The Conservative party has a little advantage over the Liberals in the only Manitoba riding that has yet to be decided in this week’s federal election.
As of Wednesday evening, Conservative incumbent Marty Morantz led Liberal challenger Doug Eyolfson by 24 votes in Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley, as per Elections Canada data released to the media.
If the lead stands, it would trigger an automatic judicial recount, which are done in races where the winning margin is less than 1 1/1000 of the total votes cast in the riding, as per Elections Canada.
Media is not calling the race because Elections Canada has not finished its final checks of special ballots. They were listed as 95% complete on Wednesday night.
As of Wednesday, Morantz, a former Winnipeg city councilor, had 17,336 votes whereas Eyolfson, a doctor, had 17,312.
Morantz, who won the riding away from Eyolfson in the last election, said he doesn’t know why the rematch between the pair was so close.
“They’ll be lots of time to reflect on the results. There were a number of candidates, a number of different parties and I think I’ll leave the analysis to others,” he said at his campaign office on Portage Avenue.
Eyolfson said in a statement he anticipates a recount will be conducted in the next few days.
Morantz said the main thing he heard from constituents while out door-knocking on the campaign trail was queries over why the election was called in the first place.
“This was a completely unnecessary and unwarranted election,” he said. “It was really only because Mr. Trudeau wanted to get his majority, and Canadian citizens in their wisdom chose not to give him one.”
None of Manitoba’s 13 other ridings changed hands in this election, held on Monday.
Morantz said he was happy to still be leading in Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia-Headingley Wednesday night.
The Conservative candidate thanked his team and his family.
“It’s been a difficult process … it took a little longer to get the result we were hoping for, but we got it, and I just want to thank all of our supporters,” Morantz said.
He said he is anticipating to get some sleep on Thursday.