Veteran Conservative MP John Duncan

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.”

Just Posted

A slide on best practices when reporting a suspected impaired driver that was presented to Parksville city council on June 7 by Margarita Bernard, a volunteer with MADD. The organization’s Report Impaired Drivers campaign involves the installation of informative signs within the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
MADD brings campaign to report impaired drivers to Parksville

Aim is to raise awareness that 911 should be called

Pam Bottomley (executive director), right and Sandy Hurley (president) of the Parksville Downtown Business Association visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Downtown Parksville gears up for post-pandemic bounce back

Podcast: Hurley, Bottomley chat about what’s ahead for the PDBA

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

(File photo)
Crime report: Crooks busy pilfering bikes throughout Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Thefts among 295 complaints Oceanside RCMP deal with in one-week period

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A still image from security camera video recorded June 8 shows an individual lighting trash on fire in the doorway of 19+ Cannabis Store on Victoria Crescent. RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue are investigating numerous fires set in downtown Nanaimo in the past three months. (Photo submitted)
‘It’s out of control’: More than 20 fires set in downtown Nanaimo in past 3 months

Authorities asking business owners to keep dumpsters locked

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Most Read