NDP candidate Claire Trevena has taken victory in North Island but it remains unclear who is going to form the government of B.C.
“We are going to have a very interesting few months, years, who knows how it is all going to fall out tonight,” Trevena said in her victory speech at the Campbell River Labour Hall. “This is not about me it is about you, it is all about you, and it is about the people we met on the doorsteps and the people we went out fighting for.
“The people who you meet, that’s why we have been fighting. We have been fighting for social justice we have been fighting for better lives for people. We have been fighting for our services to be improved, we have been fighting for our resources to be our resources.
“And we will carry on fighting for that. And hopefully we will be actually able to make change.”
Liberal candidate Dallas Smith conceded defeat earlier and dropped by NDP candidate Claire Trevena’s campaign HQ to offer congratulations.
Smith had been a steady second place all night as votes came in.
Smith told his supporters earlier that he was feeling relieved and the he “was not going to wear this.” He remained optimistic still about the Liberals’ chances provincially even though for the longest time throughout election night, the vote appeared to be deadlocked in terms of seats at 42 – 42 with the Greens leading or elected in three. As of 11:26 p.m., the seats were 44 Liberal, 40 NDP and three Green with votes still to be counted. It would give the Liberals’ the lead and the right to form the government if it continued to hold throughout the night.
“This is a big disappointment but the Liberals are going to pull it out,” Smith said earlier.
Reporter Mike Davies talked to third place finisher Sue Moen earlier in the evening about running as an underdog:
“You never know that there’s no way. You have to run to win. I’m capable of it and the party is absolutely deserving of more seats, and you know what? Miracles happen. People could be THAT ready for change and I believe there it that momentum building and every green vote sends that message.”
On the concept of vote splitting on the “left,” she said, “I don’t think of us as a ‘left’ party. We’re a forward-thinking party. Yes, on social policy, we’re very similar (to the NDP). We’re both socially progressive and equalizing society in the sense of decreasing income inequality, but we have a very different approach to financial management. We’re fiscal conservatives. We think that you don’t have big government for the sake of having big government and people are better employed outside the public sector.
“I also don’t think that a Green vote would automatically transfer to the NDP if there wasn’t a Green candidate running. A green vote may not vote at all if there wasn’t a Green candidate and as far as pulling votes, I think we pull equally from the Liberals and Conservatives.”
The fourth place candidate in the race, BC First’s John Twigg believes he made a valuable contribution to the electoral process.
“It would have been a miracle to win, of course, but I thought I’d do a bit better than I did,” he said.
Twigg says he feels like his candidacy benefited the process.
“I think I did help Claire (Trevena) find some issues, and I had some unusual ideas in my platforms that got some good traction and got people talking about some new ideas. Getting some of those novel ideas out there and having them discussed was a worthwhile exercise.”
– Reporting by Mirror Reporters Jocelyn Doll, Kristen Douglas, Mike Davies and Alistair Taylor