Although the Conservative Party of Canada suffered major losses in the polls on election day, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be stepping down as leader of the now minority Conservative Party, Nicola Valley’s MP Dan Albas will be sticking around.

He narrowly beat out Liberal opponent Karley Scott with about 40 per cent of the vote, compared with her 37 per cent.

“I’m greatly honoured that the citizens of Central Okanagan — Similkameen — Nicola have voted in favour of myself and the Conservative platform,” said Albas to a scrum of reporters at his election night headquarters at the West Kelowna Yacht Club following his victory on Monday evening. He focused particularly on the message received from voters.

“I’m a big believer in democracy, and the people are never wrong,” he said. “As disappointing as it will be for many conservatives and many other people who supported the Prime Minister’s vision — lower taxes and whatnot — this is Canada. Canada is great because of our democracy. It’s great because we can respectfully disagree. That’s something that I think over the next few years we will continue to do. I fully intend that my constituents will be fully represented and the government is held to account.”

Asked if he thought his riding would miss out from some of the economic benefits of having an MP who is a member of the party which forms the government, Albas responded that he has a track record of working across party lines. “The leader of the Liberal Party actually spoke in favour of [Bill C-311], talked about the great qualities — Mission Hill is one of his favourite wineries,” he said. “I do believe that when a good idea comes forward it shouldn’t matter which party or which candidate says it, we should be trying to take the best ideas. I have a track record of being able to do that.”

Albas said he wasn’t particularly surprised by the results of this election, appealing again to the democratic process. “I have tremendous respect for the people, so I don’t prejudge these things,” he said. “We’ve had close to ten years of conservative governments, and people felt that they wanted a change. But what they didn’t want to change in Central Okanagan — Similkameen — Nicola was they wanted someone to advocate for their interests, they wanted to keep taxes low, and they also wanted to take good investments in our communities. I will be making those arguments and I will make sure that my constituents receive the level of service that they deserve.”

Spokesperson for Liberal challenger Karley Scott said she would be waiting until all of the ballots are counted before making a statement.

— With files from Chris Tomlinson