Newly elected Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith may be inexperienced on the political scene, but he isn’t without his share of influential supporters as he begins his career in public office.
Erskine-Smith celebrated his victory in Beaches-East York before a crowd of 250 at the Ted Reeve Community Arena. “Vote Nate” buttons adorned the chests of many of the supporters, who broke into raucous chants as they watched televised election coverage reflecting the dominant Liberal performance.
Among those cheering were Ward 32 Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon and MPP Arthur Potts.
“People want change. They want fresh energy and ideas,” McMahon said.
Just as Erskine-Smith was about to make his victory speech, Potts initiated another loud chant from the crowd, this time repeating the newly elected MP’s name as he stepped to the stage.
“He reflects our values. This is our community and we’ve been working hard to take it back,” Potts said earlier in the evening.
Erskine-Smith defeated NDP incumbent Matthew Kellway by 6,059 votes, earning 49.2 per cent of the total, according to CBC’s Canada Votes 2015. Kellway was elected in 2011 as a replacement for Maria Minna, who had held the seat for the Liberals for six terms leading up to her defeat.
Erskine-Smith was born and raised in the riding he now represents. He attended Bowmore Road Public School and Malvern Collegiate Institute before studying politics, philosophy and constitutional law at Queen’s University and Oxford.
He practises commercial litigation at the downtown law firm Kramer Simaan Dhillon, though he has been on a leave of absence since the outset of his run for office.
He campaigned on a number of issues that feature prominently in the Liberal Party platform, including government transparency, environmental protection and increased infrastructure spending.
Though undeniably happy to have won the seat, Erskine-Smith wants it to be clear that he isn’t finished working with his residents.
“This was not about one person,” he said to supporters in his victory speech, “…so let’s, over the next four years, make our voices heard.”