Nanaimo voters returned two NDP candidates and one Liberal newcomer to Victoria in the 40th B.C. general election.
NDP incumbent Leonard Krog won the Nanaimo riding, NDP incumbent Doug Routley won the Nanaimo-North Cowichan seat and Liberal candidate Michelle Stilwell won Parksville-Qualicum in a decisive victory.
This is Krog’s third provincial election victory in a row, but he called the victory “bittersweet” as he watched the Liberals form a majority government.
“To see the way the numbers have rolled in tonight, it’s very disappointing is the kindest thing I can say,” he said.
At the latest count, Krog had received 9,548 votes compared to 7,812 for Liberal candidate Walter Anderson. Green Party candidate Ian Gartshore received 2,198, Bryce Crigger of the B.C. Conservatives got 1,087 and independent Brunie Brunie had 225.
Anderson said he’s excited that the Liberals will be forming another majority.
“I think people wanted a stable government,” he said. “They wanted a strong economy and they wanted to make sure that we continued moving forward toward economic recovery.”
He was pleased with his party’s showing in the riding.
“We put up a very good fight; we came very, very close,” he said.
Gartshore said he was “blown away” by the support the Green Party received in Nanaimo, but wasn’t thrilled with the province-wide results of the election.
“It’s more of the same,” Gartshore said. “We don’t really have the change that people are yearning for and I wonder, are people scared of change?”
Crigger ended election night somewhat disillusioned by the process, as he didn’t feel that the voting results matched with the performance of the candidates in the race.
“I can see that people don’t vote for the individual running in the constituency; it’s all about the party vote,” he said.
Still, he felt his party was successful in appealing to new voters to become engaged in the process.
“If more people decided to get involved in this election, then I’m happy with that,” he said.
Stilwell was elected in Parksville-Qualicum with 13,531 votes at last count compared to 10,016 for NDP candidate Barry Avis and 3,476 for David Coupland of the B.C. Conservatives.
In Nanaimo-North Cowichan, Routley was re-elected with 10,538 votes. The Liberals’ Amanda Jacobson received 6,984, Green Party candidate Mayo McDonough got 3,043 and the Conservatives’ John Sherry had 1,465. There were two independents in that riding; Murray McNab garnered 592 votes and Anna Paddon got 65.