New Westminster stuck with tradition and elected an NDP MLA to the legislature in Victoria.
While polls were still being counted at The Record press time, Judy Darcy had been declared the winner in New Westminster in Tuesday's provincial election. New Westminster has elected the NDP or its predecessor, the Co-operative Commonwealth, in every provincial election since 1953, with the exception of a Liberal win in 2001.
"I am very, very excited," she said. "I had an amazing team of volunteers who worked their butts off for weeks and weeks and weeks. It's about people power."
With 102 of 103 polls counted, Darcy had 10,270 votes, compared to Liberal candidate Hector Bremner's 7,208. Trailing behind were Green party candidate Terry Teather at 1,745, Conservative candidate Paul Forseth at 1,011, independent candidate James Crosty at 851 and Libertarian candidate Lewis Dahlby at 153.
Darcy entered her Heritage Grill election party and led the crowd in a chant of NDP. At the time, she had been declared the winner in New Westminster but her party was trailing the B.C. Liberals provincially.
"I knew it would take an enormous people-driven campaign to win and it did," she said. "I have never, ever taken this for granted."
Whether she's in government or opposition, Darcy is pledging to represent New Westminster in Victoria.
"I know the issues that matter to New Westminster, the issues I have heard on the doorstops, the issues I have heard in coffee shops, in people's living rooms," she said. "Those are the issues I am going to work on."
Darcy said those issues include care for seniors, affordable child care, learning conditions for kids in schools, transportation planning that doesn't treat New Westminster like an intersection, environmental protection and climate change.
"I want to say thank you to everybody who got out and voted. I want to say thank you to everybody who got involved in any of the candidates' campaigns. I want to acknowledge the incredibly hard work that the other candidates put into the campaigns' efforts. It takes a lot of personal energy and resources. It is very demanding. I have the greatest respect for anybody who puts themselves forward in the electoral process," she said. "Most of all, I want to thank the voters of New Westminster for giving me the incredible honour of being their MLA. That's the first time I have said that."