Thursday September 23, 2021 | NANAIMO, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
It looked too close to call in Nanaimo-Ladysmith on election night September 20. Lisa Marie Barron was in the lead with 17,299 votes, ahead of Tamara Kronis (Conservative) with 16,553, and with Green incumbent Paul Manly in third place (14,716 votes). Green incumbent Paul Manly still had room to be hopeful.
But the NDP ground-game (getting people out to vote) is known to be strong, and the NDP were also viably hopeful. Winning Nanaimo-Ladysmith would means having six of the seven federal seats on Vancouver Island once again.
When the BC NDP poached former NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson for their own team a few years ago, a by-election in Nanaimo-Ladysmith in May 2019 saw the riding go to Green candidate Paul Manly, who won again in the October 2019 election.
Even by the day after the federal election it was looking good for NDP candidate Lisa Marie Barron. And in the days that have followed, Manly conceded that even with mail-in ballots he would be unlikely to win the seat.
Elections Canada vote profile:
FINAL COUNT (except for mail-in ballot count, still to come) at 9:25 am September 23, 2021:
|NDP-New Democratic Party||Lisa Marie Barron||18,051||29.1 %|
|Liberal||Michelle Corfield||8,327||13.4 %|
|Conservative||Tamara Kronis||17,050||27.5 %|
|Green Party||Paul Manly||15,313||24.7 %|
|People’s Party – PPC||Stephen Welton||3,204||5.2 %|
|Total number of valid votes:||61,945|
That’s with 264 of 265 polls reporting.
Elections Canada shows that 57.4 % of eligible voters cast a ballot on September 20 (and in advance polls) — that’s 61,945 of 107,926 registered electors; mail-in ballot numbers are yet to be added.
Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP candidate Lisa Marie Barron spent voting day on Monday “pushing to the very end”.
Barron and her team were out around the community, following up on phone calls, and knocking on doors of voters to see if they’d voted yet or needed help getting to the polls before the 7 pm closing time.
Maintaining COVID protocols was a goal at voting stations by Elections Canada. For Barron, COVID-related safety was a top priority on her campaign.
During the campaign:
Through the campaign Barron and her team heard about affordability issues, the climate crisis, and the challenges around Indigenous reconciliation.
She met with as many people in her community as possible. Already being a school board trustee (Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools SD68) and herself a parent means she already has roots and reach within the region.
Being up against a well-known Green incumbent (Paul Manly) in Nanaimo-Ladysmith was part of the challenge of this campaign. One of her key talking points on that was that the NDP offers constituents the opportunity to have an NDP Member of Parliament as part of a party with Official Party Status in the House of Commons. That ultimately gives constituents a stronger voice in parliament, says Barron.
Final election results:
Election results may not be known in full across the country until the end of this week, due to the large volume of mail-in ballots (a popular voter choice during the ongoing COVID pandemic).
Nationally, the final count of the 338 seats for the 44th parliament is presently (before all mail-in ballots counted) at: Liberal 158, Conservative 119, B.Q. 34, NDP 25, Green 2.
There are still five ridings that could tip to the NDP:
- Davenport (Alejandra Bravo only needs 348 votes to win in this west-end Toronto riding, which would overturn the Liberal candidate);
- Vancouver-Granville (previously Liberal until Jody Wilson-Raybould ran as an independent in 2019, where NDP Candidate Anjali Appadurai only needs 259* votes to win over the Liberal candidate); *=updated 10 am Sept 23/21
- Berthier—Maskinongé (where previous NDP candidate Ruth Ellen Brosseau ran again in this election after a 2-year hiatus, and would only need 924 votes through mail-in ballots in order to win that seat in Quebec over the Bloc Quebecois candidate);
- Windsor-Tecumseh (where NDP candidate Cheryl Hardcastle needs only 502 votes to win in that southern-Ontario riding); and
- Hamilton Mountain (where NDP candidate Malcolm Allen would need 664 more votes to win in that southern-Ontario riding).