The NDP’s Vicki Mowat will be heading to the legislature after claiming victory in Thursday’s Saskatoon Fairview byelection.
Mowat, an executive assistant at the University of Saskatchewan, won 60.3 per cent of the vote according to preliminary results, winning nearly every individual ballot box through the night.
The NDP announced victory just after 8:30 p.m., when just over half of ballot boxes were reporting and Mowat was leading by about 600 votes.
Premier Brad Wall tweeted his congratulations 20 minutes later.
— Brad Wall (@PremierBradWall) September 8, 2017
Supporters cheered her name as she entered a campaign party at the Confederation Inn to give her victory speech, just over an hour after polls closed.
“We all share in this win,” she told the crowd. “The people in this community are fed up … we need to give this community a voice and this is the representation they’ve been missing over these years.”
She added the new goal would be to fight the government on service cuts and to work towards defeating the Sask. Party in 2020.
Mowat brings the NDP their second byelection victory in four months. Current party leadership candidate Ryan Meili won the Saskatoon Meewasin riding in March.
She also reclaims a riding historically held by the NDP, which was turned over to the Sask. Party in 2011 when Jennifer Campeau defeated veteran MLA Andy Iwanchuk by a slim 247 vote margin.
Mowat ran against Campeau in the 2016 general election, falling short by 188 ballots.
She got her second chance when Campeau resigned in June, after deciding to move to B.C. for family reasons.
This time, Mowat defeated the Sask. Party’s Cameron Scott by 1,336 votes.
“Tonight we sent a strong message to the Sask. Party that people are not okay with their heartless cuts to health care and education, the desperate attempts to sell off our crowns and of course the tax hikes,” she told reporters.
Premier Wall said in July the byelection would be a tough one for Scott to win, noting the slim wins for Campeau in the past and the unpopularity of the spring budget.