Rural ridings with long histories of sending Progressive Conservative politicians to Queen’s Park did just that Thursday, re-electing three veteran MPPs.

Ernie Hardeman was quickly declared the winner in Oxford, a riding he has held since 1995.

Hardeman ended the night with 29,152 votes, good for 55.7 per cent of all votes made in the riding.

He was followed by NDP challenger Tara King with 15,917 votes, Liberal candidate James Howard with 3,619, and Green candidate Albert de Jong with 2,247.

In Perth-Wellington, where PC incumbent Randy Pettapiece picked up narrow victories in 2011 and 2014, his winning margin increased significantly.

Pettapiece garnered more than half of all votes cast in the riding. His 23,736 votes represented 50.7 per cent of the total. Second place went to Michael O’Brien of the NDP (14,385 votes) followed by Brendan Knight of the Libreals (5,062) and Lisa Olsen of the Greens (2,746).

Pettapiece has been an advocate for a number of significant local issues, including the proposed closure of the Hillside Manor long-term care home, which was rejected late last year.

The electors of Wellington-Halton Hills voted to return one of the longest-serving MPPs in the province to Queen’s Park, electing Ted Arnott for an eighth term.

Arnott has represented a variety of ridings incorporating parts of Wellington County since 1990, and has been an advocate for the community on issues including the now-on-the-books bypass of Highway 6 in Morriston.

Although riding boundaries have shifted, it is possible to trace a rough history of Wellington-Halton Hills that shows it voting PC in every election dating back to 1951.

Arnott finished the night with 29,641 votes, good for 54 per cent of the total share. Diane Ballantyne of the NDP was in second with 14,087 votes, followed by Jon Hurst of the Liberals with 7,492 and Dave Rodgers of the Greens with 5,066.