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Election night doesn’t yield a winner in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

NDP’s Barron ahead, but Conservatives’ Kronis close and Greens’ Manly within striking distance
Lisa Marie Barron of the NDP, left, watches election results at home; Tamara Kronis of the Conservatives talks to supporters at the Nanaimo Hornets RFC clubhouse and Paul Manly of the Green Party addresses the crowd at his election night gathering in south Nanaimo. (Photo submitted, Karl Yu/News Bulletin, Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

The vote was so close in Nanaimo-Ladysmith that the riding’s next MP wasn’t known by the end of election night.

With more than 99 per cent of voting stations reporting results, the NDP’s Lisa Marie Barron tallied the most votes and was about 1,000 votes – one and a half percentage points – ahead of the Conservatives’ Tamara Kronis. Green Party incumbent Paul Manly was also close enough that he didn’t concede defeat until midnight.

Barron and Kronis traded the lead in vote count in the riding for most of the night.

With 263 out of 265 polls in Nanaimo-Ladysmith reporting by press time, Barron had 17,975 votes while Kronis had 16,992 and Manly, 15,256. Michelle Corfield of the Liberals had earned 8, 294 votes and Stephen Welton of the People’s Party of Canada, 3,196 votes.

With 263 out of 265 polls in Nanaimo-Ladysmith reporting:

  • Lisa Marie Barron, NDP, 17975 votes, 29.1%
  • Tamara Kronis, Conservatives, 16992 votes, 27.5%
  • Paul Manly, Green Party, 15256 votes, 24.7%
  • Michelle Corfield, Liberals, 8294 votes, 13.4%
  • Stephen Welton, People’s Party of Canada, 3196 votes, 5.2%

Barron didn’t hold an election night gathering with supporters and her campaign team, instead watching results come in at home with family, and wasn’t available for comment by press time.

She posted on social media Tuesday morning that the election campaign was like no other.

“While we will not know the results for a few days, I wanted to thank each one of you for your support, donations, vote and time through these past five weeks and beyond,” she said in the post. “I couldn’t have gotten here without you.”

Kronis wasn’t celebrating or conceding and said she remained hopeful about the results still to come.

”I’m always hopeful. We’ve got a lot of support in the riding. We’ve grown our support tremendously. This has been a great experience and I am excited for it to lead to the experience of representing this riding in Ottawa,” she said.

Kronis said whatever happens, it was a privilege to run in the riding and listen to people.

”I’ve heard so many stories on the doorsteps,” she said. “I’ve heard about people’s personal experiences and the struggles that they’ve had during the pandemic and I think that that’s something I’ll always take with me wherever I go.”

Manly said earlier in the night that he was counting on strong results from the thousands of mail-in and special ballots outstanding, but acknowledged in a social media post at midnight that “the current margin will be hard to overcome.”

He said the Green Party’s national campaign wasn’t well-organized enough, and he felt like his party “should have been farther out ahead” because of its strength on climate and other issues.

“National campaigns matter and we didn’t have a really strong national campaign this time, so that makes a difference,” Manly said. “There’s a lot of people that focus on the local and then there’s people who don’t pay attention at all to the local and they’re just looking at the national campaign.”

He said if he’s not fighting for Nanaimo-Ladysmith in the House of Commons, he’ll find ways to keep working for the community.

”I’ve had a focus on social and environmental issues in this community for decades now and I’ll continue to work at them,” he said.

In the most recent federal election in 2019, Manly earned 34.6% of the vote in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, with the Conservative and NDP candidates at the time following with 25.9% and 23.6%, respectively. The Liberals had 13.6% of the vote in that election and the PPC had 1.5%.

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