B.C. remains home to four major political parties after the 2019 federal election — but only one of them was able to celebrate their results in the province.
The Liberals were able to hold on to a majority of the Metro Vancouver seats they stole from the Conservatives in 2015, but the Tories were able to chip away at the “red wave” in the Interior as well.
The NDP gave up three of its B.C. seats, but were still able to count on their support in the province to shore up their disappointing losses elsewhere in the country.
And despite earning their first seat in the Maritimes, the Greens didn’t win an expected third riding on Vancouver Island.
In the end, despite experts predicting B.C. would decide who would form government for the first time in recent memory, the election was largely called before votes were fully counted in the west — but that doesn’t mean the results didn’t matter.
Here are some of the highlights from a long and dramatic election night.
Wilson-Raybould wins Independent re-election bid
The biggest story coming out of B.C., of course, was Jody Wilson-Raybould’s re-election win as an Independent MP.
The one-time Liberal MP, who served as Justin Trudeau’s attorney general and justice minister before the SNC-Lavalin affair led to her dismissal from the Liberal caucus, was able to keep her former party at bay despite an aggressive Liberal push.
The final count had Wilson-Raybould earning more ballots than her closest competitor, Liberal nominee Taleeb Noormohamed.
“Tonight … we accomplished something different,” she told a cheering crowd at her campaign headquarters. “We accomplished showing Ottawa that Independent strong voices matter.”
Wilson-Raybould’s Independent run turned Vancouver Granville into one of the key ridings to watch in the election — but despite her notoriety, she still faced an uphill battle.
The last time a candidate won a Canadian election without backing from a party was in 2008. In B.C., Independents are even more rare, last seeing Chuck Cadman claim victory in 2004 after losing the Conservative nomination. Before him, John Gibson was elected as an Independent all the way back in 1949.
Liberal wave weakens in Metro Vancouver, Interior
The challenge for the Liberals was to lock down 2015’s gains in traditionally Tory ridings such as Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam; Cloverdale—Langley City; Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge; and Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon.
That didn’t happen — at least not completely.
The Conservatives held on to the few seats they managed to win in 2015, such as Richmond Centre and Langley—Aldergrove.
They also managed to chip away at the Liberals’ supremacy in Metro Vancouver, winning back key seats like South Surrey—White Rock, Cloverdale—Langley City, and Steveston—Richmond East.
In the Interior, the Conservatives held back one of the Liberals’ most notable candidates, former BC Liberal MLA and health minister Terry Lake in Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.
They also managed to steal a major Liberal stronghold in the region after winning in Kelowna—Lake Country.
It wasn’t all bad news for the Liberals. All four cabinet ministers won re-election in their Metro Vancouver ridings, even in heavily contested ridings like Delta and Vancouver Quadra.
NDP see dip in support
The Conservatives were also able to steal away some important NDP seats, taking Port Moody—Coquitlam and Kootenay—Columbia.
Yet the New Democrats were still able to retain their support elsewhere, batting away the Liberals in Vancouver East and Vancouver Kingsway as well as other Metro Vancouver ridings like New Westminster—Burnaby.
The party was also able to keep the majority of Vancouver Island orange, holding back Conservative challengers in the north while fending off a strong Green push in the south.
And with NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh keeping his seat in Burnaby South, the party’s base in B.C. is all but secured despite the dip in support. Whether its losses elsewhere in the country affect Singh’s standing as leader remains to be seen.
No surge for Greens after all
Many were predicting at least one new pickup for the Greens on Vancouver Island after Paul Manly’s historic byelection win in Nanaimo—Ladysmith doubled the party’s seat count in Parliament.
Instead, the NDP were able to hold on to Victoria, which had been circled and underlined as the one the Greens needed to win.
Manly was able to win re-election, while party leader Elizabeth May won her third straight election in Saanich—Gulf Islands.
But the results in B.C. were still disappointing for the Greens, who didn’t manage to win a second-place spot in any other riding.