Much was different in 2009 when Parksville Qualicum Beach voters cast ballots in the last provincial election prior to the odds-defying win by the B.C. Liberals last week.
Gordon Campbell led the Liberals into the 2009 election and it was Carole James with the NDP. Locally that year, Ron Cantelon was looking for his second term as a B.C. Liberal, and Leanne Salter carried the NDP banner.
Despite those differences in names on the ballots and in their leaders’ offices, the numbers from last Tuesday’s election are surprisingly similar to those in 2009. Cantelon won the Parksville Qualicum constituency for the Liberals in 2009 with 13,265 votes, which worked out to 51 per cent of all ballots cast. Last week, Liberal Michelle Stilwell won with 13,431, 50 per cent of all votes cast.
Salter garnered 9,803 votes for the NDP here in 2009, 38 per cent of the vote. Barry Avis received 9,911 votes — 37 per cent — last week for the NDP.
Provincially, voter turnout was a record-low 51 per cent in 2009, while preliminary numbers indicated a 52 per cent turnout for the May 14, 2013 election.
In Parksville Qualicum Beach in 2009, 63.8 per cent of 40,339 eligible voters cast a ballot. Last week in this constituency, 63.3 per cent of 42,280 eligible voters marked a ballot.
There was once statistic that looked a little different from 2009-2013. In 2009 in Parksville Qualicum, 5,865 people (14.5 per cent of eligible voters) chose to exercise their franchise at advance polls. That number jumped to 7,911 (18.7 per cent) in the election last week.