Saskatchewan New Democrats are picking up the pieces after failing to make big gains in the 2016 election.
“The overall results of this election are disappointing,” NDP leader Cam Broten said in a statement Tuesday.
“But New Democrats won’t be disheartened for long.”
Broten, an incumbent MLA, lost his seat in the Saskatoon Westview riding to Sask. Party newcomer David Buckingham by 232 votes.
There’s no word yet on whether Broten will step down as leader; a position that can be held without a seat in the legislature.
“Now I’m going to spend a couple of days with my family, speak with my colleagues and consider how we move forward,” the statement reads.
The NDP nabbed ten seats, one more than 2011, in a reshaped legislature that now includes three additional constituencies.
The Sask. Party holds the other 51 seats; ushering in a third consecutive majority government.
Broten congratulated Wall in his statement Tuesday.
He said he’s proud of the NDP team and the overall increase of female representation in the Saskatchewan legislature.
‘Stronger community profile’ needed: analyst
Longtime political science professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Joe Garcea, believes the Saskatchewan NDP needs to start rebuilding from the ground up.
He is, however, hesitant to blame yesterday’s loss on Broten.
“It would have taken any God to come down and be able to do well against the record of this government, the way people have perceived them for the last eight years,” he said.
Garcea said there are “substantial divisions” within the party that need to be addressed. In order to be successful, he said the party needs to get on the same page and find candidates with a stronger community profile, whether it’s school board involvement or experience in municipal politics.
“They have to, in essence, then start identifying those potential candidates much earlier and working with them for a lot longer in order to develop the talent pool, if you will,” he said.
“To use a sport analogy, you need a good farm team in order to have a good professional team.”
If Broten were to resign, Garcea believes the interm leader should be serving in the legislature.
On the other hand, he said a leader who is not an MLA can focus more of their time on rebuilding the party.