Brantford-Brant voters opt for PC candidate Will Bouma

If the Progressive Conservatives were going to have a realistic shot at a majority government, then Brantford-Brant was the sort of riding they needed to win.

And win it they did, with county councillor Will Bouma eking out a narrow victory over NDP candidate Alex Felsky.

Bouma garnered 24,080 votes, while Felsky picked up 23,459. Ruby Toor of the Liberals was in third place with 5,439, followed by Green candidate Ken Burns with 2,707.

Further behind on the ballot were Dave Wrobel of the Ontario Party (526 votes), Nicholas Archer of the None of the Above Party (416), Rob Ferguson of the Libertarian Party (373), Leslie Bory of the Canadians’ Choice Party (253) and John Turmel of the Pauper Party (59). Turmel holds the Guiness World Records for having competed in and lost the most elections.

Bouma replaces Dave Levac, a popular Liberal who had been in office since 1999. The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly since 2011, Levac announced more than a year ago that he would not seek a sixth term.

Levac captured 37.1 per cent of the vote in the riding formerly known as Brant in 2014, compared to 30.1 per cent for the PCs and 26.9 per cent for Felsky in her first attempt to win it for the NDP.