The Saskatchewan Party secured its fourth consecutive majority mandate in Monday’s election, becoming the longest serving provincial government in Canada.
With thousands of mail-in ballots still to be tallied, the centre-right party led by Scott Moe is projected to secure 50 seats, leaving the opposition left-wing New Democrats with just 11.
The Saskatchewan Party led not only in southern rural districts but also in the two largest cities of Regina and Saskatoon and secured 62.9 per cent of the total vote, according to the first preliminary count. The New Democratic Party (NDP) got only 29.1 per cent of the vote. The Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan got 2.8 per cent, while the Green Party secured 2.3 per cent of the vote.
Moe was re-elected in his rural electoral district in central Saskatchewan, while NDP Leader Ryan Meili was in a fight to retain his seat in Saskatoon. Meili was 83 votes behind the Saskatchewan Party’s Rylund Hunter with about 1,600 mail-in ballots still to be counted in coming days.
“This has been an election like no other in our lifetimes,” Moe said in his victory speech, moments after Meili conceded the election in his own speech.
Moe said he is humbled by the win and vowed to work on behalf of everyone in the province.
“We are eager to build a strong economy, strong communities, strong families and a strong Saskatchewan for everyone,” the 47-year-old leader said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated Moe on his win.
“I look forward to continue working with Premier Moe and the government of Saskatchewan as we keep fighting the global COVID-19 pandemic and build a more resilient Canada,” Trudeau said.
“At this critical point in the pandemic, we will continue to coordinate our efforts to minimize the impacts of the virus and support economic recovery for people and communities throughout Saskatchewan.”
The two leaders have clashed on the federal government’s policy of introducing a carbon tax, which is opposed by the energy-rich prairie province.
Speaking to supporters on Monday night, Moe said many of Saskatchewan voters used the provincial election to “express their frustration with the federal government.”
“And to those voters, I want to say, I hear you,” Moe said. “We will be unrelenting in defending our Saskatchewan industries and our Saskatchewan people.”
With files from CBC News