The race for MPP here in Ottawa West—Nepean, which wrapped up on election day June 7, was not only our best in recent history, but ended up being one of the closest in the province. Our candidate, Chandra Pasma, was leading for much of the evening ahead of PC candidate Jeremy Roberts, with Liberal incumbent Bob Chiarelli well behind the frontrunners. While it was clear that Chandra won E-Day results, the Roberts campaign edged us on the Advance Poll vote (which were tabulated late in the count). This enabled the PC candidate to leap past us and gain a 175 vote advantage as the last of the poll results came in - a very close margin as over 50,000 people voted in Ottawa West-Nepean, but not close enough for an official recount.
Chandra was aided by a strong campaign, led by Alex Cullen with the help of some great volunteers. We more than doubled our share of the vote compared to the previous 2014 provincial election. We had 500 Chandra Pasma lawn signs and 300 Chandra Pasma large signs out in the riding, as well as Andrea Horwath signs that provincial office provided in the last week of our campaign. The riding was covered twice with postal walks, getting our literature into the mailboxes of most of the voters in the riding. And Chandra was extremely effective at the community candidate meetings and in the media.
Chandra was also able to attract many well-known people to canvass with her, including MPs Tom Mulcair, Guy Caron, Charlie Angus, Ruth Ellen Brosseau and Sheila Malcolmson. Canvassing is an important part of any campaign, and Chandra was able to cover much of the riding (over 10,000 doors!) over the four week campaign.
Provincially the NDP under Andrea Horwath doubled our seats to form the Official Opposition. The Liberals lost not only their leader but party status as well. We are glad that our neighbour Joel Harden in Ottawa—Centre will be providing an NDP voice for Ottawa in Queen's Park, after an absence of over two decades. He will be part of Andrea Horwath's official opposition, with the task of holding Doug Ford's PCs to account over the next four years.
Well done, Chandra!