Green Party Leader Elizabeth May receives 93.6% support in party review

Elizabeth May has received a ringing endorsement from Green Party members after racking up a commanding 93.6 per cent support in her recent leadership review.

Vote comes after poor performance by the party in the last federal election campaign

Green Party leader Elizabeth May has received 93.6 per cent support from party members in her recent leadership review. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

Elizabeth May has received a ringing endorsement from Green Party members, winning a commanding 93.6 per cent support in her recent leadership review.

The party held a month-long online vote to elicit opinions from members about May's tenure as leader, something required by the party six months after a federal election campaign. Of the party's 20,330 members, 5,324 cast a ballot as part of the review process.

"I'm humbled to receive a strong mandate from our engaged membership to continue in my role as leader," May said in a statement to reporters Monday.

"I will continue to pursue critical issues that are so important to our members, from climate action to restoring legitimacy in the environmental review process, from ending subsidies for fossil fuels to becoming a world leader in the 21st century renewable energy economy."

The endorsement comes less than a month after the federal NDP voted to seek a new leader as part of its own leadership review process.

Hailed as MP

May made history in 2011 when she became the first Green Party candidate to be elected as a Member of Parliament in Canada. She was re-elected in 2015, the only Green candidate to win a seat.

She is routinely named one of the hardest working MPs on Parliament Hill with an impressive attendance record. May was also part of Canada's delegation to the Paris climate talks, where 171 countries agreed to limit global warming to no more than 2C.

May has heralded the deal as a critical step toward limiting the impacts of climate change, while noting it is far from perfect due to the fact it is non-binding and can be flouted by signatories. She has also criticized the Liberal government in recent weeks for adhering to the Harper government's GHG targets.

Her time has leader has been characterized by highs and lows.

In 2008, her first election as leader, the Greens captured nearly 7 per cent of the vote and some 940,000 votes, only to see the tally plummet to half that number in the next campaign. May has blamed that performance on her exclusion from the federal leaders' televised debates while others point to the party's efforts to focus resources on winning May a seat in Saanich–Gulf Islands as hampering the national campaign.

The party's vote share further declined in last year's election, coming in at a disappointing 3.45 per cent of the popular vote, with 600,000 votes cast for Green candidates. May has attributed that decline to strategic voting by progressive voters to oust former prime minister Stephen Harper.

May said Monday her party will "continue to be on the front lines of driving meaningful change."

The leader of the Green Party joins us from New York City where she attended the signing ceremony of the Paris climate change agreement.