The Saskatchewan Party has won a majority government for the fourth time in a row, CBC News is projecting.
Less than an hour after polls closed, the party led by Scott Moe quickly secured 44 of 61 seats, according to CBC News projections. Thirty-one seats are needed for a majority government.
Voting stations closed at 8 p.m. CST. Follow results in all ridings here.
Moe has retained his seat in the Rosthern-Shellbrook riding, securing three quarters of the votes recorded so far, projections also show. This is his first election as Saskatchewan Party leader.
When the provincial legislature dissolved last month, the ruling Saskatchewan Party held a decisive 46 seats. The only other party with seats, the Saskatchewan NDP, counted 13 representatives. The remaining two MLA seats were vacant.
The NDP is poised to claim more seats this time around: at least 15, according to CBC projections.
Two other party leaders were not so lucky. Saskatchewan Green Party Leader Naomi Hunter is projected to lose in the Regina Elphinstone-Centre riding, while the leader of the new Buffalo Party, Wade Sira, is expected to lose in Martensville-Warman.
Moe and NDP Leader Ryan Meili are following the election results from different hotels in downtown Saskatoon. Meili’s own Saskatoon Meewasin seat is one of 10 races to watch.
A record-breaking 185,061 voters attended advance polls this year. Elections Saskatchewan also saw a notable bump in mail-in votes, but those won’t be counted until later. Therefore the final results for ridings that have historically been close races, and where a large number of people mailed in ballots this year, may not be available Monday night.
The last time the province was governed by a political party in its fourth term was the NDP, before its 2007 defeat. That party, however, had to form a coalition to stay in power.
The last party to win a long string of majorities in Saskatchewan without any help was the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and its leader Tommy Douglas, who was elected for a total of five terms.
Saskatchewan is the third province, after New Brunswick and British Columbia, to send voters to the polls since the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year.
The 27-day campaign kicked off on Sept. 29, with the economy and COVID-19 figuring largely in candidate speeches.
Both Moe and Meili wore masks as they cast their ballots. Moe did so Monday in his riding of Rosthern-Shellbrook. Meili voted in advance last week in Saskatoon.