Thanking supporters just after CBC News projected he would win again in the federal riding of Charlottetown, Sean Casey said he really wanted to beat Conservative Doug Currie.
"I expected it to be hard and it was," said Casey.
This is Casey's fourth win in Charlottetown, seeing him earn 46 per cent of the vote in a five-party race.
"This is my fourth election. I had a good feeling on the doorsteps," he said.
"This is the first time that I've felt the full force of the Big Blue Machine. This is the first time that the Conservatives have targeted this riding. So I knew I was in a battle. And to watch the results come in… it's humbling."
Casey credited his team for their work during the campaign.
"This is the first time I've ever run against someone who's won an election before — and Doug's never lost one," he said.
This is about the values of people in Charlottetown being aligned with the Liberal Party and I happen to be the flag bearer. I didn't win this because I'm Sean Casey; I won this because I'm a Liberal. - Sean Casey
"Not to put too fine a point on it, but it isn't about me. No one is bigger than the team — and I think Doug just proved that — but this is about the values of people in Charlottetown being aligned with the Liberal Party and I happen to be the flag bearer. I didn't win this because I'm Sean Casey; I won this because I'm a Liberal. And I'm darn sure if Doug Currie was still a Liberal, he would have won."
Casey said he's ready to get back to work.
"The seminal issue in government for the next 10 years will be climate change. Period. Full stop. So I'm very much looking forward to being part of that."
'The voters have had their say'
Currie, a former provincial Liberal cabinet minister who changed parties earlier this year when he announced he was seeking the federal Conservative nomination, won 31 per cent of the vote.
He too spoke to supporters after the results came in Monday night, thanking his team for their commitment and support.
"When there's a winner, there's also a loser," Currie said.
"In this business, there's just things we realize that are out of our control that we have to accept. The voters have had their say and I respect their decision. The electoral outcome is not what we worked for, but the greater commitment that I have for Charlottetown is that the future remains as strong as the day I started on this journey."
Casey takes riding for 4th time
The Charlottetown riding is unusual on P.E.I. because it has had three different parties place second in the last three elections. The same party has always come out on top, though.
The Liberals have carried the riding and its predecessor, Hillsborough, since 1988. In the last three elections, the banner has been carried by Sean Casey.
Casey won by six percentage points over the Conservatives in his first election, back in 2011.
The two elections that followed left him with more comfortable margins: a 33-point win over the NDP in 2015 and a 21-point victory over the Greens in 2019.
New Democrat candidate Margaret Andrade was running neck with the Green Party's Darcie Lanthier for third place late Monday night, with Andrade holding 11 per cent of the counted votes and Lanthier at 10 per cent.
People's Party of Canada candidate Scott MacPhee was a distant fifth with about two per cent of the vote.
The Liberals hold all four ridings on P.E.I., and have dominated the Island's federal politics since 1988, with Liberal candidates losing just twice in the four ridings over the course of 10 elections, to Conservative Gail Shea in Egmont in 2008 and 2011.