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'We have votes to count': NDP's Zarrillo in solid lead but will wait before declaring herself a winner in Port Moody-Coquitlam

Bonita Zarrillo consistently out-polled her competitors in the vote count Monday, Sept. 20, but said more votes had to be counted before a final winner could be declared

Preliminary results 205 of 206 polls. Reporting (93.69%)

Voter turnout 56.99%

Bonita Zarrillo (NDP) 17,521 (36.7%)

Nelly Shin (Incumbent Conservative) 15,425 (32.3%)

Will Davis (Liberal) 12,958 (27.2%)

Desta McPherson (People’s Party) 1,689 (3.5%)

Roland Verrier (Marxist Leninist) 115 (0.

(To be updated)

Despite a strong showing, NDP candidate Bonita Zarrillo was not ready to accept the nod as the next MP for Port Moody-Coquitlam.

“Not yet, we still have votes to count,” said Zarrillo late Monday night, after more than 90% of the polls had been reported.

“I’m going to wait until the final votes are in.”

With 193 of 206 polls reporting, Zarrillo appeared to have won the seat with 36.5% of the votes cast or 11,775 votes to Shin’s 10,168, a 1,607 vote difference.

In third place was Liberal Will Davis with 9,105 votes.

However, Zarrillo said she couldn’t say she had won — despite some news outlets declaring her a winner — until advance and mail in votes were counted.

Her challengers, Nelly Shin, Conservative candidate and incumbent, didn’t return Tri-City News calls nor did Liberal candidate Will Davis by 11:30 p.m. Monday.

Still, what was supposed to be a close race turned out to be a comfortable cruise for the NDP’s Bonita Zarrillo in the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam.

The veteran Coquitlam politician started the evening with a small but consistent lead over Conservative incumbent Nelly Shin and that lead never diminished as votes were counted through the night.

Still, Shin was close behind in second place and Liberal Will Davis polled third. However, he was never far behind Shin with his vote count.

In 2019, Shin beat Zarrillo in the federal race by 153 votes.

More than 4,000 mail-in ballots will have to be counted on Tuesday, Sept. 21 but  Zarrillo will go into that final count with a solid footing.

And if her win is further solidified, Coquitlam civic voters will be likely be going to the polls soon.

The province requires municipal by-elections to be held if a vacancy occurs before Jan. 1 in the year of the general local election.

(In a statement to the Tri-City News, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs confirmed that the Local Government Act provides that councils must hold a by-election as soon as feasible following a vacancy on city council.)

The next general local election is scheduled for Oct. 15, 2022. 

At 9:22 p.m.

  • Bonita Zarrillo (NDP) 8,162 (36.7%)
  • Nelly Shin (Incumbent Conservative) 6,813 (30.7%)
  • Will Davis (Liberal) 6,450 (29.0%)
  • Desta McPherson (People’s Party) 728 (3.3%)
  • Roland Verrier (Marxist Leninist) 64 (0.3%)

Total number of valid votes: 145 of 206 polls reporting (70.39%). Voter turnout 22,217 of 83,715 (27.72%) registered voters.

— with files from Janis Cleugh

At 7:45 p.m.,The Canadian Press and other networks were projecting the Liberal Party of Canada will win the 44th federal election. It is too early to say if it will be a majority or minority government.

9 p.m.

Although thousands of ballots have yet to be counted, NDP candidate Bonita Zarrillo continues to eke out a lead over MP incumbent and Conservative Nelly Shin, according to the latest Elections Canada poll results. In fact, by 9 p.m., Zarrillo increased her per cent of the vote to 37%. See results below.

  • Bonita Zarrillo (NDP) 5,163 (37%)
  • Nelly Shin (Incumbent Conservative) 4,286 (30.7%)
  • Will Davis (Liberal) 3,991 (28.6%)
  • Desta McPherson (People’s Party) 481 (3.4%)
  • Roland Verrier (Marxist Leninist) 39 (0.3%)

Total number of valid votes: 95 of 206 polls reporting (46.12%). Voter turnout 13,96010 of 83,715 registered voters.

8:45 p.m.

Although thousands of ballots have yet to be counted, NDP candidate Bonita Zarillo continues to eke out a lead over MP incumbent and Conservative Nelly Shin, according to the latest Elections Canada poll results.

With 3,956 votes compared to Shin at 3,358 and 3,140 for Liberal candidate Will Davis, Zarrillo is maintaining her lead.

Could a by-election be in the offing for Coquitlam city council?

Still, before any predictions are made, there are 4,000 mail-in votes to be counted tomorrow, Tuesday.

8:30 p.m.

The NDP's Bonita Zarrillo pulled out with an early lead and has kept it 1.5 hours after polls closed. Currently, she has 1,813 votes, compared to Conservative incumbent Nelly Shin, who has 1,544 votes, and Liberal Will Davis who is polling 1,396. Zarrillo has 36.8 per cent of votes cast.

Although it's early yet, the trend line in Port Moody-Coquitlam shows the polling strength of Bonita Zarrillo, who is a three-term Coquitlam councillor.

The fact that there is no Green Party challenger may have helped Zarrillo in her second bid for MP in this riding.

8:05 p.m.

In what is expected to be a tight race, the NDP's Bonita Zarrillo pulled out with an early lead pulling in 376 votes, compared to Conservative incumbent Nelly Shin who has 336 votes, and Liberal Will Davis polling 324.


Earlier today, Monday, Sept. 20, candidates were busy in the riding, meeting voters for last-minute vote promises, and meeting with volunteers.

Liberal candidate Will Davis said he didn't expect a winner until sometimes Tuesday but was hopeful he and his team would get out the vote and be successful.

"it’s clear that this is a close race, we never treated in it in any other way," said Davis. "We’ve been working hard and feeling good about the momentum."

Over at the NDP headquarters for contender Bonita Zarrillo, a campaign spokesperson said the veteran civic politician was out on the campaign trail for most of the day.

With no in-person gatherings due to COVID-19, candidates told the Tri-City News they planned to watch the votes come in with friends and family.

Polling stations were busy in the Tri-Cities today and there were concerns that last minute voters would have a hard time casting a ballot because of line-ups at Election Canada's Tri-City office in Coquitlam.


At 6 p.m. there was a long line up of voters still waiting to get into the station to cast their ballot, according to a Coquitlam resident and former Coquitlam Coun. Terry O'Neill who called the Tri-City News with worries some people wouldn't get to vote.

According to CBC, some voters were having troubles with the Elections Canada website and didn't know where to vote while still others had concerns with lineups. 

Elections Canada had warned voters that polling stations would be busy and processes slower than usual because of COVID-19 restrictions and fewer polling stations.


  • Will Davis (Liberal)
  • Desta McPherson (People's Party)
  • Nelly Shin (Conservative)
  • Roland Verrier (Marxist-Leninist Party)
  • Bonita Zarrillo (NDP)