Any doubts the NDP might lose the Nelson-Creston riding were smashed in the May provincial election.
Incumbent MLA Michelle Mungall secured her third term with a blowout victory. Mungall beat runner-up Kim Charlesworth of the Green Party by more than 2,000 votes.
“It has been such an honour just to see the team grow and grow and grow over the past five weeks,” said Mungall.
Nelson-Creston has essentially been an NDP stronghold since 1972, but at least one party thought it had a chance to unseat Mungall this year.
The Green Party made the campaign interesting by throwing plenty of political star-power behind Charlesworth. Federal leader Elizabeth May, provincial leader Andrew Weaver and even celebrity supporter David Suzuki visited Nelson to campaign for Charlesworth.
In the end it made little difference, although the Greens did edge the Liberals by just 43 votes.
“But we gave it our all, and I think we inspired a lot of people,” said Charlesworth after the result. “So that’s a success.”
Mungall’s victory was crucial to the NDP, who won 41 seats overall and entered into a coalition with the Greens to topple the Liberals’ 43-seat minority government.
After John Horgan was installed as premier, he named Mungall the new Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. That put Mungall on the hotseat in December when she was part of the NDP’s decision to continue with the controversial Site C hydroelectric dam, despite previously saying she was against the project.
A protest was held outside Mungall’s local office following the Site C decision, led by some of the people who helped her win the May election.
CORRECTION: This story incorrectly stated B.C. Liberals candidate Tanya Wall was the runner-up to winner Michelle Mungall. The actual runner-up was Kim Charlesworth of the Green Party.