Greens claim historic 2nd federal seat with upset byelection win in Nanaimo-Ladysmith
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is about to get some company in Ottawa.
The Green Party’s Paul Manly has won the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection, breaking through to win the party`s second seat in the House of Commons.
Manly becomes the second-ever federal Green Party candidate in Canada`s history to win an election, taking home more than 37 per cent of the vote.
WATCH: One-on-one interview with MP-Elect Paul Manly of the Green Party
Blair Wilson and Bruce Hyer both served as Green MPs but jumped to the party after winning elections for other parties.
Manly told cheering supporters that Monday’s win was the result of a positive campaign based on ideas.
“How we can change the economy that we are working in to protect the environment that we need for our health, for our children, for our grandchildren. How we can do a better job of taking care of people, those that are less fortunate,” he said.
“I’ve been working with people who have suffered, who have been homeless not of their own fault at all because of the way the economy has moved in this community. With the housing boom, stagnant wages. We know we can do better,” he said.
Manly maintained a double digit lead throughout the evening, and was on track to beat the second place finisher by close to 15 per cent.
WATCH: Elizabeth May ‘very happy’ over B.C. byelection results
Manly was the only byelection candidate who ran in the 2015 general election in Nanaimo-Ladysmith.
In the that federal general election, the Greens finished fourth with 19.2 per cent, the strongest finish from a fourth place candidate in Canada.
The result is a serious blow to the NDP, who many pundits had favoured to win the byelection.
With nearly all the votes counted, the party looked likely to finish a disappointing third place, with about 23.5 per cent of the vote.
Under leader Jagmeet Singh the party has now lost two held ridings: Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Outremont, former leader Thomas Mulcair’s seat that fell in February.
WATCH: Paul Manly on what changes he wants to see, now the he is an MP-elect
The loss stalls the third party at 40 seats across the country and loosens the stranglehold the party has on Vancouver Island. The Greens now hold two seats on the Island, compared to the five held by the NDP.
Chamberlin, a well known First Nations leader, is expected to run for the party again in October`s general election.
Conservative candidate John Hirst did well in the north part of the riding, and while he earned more than 24 per cent of the vote — an improvement on the Conservatives’ 23.4 per cent in 2015 — he could not gather enough support in the rest of riding for a win.
Hirst, a father of six-month-old and two-year-old children, was taking his first crack at electoral politics and wants to consult with his family before committing to a run in the fall.
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Liberal candidate Michelle Corfield finished fourth, a significant drop for the party that finished second in the riding four years ago. The Liberals tallied less than 11 per cent of the vote, less than half the 23.5 per cent they managed in 2015.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was required to call the byelection after Sheila Malcolmson resigned the seat in January. Malcolmson stepped down after she won the provincial byelecton in January.
Nanaimo voters will return to the ballot box in just five months, for the Oct. 21 general election.
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