Election night: Lunney ‘humbled’ by voters’ support

Conservative incumbent James Lunney wins Nanaimo-Alberni in a historic federal election.

Conservative incumbent James Lunney at a recent campaign stop.

“I feel great, I am very very honoured and humbled the people of Nanaimo-Alberni trusteed us to give us a majority,” Conservative James Lunney said moments after he was announced as winner on Monday night.

It took a while for the evening to turn in his favour, as around 50 people in his campaign headquarters in Parksville eagerly watched the early results favour the NDP’s Zeni Maartman.

“Now we have a stable national government, we can get back to those things that are important to our sovereignty and our economic recovery,” he said once it was clear his party had a solid majority.

“That’s something Canada really needs right now,” he said “We’re able to move ahead creating jobs.”

For a couple hours there were cheers from the room, crowded with supporters and media, each time Lunney’s lead increased.

Around 9:30 p.m. it was called for Lunney with a healthy lead, giving him his third win in a row, securing him through the next four years in government, which will total 10 years for him.

“I’ve been at this ten years now, we know how the levers work and we’ll be able to move through a lot of work,” he told the crush of media and TV cameras.

Lunney turned to praise for the riding and voters.

“This is a fabulous riding, we’re all very fortunate to live on Vancouver Island and it will make a difference to Nanaimo-Alberni to have a Member of Parliament.”

Of Elizabeth May’s win he conceded, “it’s a historic moment in Canada. I’m very very sorry to see (incumbent Gary) Lunn defeated, but the people of Saanich-Gulf-Islands have spoken.”

As of 10 p.m. he had a comfortable lead of 23,000 votes to Maartman’s 18,700 with 78 per cent of the polls reporting. At that time he had 46.6 per cent of the riding’s vote.

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