VIDEO: Natyshak Returned In Essex In A Tight Race

New Democrat Taras Natyshak won a close race in Essex edging out Progressive Conservative Chris Lewis with a final vote tally of 26,054 to 22,731.

The narrow margin of victory that will see him serve his third consecutive term as MPP is a far cry from the 2014 race that saw Natyshak walk away with 60% of the vote.

Natyshak expressed some disappointment that the NDP failed to come out on top at the provincial level, but tells AM800 News the party will embrace its new position as the official opposition to the Tories at Queens Park.

"We have a stronger opposition and you'll see New Democrats play a significant role in this upcoming sitting of the legislator," he says."We don't know where this province is going to go, there were no numbers attached to any of their promises, there were vague details," he says. "It's going to be a new reality that I think we're going to have to come to terms with but I think the NDP is prepared for it."

Two of the first items Natyshak says the NDP will ask for cheques and balances on is the PC's promise to immediately expand Hwy. 3 and to move forward on a new Mega Hospital for the region.

"We're going to hold them to both of those commitments and they have to happen immediately, there's no more time for discussion," says Natyshak. "If we don't see them act with the urgency that we deserve, then we'll see if their word is worth anything."

Liberal Kate Festeryga came in a distant third with 3,053 votes and the Green Party's Nancy Panchesan rounded out the field with just 1,853.

Final results: 

Chris Lewis (PC) - 22,731 (42.3%)
Nancy Pancheshan (Green) - 1,853 (3.5%)
Kate Festeryga (Liberal) - 3,053 (5.7%)
INC - Taras Natyshak (NDP) - RE-ELECTED 26,054 (48.5%)

Polls Reporting - 59/59
Voter Turnout - 58%
Votes 53,691/92,649