British Columbia

NDP loses key Kootenay seat to the B.C. Liberals

New Democrats have lost Columbia River-Revelstoke, a riding they've held 5 of last 6 elections, but incumbents held their seats in the West Kootenay.

New Democrats have lost Columbia River-Revelstoke, a riding they've held 5 of last 6 elections

Liberal candidate Doug Clovechok has swiped Columbia River-Revelstoke from the NDP, seen here opening his Kimberley campaign office with former Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett, and Shirley Bond.

The B.C. Liberals have won Columbia River-Revelstoke, taking a riding the New Democrats have held five of the past six elections.

The NDP's Norm MacDonald had held the riding for three terms, but he didn't seek re-election.

The NDP candidate this time, Invermere mayor Gerry Taft, lost a defamation suit in the middle of the election, and Christy Clark made three stops in the riding, signaling it was a Liberal priority.

And It appears to have worked — with Liberal Doug Clovechok, who finished second in 2013 and has been on the party's executive council since.

NDP incumbent Michelle Mungall held her seat in Nelson-Creston, alongside fellow New Democrat Katrine Conroy in Kootenay West, but the party lost Columbia River-Revelstoke. (Bob Keating/CBC)

Elsewhere in the Kootenays, the incumbent parties have kept their seats.

The NDP has held Kootenay West, where incumbent Katrine Conroy has served as MLA since 2005, and Nelson-Creston, where Michelle Mungall was re-elected for a third term.

The retirement of a longtime cabinet minister didn't stop the B.C. Liberals from holding their only seat in the Kootenay region — with Liberal candidate Tom Shypitka beating the NDP's Randal Macnair, a former mayor of Fernie.

Kootenay East, in the far southeast corner of the province, has been held for 16 years by straight-talking former energy minister Bill Bennett for 16 years. He didn't run this time.

The quirky, environmentally-minded area near Nelson was mused about as a possibility for the Greens, with Nelson-Creston having the highest Green vote of any riding outside Vancouver Island last time, but so far the party has been shut out of the Interior.

2013 Kootenay results

With files from Justin McElroy