The Saskatchewan Party continued its dominance of Saskatchewan’s largest city on Monday night, capturing two more urban seats and holding back the NDP — even unseating NDP Leader Cam Broten.
Longtime Sask. Party MLA Don Morgan said despite the big wins in the city, his party isn’t taking anything for granted.
“We want to remain very humble and continue to look at what the people have asked us to do,” he told reporters at a gathering of supporters at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon.
The party held a majority in the city on the backs of strong showings from new candidates and held its ground despite redrawn election boundaries that could have favoured the opposition.
The NDP, traditionally strong in cities, was unable to take advantage of redrawn boundaries that added two extra seats in Saskatoon.
Instead, Saskatchewan Party candidates won 11 of the city’s 14 seats on their way a third mandate.
The party elected three new candidates: Lisa Lambert (Saskatoon Churchill-Wildwood), Eric Olauson (Saskatoon University) and Bronwyn Eyre (Saskatoon-Stonebridge-Dakota).
Eyre said her victory in the new riding showed support from a mix of rural and urban voters.
“I think that it’s a wonderful opportunity to bridge the two and I’ve always seen it that way,” Eyre said.
Lisa Lambert, a former Catholic school board trustee who won Saskatoon Churchill-Wildwood riding for the Sask. Party, said she worked particularly hard to gain the support of the constituency’s older residents.
“I love my seniors,” Lambert said.
She noted that Saskatoon Churchill-Wildwood has a higher proportion of seniors than any other riding in the province.
While the victory was decisive, Morgan’s comments about humility seemed to be the theme of the night at the Sask. Party’s headquarters in Saskatoon. A Prairieland Park ballroom was relatively quiet even as the victories from the across the city and the province rolled in.
Aside from occasional rounds of applause for winning candidates, the attitude in the room was confident but not jubilant.
The NDP held three of the four seats it had coming into election night.
Cathy Sproule, who has served as the MLA for Saskatoon-Nutana since 2011, held her seat. Despite the losses elsewhere in the city, she said the future of her party is strong.
“As you look at our team of candidates, the diversity and the youth there is really heartwarming and encouraging and really speaks well for a social democratic party here in Saskatchewan.”
David Forbes, who handily won his seat in Saskatoon Centre, said the “way change happens” is not just in 28 days, it’s the four years. If people take leadership roles, that will happen more and more.”
Not all the Sask. Party victories in Saskatoon were clean sweeps; there was some nail-biting for candidates, especially Broten, who sought privacy to watch the final tally from his riding come in.
Sask. Party candidate Jennifer Campeau, who narrowly defeated NDP challenger Vicki Mowat in Saskatoon Fairview, said she was on “pins and needles” as the results came in. She said tight races in central Saskatoon suggest that “everybody was out there, working hard” on the campaign.