A huge upset in the northwest, as the governing Saskatchewan Party defeated the New Democrats in the Athabasca byelection.

An NDP stronghold since 1998, Jim Lemaigre will be the first SaskParty MLA for the region.

Preliminary results from Elections Saskatchewan indicate Lemaigre took 1146 votes or 51 percent of the vote. Jolibois secured 900 votes or 40 percent.

Voter turnout was low, as 2228 people cast ballots. That represents 24 percent of registered voters.

Premier Scott Moe tweeting congratulations to Lemaigre saying the governing party now has representation from border to border to border.

Former MLA Buckley Belanger who resigned in August, took 57 percent of the vote in the 2020 election. Elections Saskatchewan will conduct a final vote on Feb. 28.