Paul Manly of the Green Party addresses supporters Monday at Cavallotti Lodge after being re-elected as Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Green Party’s Paul Manly re-elected in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

John Hirst of the Conservatives runner-up, Bob Chamberlin of the NDP third

Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters have decided to send their incumbent MP back to Parliament.

Paul Manly was re-elected in the riding with more than one-third of the vote in Monday’s general election. John Hirst of the Conservatives was runner up and Bob Chamberlin of the NDP finished third, each with about one-quarter of the votes cast.

The Liberals will form government, but were reduced to a minority.

Manly will join a slightly larger Green caucus as the party went from two to three seats, winning in Fredericton, N.B.

In his victory speech, Manly said he would continue to work hard for Nanaimo-Ladysmith and be accessible, accountable and responsive.

“We ran a really positive campaign. We talked about the things that we wanted. Our vision for the future, our vision for our community, our vision for our country,” he said. “We talked about making our social programs better. We talked about making sure nobody was left behind. No worker was left behind. We talked about making sure that life was affordable for seniors, for families and for students. We talked about improving health care. We talked about our environment.”

Ilan Goldenblatt, Manly’s campaign manager, said the Greens “ran an amazing campaign, super positive and engaging.”

Hirst said his team worked hard, no matter the outcome.

“We’re happy with it. We worked hard all year ‘round,” Hirst said. “We were, essentially I think, written off earlier this year and we put up a really strong showing both times and I think that’s something to be proud of and we did it in such a way that we can hold our heads high. The number one feedback I got from most non-supporters were, ‘Hey, we really like you, John, our loyalties just lie elsewhere.’ If that’s the impression I left with people, I’m proud of that.”

Hirst sees the second-place finish as a signal the Conservative party could be gaining traction in the region and that the result from this election could “be a really big springboard for us to build from in the future.”

Hirst won’t say if he’ll run next time around.

“I’m not going to say anything one way or another…” he said. “For my spouse to allow me to run twice in one year, I’m going to have to do some making up for that.”

Hirst complimented the other candidates and Paul Manly.

“I think we had a really good slate of candidates between Paul, myself, Michelle and Bob. We all got to know each other quite well and I’m quite honoured to call them friends, really, in a way. I feel all of us had our hearts in the right place, which is to make our community and our country a better place to live and I hope for Paul all the success and I hope he can make a difference for some of the issues our community faces.”

Chamberlin thanked all the NDP supporters and said it was a “wonderful journey” with all of them.

“It’s not the result we want,” he said. “It’s really not. But you know, I count myself as one of the most fortunate people on the planet. I’ve gotten to know all of you so very well.”

Chamberlin said his party had a very good platform and told the News Bulletin he was disappointed by the result.

“I was really looking forward to getting to Ottawa,” he said. “The numbers weren’t there. The voters of this riding have spoken and that is where the utmost respect has to be shown.”

Asked why he felt the result went the way it did Chamberlin said “that is a really hard” question.

“That’s for pundits to figure out,” he said. “There is going to be a lot of picking at the bone with this, but I’m really proud of our team and they are amazing group of people that came together and we gave it all that we had.”

Chamberlin also said he doesn’t know what the future holds for him or whether he’ll be around for the next federal election.

“That’s four years away,” he said. “A lot can happen.”

Results so far with 256/256 polls reporting:

  1. Paul Manly, Green Party, 24537, 34.5%
  2. John Hirst, Conservatives, 18447, 25.9%
  3. Bob Chamberlin, NDP, 16857, 23.7%
  4. Michelle Corfield, Liberals, 9649, 13.6%
  5. Jennifer Clarke, People’s Party of Canada, 1036, 1.5%
  6. Geoff Stoneman, independent, 235, 0.3%
  7. Brian Marlatt, Progressive Canadian, 201 0.3%
  8. James Chumsa, Communist Party, 104, 0.1%
  9. Echo White, independent, 68, 0.1%

Preliminary voter turnout was 68.6 per cent, though that does not include voters who registered on election day, notes Elections Canada.

RELATED: Liberals return with minority government in 2019 election

In Nanaimo-Ladysmith, 24,953 voters cast ballots in the advance polls, up from 15,956 in 2015.

In this past spring’s byelection, 41,195 out of 99,413 eligible voters cast a ballot for a 41.4 per cent voter turnout. In the 2015 general election, 71,399 votes were cast out of 95,200 voters for a 75.0 per cent turnout.

RELATED: Spotlight on B.C.: 12 races to watch on Election Day



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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