Sheila Malcolmson of the B.C. NDP celebrates with Premier John Horgan on Wednesday at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. NEWS BULLETIN photo

Malcolmson voted in as Nanaimo’s next MLA in byelection

NDP candidate Malcolmson earned 49 per cent of the vote as all ballot boxes now counted

Nanaimo voters have chosen their former MP to be their next MLA.

B.C. NDP candidate Sheila Malcolmson earned 49 per cent of the vote with all ballot boxes now counted.

“We are going to generate positive results for people right here at home,” she said in her acceptance speech Wednesday at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. “So there is work to do and most especially, as New Democrats do like nobody else does, we are going to make sure that prosperity is shared. We have the strongest jobs record, we have the strongest economy in the country right now, but we need to make sure that is shared by everyone. That’s our prime directive.”

Malcolmson said her camp had a really strong platform to campaign on after the NDP has “generated a lot of results for Nanaimo in a year and a half.”

She said she felt fantastic and is extremely honoured to be elected as Nanaimo’s next MLA.

Malcolmson said she didn’t believe there was any voter fatigue given the provincial and municipal elections over the last year and a half. She said people were energetic and knew the importance of the byelection.

“I was really encouraged acutely how people right from day one, knew why we needed to have an election,” she said.

With 111 of 111 ballot boxes counted, Malcolmson received 10,538 votes (49.2 per cent) and Tony Harris of the B.C. Liberals had 8,665 votes (40.5 per cent). Michele Ney of the B.C. Green Party got 1,579 votes (7.4), Justin Greenwood of the B.C. Conservatives got 442 (2.1), Robin Richardson of the Vancouver Island Party got 100 (0.5) and Bill Walker of the B.C. Libertarians garnered 86 (0.4).

Harris said he thought everything about his campaign went right.

“We did exactly what we set out to do,” Harris said. “We made this about Nanaimo. We didn’t lose focus of that. We didn’t go into the trenches. We remained positive. We ran a forward-looking, uplifting campaign and I’m so proud of that, so I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Harris said he wanted to run a campaign that was a reflection of who he is and felt he was able to do that, so he’s proud of the work that was done.

Andrew Wilkinson, Liberal leader, said his party ran a very successful campaign in a longtime NDP riding.

“We ran on the best kind of positive agenda that we could put together, with Tony at the helm. Unfortunately, it didn’t work at the end of the day, but we dramatically increased our vote percentage and that shows that there’s an appetite for a different way of governing Nanaimo and we thank the voters of Nanaimo for turning out,” he said.

Ney said she’s obviously disappointed by the results and said she was “a bit angry” about the “fear that was embedded into the grassroots” that she experienced when door-knocking.

“I believe that the Greens put on an incredible effort campaigning … the numbers do not reflect the hard work, the commitment, the inspiration that myself and my team shared with the constituents in our community, however the results that we are seeing here tonight clearly reflect that our constituents did not want the government to tumble, that they truly wanted stability,” she said.

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver said he could not find fault with his candidate’s campaign.

“I can say that one of things that I will be doing is bringing in a private member’s bill with respect to polls being published during the writ period,” Weaver said, referencing a Mainstreet Research poll released Sunday that showed the B.C. Liberals with a 12.5-point lead.

“That poll was so out of whack, I mean so outrageous that the fact that it was published, we know that that affected some of our vote, which had a cost implication for us because you get 50 per cent of your funds back if you get 10 per cent. We lost people who were scared.”

At stake in the Nanaimo byelection was the balance in the legislature – the governing NDP maintains a slim minority with the confidence of the B.C. Green Party, whereas one more Liberal seat would have drawn that party even.

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Malcolmson was at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre; Harris was at the Nanaimo Golf Club and B.C. Green Party candidate Michele Ney was at her campaign office on Bowen Road.

FURTHER READING:

All voting stations now open in Nanaimo byelection

Nanaimo goes to polls today in B.C. byelection

Nanaimo byelection candidates address supportive housing concerns

More than 9,000 people have already voted in the Nanaimo byelection

Nanaimo byelection candidates condemn legislature staff expenses at debate

Nanaimo byelection candidates get their first chance to debate

Nanaimo byelection to be held Jan. 30

Candidates confirmed for Nanaimo byelection

Opinion: Traditional byelection wisdom may not apply in Nanaimo

B.C. Green Party leader says Nanaimo candidate would bring stability and accountability

Michele Ney says her father ‘would be a Green’ today

Nanaimo candidate called out for once wearing a Trump hat

‘Nanaimo is next’ for urgent primary care centre

B.C. Liberal leader in Nanaimo to support byelection candidate

Nanaimo candidate, premier address spec tax at B.C. NDP event

B.C. Green Party members in Nanaimo vote yea for Ney

Malcolmson confirmed as NDP’s candidate for coming byelection

No NDP challengers for Malcolmson in Nanaimo

Tony Harris tabbed to represent B.C. Liberal Party in Nanaimo byelection

B.C. Conservatives to run candidate in Nanaimo byelection

British Columbians need more freedom, says Nanaimo byelection candidate

Nanaimo byelection candidate wants to see Vancouver Island separate from B.C.

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