RIDING PROFILE: Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding to be closely watched election night


One of the key battlegrounds on Vancouver Island Monday night will be in the riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

Voters there had traditionally backed the NDP, but that all changed in a historic byelection earlier this year with the election of the country’s second-ever Green party candidate.

With 7 candidates running for the seat some of the top issues across the country are also being identified here.

Immigration, climate change, fiscal management and homelessness were identified as top issues by those we spoke to in the riding.

In the last federal election, Nanaimo-Ladysmith saw the smallest margin of any across Vancouver Island between the first and fourth place finishers with the NDP’s Sheila Malcomson winning the seat.

But the only returning candidate from that contest is Paul Manly who won the most recent federal byelection in May becoming only the second Green candidate to go to Ottawa.

“The Greens won handily despite the fact polls indicated it might be a different outcome,” said David Black, a political scientist at Royal Roads University.

In the byelection, the conservative candidate came second and the NDP came third but only 41 percent of voters cast a ballot compared to the last election when 75 percent did.

That number has the defeated candidates in the byelection hopeful of a different outcome, in the general election, when more people tend to vote.

“Byelections are not necessarily predictive of what happens in a general election,” said Black.

“I would argue that the NDP probably has a chance to recapture that [seat], but again it’s one of the ridings including here in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke and in Nanaimo where the Green-NDP drama is going to play out in its most powerful way.”

And with polls suggesting every riding may matter and there could be a minority government voter’s here like the idea of having some power in the West.

“If we have a minority government generally that leads to a coalition quite often which I think brings a lot more cohesion and teamwork in government which there should be more of,” said Brianne Ceal, a Nanaimo resident.

It’s a contest that pollsters expect will matter election night unlike most federal elections when the government has already been decided in the east by the time votes are tallied in the west.

For the full list of candidates announced for Vancouver Island, visit our page here. 

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!