He’s trustworthy, genuine and he’s never forgotten where he’s come from.
That’s how Lawrence MacAulay’s supporter Marlene McGowan sums it up when asked what makes the Cardigan MP such a powerhouse in the riding.
MacAulay handily captured his 10th consecutive federal election victory Monday night, defeating his closest rival, Conservative Wayne Phelan by more than 4,000 votes.
The Cardigan MP, first election in 1988, became P.E.I.’s longest serving member of Parliament back in 2014, a record previously held by Angus MacLean.
“He always has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the district,’’ McGowan said as she watched the results come in at MacAulay’s watch party in Three Rivers.
Need to know
Following is information about Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay:
- Has represented the riding of Cardigan since 1988
- Before the election, he was serving as the minister of Veterans Affairs and associated minister of National Defence
- Has also served as minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, minister of Labour, Solicitor General, Secretary of State (Veterans) and Secretary State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)
- On March 20, 2014, MacAulay became the longest-serving MP in P.E.I. history, surpassing the record previously set by Angus MacLean
- MacAulay lives in Midgell with his wife, Frances
MacAulay jumped out to an early lead Monday night and never really looked back.
“To have 10 election victories . . . it’s hard to believe,’’ MacAulay said after greeting the well-wishers gathered at his watch party. “It’s a wonderful feeling to win. You work very hard. This election, I would have to say, it was different than some of them.’’
He ended that last comment with a sigh, explaining that he felt the opposition campaign was more negative than usual.
“It was a little rougher. I like to discuss issues like health care, economy, jobs, that kind of thing, what’s better for people, not personalities and that kind of thing.’’
Phelan said he was surprised at the results.
“It’s not what I was hearing at the door but Lawrence is a very popular guy. Everyone likes him. He’s been in there 31 years. There’s worse things in life than losing to Mr. MacAulay in an election,’’ Phelan said. “I honestly can’t believe what’s happening to tell you the truth. I was hoping (the national Conservatives) would form a majority government.’’
Phelan said anyone who takes on MacAulay in a federal election needs to realize that the incumbent MP has a dedicated base of 7,000 supporters so beating him is a tall task.
Green candidate Glen Beaton, who finished third with 2,860 votes, showed up to congratulate MacAulay shortly after MacAulay’s win became official.
“There is no better experience than knocking on the door and talking to people and understanding what their issues are,’’ Beaton said. “We just had a mountain to get over and we didn’t do that.’’
MacAulay was quick to deflect much of the credit for his three decades in office to his staff, his family and especially his wife, Frances.
MacAulay was full of praise for his wife who has accompanied him to countless birthdays and anniversary parties in the riding and continues to canvass for him.
“I never really realized the magnitude of this,’’ Frances said. “Every one of them was a different challenge and a different opportunity but we (his family and his grandchildren) are all behind Lawrence 100 per cent.’’
Lawrence MacAulay said he has issues he wants to get to and they are issues he’s talked about in the past but Monday night was not the time to talk about it.
MacAulay also wouldn’t comment on whether he wants to remain minister of Veterans Affairs. He said that will be up to the prime minister.
And, the 73-year-old MP wouldn't say whether this is his final term as a member of Parliament.
Following is a breakdown of the previous elections MacAulay has run as a candidate in (number of votes in parenthesis):
- 2019 – Lawrence MacAulay, Lib, 10,284; Wayne Phelan, Conservative, 6,0404; Glen Beaton, Green, 2,860; Lynne Thiele, NDP, 1,392; Christene Squires, CHP, 228
- 2015 – Lawrence MacAulay, Lib, 14,621; Julius Patkai, Conservative, 3,632; Billy Cann, NDP, 2,503; Teresa Doyle, Green, 1,434; Christene Squires, Christian Heritage, 295
- 2011 – Lawrence MacAulay, Lib, 10,486; Michael Currie, Conservative, 8,107; Lorne Cudmore, NDP, 2,164; Leslie Stewart, Green, 373
- 2008 – Lawrence MacAulay, Lib, 10,105; Sid McMullin, Conservative, 5,661; Mike Avery, NDP, 1,556; Larry McGuire, independent, 1,101; Emma Daughton, Green, 710
- 2006 – Lawrence MacAulay, Lib, 11,542; Don Gillis, Conservative, 6,923; Edith Perry, NDP, 1,535; Haida Arsenault-Antolick, Green, 553
- 2004 – Lawrence MacAulay, Lib, 11,064; Peter McQuaid, Conservative, 6,889; Dave MacKinnon, NDP, 2,103; Jeremy Stiles, Green, 670
- 2000 – Lawrence MacAulay, Lib, 8,545; Kevin MacAdam, Progressive Conservative, 8,269; Darrell Hickox, Alliance, 500; Deborah Kelly Hawkes, NDP, 465
- 1997 – Lawrence MacAulay, Lib, 7,555; Dan Hughes, Progressive Conservative, 7,456; Larry Duchesne, NDP, 1,761
- 1993 – Lawrence MacAulay, Lib, 10,115; Wilbur MacDonald, Progressive Conservative, 5,360; Reg Phelan, NDP, 934
- 1988 – Lawrence MacAulay, Lib, 9,325; Pat Binns, Progressive Conservative, 7,936; Gertrude Partridge, NDP, 805