Conservative incumbent Tako van Popta celebrated his win at campaign headquarters Monday night, saying it was a honour to be given a second term as MP for Langley – Aldergrove. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Conservative incumbent Tako van Popta celebrated his win at campaign headquarters Monday night, saying it was a honour to be given a second term as MP for Langley – Aldergrove. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Tako van Popta wins re-election in Langley – Aldergrove

Conservative collected close to half the ballots cast

Incumbent Conservative MP Tako van Popta won re-election in Langley – Aldergrove Monday, taking close to half the ballots.

“We worked very hard,” a happy van Popta told the Langley Advance Times.

“We got out our vote, and you see the results.”

He described the national numbers, showing a Liberal minority re-elected, as “disappointing.”

“We had high hopes that we would be forming at least a minority government,” van Popta remarked.

He called his re-election “a real honour to be able to serve in that capacity, and I’m so grateful to the people of Langley and Aldergrove for giving me another opportunity.”

“I will absolutely do my best for them,” van Popta promised.

“I’m going to keep working, understanding what the interests are, what the priorities are, what people’s concerns and worries are, and to be a voice for the people of Langley and Aldergrove in our national capital.”

READ ALSO: Liberals projected to win minority government in 2021 federal election

During the campaign, Liberal challenger Kim Richter warned that voting for other “progressive” parties would ensure a Conservative win by splitting the vote.

On Monday night, the Liberal and NDP vote combined was roughly the same as the Conservative, who was elected.

“We tend to keep doing that in Langley,” Richter observed.

Langley – Aldergrove Liberal challenger Kim Richter was pleased with the national results, but disappointed with the local count, ascribing the outcome to ‘progressive’ vote splitting. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Langley – Aldergrove Liberal challenger Kim Richter was pleased with the national results, but disappointed with the local count, ascribing the outcome to ‘progressive’ vote splitting. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

“I don’t understand why, because there are more progressive voters in Langley than there are Conservatives.”

“I believe in the collective wisdom of the electorate,” Richter went on to say, “they’ve made their decision.”

She would like to see some campaign promises become reality.

“I’m just hoping that, number one, we get $10 a day child care, and number two, that we get the performance centre at the Langley Events Centre, because we really need that.”

Richter said she will press for the performance centre as a Langley Township councillor.

Finishing third in his first federal race, NDP candidate Michael Chang said he was proud to be “part of this great process,” and pleased to see his party’s share of vote increased.

As for Liberal rival Richter’s comments about vote-splitting, Chang said opponents can “say whatever they want [but] people can choose the candidate and the platform they agree with.”

Chang said it had been a gruelling shorter-than-normal campaign and expressed dismay at some of the negativity he experienced, including “f-bombs” directed at him during door-to-door campaigning.

“Elections should should be a process of unification, not divisive,” Chang commented.

“It’s not the Canada I know.”

With 99 per cent of all ballots counted, van Popta had 46 per cent of the vote, followed by Richter with 26.1 percent. NDP candidate Chang was third with 19.5 per cent of the ballot, followed by Rayna Boychuk of the People’s Party with 5.5 per cent and Green candidate Kaija Farstad with 2.9 per cent.

Of 96,828 eligible voters, 59,022 cast ballots, about 61 per cent.

Mail-in ballots were to be counted on Tuesday.

In the 2019 election, van Popta won the seat formerly held by the late Mark Warawa with 47 per cent of the ballot, beating Liberal Leon Jensen, who had 25.62 per cent and NDP candidate Stacey Wakelin who had 16.85 per cent.

The Greens Farstad won 7.69 of the vote in 2019, with the People’s Party Natalie Dipietra-Cudmore tallying 2.06 and Libertarian Alex Joehl receiving .79 per cent.

READ ALSO: Aldag takes lead in Cloverdale-Langley City

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