The Liberal cabinet minister easily outdistanced six challengers to hold the seat she first won back in 2015.
With 175 of 189 polls reporting, Qualtrough had a more than 4,000-vote lead over her nearest pursuer, Conservative Tanya Corbet.
Qualtrough had 20,088 votes for 41.2 per cent of the vote compared to 16,034 votes and 32.9 per cent for Corbet.
NDP candidate Randy Anderson-Fennell was a distant third with 8,035 votes and 16.5 per cent of the vote. He was followed by Craig DeCraene of the Greens 3,019 votes, 6.2 per cent), Angelina Ireland of the People’s Party 848 votes, 1.7 per cent), and independents Amarit Bains 388 votes, .8 per cent) and Tony Bennett 352 votes, .7 per cent).
After thanking supporters at her campaign headquarters on Scott Road, Qualtrough was joined at the podium by her husband Eron Main and children Jessica and Matthew.
“She was a representative that people could rely on to listen and to make their voices heard,” said Main as he introduced his wife. “She may have been at the cabinet table in Ottawa, but she knew that her responsibility was to the people back here at home. She is one of those who is often called inspirational, but she is much more than that. Inspirational is a word people use to describe someone who makes them feel good, but she doesn’t just make people feel good, she brings people together to do good. She has achieved and inspired a lot of good over the last four years and I’m so thrilled that she has another four years to achieve and inspire even more.”
Qualtrough said she was humbled and honoured to be re-elected.
“I honestly don’t know what to say, Delta,” she said. “I want to start to thank all the other candidates who put their names forward. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is part of what makes our democracy strong. I want to pay tribute to my fellow Liberal candidates who were not re-elected. We lost a lot of good people tonight, and we are going to do them proud by continuing to move this country forward in a way that includes everyone.”
As the results showed Qualtrough steadily pulling away, a few of the roughly 40 or so Conservative supporters who arrived at Gracies’s Next Door eatery in Tsawwassen for Corbet’s election night party were clearly not pleased, saying they didn’t expect the local or national results.
When a smiling Corbet arrived, she did so to thunderous applause. Standing with her husband Matt, she thanked her volunteers, saying they had a lot of fun along the way.
“Words can’t express how incredible people are and how we’ve come together and worked so many hours. Our team has knocked on over 25,000 doors all across Delta. We’ve been through it all. We’ve been through hot days. We’ve been through rainy days. But it didn’t stop any of us. We kept on persevering and we kept on talking to everyone in Ladner, Tsawwassen and North Delta. We had a lot of great support and heard a lot of great feedback from people around the community,” she said.
Anderson-Fennell told the Optimist he was very pleased with his campaign here in Delta.
“When we started it was a very quiet campaign, but it really built momentum,” he said. “People were really happy with our platform when we went door-to-door. The one message I heard over and over again was how impressed people were with our leader, especially when they got a chance to meet him.
“I was impressed with the level of candidates we had here in Delta. I’m not surprised because we have always had good candidates. The level of respect amongst all of us was incredible. It was really nice as a campaign to get out there and talk about our platform and it was nice to see the negative campaigning out of the picture here in Delta.”