The Saanich-Gulf Islands riding in B.C. has remained in Elizabeth May’s Green Party grasp. She edged out Conservative Robert Boyd with 53.9 per cent of the vote, with 5.4 per cent of the polls reporting.
May, who has led the party since 2006, became its first candidate to be elected to the House of Commons in the last general election. She earned the victory by defeating longtime Conservative MP Gary Lunn by 8.7 per cent.
Provincially, the area has generally—though not exclusively—voted for right-wing parties, with Conservative voters in Central and North Saanich outnumbering the predominately left-wing voters living on the Gulf Islands.
The riding median age of 50.6 is second highest in both British Columbia and Canada.
In this election, May faced off with:
- Robert Boyd, a mortgage broker, running or the Conservatives
- Alicia Cormier, a Central Saanich councillor, representing the NDP
- Tim Kane, a businessman, running for the Liberals
Her biggest challenge in this race came from frustrated voters strategically turning to Liberal or New Democrat candidates to oust the Conservatives.
May, 61, was born in the United States. She came to Canada as a teenager in 1972 and later earned a law degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
In 1986 she became a senior policy adviser to Tom McMillan, environment minister at the time in the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney. While there, she helped create several national parks and was involved in negotiating the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer.
Work on many environmental, consumer and aboriginal causes followed. May left her job as executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada in 2006 to successfully run for the Green party leadership.
With files from The Canadian Press