By: Mike Anderson
They say hard work pays off, even in politics. And Scot Davidson is a testament to that.
The Conservative incumbent seemed to out-muscle his opponents on the campaign trail while sticking to clear, consistent messaging to secure a 24,796-vote near-majority with over 46 percent of the total votes cast in the riding.
“I’m humbled and honoured to be representing the people of York-Simcoe again,” Mr. Davidson told more than a hundred of his supporters who gathered at the Sutton Legion to celebrate his victory. “I will continue to be your voice in parliament, and I will continue to stand up for things that matter to you.”
Mr. Davidson ran a strong campaign from the onset of the 41-day contest. After a convincing by-election victory on February 25th, his campaign team was primed, and ready-to-go before the election writ was even dropped.
His signs were everywhere in the riding, and volunteers door knocked a staggering 23,000 residences throughout York-Simcoe.
Davidson says healthcare, affordability and the health of Lake Simcoe were the most significant concerns he heard from voters during the campaign. And, despite a Liberal minority government in Ottawa, he’s convinced he can address these issues.
“I want to work with everyone on both sides of the aisle,” he says. “If it’s something that York-Simcoe needs, I’ll hold their feet to the fire to make sure that it gets done.”
Mr. Davidson is also buoyed by the recent Liberal announcement made in Barrie by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who pledged to resurrect the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund with $40 million in new funding after the her government let the project lapse.
“I’m glad they looked at our environmental platform and realized that the Lake Simcoe Clean-Up Fund was a priority for York-Simcoe,” says Mr. Davidson who pushed hard to make the fund a key part of the federal Conservative campaign.
While it was no surprise that Mr. Davidson won the riding handily, his opponents made significant gains in one of Canada’s most tightly contested federal elections.
Although Liberal Cynthia Welsey-Esquimaux fought mostly an uphill battle — declaring her candidacy rather late in the game — she garnered some 14,252 votes or 27 percent of the vote, which was more than double her total from 2011 when she ran against Conservative Peter Van Loan.
However, that total was considerably less than the previous Liberal candidate Shaun Tanaka who secured 38 percent of the vote in the 2015 election, also in a losing effort to Mr. Van Loan.
Jessa McLean, the NDP candidate, captured 7,481 votes or 14 percent of the total, which was a marked improvement over February’s by-election result, in which she drew only 7.5 percent of the total votes. It was also considerably better than Sylvia Gel’s result of 4,255 votes in the last election.
Although Green Jonathan Arnold was a distant fourth with 4,615 votes or less than 9 percent of the vote, the result was a substantial gain over the previous Green candidate Mathew Lund who garnered only 451 votes in the February by-election.
But both right-wing fringe parties faired relatively poorly with four percent of the total vote combined. Keith Komar, the Libertarian candidate, captured 1,292 votes, while the People’s Party of Canada candidate Michael Lotter secured 867 votes.