Davis settles for third; Liberals fall short of majority

(Photo by Wade Thompson).

Ontario’s Liberal government came no closer to a majority after one loss and one win in the highly-anticipated byelections led only to gains for the NDP.

While candidate Steven Del Duca managed to hold the Liberal riding in Vaughan, Liberal representative Eric Davis came up short in Kitchener-Waterloo. Unofficial results showed Davis in third with 24.1 per cent of the vote, coming in nearly 16 per cent behind the first-place NDP candidate Catherine Fife.

“I think if you look across Ontario, we had a very tough fight on our hands,” Davis reflected. “We knew going in that this was going to be a very hard fought byelection.”

“Eric’s worked tirelessly,” said Kitchener Centre MPP John Milloy. “I think he did an outstanding job.”

In the previous provincial election, Davis placed second behind former Progressive Conservative MPP Elizabeth Witmer.

For Wilfrid Laurier University business student Richard Perera, the result was disappointing, but not surprising.

“We knew Vaughn was going to take it, but every update we got was about NDP taking this one,” he commented. “It was kind of expected.”

The byelection came at an inopportune time for students, with many participating in frosh week activities or in the midst of moving.

While it’s unknown currently how the timing of the election impacted the student vote, Davis acknowledged that he felt their efforts had paid off.

“I’m a Laurier grad myself and I actually got involved as a Young Liberal, so I want to make sure that we engage as many people as possible. I think we tried to do that and I think it was successful,” he said.

Davis maintained that the results were reflective of the community’s sentiments toward the local candidates, rather than a reaction against the prospect of a majority Liberal government.

“I think this election was about the local race,” he said. “I think this was about who people wanted to represent them in Queen’s Park.”

Liberal-supporter and Waterloo-resident Linda Salewsky disagreed. “Personally I think it’s more of a strategic thing — people don’t want to give McGuinty the majority.”

“They have to work better with the teachers, they have to work better with the unions,” added Salewsky.

When asked whether he had intentions to run again, Davis responded with a laugh, “I don’t think tonight’s the time to discuss that.”

Look for more coverage from Thursday’s byelection in Wednesday’s issue of The Cord.

 

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