The federal election's red wave brought a major upset to Nickel Belt, with the Liberals' Marc G. Serré winning the riding away from the NDP's Claude Gravelle, who had held the seat since 2008.
He becomes one of more than 180 Liberal MPs across the country, as the party formed a majority government after nine years of Conservative rule.
Serré will be joined on the Liberal benches by Paul Lefebvre, who won the seat for the Liberals in Sudbury.
Forty-three per cent of the vote went to Serré, while Gravelle was a fairly close second with 37.6 per cent of the vote. *
In a distant third was Conservative Aino Laamanen with 16.8 per cent of the vote, the Greens' Stuart McCall with 2.5 per cent of the vote and Maxist-Leninist Dave Starbuck with 0.2 per cent of the vote.
“All along, it was showing a close race, but tonight we could see the enthusiasm,” said Serré.
“We could see the energy that Nickel Belt has for the Liberal party, and I'm really proud to be part of the Liberal team and really proud to be part of the volunteers. Imagine, we started here against an incumbent, and we built a team. We crossed the riding, we met with people, we shared the Liberal plan, and we shared a positive plan for the future of Nickel Belt.”
Politics is something of a family business for Serré, as his father, Gaetan Serré, was also a Liberal MP for Nickel Belt from 1968 to 1972.
His uncle, Benoit Serré, represented the riding of Timiskaming-French River for the Liberals from 1993 to 1997 and Timiskaming-Cochrane from 1997 to 2004.
As such, Serré said he has nothing but respect for Gravelle, who has worked hard to serve the community.
“Mr. Gravelle has served the riding well,” he said. “He's worked hard. My father was an MP, my uncle was an MP. Anybody's that's served this country as a parliamentarian deserves credit and respect.”
Gravelle, who also gave Serré his best wishes, said he felt he ran a good campaign, but that Nickel Belt was caught up in the red wave that swept the country.
“That's what happened,” he said. “We worked very hard. I have a very good team and lots of support locally. So it's a red wave. What can I say?”
Now that the election's over and the results are in, Gravelle said he plans to go back to retirement, spending time golfing, downhill skiing and with his grandkids.
“No more politics for me,” he said. “I am retired.”
*Poll numbers updated 9 a.m. Oct. 20.