Murray Rankin won the Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding in the 2020 election but it wasn’t because of Uplands.
A look at the breakdown of 70-plus voter areas from Oak Bay-Gordon Head shows that for the second straight provincial election the sparse and well-to-do population went against the grain and voted staunchly for the BC Liberal party.
The NDP’s Rankin, recently named the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, won the riding in the October provincial election with 14,748 votes, helping the NDP win 57 seats and easily form a majority government. Next was BC Green candidate Nicole Duncan (7,362) and Liberal candidate Roxanne Helme (6,597).
The 2020 results show Rankin won in a pattern that is surprisingly similar to former Green party leader Andrew Weaver when he won the OBGH riding in 2017. In that election, Weaver earned the support of 15,405 voters to Liberal candidate Elizabeth Dutton’s 7,004 and NDP candidate Bryce Casavant’s 6,972.
However, Weaver nearly swept the 70-plus polling stations, but for a few anomalies. Dutton won polling area No. 33, the Uplands, with 106 votes to Weaver’s 69. Dutton also edged Weaver in a handful of special voting boxes by about 120 to 80. The two also drew even at 88 votes in the neighbourhood around the Victoria Golf Club.
Weaver otherwise won all polling stations from No. 31 to 39, Camosun Lansdowne (31), Uplands golf course (32), Uplands (33, 39), Cadboro Bay (34, 35), Queenswood (36) and Ten Mile Point (37-38) areas.
However, this time around Roxanne Helme outperformed everyone in the polling stations of No. 31 to No. 39, with the exception of No. 35, which bisects the heart of Cadboro Bay Village (and went to Rankin).
It’s the first time the Uplands-Cadboro Bay-Ten Mile Point corner – an area with above average real estate value – had gone to the Liberals since Ida Chong’s 17-year run between 1996 and 2013.
Duncan also won a few voter areas, Nos. 2 and 3, in the eastern corner of Gordon Head, and No. 24, which runs north-south along the west side of Shelbourne Street between Cedar Hill Cross Road and McKenzie Avenue.
Rankin is the latest Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA to be part of the provincial cabinet. Chong served as Minister of Women’s and Senior’s Services for three years before shuffling through as the head of nine more ministries.
NDP MLA Elizabeth Cull held the seat for two terms from 1989 to 1996 when she served as minister of health, deputy prime minister, minister of finance, and minister of Environment.
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