It was a see saw in the Cowichan Valley election night, where the race kept people on the edge of their seats all night.


In a fog of sleeplessness and elation Sonia Furstenau walked into Shawnigan Lake’s coffee shop Wednesday to a room full of smiling faces.  Supporter after supporter that she fought the Save Shawnigan water battle with embracing her.

“So incredibly proud of you. So happy,” says one woman hugging Furstenau. 

“Congrats,” says another.
The Green Party candidate surfaced as the winner in a nail biter of an election race for the Cowichan Valley riding.

“I can’t… it’s indescribable I…” said Furstenau just moments after learning she was winning. “I love each and every one of you in this room. I really do,” she said to the cheering crowd gathered at Cherry Point Winery in Cobble Hill. 

But it’s an ending to the night that no one but Furstenau’s camp saw coming. Polls had her running in third place behind the BC NDP and the Liberals and over at NDP headquarters there was even a victory dance on election night.

Dancers from Cowichan Tribes filled Lori Iadnnidinardo’s election night base with song and dance, as election results showed her with a strong early lead. A lead that disappeared within minutes of the ceremony wrapping up. As Furstenau’s second place position jumped ahead of Ionnidardo and slowly grew all night from there.

“I knew that as soon as we moved ahead that we would just keep moving up,” says Furstenau. “We felt good. We did the work.”

Adding to the growing doubts of whether opinion polls can predict an election’s outcome and one proud town that’s glad they didn’t.

Skye Ryan