EDITORIAL: Barry’s base?

Provincial election results from Qualicum Beach provide some surprises

While this election was clearly about the provincial stage, one would have thought Barry Avis would have done better in his hometown.

We’re not interested in kicking anyone while he’s down, but after an hour at the electoral office pouring over ballot-box-by-ballot-box results, the numbers provided some mild shock.

On election night after it was clear he was beaten soundly by Liberal Michele Stilwell, Avis told our reporter he will consider running for his old seat on Qualicum Beach council in November of 2014. He had time for that conversation, and we are grateful, but it’s unfortunate he did not have the time or the courtesy to call Stilwell to congratulate her on election night.

Municipal elections come from an entirely different kettle of fish than their provincial or federal cousins, but there’s no doubt Avis will be taking notice of the numbers from Qualicum Beach last Tuesday.

Constituency-wide, Stilwell won with 50 per cent of the votes. In Qualicum Beach, Stilwell had 52 per cent of the vote. Constituency-wide, Avis garnered 37 per cent of the vote. In Qualicum Beach it was 35 per cent.

That’s right, in the part of the constituency where everyone could have safely guessed Avis support would be strong, it was actually worse than the rest of the region.

We looked at the results from all 34 ballot boxes collected in Qualicum Beach, including four from advance polls.

There was a total of 6,202 votes cast. Stilwell earned 3,227 votes (52 per cent), Avis 2,183 (35 per cent) and B.C. Conservative David Coupland 792 (13 per cent, the same as he garnered constituency-wide).

The results from the votes collected at The Gardens, where Stilwell did not attend an all-candidates forum? Stilwell 52 votes, Avis 33, Coupland 21.

Not all the news is bad for Avis, however. If Lasqueti Island ever incorporates and needs to elect a mayor and council, Avis should consider relocation to the idyllic oasis off our coast. He hammered Stilwell there, 170 votes to 20.

— Editorial by John Harding

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