Merasty Pulls Out Late Comeback Win

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 13:22



Northern Saskatchewan has a new Member of Parliament following a wild vote count last night.


Incumbent Jeremy Harrison of the Conservatives was declared the winner by many media outlets early on after building a 2,000-vote lead on the Liberals’ Gary Merasty.


But Merasty staged a comeback, finally surpassing Harrison on the final poll of the 175 polls to come in.


That poll came from the Ahtakakoop First Nation, and allowed Merasty to erase a 235-vote deficit and come away with a 106-vote victory.


Merasty says his supporters didn’t give up hope, even when Harrison had built a sizeable lead.


In the end, over 80 per cent of the electorate in Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River voted Liberal or Conservative.


The NDP’s Anita Jackson finished well back in third place.


But Jackson says she’s glad the northern seat will be held by one of the Aboriginal candidates.


Almost 25,000 people in northern Saskatchewan exercised their right to vote — roughly a 25 per cent increase from the 2004 federal election turnout.


Merasty says that large turnout was a key factor in his victory.