It was a night of mixed feelings for the Green Party in the newly formed Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding.
After going into the election campaign with aspirations of winning, Green Party candidate Paul Manly came in fourth place earning roughly 19 per cent of the votes in the riding.
Manly lost out to Conservative candidate Mark MacDonald, Liberal candidate Tim Tessier and New Democratic Party candidate Sheila Malcolmson, who won the riding and will be heading to Ottawa as Member of Parliament.
For Manly the fourth place result comes a big disappointment.
“Locally, it is not the result that I was hoping for,” Manly said. “I was hoping that I could win this riding and we had a really good chance. We put up a good run.”
Despite the result, Manly was pleased to see the Harper government fall.
“I am glad that Stephen Harper is not our Prime Minister anymore,” Manly said. “I am happy about that. There was a lot of fear built around that in the campaign. There was a lot of divisiveness in the campaign and I am glad that we have got a change.”
Manly said he was extremely proud of all the volunteers and was thankful for the support of his family.
“I’ve got an awesome team working with me, awesome volunteers who have put so much heart and energy into this campaign,” he said. “I am proud of my team. I am proud of my volunteers and the effort that they put in and the community spirit that they put in and also the fact that we ran a really good, clean campaign.”
Manly said he wouldn’t comment on his future with the Green Party.
Illan Goldenblatt, campaign manager for Manly, said that he was proud of what they had accomplished in the riding.
Despite the Greens disappointment they did manage to improve their numbers from the previous election, where they gained seven per cent of the vote in what was then the Nanaimo-Alberni riding.
“I feel proud of what we have done,” Goldenblatt said. “We have come from seven per cent in the last election and from a place where people totally ridiculed us and thought that we could do nothing … we have pretty much tripled the support that we had last time and I think we have a lot to be proud of.”
While Manly hasn’t made a decision on his future with the Green Party, Goldenblatt said the party will continue to be out engaging the community.
“No one is packing their bags and going home,” he said. “We came from nothing to being contenders and we are going to stay active. We built a base here and that base needs to be acknowledged.”