Lawn signs in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, where voter turnout was 61.1 per cent of eligible voters. The A&W Root Bear was <em>not</em> a candidate. (Photo credit: Adam Louis/Agassiz Harrison Observer)

Lawn signs in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, where voter turnout was 61.1 per cent of eligible voters. The A&W Root Bear was not a candidate. (Photo credit: Adam Louis/Agassiz Harrison Observer)

Voter turnout down from 2019 levels in both local ridings

Local turnout echoes nationwide trend, which saw fewer voters than in 2019

Just over 61 per cent of eligible voters in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding turned out for the 2021 election.

Elections Canada counted 43,175 valid votes out of 70,677 registered electors in the riding, a 61.1 per cent turnout that saw Conservative incumbent Brad Vis voted in for another term.

The turnout this year was lower than in the 2019 election, which saw a 66 per cent voter turnout.

Voter turnout also declined in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, where 70,448 valid ballots were cast, representing 66.2 per cent of the 106,354 registered voters. In 2019, voter turnout was 69.9 per cent in the riding, where this year seven people were attempting to succeed longtime Conservative incumbent Cathy McLeod, who announced earlier this year she would not be running.

The riding remains Tory blue, with Conservative Frank Caputo securing the win with 43 per cent of the vote (30,281 votes), close to McLeod’s 2019 results (32,415 votes/44.74 per cent).

Nationwide, some 62 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot, down from 67 per cent in 2019. While about one million Canadians took advantage of mail-in ballots, there were fewer polling stations than usual, and many reported long line-ups because of a difficulty in finding election workers.

This year in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, Vis was elected with 18,908 votes or 43.8 per cent of the vote. Liberal candidate Geet Grewal received 10,598 votes (24.5 per cent), followed by the NDP’s Lynn Perrin with 8,709 votes (20.2 per cent). People’s Party of Canada candidate Tyler Niles brought in 3,073 votes (7.1 per cent), and Green Party candidate Nicole Bellay got 1,887 votes (4.4 per cent).

Though the candidates (with the exception of Vis) were different in 2019, the results were much the same, with Vis being elected then as well, followed by Liberal Jati Sidhu and the NDP’s Michael Nenn. The biggest difference between the 2019 and 2021 elections — aside from the slightly lower turnout — was the results for the People’s Party and Green Party candidates. In 2019, it was the PPC under candidate Nick Csaszar that lagged behind the Green Party’s John Kidder (1,373 and 4,999 votes, respectively).

In Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, NDP candidate Bill Sundhu received 20,431 votes (29 per cent), and Liberal candidate Jesse McCormick received 12,717 votes (18.1 per cent). The People’s Party candidate, Corally Delwo, got 4,033 votes (5.7 per cent), and Iain Currie of the Green Party got 2,576 votes (3.7 per cent). Two Independent candidates, Bob O’Brien and Wayne Allen, received 264 and 146 votes respectively.

The difference between the PPC and Greens between 2019 and 2021 was even more prouncounced in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo. In 2019 Currie, running for the Green Party, received 8,789 votes (12.13 per cent), while Kan Finlayson of the PCC got 1,132 votes (1.56 per cent).

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