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Day and PPC take positives from first federal election

Day and PPC take positives from first federal election
PPC candidate Kelly Day and leader Maxime Bernier speak to supporters during a campaign stop in Prince Albert on July 31, 2019. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

It didn’t end exactly the way she wanted, but PPC candidate Kelly Day is still optimistic.

Day and the People’s Party of Canada were one of two new parties to arrive on the national election scene. Although the party failed to win a single seat, and took only 1.6 per cent of the national vote, Day said there were plenty of positives. More importantly, she thinks they’ve built a solid foundation for the future.

“It’s a brand new party. I’m a brand new politician, so considering that, I think we did really well with grassroots funding and minimal manpower and minimal public knowledge that we existed,” she said. “I’m really proud of it. At the end of the day, this party is about principals and we stood by our principals and ran a clean campaign. You can’t ask for more than that.”

The PPC never polled at more than a few percentage points in national polls, but they did hope to win at least one seat. That seat belonged to party leader Maxime Bernier, who ended the night trailing Conservative candidate Richard Lehoux by more than 6,000 votes in the electoral district of Beauce.

Day said the party’s national results were good for a first election, but admitted she’d hoped they’d win some seats too.

“It’s painful to see Maxime lose his seat,” Day said. “I think now that I’m friends with Max, I probably feel more for him on a personal level, but he’s already been interviewed and he will not be going back to the CPC—even if they were to have another leadership convention. He’s standing strong and wants to continue with the party. As much as we’re disappointed, we’re just beginning.”

With a minority government in place, the next election could come sooner rather than later, and Day said she’ll strongly consider coming back for round two if that happens.

Originally, she’d planned on just being the PPC riding president, but after one election as a candidate she’s quite not ready to move behind the scenes.

“I’m absolutely up for doing it again and already thinking of how to do things differently and planning ahead,” she said. “It could come quicker than we expect.”