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#elxn42: Liberal Ron McKinnon wins in Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam

Ron McKinnon upset favourite Doug Horne of the Conservatives in the riding of Coquitlam-PoCo, with the NDP's Sara Norman placing third.
Liberal MP Ron McKinnon
Liberal candidate Ron McKinnon will represent the new riding of Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam in Ottawa.

The new riding of Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam will be represented by Liberal Ron McKinnon.

As family, friends, supporters and volunteers cheered the success of both McKinnon and the Liberal party across Canada, the computer programmer expressed his gratitude in what many describe as his typically humble fashion.

"I'm overwhelmed… it hasn't started to sink in yet," he said at his campaign headquarters on Shaughnessy Street in PoCo. "I had a great team…I couldn't have done this without them."

McKinnon also credited Liberal leader Justin Trudeau — the next prime minister of Canada — with running a positive campaign that resonated with voters throughout the lengthy campaign period.

Once all of the riding's 210 polling stations counted, McKinnon had collected 19,869 votes, or 35.1%. He was followed closely by Conservative candidate and former Coquitlam-Burke Mountain MLA Doug Horne (BC Liberal), who earned 18,083 votes, or 31.9%.

At the Conservative reception at Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club, Horne said "Trudeau-mania" had swept in.

And he didn't rule out a return to provincial politics.

"Never say never," Horne said. "I have enjoyed representing this community for six years." (A byelection to fill Horne's vacant seat has not yet been called.)

He also thanked his team of supporters for all the work they put in over the last several weeks, saying they had knocked on a lot of doors and "got a lot of support."

"We had a great team of volunteers who worked hard… I'm very appreciative of that. Tonight is not a sad night, it's a celebratory night to thank these volunteers."

NDP candidate Sara Norman, a former broadcast journalist, collected 15,463 votes for a 27.3% share.

"We fought a good fight, and we did everything we could do," she said after greeting supporters at the NDP reception at the Port Coquitlam Legion. "It's really great that we were able to defeat [Stephen] Harper, and I hope the Liberals will reverse a lot of the damage that has been done."

Voter turnout so far for the riding is 67.3%, or 56,616 of 84,120 registered electors.

Watch for more election coverage here Tuesday and in print on Wednesday in The Tri-City News.