By Mike Williscraft
It was Liberal Party shock and awe Monday night as the Grits swept to power, while Conservative candidate Dean Allison held the Niagara West Riding.
Allison was in shock, while the rest of the country was in awe.
“It really turned out to be a referendum on Stephen Harper,” said Allison late Monday night after making his acceptance speech at The Butcher and Banker Pub in Beamsville.
“We did a lot of good things. We held the line on taxes, we kept the economy going through a very difficult time, we made tough decisions. That’s all gone now. People will be in for a big surprise if the Liberals do what they said they were going to do.”
“For me, I heard it at the door. ‘Dean, we like you. You worked hard, did a good job. We just don’t like your boss’.”
The record long federal campaign had a lot of ebb and flow to it, with little serious movement until after Labour Day.
One thing Allison agreed with was the strategy to pound the public with the “he’s not ready” campaign for so long was a mistake.
“That went on too long,” said Allison.
He said he knew the Conservatives would be in for a rocky night when the first results from Atlantic Canada were posted.
“We thought we had a good shot in four ridings, so when I saw it was a shutout…I knew it would not be good,” said Allison.
A big part of the reason for the seismic shift in seats won, he said, was the decided shift in votes from the NDP to the Liberals.
“Much of that was from Jack Layton. He was the NDP last election. Layton and (current leader Thomas) Mulcair are two completely different characters,” said Allison, noting that overall Tory support remained solid.
“The vast majority of seats the NDP won in 2011 election were due to Jack Layton.”
“If the NDP had run a better campaign, we would have done better.”
No, it was not castor oil, it was a Liberal sweep which put a sour taste in Niagara West MP Dean Allison’s mouth Monday night. Flanked by his sons Andrew and Aaron and wife, Rebecca, Allison addressed the gathering at his Butcher and Banker Pub reception. The vote: Conservative Allison, 24,732 for 49 per cent; Liberal Phil Rose, 16,681 for 33 per cent; NDP Nameer Rahman, 5,805 for 11 per cent; Green Sid Frere, 1,512 for three per cent; CHP Harold Jonker 1,234 for two per cent, and; Allan De Roo, 797, one per cent.
Williscraft – Photo