It was pegged to be a close race even before the writ for the 43rd general federal election was dropped.
And now, on election night with the results trickling in, Conservative supporters of Newmarket-Aurora candidate Lois Brown are quietly optimistic they'll be celebrating a victory tonight.
Brown arrived before 10 p.m. at the Newmarket Legion, along with Newmarket-Aurora Conservative MPP Christine Elliott, and began chatting with her supporters as they waited for the results to come in.
"I'm confident that Lois will win," said supporter Dave Doucette, "she deserves to win. She's a hard-working and experienced politician."
With the 338Canada.com opinion poll site listing Newmarket-Aurora as poised to go Conservative blue throughout most of the campaign, today on election day, it's listed as a "toss up" riding that could go either way.
Doucette said he's not surprised by the predictions of a close race, based on the interactions he had throughout the campaign.
"It was a different election, there was a lot of indecision, even among people who traditionally follow their party," he said.
He's concerned the divisive campaign, with its mudslinging, didn't give Canadians the campaign they deserved, with little opportunity to fully explore the important issues at stake.
Standing at the back of the room among the gathering crowd, supporter Mohsen Alavi expressed his optimism that Brown would win the riding, adding that he strongly favours the Conservative platform.
The crowd is subdued as the television anchors call a Liberal government, with Justin Trudeau returning as prime minister, on the large screen at the front of the room. And early glimpses of the local poll shows Tony Van Bynen leading.
Supporter Dianne Wood remains optimistic Brown will take the riding, but is "worried" about what's ahead with a Liberal minority government.
A few enthusiastic shouts erupt among Brown supporters when the news of People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier's defeat in his riding is broadcast.
Meanwhile, over at the election night get-together of Liberal candidate Tony Van Bynen at Cachet Supper Club, cheers erupt as the number of Liberals elected and leading tick upward on the big screen TV.
Van Bynen's family are in attendance, many of whom volunteered on the campaign.
Son-in-law Tim Glenn said he learned plenty from volunteering on a federal election campaign.
"I’ve been involved in helping my father-in-law, Tony, in municipal politics for quite a while, and I learned that in a federal campaign it’s not as much about the candidate that’s running as it is the party."
"And, that it’s a lot more work," Glenn said with a laugh. "It really was educational though, and I enjoyed it. My kids also helped and volunteered and overall it was a really good experience."Van Bynen has a narrow lead of 294 votes at 11 p.m. with 52 of 126 polls reporting.
More to come when the finals polls report.
— With files from Kim Champion