"We did it!" exclaimed Liberal MP Terry Beech as he claimed victory in the riding of Burnaby North-Seymour, with the NDP’s Svend Robinson coming in second.
With 172 out of 190 polls reporting, Beech had 15,427 votes (35.6 per cent), while Robinson had 14,006 votes (32.3%).
"I know that I didn't win by as much as last time. It was a close race. And that means that my work starts tomorrow," Beech said in his victory speech Monday night just after 10 p.m.
"We're going to go out, we're going to be back at the doors talking to people, trying to figure out how we can make sure we're represtenting the good people of Burnaby, the good people of North Vancouver, so that they feel that they're getting the representation they need."
Asked whether that diminishing lead compared to 2015 had anything to do with the Liberal government's handling of the Trans Mountain pipeline file, which is unpopular in North Burnaby, he said he has heard from many on both sides of the pipeline in this riding.
"The pipeline is a big issue here. So is affordability, so is climate change, so is building the economy. I've given more than 40 interviews in this election; every single person wanted to talk about the Trans Mountain pipeline," Beech said.
"I'll say this: There are people on my campaign team that want to see the Trans Mountain pipeline be built; there's people on my campaign team that don't want to see the Trans Mountain pipeline be built. ... My number-one priority is making sure that my community has great representation."
Heather Leung, fired as the Conservative candidate but still listed as a Conservative on the ballot, ranked third with 8,543 votes (19.7%) as of 10:30 p.m.
Green candidate Amita Kuttner was in fourth with 4,031 votes (9.3%).
Robinson said it was “a disappointing night – but the voters have spoken and I respect that.”
The unsuccessful comeback candidate said he hopes the NDP candidates who did get elected will press hard for the issues they campaigned on.
“For me, from this community, I'm hoping that one of those key issues will in fact be the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and that we will be very clear that there will be no support for a Liberal government that's prepared to push this pipeline expansion project through.”
Robinson said Monday’s defeat won’t silence him.
“I will continue to speak out. I may not be a member of Parliament but I will continue to speak out on the issues of climate crisis and inequality,” he said.
Beech has represented the riding since 2015, when he earned nearly 19,000 votes – 39 per cent support – in the riding, besting the NDP by more than 3,400.
Burnaby North-Seymour is home to 102,486 people in 39,910 homes, with an average age of 41.5, according to the 2016 Census.
The median household income is $78,160, above the national average of $73,050.
More than half (59 per cent) of Burnaby North-Seymour residents 15 years or older have a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree.