Seven turned out to be a lucky number for Conservative Member of Parliament Dean Allison.
The 56-year-old Niagara West incumbent won his riding for the seventh time in a row, easily outdistancing his opponents with 46 percent of the votes cast in Monday’s federal election.
Allison’s opponents were Liberal Ian Bingham, the NDP’s Nameer Rahman, Harold Jonker with the Christian Heritage Party of Canada, Shaunalee Derkson with the People’s Party of Canada, and Joanna Kocsis with the Green Party.
A total national vote count is not expected to be completed until later this week, when mail-in ballots are tabulated.
“When people in the riding put their trust in you, it’s always an honour,” Allison said. “I never take that for granted. I realize if they put their trust in you election after election, they trust in you to raise their concerns in Ottawa.”
Allison will return to find Parliament in virtually the same condition as he left it — with a Liberal minority government.
“When you look at going into today it was a dead heat,” Allison said minutes after being declared the winner. “Maybe that was an indication that we were actually going to end up in the same spot we were. We started this election and everyone was calling for a Liberal majority. That was five weeks ago. They thought they had a shot at it and here we are in the same position. There will be a lot of soul-searching over the next couple of months.”
Allison felt it was an election no one really wanted with the current Covid climate.
“That’s what we heard at the doors over and over. People were frustrated and nothing really changed,” he said.
Allison began the day with the same routine he has followed for the last few elections.
“I gather with all the Conservative candidates for breakfast every Monday morning at the Sunset Grill in St. Catharines,” he said. “It’s just good to talk shop.”
Allison went from his breakfast in St. Catharines to a second meal with his team of volunteers at a truck stop in Beamsville.
“I had two breakfasts.”
Allison then went to work, returning last-minute calls and making the rounds.
“I actually even put up some signs,” he said. “I had two people call for signs.”
Allison, who first ran as a Canadian Alliance candidate in the Erie-Lincoln riding in 2000, wrapped up things at the Butcher and Banker in Beamsville, where he watched the election with his family, friends and party workers.
Before the first results began to roll in, Allison looked as calm as any man could be with his immediate future in doubt, although he said that was far from the case.
“Always,” he said when asked if he was nervous. “I played every sport and I feel just like before a big race.
“I tell you no matter how many times you run, you are nervous.”