After two previous attempts to gain control of Parliament, it was a night local Conservatives saw their dreams fulfilled.
Supporters gathered at Colin Mayes’ campaign office Monday, not only to celebrate his third term as MP but also a clear victory for the Conservatives, who captured a majority government with 167 seats.
“It’s really exciting. In my mind, I knew the Conservatives would win,” said Carol Paton, Mayes’ campaign manager.
“Mr. (Stephen) Harper can now do the things he wants to do.”
The anticipation began to build as the polls closed locally at 7 p.m. and the national results began filling the lone TV screen in the room.
With every update, the group became more animated.
“They’re talking about a majority. I’m so excited,” said Carmen Wachter.
Play-by-play picked up as it became clear the Liberals would be relegated to third place in the House and leader Michael Ignatieff would lose his own seat.
“Goodbye Michael, back to Harvard,” chanted one man.
There was little sympathy for the Bloc Quebecois, which went from 47 to four seats.
“I’m crying about that one,” said another man.
When the Conservatives finally surpassed the 155 seats required to form a majority, fists of celebration cut through the air while wine glasses clinked together.
“I’ve never been so happy about an election before,” said Ed Devlin after shaking Mayes’ hand.
Devlin is convinced Ottawa is about to evolve.
“The long gun registry is gone and we will be changing the face of the Supreme Court. I see big changes coming,” he said.
Unlike most of those surrounding her, Betty Hinton had a personal sense of the political shift.
“I am absolutely delighted. Mr. Harper has earned this right,” said Hinton, a former Conservative MP from Kamloops who has called Vernon home for three years.
“With a minority government, it’s so difficult to get things done.”
But Hinton isn’t concerned Harper will use his majority to force a Conservative agenda.
“He will consult with all members (of the House),” she said.
Briefly the volume on the TV was turned down, so Mayes could praise his volunteers who tackled all of the campaign tasks.
“Sometimes you wonder how you’re doing and to have these folks out representing me is great. That’s how you win elections,” he said.