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Conservative incumbent Martin Shields wins third term in Bow River

Bow River will remain blue after Martin Shields secured the riding for the Conservatives on Sept. 20. 
Martin Shields is headed for a third term as Bow River's Member of Parliament, following his election win on Sept. 20.

Bow River will remain blue after the Sept. 20 federal election. 

Incumbent Conservative Party representative Martin Shields is set to begin his third term in Ottawa, after he coasted to victory in the Bow River riding, winning 70 per cent of the vote.

Early polls and projections had him winning with approximately the same margins. However, total percentages of votes for the candidate were down from 2019 – when he won with 83.9 per cent – and 2015, when he won the riding with 77.4 per cent of the vote.

"I am honoured that you have entrusted me to serve as your Member of Parliament once again," Shields said via Twitter after his victory was confirmed. "I will continue to work to deliver for all constituents in the Bow River riding." 

In second place behind Shields was People's Party of Canada (PPC) candidate Jonathan Bridges, a political newcomer who garnered 10 per cent of the vote. Bridges was followed by the NDP's Michael MacLean, who collected nine per cent. 

Bridges, running in his first political election, said he was hoping for more votes, adding he felt some conservative-minded voters in the riding may have voted strategically on Sept. 20.

"I think overall, people agreed with our platform," he said. "A lot of people were concerned about splitting the vote and allowing the Liberals to win some of that."

The runner-up added he would like to run for the PPC again in the future.

"I think having consistent candidates goes a long way," he said. "It shows people that we are committed and just people recognize names, right? So I think it's probably a good thing to get that message out there that I do intend to run in the next election."

Getu Shawile, the Liberal Party rep, came in fourth with eight per cent, followed by Maverick Party representative Orrin Bliss, of southeast Rocky View County, with three per cent.

Bliss said he was most disappointed to see the Liberals win and Trudeau maintain the position of prime minister. As for the results locally, he said he was satisfied.

"The PPC in the last election, which was their first, got less votes than I did," he said. "I think for an establishment election for the Maverick Party, we did well all around.

"Martin sure got a lot less votes this time around than he did last time – I hope he gets the message."

Christian Heritage Party candidate Tom Lipp, who also lives in southeast Rocky View County, rounded out the Bow River vote breakdown with one per cent of the total vote. 

Canada is headed for it's third consecutive Liberal government, albeit a minority with a similar number of seats to pre-election numbers. According to the unofficial results from Elections Canada, the Liberals won 158 seats – 12 shy of a majority but one more than they picked up in 2019. The Conservatives will once again form the Official Opposition, as they won 119 seats – a decrease of two from 2019.

Despite the Conservatives having a larger share of the popular vote – 34 per cent versus 32.2 per cent – the Liberals will once again form government.

The Bloc Quebecois, meanwhile, picked up 34 seats on Sept. 20, followed by 25 for the NDP and two for the Green Party. 

There were no seats won by the PPC, independent candidates, or newly formed parties like the Maverick Party. Despite not winning a seat, the Libertarian-focused PPC did see triple the number of votes compared to 2019, with five per cent of the popular vote – roughly twice that of the Green Party.

"I think most people I talked to agreed with many things on our platform, if not all, but they just were gun shy when it came to election day," Bridges said.

According to Elections Canada, just under 16 million eligible Canadians voted in the 2021 election, for a voter turnout of 58.44 per cent.

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