Hotdogs, badminton and music gave way to cheers followed by grim smiles at Jane Sterk’s campaign office tonight. The Green Party leader fell to defeat in the riding of Victoria-Beacon Hill to NDP incumbent Carole James.
Sterk, a former Esquimalt municipal councillor who lives in Esquimalt and couldn’t vote for herself, admitted prior to the countdown that facing James was a challenge “but we did the best we could.”
“I think we ran a great race,” she said, shortly after conceding defeat. “The electorate of Victoria-Beacon Hill clearly they felt Carole was the better choice.”
A cheer rose as the numbers for Oak Bay-Gordon Head came in.
“I’m happy we have a seat,” Sterk said of Andrew Weaver’s first Green Party win in B.C. history. “It was always our best hope. One Green seat as we’ve seen federally is a breakthrough and will be provincially as well.”
Leadership of the B.C. Greens remains to be seen in the days and weeks ahead. Sterk, who was elected leader in 2007, says she’ll meet with the chair and council to “talk about what is the best strategy going forward.”
She has previously stated she would step down if she lost this election, but Green Party members have encouraged her to stay, she said, citing the the strides made under her leadership.
“Success is seductive … the message of the Green Party that got out under my leadership in this campaign is exciting,” Sterk said.