Chiarelli wins in Ottawa; Leeds-Grenville stays blue
Some are calling the outcome of eastern Ontario's byelections predictable.
Former Ottawa-mayor and star candidate Bob Chiarelli won the seat in Ottawa West-Nepean, and Steve Clark took the throne in Leeds-Grenville. It means Liberals and Conservatives will keep their crowns in the respective ridings.
While one resident told CTV Ottawa: "I think tonight's results may send a message to the current government that voters are not exactly thrilled with what's gone on at Queens Park the last few years"; the outcome proved to be different.
Ottawa-West Nepean is no stranger to having a Liberal MPP. The seat was left vacant after Liberal Jim Watson resigned to run for Ottawa mayor. Not to mention, Chiarelli held the seat in Ottawa West-Nepean for the Liberals from 1987-1997.
The situation is similar in the Leeds-Grenville riding where Clark takes over for longtime Conservative Bob Runciman, who left provincial politics to take an appointment with the Senate. Runciman held the seat for 29 years.
While Clark seemed to be a shoe-in, the race in Ottawa West-Nepean was much tighter.
At 9:30 p.m., Chiarelli held on to the lead with 44 per cent of the votes. Graham was in second with nearly 40 per cent. But at the end of the night it was Chiarelli who came out on top.
He was declared the winner just after 10 p.m.
"I knocked on 9,000 doors," said Chiarelli. "I probably spoke to 3,000 people and it was reinforced again and again that we need a health care sytem and seniors programs that are going to accomodate tremendously changing demographics in this community."
The 68-year-old's victory party was held in the riding at Marshy's Bar-B-Que and Grill on Centrepointe Drive.
As Chiarelli entered the room, the Black Eyed Peas' "I gotta feeling" began to play and chants of victory started to blare.
Friends and family like Chiarelli's brother Coun. Rick Chiarelli, predecessor Jim Watson, and former deputy police chief Larry Hill were all in attendance.
Both Clark and Chiarelli are unofficial winners until the chief electoral officer publishes the results at a later date.