000 conversations in other ways – more one-on-one, and we really leaned into that ground game.”
Editor's note: The Optimist will have more interviews with the Delta candidates as well full results online on Tuesday and in Thursday's print edition of the Optimist.