Nanaimo-Ladysmith federal election candidates Bob Chamberlin, NDP, top left; Jennifer Clarke, People’s Party of Canada; Michelle Corfield, Liberals; John Hirst, Conservatives, bottom left; Paul Manly, Green Party; Brian Marlatt, Progressive Canadian Party. (Submitted and News Bulletin photos)

Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates try to chart a path to victory

Conservatives, NDP, Liberals set sights on votes needed to unseat Green incumbent

The Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding has a bit of a different dynamic than the other 337 ridings across the country – nowhere else has there been such a recent federal vote.

Because a byelection was held just this past May, candidates in the riding are tasked with trying to maintain or shake up ballot box results from only a few months ago in time for the federal election Oct. 21. Candidates were asked last week about a path to victory in Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

Paul Manly, the Green Party incumbent, noted that even though voter turnout was lower in the byelection – 41 per cent compared to 75 per cent in the 2015 general election – 41 per cent was still third-highest voter turnout among the 18 federal byelections during the recently concluded Parliament.

“The main thing I’ve been trying to do is to show people that I’m up for the work, that I’m able to do the work,” he said.

Manly said he’s been accountable and responsive in the community, pointing to a series of town halls, and said he was active in the House of Commons in the four weeks he was there.

“I made sure that every opportunity that I had to speak about the issues here in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, that I took those opportunities and worked really hard,” he said.

RELATED: Federal election campaign underway in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Manly and the Greens won the byelection with 37.3 per cent of the vote, so other candidates will be trying to find a way to flip the results.

John Hirst of the Conservatives placed second in the byelection with 24.9 per cent of the vote. He said the Greens did an “extremely good job” of identifying and mobilizing their base.

“We’re going to beat them at that this time,” he said.

Hirst said although a runner-up result felt like “a bit of a curse” on bylection night, he now recognizes that it’s reason to be excited going into a general election.

“Coming in second place in the byelection was such a shot in the arm to Conservative supporters in the riding,” he said. “It was such a boost to the morale of our base that I don’t think I was the only one that felt like we were close enough to victory to taste it.”

Bob Chamberlin wasn’t able to hold the seat for the NDP in the byelection as the New Democrats were third with 23.0 per cent. Chamberlin said he thinks the Green Party got across a message around giving Manly a chance until October, and Chamberlin said “many people” have assured him that they’ll now go back to voting NDP.

“The goal will be of course to re-establish or confirm the initial support that we identified during the byelection, but also make sure that we give the voters a reason to get out and vote,” Chamberlin said. “I think that articulating clearly to the needs that have been expressed in the riding, with the commitments that we have, we’re going to be able to inform voters more so than we did in the byelection … We’re just going to keep doing the work, showing up and talking about the commitments we have, the vision we have for Canadians.”

Michelle Corfield, Liberal candidate, has more ground to make up at the ballot box as she earned 11.0 per cent of the vote in the byelection. She thinks the Liberals’ national campaign will boost all the party’s candidates, and said the level of engagement and support that she has locally has grown since the spring.

“The byelection, that was a moment in time and nothing was going to change, it wasn’t going to change government,” she said. “So I didn’t see the voters that I expected to show up and I think Nanaimo didn’t see the voters it expected to show up.”

Jennifer Clarke of the People’s Party of Canada received 3.1 per cent of the vote in the byelection, while Brian Marlatt of the Progressive Canadian Party will try to build on 0.6 per cent support.

RELATED: Andrew Scheer makes campaign stop in Parksville



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City council wants Nanaimo to be considered as a potential pilot site for safely supplied drugs

Council votes 6-3 to write to B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

Truck loses a wheel in crash, keeps going, crashes again on Nanaimo’s Townsite Road

One person taken to hospital following accident Tuesday afternoon

Nanaimo company offering free soil for self-isolators to get into gardening

Milner Group inviting the public to pick up soil at its Biggs Road recycling facility on Saturday

Nanaimo man, allegedly drunk and high, arrested after climbing 100-foot tree

Man in sandals climbs fir tree, hurls obscenities at police below

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: RDN’s essential services maintained during pandemic

Regional District of Nanaimo chairman thanks residents for co-operation and understanding

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Nanaimo bylaw officers on the lookout for COVID-19 control infractions

Bylaw and health officers watch for health order infractions, citizens can call in complaints

Nanaimo barbershop quartet records musical tribute to Dr. Bonnie Henry

Ode to provincial health officer is to the tune of a singing valentine

Nanaimo’s Lauren Spencer-Smith advances to American Idol top 20

Teen performs Respect at outdoor concert in Hawaii

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

Nanaimo will be the community hardest-hit by ferry layoffs, union says

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union looking at its legal options

Comox spring training cancelled for Snowbirds next month

The team announced that due to ongoing travel restrictions they will not be training in the Valley

Most Read