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Voters in Saskatoon Meewasin appeared to have stuck with the NDP as preliminary results were released in Monday’s by-election to fill the seat vacated by the party’s former leader.

Nathaniel Teed held a comfortable lead over Kim Groff, the candidate of the governing Saskatchewan Party, with nearly 100 per cent of Monday’s ballots counted.

Teed, a co-owner of a furniture and design store in Saskatoon, had around 56 per cent of the votes compared with Groff’s 37 per cent.

The seat in Saskatoon Meewasin has been vacant since former NDP leader Ryan Meili vacated it at the end of June.

Meili had held the seat since 2017 when he took it from the SaskParty in a by-election, and won it again by only a few hundred votes in the 2020 general election.

Jeff Walters of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party, Mark Friesen of the Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan and Jacklin Andrews of the Saskatchewan Green Party finished well back, all with less than three per cent of the vote.

The final count is expected Oct. 8, when Elections Saskatchewan finishes tallying hospital ballots and mail-in ballots.

Elections Saskatchewan says in a news release that 2,575 ballots were cast during five days of advance voting, which finished Saturday.

Meili announced his resignation as leader in February to allow the party to rebrand as it works to shift away from critiquing the government on its COVID-19 response.

He was replaced as leader of the New Democrats by Carla Beck, the MLA for Regina Lakeview.

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