UPDATED: This story has been updated from its original version at 0700 CST October 27, 2020
The Saskatchewan Party won a fourth consecutive majority mandate Oct. 26, elected or leading in 50 of the province’s 61 seats, as of 7 a.m. October 27.
The party, lead by Premier Scott Moe, held on to all 29 rural seats it had going into the vote.
Related story: Mail-in ballots delay some Sask. election results
Moe handily won his own seat in Rosthern-Shellbrook, while NDP leader Ryan Meili’s status in Saskatoon Meewasin will have to wait for a bit longer. He now trails the Saskatchewan Party candidate by 83 votes with about 1,600 mail-in ballots yet to be counted.
Mail-in ballots totaling 61,255 have yet to be counted and several constituencies, including his, are affected.
Eight seats are too tight to call and within the range of the requested mail-in ballots which will settle those once counted.
Both men were in their first elections as the leaders of their respective parties.
At dissolution, the Sask. Party held 46 seats. Despite losing two of them, its popular support grew to 63 percent.
The NDP had 13 seats and and is now leading or elected in 11 and its popular support fell overall.
Two seats were vacant before the election was called. Both had been held by Sask. Party MLAs who ran federally last year.
The second vote count will be done Oct. 28 and the final count will be done Nov. 7.
During his victory speech Moe thanked the people of Saskatchewan.
“For a fourth time you have placed your trust with the Saskatchewan Party. You have given us a great responsibility and we take that responsibility very seriously,” he said.
But he also noted that many rural voters expressed their frustration with the federal government by voting for the Buffalo Party.
“I hear you,” he said. “And this government hears you.”
Meili offered his congratulations to Moe and thanked Saskatchewanians for their engagement during the campaign.
“I’ve heard from you, your frustrations, your fears, your hopes for what we can build in Saskatchewan,” he said.