The Saskatchewan Party swept back into power Monday in what can only be termed a landslide victory.
The Saskatchewan Party unofficially captured 49 seats, up from 38 in the last term, relegating the New Democrats to only nine seats.
When the dust had settled just more than 64 per cent of voters cast their ballots for the Saskatchewan Party -- a historic high -- compared to just under 32 per cent for the NDP.
Brad Wall returns as Premier after the election, while NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter was defeated in his Regina riding, and announced his resignation as party head Monday evening.
Locally Greg Ottenbreit unofficially polled more than 72 per cent of the vote (5,358), in easily being re-elected over NDP candidate Chad Blenkin with nearly 26 per cent of the votes (1,907), while Green Party candidate Kathryn McDonald received 141 votes, or 1.9 per cent of those cast.
Ottenbreit said while he was expecting a return to the Legislature, he admitted, "I thought it was going to be tighter than that," adding to receive "that strong of a mandate was pretty humbling."
Provincially, Ottenbreit said he isn't overly surprised by the numbers, suggesting party polling had shown they were gaining strength.
"I thought we might pick up five seats," he said.
Ottenbreit said he feels the people who carried the Saskatchewan Party banner had a lot to do with the win.
"There was some really good quality candidates," he said.
The lopsided victory does leave the Legislature with a razor thin opposition, and Ottenbreit said that is not necessarily a good thing.
"I see the need for a good opposition to keep government accountable," he said. He added Lingenfelter "showed good leadership," in stepping down so a new leader can be selected allowing the NDP "to rebuild as quickly as possible."
The positive from Ottenbreit's perspective is that Brad Wall has the leadership to keep the party on course with such a majority.
"He's (Wall) not power hungry, not autocratic," he said, adding Wall seeks consensus before moving forward with policy for the province.
In that regard, Ottenbreit said voters saw that in the party's platform for the election.
"We wouldn't promise anything we wouldn't be able to do," he said, adding voters respected that the party had acted on its 2007 election promises through its first term.
Asked if he wanted a cabinet position this time around, Ottenbreit said he was "really torn" in terms of that.
On one hand a Ministerial position draws the MLA "away from the constituency a lot more" adding he enjoys serving local voters directly.
"But, there's no doubt at the Cabinet table you have a little more influence," he added.
In the end Ottenbreit stated, "if Brad asks me to go to Cabinet I'll jump at it."
Blenkin admitted the loss provincially was "a little bit of a shock," adding even in the local riding he had anticipated a closer vote.
Blenkin said he feels there ended up being "a lot of undecided voters," who when they went to the ballot box got caught up in the momentum of the Saskatchewan Party.
Asked if the NDP platform failed to catch the imagination of voters, Blenkin said he believed the issues they brought up "resonated very well", but they could not overcome a strong economy and a charismatic Premier. That said he did not blame Lingenfelter for the loss.
"It was a tough road for anybody against a strong economy and the most popular Premier in the country," he said.
Locally Blenkin said he believed they ran hard throughout the campaign.
"We didn't leave anything on the table," he said.
Blenkin said he is likely to be back as a candidate, and is prepared to work the next four years to do it.
"I came into this with a five-year plan to get elected," he said, vowing to "do whatever I can to rebuild the party, not just here, but right across the province."
As for running in 2015, Blenkin stated "as of today, it's still on my radar."