The margin of victory was smaller Monday night, but the end result no different than it was four years earlier — Ken McDonald has claimed the federal riding of Avalon for the Liberals.
McDonald, a former mayor of Conception Bay South who first ran federally in 2015, was declared the victor with approximately 47 per cent of votes cast as of The Telegram's Monday night print deadline, with about half of the 213 polls counted. Conservative Matthew Chapman was the next closest candidate, attracting approximately one-third of all votes, followed by New Democratic Party candidate Lea Mary Movelle and Green Party candidate Greg Malone hovering at around 15 and five per cent support respectively.
McDonald met with supporters once his victory was assured at the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club in Conception Bay South, telling them he was humbled by their continued support to represent the riding in Parliament.
“I look forward to a little break — maybe tomorrow — and then get back to getting stuff done, because if anything, the attention to your constituency drops a little bit during a campaign,” he said. “From the time being elected four years ago, we haven't stopped much.”
This was his first time running as an incumbent candidate.
In 2015, McDonald was challenging former Liberal MP Scott Andrews, who earlier that year was removed from caucus over alleged sexual misconduct. In the fall election that year, McDonald won with 23,583 votes, with Andrews in second with 7,501. Jeannie Baldwin of the NDP received 6,085 votes and Conservative Lorraine Barnett received 4,670.
“The people of Avalon certainly put their trust in me,” McDonald said Monday. “I will certainly keep up the same pace and the hard work again for the next four years as we move forward quickly with a majority government. But if it's a minority government, at the end of the day, we'll do our best to go forward with that as well. The people of Newfoundland and Labrador deserve no less.”
McDonald’s win in 2015 was part of a Liberal sweep in Newfoundland and Labrador that year, with all seven candidates winning.