Doug Routley will serve a third term as MLA in Nanaimo-North Cowichan.
The NDP incumbent, who had served as this area’s MLA for eight years, was declared the winner in Tuesday night’s provincial election shortly before 10 p.m.
“This is our province,” he told cheering supporters, many clad in orange. “That hasn’t changed. That’s the same as it was this morning, and it’s the same as it will be tomorrow. These are our communities, and we will be there for people, and I can’t wait to get down to that work.”
Routley held the lead throughout the night. As of 11 p.m. Tuesday night, with all 136 ballot boxes reported, preliminary results from Elections BC showed Routley winning with 10,188 votes, followed by Liberal candidate Amanda Jacobson with 6,891. Trailing in third place was Green Party candidate Mayo McDonough with 2,945 votes, followed by BC Conservative candidate John Sherry (1,442 votes) and independent candidates Murray McNab (584 votes) and P. Anna Paddon (62 votes).
Routley was clearly happy to win in this riding, but he expressed disappointment that, provincially, the Liberals were on track to win a majority.
“For me, it’s mostly disappointing because this was an experiment in running a campaign differently and being positive, and apparently that hasn’t worked,” he said. “I feel people have been scared away from a future that could have been very different. In any case, what we need to remember right now are the people who need us, who need us to be strong in the roles we play in the Legislature, who need us to be strong in the roles we play in the community, as we continue to defend people from an agenda that we don’t agree with.”
Routley spoke about needing to remember seniors in care and forestry workers who are seeing their jobs shift away in the form of raw logs leaving this province, and about needing to defend our coast.
“We’re going to have to stand with First Nations, we’re going to have to stand with communities along the threatened route of that pipeline, we’re going to have to stand with people on the coast to protect this province,” he said. “We’ve been doing that, and we’ll have to continue to do that, and we will continue to do that.”
Jacobson was both incredibly happy with tonight’s local results and proud of her fellow Liberal candidates who ran “amazing campaigns.”
This was Jacobson’s first campaign experience and one she chose to describe as “amazing.”
“It was a learning experience for sure,” she added, “and I don’t think there’s any losing in any way, shape or form for me in this. It’s been amazing — just unreal.”
Jacobson wasn’t surprised by tonight’s Liberal victory.
“I wouldn’t say ‘unexpected,’” Jacobson said. “We’ve been hearing this on the ground for a while. There’s a lot of support for the Liberals out there. I think that this result shows where people were lying all the way around.”