British Columbia

Elizabeth May re-elected, leaving party with 1 seat

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has been re-elected in the B.C. riding of Saanich–Gulf Islands, but the party failed to win any other seats and lost ground in Ontario.

Victoria riding was seen as best chance for Greens to make gains in Parliament

RAW: Elizabeth May makes her speech after being re-elected

7 years ago
Duration 12:36
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is the MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands again. The Green Party failed to win more than one seat.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has been re-elected in the B.C. riding of Saanich–Gulf Islands, but the party failed to win any other seats and lost ground in Ontario.

In the lead-up to the election, the neighbouring riding of Victoria was identified as one of the best opportunities for the Greens, but former CBC host Jo-Ann Roberts lost to incumbent NDP candidate Murray Rankin.

Frances Litman was a distant third in the riding of Esquimalt–Saanich–Sooke as were other Green candidates in Vancouver Island ridings.

The Greens had two seats when Parliament dissolved. Bruce Hyer, who crossed the floor to become the Green MP for Thunder Bay in 2013, was not re-elected in Ontario.

May spoke to supporters at Green Party headquarters in downtown Victoria before she was even confirmed elected in her riding.

May said that she had congratulated Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau on his victory, and said they would meet to discuss the upcoming United Nations Conference on climate change.

"I'm very concerned that we have to to rebuild the damage Stephen Harper has done," she told CBC News.

During the campaign, May's party focused its resources on five B.C. ridings.

Instead, she said, many would-be supporters opted to vote for other parties that had a better chance of defeating Conservative candidates.

May also said not being included in national debates and lacking robust media coverage hurt her party's ability to grow.

"That does take a toll on a party trying to build a base," she said.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May with her daughter, left, and defeated Green candidate for Esquimalt–Saanich-Sooke Frances Litman. (Duncan McCue/CBC)

Denise Savoie won Victoria for the NDP in 2011 by more than 27 per cent before stepping down in 2012 due to health reasons.

In the ensuing byelection, Green candidate Donald Galloway came within 1,118 votes of defeating the NDP's Murray Rankin.

Liberal candidate Cheryl Thomas's name remained on the ballot despite having to close her campaign office after controversial comments she made about Jewish and Muslim communities appeared on social media.

Thomas received more than 10 per cent of the vote in the riding.

Political watchers say the Green Party would benefit from proportional representation in Canada, rather than the current first-past-the-post system.

Trudeau said during the campaign that he would scrap the current system and introduce electoral reform within the first 18 months of forming government.


  • An earlier version of this story implied that the Green Party had one seat in the House of Commons when Parliament was dissolved, when in fact it had two.
    Oct 19, 2015 11:38 PM PT


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