By the Numbers: 5 takeaways on how P.E.I. voted this federal election

·3 min read
For the third election in a row and the ninth time in the last 11 elections, the Liberals have swept P.E.I. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
For the third election in a row and the ninth time in the last 11 elections, the Liberals have swept P.E.I. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

The 2021 federal election may be almost wrapped up (pending the counting of mailed-in ballots) but the analysis is far from over.

Liberals will, once again, be the party representing P.E.I. in Ottawa, but there are some curious results for those in second, third and fourth place across the province's ridings.

All these results will be promising for some, and disappointing for others.

And it all starts with...

Another Liberal sweep

With Prince Edward Island's voting history, this should come as no surprise. For the third election in a row and the ninth time in the last 11 elections, Liberal candidates have swept P.E.I.'s four federal electoral districts.

Collecting over 50 per cent of the vote, Lawrence MacAulay is heading back to Ottawa for his 11th straight term. He's been Cardigan's MP since 1988.

Sean Casey and Bobby Morrissey were also re-elected in Charlottetown and Egmont respectively, and for the first time in almost 30 years...

Malpeque has a new MP

Heath MacDonald has made the leap from provincial to federal politics.

Wayne Easter held this riding from 1993 to this summer, and is now handing over the reins to the former Liberal MLA and provincial cabinet minister.

MacDonald, who represented Cornwall-Meadowbank provincially, stepped down in August to seek the Liberal nomination in Malpeque. With roughly 41 per cent of the vote in this election (about 9,500 votes), MacDonald's vote-get here closely mirrors the support shown for Easter in 2019.

Easter's share of the vote then was just over 41 per cent, also with around 9,500 votes.

Among the four ridings, this was the tightest race for the Liberals, even if MacDonald won by roughly 1,800 votes over Conservative candidate Jody Sanderson. However...

Conservatives rebounded on P.E.I.

Although the Conservatives didn't win a seat on the Island in this election, candidates placed second in all four ridings — a feat they hadn't accomplished in a decade.

The party's vote generally waned on P.E.I. after the 2011 election, with the Conservatives losing Egmont in 2015 to Liberal Bobby Morrissey; falling to third place in Charlottetown in 2015 and 2019; and placing third in Malpeque in 2019.

The party made significant gains in Malpeque and Charlottetown, up by about 1,500 votes in both ridings.

With Conservative support surging once again, you have to wonder...

What happened to the Green Party?

The Greens saw their support plummet dramatically this time around.

Candidates Anna Keenan and Darcie Lanthier placed second in Malpeque and Charlottetown in the 2019 federal election. They drew a combination of more than 10,000 votes in what was the strongest federal showing for the party ever on P.E.I.

This time, the same candidates earned only about 5,000 votes between them. Keenan finished third in Malpeque and Lanthier fourth in Charlottetown. Similarly, the party lost thousands of votes in Egmont and Cardigan.

The dip in votes for the Greens across the province coincides with a rise in votes for...

NDP reclaim 3rd-place spots in 2 ridings

The surge of the Greens provincially as well as federally on P.E.I. saw NDP support fall in previous provincial and federal elections, but this time was different.

The NDP picked up third-place finishes in Charlottetown and Cardigan — a level of support they haven't seen since 2015.

The party also secured hundreds more votes in Egmont and Malpeque.

The NDP don't have the swath of votes they attracted in 2015, but it was nevertheless a stronger outing than 2019.

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