Unexpected results from Langley-area voters

Local residents voted in excess of the national average.

Langley-area voters cast more ballots than the national average, and the way they voted changed significantly.

For the past 11 years, Langley voters were all grouped together in a single riding. As Langley’s population grew, a realignment created new ridings: Cloverdale-Langley City, and Langley-Aldergrove.

One of the biggest trends across Canada Monday was the increase in voter turnout. Both Langley ridings followed and beat that trend.

The national average was at least 68.49 per cent, the highest since 1993.

Langley-Aldergrove saw 73.4 per cent of registered voters cast a ballot. That doesn’t include voters who registered for the first time at their polling place.

Cloverdale-Langley City was only slightly lower, at 70.2 per cent of registered voters.

In 2011, overall voter turnout in the Langley riding was 62.2 per cent, slightly above the national average of 61.4 per cent.

Not only was turnout up, but voters made different choices compared to four years ago.

The most obvious difference was in Cloverdale-Langley City.

The riding was built primarily from pieces of the old South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale and Fleetwood-Port Kells ridings, along with Langley City and a sliver of Willoughby from the Langley riding.

All of those areas had been held by Conservative MPs, who won in 2011 with between 47 and 64 per cent of the vote.

In both the former Fleetwood-Port Kells and the South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale ridings, the Liberals were in third place in 2011, well behind the second-place NDP candidates.

But Liberal John Aldag, running in his first campaign, won the new riding with 24,599 votes, or 45.5 per cent of the total.

Before the votes were counted, Aldag referred to the riding as “Conservative country.”

Conservative Dean Drysdale, a former Langley Township councillor, picked up 18,816 votes or 34.8 per cent.

The NDP’s Rebecca Smith took 8,426 votes, or 15.6 per cent.

Mark Warawa took victory in Langley-Aldergrove, inheriting most of the old Langley riding he had held for more than a decade.

But he had to fight harder to keep his seat.

In 2011, as the Conservatives won a majority government, Warawa took 35,569 votes, a staggering 64.5 per cent of the total.

This year in the new riding, Warawa received 27,343 votes, or 45.5 per cent.

The recipient of most of the change was Liberal Leon Jensen, who won 21,905 votes for 36.5 per cent of the vote.

The NDP lost ground as well. In 2011 they took 11,277 votes for 20.5 per cent of the vote, and seemed to have solidified their position as Langley’s second choice. But many of those votes seem to have migrated to the Liberals, leaving this year’s candidate Margot Sangster with 7,664.



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