Penticton big part of NDP win in South Okanagan-West Kootenay | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton big part of NDP win in South Okanagan-West Kootenay

Incumbent NDP MP Richard Cannings is congratulated by his daughter Julia McKay after winning in South Okanagan-West Kootenay on federal election day Oct. 21, 2019.
November 01, 2019 - 4:00 PM

Penticton's political colours aren't necessarily Tory blue, according to individual poll results from the recent federal election released by Elections Canada this week.

The results from individual polling stations show NDP incumbent MP Richard Cannings out distanced Conservative candidate Helena Konanz by over 1,000 votes. Cannings grabbed 5,077 votes in the city compared to the 4,017 for Konanz.

"While campaigning I got the sense there was a lot of support for the NDP in Penticton," Cannings said in a telephone interview today, Nov. 1.

Cannings said while Penticton is not known to be an NDP stronghold, it isn't the most Conservative town in the South Okanagan.

"I was happy to see the results in Penticton," he said.

Cannings said with nearly half the riding's population in the city, being well known in Penticton is a must.

"Anyone runnning in this riding has to take Penticton seriously," he said, noting the three main candidates in this election were all from Penticton.

Konanz was more successful in the South Okanagan outside of Penticton, taking the majority of smaller communities south of the city as well as Oliver and Osoyoos.

Konanz took Osoyoos by almost double the votes at 1,057 to Cannings 581, but the race was closer in Oliver, where Konanz took 1,204 votes to Cannings 948.

Cannings had more success in the larger centres in the West Kootenay, taking Trail with 975 votes to Konanz's 652. He also took Rossland and Castlegar, while Konanz prevailed in Grand Forks.

Cannings says campaign discussions centred on the Green vote, which gained 3,000 votes in this election over 2015. He says most of those votes came from West Kootenay.

Thirty other communities in West Kootenay were pretty much divided equally between the two parties, with neither candidate particularly favoured throughout the region.

Cannings says traditionally the NDP has done well in West Kootenay's larger cities as well as the Slocan Valley. 

"Every valley and community has its own issues. Rural areas in the boundary have a tendency to be conservative while the NDP is fovoured the more east you go," he says.

Cannings won the riding with a total of 24,809 votes to the Konanz’s 24,013 votes in the Oct. 21 election.

Liberal Connie Denesiuk garnered 11,705 votes, the Green Party's Tara Howse had 5,672 votes, Sean Taylor with the People's Party had 1,638 votes and Independent candidate Carolina Hopkins had the support of 359 voters.

Konanz wasn't immediately available for comment.


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