Veteran Conservative MP John Duncan

FEDERAL ELECTION: Vancouver Island races weren’t even close

NDP win big in six of seven ridings; Nanaimo Conservative candidate Mark MacDonald says he’s not bitter, but ...

Save for a tinge of green, Vancouver Island went orange in a big way Monday night during the federal election.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May won her seat — Saanich-Gulf Islands — with 54 per cent of the vote. ‘Won her seat’ is an understatement — May had 23,813 votes more than her closest competitor.

The wide-margin theme was constant in most of the other six ridings on Vancouver Island, all of which won by NDP candidates.

Closest to home, two re-drawn ridings that were both represented by Conservatives were part of the Orange Crush on Monday.

Gord Johns of the NDP had 7,000 more votes than veteran Conservative John Duncan in Courtenay-Alberni, the riding that includes Parksville Qualicum Beach. More than 76 per cent of the roughly 99,000 registered electors in the riding cast a ballot.

(Compare that to the 2014 municipal election in Parksville, which had a voter turnout of 35 per cent.)

In the 2011 federal election, people in Lantzville and North Nanaimo were part of the riding that included Parksville Qualicum Beach. The boundaries were re-drawn for 2015 and those voters are now part of the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding.

The NDP won big there too, with Sheila Malcolmson taking the seat. She earned 6,270 votes more than her closest rival, Tim Tessier of the Liberals. Mark MacDonald of the Conservatives was third.

Continuing south, the NDP’s Alistair MacGregor took Cowichan-Malahat-Langford with 7,000 more votes than the second-place finisher, Liberal Luke Krayenhoff.

The Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke race was a little closer, with the NDP’s Randall Garrison beating Liberal David Merner by just over 5,000 votes.

NDP veteran Murray Rankin won the Victoria riding by about 6,500 votes over second-place finisher Jo-Ann Roberts of the Green Party.

North of Courtenay-Alberni in the North Island-Powell River riding, the NDP’s Rachel Blaney continued the convincing-victory trend with 8,000 more votes than her closest rival, Laura Smith of the Conservatives.

While it was a great night for the NDP on the Island, the sam could not be said of the NDP’s national showing. The party that had 95 seats and Official Opposition status after the 2011 election was reduced to 44 seats on Monday night.

The Conservatives suffered a similar fate, going from 159 seats at the time parliament was dissolved a few months ago to 99 after Monday’s votes were counted.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday night he would be stepping down as party leader. Duncan, the Conservative whip who was an MP for most of the last two decades and one of Harper’s trusted lieutenants, suggested Monday night that the national campaign— and not Island issues — steered the votes away from Conservatives.

“There’s no way around it, that’s what happens,” said Duncan. “And obviously on this occasion, that’s what happened big time.”

Duncan told The Comox Valley Record he will spend the next few days clearing out his three offices and preparing for life out of the public eye.

“All good things do come to an end at some point,” he said.

MacDonald, the Conservatives candidate in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, sounded more bitter about his defeat when he spoke to

The Nanaimo Daily News.

“Get ready to pay more taxes,” MacDonald said about the Liberals and how they would pay for the promises Prime Minister-elect Justin Trudeau made during the campaign.

MacDonald also said the Nanaimo area needs government help and that might be more difficult to achieve with an MP (the NDP’s Malcolmson) who belongs to a party with the third-most seats in Parliament.

“I feel bad for Nanaimo now that we have an NDP member who will sit in opposition,” said MacDonald.

“I’m not feeling any bitterness, but we need government help here.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parksville’s Knox United Church to host warming centre

Facility to open on Thursdays as step to help area’s homeless

New BC Cannabis store opens up shop in Parksville

Outlet at Wembley Mall open seven days per week

‘We could see fire all over the landscape’: Parksville man recounts helping crews in Australia

Kevin Cochrane of the Coastal Fire Centre spent 38 days Down Under

Remote surveillance helps RCMP nab suspect following Parksville break-in

Stolen items returned after business owner takes quick action

PQB News editor battles cancer through pioneering treatment

Vancouver Island rallies around JR Rardon and family during stay in Seattle

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Ucluelet and Tofino mayors call for “calmness” and “empathy” as highway closure cuts communities off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Was Bigfoot just spotted on a Washington State webcam?

Sherman Pass is rougly 70 kilometres south of Grand Forks, B.C.

B.C. employer health tax wins ‘paperweight award’ for red tape

Businesses forced to estimate payroll, pay new tax quarterly

VIDEO: Dashcam records near-miss by bad driver near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

New U.S. LNG terminal near northwestern B.C. town proposed

AlaskCAN International LNG wants terminal just over Canadian border, but using B.C gas

Couple wonders who’s in a Cariboo photo that’s been hanging in their home for years

Charles and Lynn Dick believe the image was taken at the 70 Mile Road House

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

‘I would not go’ to China says B.C. traveller concerned about coronavirus

Alice Li said she goes to China every other year but would scrap any travel plans

Most Read