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Kent takes Thornhill in stunner

Bevilacqua comfortably retains his Vaughan seat

Thornhill Conservative Peter Kent thanks his supporters during his victory speech early Wednesday morning. (Philip Alves/Vaughan Today)

Conservative Peter Kent has won the federal riding of Thornhill away from Liberal incumbent Susan Kadis.

The former broadcaster earned 26,660 votes, or 49 percent, to claim the surprising victory over Kadis, who secured 21,448 votes, good for 39.4 percent.

NDP candidate Simon Strelchik finished a distant third with 3,601 ballots cast in his favour. Green challenger Norbert Koehl earned 2,686 votes, good for 4.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the contest in the riding of Vaughan unfolded as expected.

Liberal incumbent Maurizio Bevilacqua won handily with 27,773 votes, or nearly half of all ballots cast.

Conservative challenger Richard Lorello finished a solid second, earning 19,390 votes, about 8,400 back.

NDP rookie candidate Vicky Wilkin was third, winning 5,431 votes, good for 9.6 percent. Adrian Visentin of the Green Party followed with 3,875 votes.

Voter turnout was unspectacular in both ridings. In Thornhill, 57.2 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. The number was worse in Vaughan: just 52.3 percent voted.

Nationally, voters gave the Conservatives a second consecutive minority government, 12 seats short of a majority. As of 2:15 a.m., 143 ridings were coloured Tory blue, 77 were Liberal red and 37 were NDP orange. The Bloc Québécois won 49 seats and independents claimed two. The Green Party failed to win a single seat.

Vaughan Today
Online: October 15, 2008 [link]