In this federal election year, more by-elections are on the docket with the 2019 Nanaimo Ladysmith by election.
Having just seen a race nearby in Burnaby South, won by NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, we go right back out to British Columbia. The Liberals will test the NDP again, this time on Vancouver Island, but they will both have company. We could have the makings of a four-way race in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, with the Conservatives and Greens both having pulled respectable vote totals here in 2015. As you might expect, it’s also very close to Elizabeth May’s riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.
Former MP Sheila Malcolmson, elected as an NDP rookie in 2015, stood down on January 2, 2019 to run for the provincial legislature. Malcolmson now sits on government benches in Victoria as MLA for Nanaimo.
On May 6, voters will decide. Which candidate will they choose?
2019 Nanaimo Ladysmith By Election: The Riding
Nanaimo-Ladysmith was created for the 2015 federal election, and as such had no prior MP. The City of Nanaimo, one of the largest settlements on Vancouver Island, is entirely within its boundaries. Ladysmith, a town south of Nanaimo, is also here, and finally including Lantzville and parts of Cowichan Valley.
The riding was fashioned out of parts of Nanaimo-Alberni and Nanaimo-Cowichan, and as such there was no MP prior to 2015.
2019 Nanaimo Ladysmith By Election: Last Election
Sheila Malcolmson won her first election to Parliament in 2015; for now, it is the only one she’s making. Based on the redistributed 2011 results, the NDP suffered a significant negative swing but still held the seat. The Conservative vote fell precipitously while the Green share rose along with that of the Liberals.
2019 Nanaimo Ladysmith By Election: Candidates
The following is the current list of candidates for the Nanaimo-Ladysmith by-election.
|Bob Chamberlin (New Democratic)|
|Michelle Corfield (Liberal)|
|John Hirst (Conservative)|
|Paul Manly (Green)|
|Jennifer Clarke (People’s Party)|
|Brian Marlatt (Progressive Canadian)|
|Jakob Letkemann (National Citizens Alliance)|
2019 Nanaimo Ladysmith By Election Results
2019 Nanaimo Ladysmith By Election Results Analysis, May 7, 2019
The Green Party broke through for their second seat in the Canadian House of Commons just weeks after rising to official opposition status on Prince Edward Island. Paul Manly took the lead early in the night and never relinquished, with his margin growing to in excess of 5,000 votes.
For reasons which should be obvious, this is a very positive outcome for the Greens, who are building momentum in British Columbia and perhaps elsewhere. To an extent, the Conservatives had an alright election, placing second and keeping their vote from the prior federal election in tact despite the competitive four-way race. The CPC, however, would have liked to do better to show that they are a credible threat in the coming federal election.
Two parties in particular had a bad night: the NDP and the Liberals. For the NDP, this is a humiliating loss and they can write off the “mulligan election” result all they wish. Bob Chamberlin was about as good a local candidate as possible, it was an NDP seat, and Jagmeet Singh, who just won his own by-election, campaigned for him. For them to lose is one thing, but to come in third place is an embarrassment. A 41 percent turnout for a by-election is not a bad haul, either, so there is plenty of reason for the NDP to be concerned about Vancouver Island.
As for the Liberals, they do not typically do well in this area, anyway, but 11 percent and a distant fourth represents a collapse in their vote from just four years ago. They need to be careful, as does the NDP, that a rising Green tide doesn’t steal votes from them and allow the Conservatives to come up the middle elsewhere in British Columbia.
2019 Nanaimo Ladysmith By Election: Current Prediction
Electionarium predicted an NDP Hold as of March 30, 2019.
2019 Nanaimo Ladysmith By Election: Analysis, March 30, 2019
There won’t be too many more by-elections prior to October’s federal election. This is one of the final warm-up acts before the main event, at least on a federal level. Remember, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island are all also voting in 2019, though these provincial elections have different dynamics.
The NDP is put on defense again as another of their MPs took a job closer to home. They just selected their candidate as of the date of this writing, Bob Chamberlin. He will be the top pick to win the seat, given the NDP’s entrenchment in the area, but it won’t be an easy win if they get it. Manly was the Green candidate last time, Clarke could help split the Conservative vote, and Corfield is known in the community as the chairperson of the Nanaimo Port Authority.