The Sask. Party picked up 64 per cent of the popular vote across the province, breaking the previous record for a single party’s share of the vote. That record was set in the 1912 election, when Walter Scott led the Liberal Party to a victory with just under 60 per cent of the vote.
They will govern with 49 of the 58 legislative seats, 19 more than is required to form a majority government.
In Swift Current, Brad Wall’s riding, the mood was jubilant. Newly re-elected Premier Wall addressed a large crowd in his childhood elementary school, and referred to the much-discussed “orange wave” of the federal election.
“You’ve seen it in the federal election and in various provincial elections, and one might reasonably ask the question, ‘Where is that surge in the province of Saskatchewan?’ Well, what those folks might not know is that in this province, green is the colour,” Wall said to the crowd after thanking his wife and children for their support.
Wall closed out his victory speech with a decidedly optimistic line, telling his audience that “the only day better than today in Saskatchewan is tomorrow in Saskatchewan.”
Wall has consistently topped the list of most popular premiers in Canada, and he has worked diligently since taking the reins of the Sask. Party in 2004 to present the image of a hard-working family man. Although the Sask. Party was a merger of Liberal and Progressive Conservative politicians, and Wall himself has a PC background, the young premier has led a safely centrist government since 2007.
The Sask. Party’s previous leader Elwin Hermanson seemingly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the 2003 election after the NDP successfully painted him as too right-wing, particularly because of his ambiguous position on selling crown corporations like SaskTel and SaskPower.
Particularly on this issue, Wall has repeatedly reassured voters that a Sask. Party government has no intention of selling the crowns. The premier’s economic policies have been flexible, as highlighted by his very public rejection of the proposed takeover of PotashCorp by Australian mining company BHP Billiton in 2010.
File photo: David Stobbe/U of S