ELECTION NIGHT LIVE! May, Savoie win big; Garrison squeaks out victory in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca
10:54 p.m. -- The political landscape changed dramatically in the Capital Region and on the national scene on Monday. Local voters helped elect two new MPs, in Green Party leader Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands) and the NDP's Randall Garrison (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) and gave NDP incumbent Denise Savoie (Victoria) her third straight federal election victory in a landslide.
We've enjoyed providing our website readers with behind-the-scenes coverage of the frontrunners in each of the three ridings and hope it gave you a glimpse of the excitement of the races. Stay tuned for wrap-up coverage in the coming few days online and in our Friday print editions across the region.
10:17 p.m. (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) Randall Garrison, the NDP candidate and former municipal councillor for Esquimalt, is confirmed as the new MP for the riding. Final results are still coming in, but Garrison won by only about one per cent – just over 1,000 votes – ahead of Conservative candidate Troy DeSouza.
9:56 p.m. (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) As the last votes roll in, the race between Randall Garrison (NDP) and Troy DeSouza (Conservative) remains close, but Garrison maintains his lead, with about 1,000 votes more than his competitor – that's about two per cent. DeSouza was thought to be the frontrunner initially.
9:39: p.m. - (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) -- Randall Garrison is declared elected at NDP headquarters. Standing at the podium amid a throng of joyous supporters, he says, "I only wrote one speech tonight, and it turned out to be the right one." Last report showed him ahead of Conservative Troy DeSouza by just over 12,000 votes with 205 of 246 polls counted.
9:33 (Saanich-Gulf Islands) Incumbent Conservative Gary Lunn made the call to newly elected Green Elizabeth May before heading to Haro's in Sidney to concede. He put a positive spin in his loss of a seat in Saanich-Gulf Islands.
"You gotta love what happened tonight, you really do," Lunn said. "This is a great day for Canada."
"We've had so many volunteers here and I know each and every one of you were here for the big picture as I was … We're here to fight for our values, our principles."
The nation spoke out, he said.
"Canada gave our prime minister... a very, very strong mandate to govern this country for the next four years."
"Aas much as we would have love to be part of that in Saanich Gulf Islands …
we did a great job, we can hold our heads proud. We delivered our votes."
"We also have to congratulate Ms. May who also ran a very, very strong campaign.
"She ran a great campaign and deserves our congratulations."
Lunn singled out daughter Victoria Lunn, 16, who volunteered on the campaign.
"I couldn't be more proud of this young girl. It's the one person I'm going to single out...Canada is in great hands. We've got a great future."
Victoria was proud to be part of the campaign.
"It's or future we're talking about," Victoria said. "I've connected to so many constituents in this riding I can do events at school, but I wouldn't learn what I learned here."
"We lost the battle but we won the war," Victoria said after her father's speech. "In the future we'll win again, that's politics."
9:21 p.m. - (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) -- Nobody's hovering at the buffet at Randall Garrison's NDP party. The room is packed. More than 125 people are starting to circle around a podium where Garrison will speak when the final results are in. He's got a 2,000-vote lead with 150 polls counted.
9:17 p.m. (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) Liberal candidate Lillian Szpak accepted defeat tonight, with her riding's race clearly between NDPer Randall Garrison and Tory Troy DeSouza. She told Black Press she's not taking the loss personally, but is recognizing it as a sweep across the country that didn't favour the Liberal Party. She's in good spirits and said she's proud of the campaign she ran.
9:15 p.m. - (Saanich-Gulf Islands) - With a secure lead in her riding and as the first Green Party MP in North America's history, Elizabeth May spoke to hundreds of supporters this evening. She thanked the 2,000 volunteers across her riding "who, today, made history." She continued, "Today we proved that canadians want change in politics. We ran a very – and I think Canadians need to know this – we ran a very non-partisan campaign, a very co-operative campaign. … We need hope over fear, we need compassion over competition. … We are 308 MPs elected to serve the people of Canada and not any one political ideology."
9:09: (Saanich-Gulf Islands) With 104 of 245 polls reporting, Elizabeth May is well ahead in Saanich-Gulf Islands. The CBC is predicting May will hang on for the win and become the first elected Green politician in North America.
9:05 p.m. In Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, the only two candidates who aren’t representatives of the four major parties are in a fight to avoid the wooden spoon.
Canadian Action Party candidate Christopher Porter has 41 votes compared to Independent Louis James Lesosky with 52,
The leader in the riding is currently the NDP’s Randall Garrison with 6,467 votes -- less than 100 more than Conservative Troy DeSouza.
8:43 p.m. (Esq.-Juan de Fuca) -- John Horgan, NDP MLA for Juan de Fuca, joins the Randall Garrison gathering. The crowd is going wild with every new post that shows the NDP candidate inching ahead of Conservative Troy DeSouza. With 60 polls reporting, Garrison was at 6,935 to DeSouza's 6,157. Liberal Lillian Szpak was third at 1,641 while Green's Shaunna Salsman was fourth at 1,569.
8:53: (Victoria) Christopher Causton has lost his bid to trade up jobs from Mayor of Oak Bay to MP of Victoria. Here's his consolation announcement sent by e-mail:
"We would like to acknowledge and thank all other candidates that ran in the Victoria Riding –
Patrick Hunt for the Conservatives and Jared Giesbrecht for the Green Party. In addition to the
candidates, we would like to recognize the hard work of all campaign teams and enormous
support from candidate families. Over the past five weeks, all involved have been working long,
stressful hours and this election has benefited from everyone’s dedication.
There are many ways to define success in a political campaign, the most obvious being whether
you win or lose. Throughout this campaign we have also defined success in many other ways
and by these measures we have exceeded our expectations.
First, this campaign team has been a tremendous melting pot of different ages, professions,
personalities and political stances, bringing together a brilliant group of individuals to support
Christopher. We have achieved more than any of us could have predicted – a great success.
From day one this campaign has been about people. We were determined to re-engage them in
the democratic process and to get them excited about an election that will determine the future
direction of the country. On the day the writ was dropped, Christopher challenged all candidates
to increase the voter turnout from the 67% in the 2008 election, and we are hopeful Victoria will
meet that challenge."
8:49 p.m. - As polls continue reporting election results tonight, the Conservatives are showing a strong lead and likely will reach a majority government. The Conservatives, as of this minute, hold about 164 seats in Parliament, while the NDP have about 106. The Liberals will keep just 35 or so, the Bloc remains with just two seats and the Green Party has one seat, with Elizabeth May so far leading the race in Saanich-Gulf Islands. There are 308 seats in Parliament.
8:45 p.m. (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) - More than 100 supporters are screaming and cheering in Troy DeSouza's election camp as results show a majority government for the Conservatives.
8:42 - (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) -- Cheers go up at Randall Garrison's NDP headquarters at Gorge Vale Golf Club as the numbers show him in the lead after 40 polls counted. The mood remains tense, however, as Conservative Troy DeSouza charges into a slim lead.
8:40 p.m. (Saanich-Gulf Islands) The atmosphere is relatively calm at Elizabeth's May's victory celebration, that is until her name appears on screen and the gap between her and Gary Lunn appears to widen. With 34 of 245 polls reporting, May leads with by nearly 11 per cent.
They're not yet calling it a victory, it's too early to call, but Green Party speakers are talking optimistically:
"It is because of you, we together, we made a difference." said Marilyn Redivo, volunteer co-ordinator of May's campaign.
Says volunteers' commitment is what's made the difference in this campaign. “Because of you, we will make history tonight. Because of you, we will see Elizabeth elected.”
8:39 p.m. (Victoria) - Denise Savoie showed up at the Office restaurant and bar, hand-in-hand with her grandson. With a sea of orange signs in support of her NDP party as her backdrop, Savoie hopped onto a table top in her high heels and made a speech to a large group of supporters. She addressed the country's Conservative majority government, saying "we will see their true colours and we will hold them accountable."
8:30 p.m. The Liberal collapse across the country is being reflected in the standings of the party’s candidates in Greater Victoria. Shortly after 8 p.m., Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff congratulated Stephen Harper on retuning as Prime Minister and Jack Layton as the new leader of the official opposition.
In Saanich-Gulf Islands, Liberal Renee Hetherington trailed all four candidates with a mere 4.8 per cent of the vote (31/2456 polls).
In Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, Liberal Lillian Szpak trailed Conservative Troy DeSouza and NDP Randall Garrison.
In Victoria, Oak Bay Mayor Christopher Causton is also in third.
8:25 p.m. (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) - The race between Troy DeSouza (Con) and Randall Garrison (NDP) is tightening in the riding. DeSouza leads with about 45 per cent of the vote, and Garrison holds 35 per cent. However, only a fraction of polls in that riding are reporting their results – about 20 of 246 polls.
8:25 p.m. (Victoria) -- A sombre mood prevails at Liberal candidate Christopher Causton's headquarters, as supporters listen to Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff concede defeat to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Causton, who took a leave of absence from his job as Oak Bay mayor to run for MP, sees the results for his riding on the screen and said he is "very surprised."
8:20 p.m. (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) Colwood Mayor Dave Saunders, a former supporter of ex-MP Keith Martin (Liberal), told Black Press from Troy DeSouza's camp tonight that even if Martin were running again in this election, he'd still vote for DeSouza. Saunders was impressed by PM Stephen Harper's (Cons) frequent visits to the West Shore this year and the federal grants Colwood has accessed from the government. The approximately 100 people at Colombo's in Langford with DeSouza are anxious as they watch poll results roll in, which are so far showing DeSouza in a strong lead, with around 50 per cent of the vote.
8:20 p.m. (Esq.-Juan de Fuca) - Maurine Karagianis, NDP MLA Esquimalt-Royal Roads, addresses Randall Garrison's campaign party: "It's so far a great night for New Democrats, and I hope it will be a great night for us in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca as well." The crowd is at about 40 now, many of whom are wearing orange shirts. With the TV volume rising, excitement is equally palpable for Elizabeth May's lead over Conservative Minister of State for Sport Gary Lunn in Saanich-Gulf Islands.
8:18 p.m. "There should be no tears there should be pride for what we fought for, for what we believe." - Michael Ignatieff. At Lillian Szpak's camp, people gasped as results showed a strong lead by Conservative Troy DeSouza.
8:08 p.m. (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) - Though the results from only three polling stations are in at the riding, Conservative candidate Troy DeSouza is taking an early lead and his followers are cheering at those results. DeSouza holds about 57 per cent of the vote, while NDP candidate Randall Garrison has 23 per cent. Lillian Szpak, the Liberal, has just under 13 per cent. DeSouza's wife Kismet and two children are at Colombo's in Langford.
8:05: With 3 of 245 polls counted in Saanich-Gulf Islands, Green party leader is beating Conservative incumbent Gary Lunn by 39 votes. May sits at 181, while Lunn has 142. NDP candidate Edith Loring-Kuhanga has 79, while Liberal Renee Hetherington has 27.
8 p.m. - It’s early, but Elections Canada is reporting that Green Party leader Elizabeth May leads in Saanich-Gulf Islands with 71 votes compared to 31 for Conservative incumbent Gary Lunn and 40 for NDP Edith Loring-Kuhanga. Liberal Renee Heatherington has a single vote so far, with 1 of 245 polls reporting.
8:01 p.m. (Victoria) - Incumbent NDP Denise Savoie is increasing her lead on the opposition, sitting more than 1,200 votes ahead of Conservative Patrick Hunt. Savoie sat with 49.4 per cent of the vote with 25 of 252 polls counted.
7:59 p.m. (Victoria) - At The Office bar in Victoria, people cheered at preliminary results showed on CBC that suggest incumbent Denise Savoie, the NDPer, is in the lead in that riding. They cheered equally as loud as reports suggested Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is likely leading the vote in her Saanich-Gulf Islands riding. About 40 people are milling about the bar there.
7:49 p.m. (Victoria) - In the Victoria riding, 10 out of 252 polls stations have been tallied and results are trickling in. The incumbent candidate, NDPer Denise Savoie, is in the lead so far with 48.8 per cent of the vote. Conservative candidate Patrick Hunt has 23.8 per cent of votes so far, while Liberal Christopher Causton is counting 18.6 per cent. Meanwhile, Green candidate Jared Giesbrecht holds about 8.8 per cent of the vote.
7:48 p.m. (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) - Lillian Szpak, the Liberal candidate, arrived at her HQ at the Langford Station House, all smiles, but admittedly nervous. She said she's grateful for her experience as a municipal councillor in Langford before embarking on the federal campaign trail. She spent the day with her volunteers, doing some last-minute door-knocking and waving signs along the highway.
7:44 p.m. (Saanich-Gulf Islands) - Green Party Leader and local candidate Elizabeth May arrived at her camp in Central Saanich and spoke to the CBC, saying she's not surprised the Greens' numbers are down from the last election, Canada-wide, since she was shut out from an all-party leaders' debate in April.
7:42 p.m. (Esq.-Juan de Fuca) At Randall Garrison's NDP election headquarters, around 25 people are at Gorge Vale Golf Club watching poll results come in. The candidate has yet to arrive.
7:29 p.m. (Esquimalt-JdF): Over at Troy DeSouza's camp, we're told supporters are talking up their role in getting people out to vote, regardless of their political stripe. The Conservative candidate is hoping to win the riding after coming close but failing to beat Keith Martin in the last election. DeSouza is expected to meet with his faithful at Colombo's Taverna on Goldstream Avenue at 8 p.m.
7:13 p.m. At Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca Liberal candidate Liilian Szpak's office at the Station House in Langford, about 15 or 20 followers watching election results come in are groaning audibly. The place reportedly smells of the onion rings being served to the riding's Liberals.