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Elizabeth Evans May

Elizabeth May wins first seat for Greens

Elizabeth Evans May 55%

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Elizabeth May asked voters in her adopted riding to make history. And on Monday, voters in Saanich-Gulf Islands elected Canada’s first Green Party MP.

The Green Party Leader moved to the riding almost two years ago, hoping to make a breakthrough in a riding that has rarely sent a non-conservative candidate to Ottawa. The beneficiary of vote splitting among centre-left candidates, Ms. May was able to coalesce those votes – and then some.

“I stand here today as the first elected Green Member of Parliament in Canadian history,” Ms. May told a cheering crowd. She said she must now prove that a single MP can make a difference on the Hill. “Today we proved that Canadians want change in politics.”

In a rented airport hanger, supporters cheered and hugged under a banner that read: “Canada needs Elizabeth May. But only you can elect her.”

From the first poll results, Ms. May was out in front of incumbent Gary Lunn, the Conservative candidate who has represented the riding since 1997. The collapse of the Liberal vote, which had nearly unseated Mr. Lunn in 2008, helped the Green gamble pay off.

But Ms. May's upset came at a steep cost. With the party concentrating its resources in a single riding, the Green popular vote across the nation fell sharply. Party strategists on Monday night sounded content with the tradeoff,. saying they'll target as many as eight ridings in the next federal election.

 

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by JUSTINE HUNTER

Source: The Globe and Mail


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