Island MPs withstand Liberal wave

Liberals see their vote totals soar on Vancouver Island but not enough to get past NDP

  • Oct. 22, 2015 10:00 a.m.

Victoria MP Murray Rankin and wife Linda Hannah get a hero’s welcome from NDP supporters following his victory in Monday night’s federal election.

Despite a Liberal wave that washed across the country Monday night, the party didn’t take any seats on Vancouver Island but did make gains.

Nothing, it seemed, (other than Elizabeth May) was going to burst the orange bubble that is Vancouver Island.

“We worked really hard and it made a difference in the campaign [though] we didn’t quite get there,” said David Merner, the Liberal Party candidate who came close to upsetting NDP Randall Garrison in the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding.

“The fact that we didn’t win in this riding is just a small part of a much bigger picture, and the bigger picture is fantastic,” Merner said.

Merner actually led early in the evening but finished with 18,573 votes to Garrison’s 23,816. Green Party Frances Litman had 13,578 votes and Conservative Shari Lukens 11,885.

“We had expected more,” said Liberal Tim Kane, who was third in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding. “But we are very happy with [close to] 17 per cent of the vote. We were at six per cent in 2011.”

Incumbents won all three of the Saanich area ridings.  May took an overwhelming 37,076 votes in Saanich-Gulf Islands, ahead of Conservative Robert Boyd (13,263), Kane (11,430) and NDP candidate Alicia Cormier (6,181).

The question is whether it’s a major sign of growth for the Liberals, which jumped up from 4,208 in the 2011 election, or as May suggested, a strategic voting anomaly due to a significant anti-Harper sentiment on the West Coast.

In the Victoria riding, several eyebrows were raised when Liberal Cheryl Thomas garnered 8,482 votes despite withdrawing from the race (too late to have her name omitted from the ballot).

NDP MP Murray Rankin handily won the Victoria riding with 30,147 votes to journalist turned Green Party candidate Jo-Ann Roberts’s 23,577.

“People voted massively for change. I guess in Victoria I’m proud that I was the vehicle for that change,” said Rankin, who was disappointed with the NDP’s overall results.

“Obviously I was hoping for a different result for the NDP, but I am delighted that people have decided that it’s time for getting rid of Stephen Harper’s vision of Canada.”

Garrison echoed that it was a bittersweet moment for the NDP on the Island.

He pledged to continue his work to bring the shipbuilding jobs to Esquimalt that the Conservatives had promised, and to put pressure on the Liberals to repeal Bill C51.

A fourth-place finish in Saanich-Gulf Islands was not the result the NDP’s Cormier had expected, yet her campaign office in Sidney was still buoyed from the sight of a wholesale change of government in Canada.

“This was a general desire to change the government,” said Cormier. “That was the main issue. It was not the result we had hoped for, but obviously the Liberal campaign worked.”

Outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s resignation as party leader comes as a disappointment for Saanich-Gulf Islands Conservative candidate Boyd. The 28-year-old had asked Harper to remain on.

“I am a little surprised at the result  across the country, but we have been in power 9.5 years,” said Boyd, who still believes the riding can return to its historically Conservative past.

 

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Resident pushes for electric in Saanich’s leaf blower replacement plan

Saanich owns more than 80 leaf blowers, 51 of which will expire by 2025

British Columbians pay more for goods and services than most other Canadians

Year-to-year inflation rate up 2.2 per cent in October second-highest rate in Canada

UVic students return from Hong Kong amidst growing tension

All eight University of Victoria exchange students have returned to Canada

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

Vancouver Island hunters may have harvested deer in area known for chronic wasting disease

Conservation officers make urgent request to public for any information

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Most Read