NDP Murray Rankin reaffirmed his seat in the House of Parliament with a lead of more than 4,000 votes on runner-up Green candidate Jo-Ann Roberts.
By Oak Bay News deadline late into Monday night, with 83 per cent of the polls reporting, Rankin, the returning MP, dominated with the preliminary results showing 41.9 per cent of the votes (25,078).
Joined by his wife Linda Hannah and sons, Rankin thanked the crowd that gathered on Yates Street in Victoria for their work and support in the “long” – and he emphasized long – campaign.
“Victoria has sent Canada a clear message. You voted for change, you rejected the politics of division and fear. You voted for a more inclusive Canada and a fairer Canada. I promise I will fight every day to incorporate those values in what I do.”
Rankin earned his seat in a 2012 byelection to replace Denise Savoie who resigned for health reasons. In that election he held held a 1,200-vote lead over the Green Party.
“I am so honoured to have served as your member of parliament over the last three years and I am deeply humbled by the trust you have shown me again tonight. I promise to work every day with every ounce of my energy to continue to merit your support and your trust,” Rankin said. “To those of you who voted today for other candidates I honour your choice and I pledge to represent everyone in this community to the best of my ability. I know we share a deep love for this community that came through loud an clear during this campaign.”
By deadline, Green Party Jo-Ann Roberts held 33.3 per cent of the votes in the Victoria riding (19,896).
“Strategic voting was the single main factor (working against Green), particularly in B.C. and also in Guelph,” said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “As my daughter said, (strategic voting) had ‘truthiness’ about it. I had people in my own riding I had to talk out of voting for another party because they somehow thought voting for me would help Harper.
“I sympathize with where their fear was coming from. NDP fed it hard on Vancouver Island that you had to vote NDP to stop Harper, and you can see that the NDP was not the party to stop Harper.”
Conservative John Rizzuti pulled a third-place finish with 11.9 per cent of the tallied votes, slightly ahead of Cheryl Thomas at 11.8 per cent. Thomas was the Liberal candidate who pulled from the campaign after controversial remarks on social media came to light. Her name still appeared on the ballot because the deadline to withdraw had already passed.Falling below one per cent of the vote were: Saul Andersen (Independent); Art Lowe (Libertarian) and Jordan Reichert (Animal Alliance Environment Voters).
– with files from Jacob Zinn