Green's Paul Manly wins Nanaimo-Ladysmith federal byelection

By NanaimoNewsNOW Staff
May 6, 2019 - 9:04pm Updated: May 6, 2019 - 11:46pm

Paul Manly and the Green Party took a strong lead after only a few polls reported on election night and never dipped from there. Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — In an historic win, the Green Party of Canada has its second seat in the House of Commons.

The Green's Paul Manly won roughly 40 percent of the votes in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding and was declared winner of the federal byelection. He took a strong lead as polls began reporting and never lost ground.

"Our campaign slogan was 'Together we can do this.' Well, together we did it," Manly told a packed crowd of supporters after it became clear he would win the byelection. 

In his acceptance speech, Manly touched on numerous party platform items, from universal pharmacare and basic dental plans to funding substantial green energy products. 

"We've moved beyond the horse and buggy and we've moved beyond the internal combustion engine," he told his enthusiastic supporters after touting new strategies of federally promoting eco-friendly transit.

Manly joins Elizabeth May as only one of two Green Party MPs in the federal legislature. 

He was the only one of seven candidates who previously ran for federal politics. He ran for the Green Party in 2015 after being blocked from participating in the nomination race for the NDP due to his father's stance on the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

NDP candidate Bob Chamberlin was viewed as a strong contender in what's considered an NDP riding. The riding went to former NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson in 2015 and two of the three provincial ridings in the area often vote for the BC NDP. 

Chamberlin said losing not only to the Greens but also the Conservatives was a tough blow. 

"There's going to be some soul searching for the NDP members," he told NanaimoNewsNOW. "I believe the NDP are very strong in this town, tonight's numbers didn't materialize."

Chamberlin was non-committal when asked directly if he would run again for the NDP in the upcoming fall federal election. 

Though voters will return to the polls once again in the fall, Elections Canada rules mandated a federal byelection must occur to fill the seat vacated by Malcolmson. She quit her federal position to take a successful run at provincial politics and now represents the Nanaimo riding as an MLA in the B.C. legislature. The MLA position was vacated by Leonard Krog for his own successful campaign in municipal politics in fall 2018. 

Manly isn't anticipated in Ottawa until later this week. He'll be in Ottawa for roughly four weeks before the spring break in the federal legislature and campaigns begin again for the fall federal election. 

Elections Canada previously told NanaimoNewsNOW a federal byelection costs roughly $1.1 million. 

Results:

Bob Chamberlin, NDP-New Democratic Party: 8,416, 23.2%

Jennifer Clarke, People's Party: 1,117

Michelle Corfield, Liberal: 3,989, 11%

John Hirst, Conservative: 8,996, 24.7%

Jakob Letkemann, National Citizens Alliance: 61

Paul Manly, Green Party: 13,618, 37.4%

Brian Marlatt, PC Party: 225

240 of 254 polls reporting (94.5%)