In the end it wasn’t even close, again. Incumbent NDP MLA Michelle Mungall took the Nelson-Creston riding with ease on Tuesday night and it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise.
In 2009, Mungall captured 54 per cent of the vote. As the Star went to press last night, Mungall made it once again look easy with 50 per cent of the vote (unofficial results).
Compared to some of the Nelson-Creston campaigns in recent years, all three of the candidates this time around were worthy. Heading into Tuesday, it felt like it was a three-way race. Then they started counting the ballots.
Though we are still waiting for a poll-by-poll breakdown, it would appear voters in Nelson-Creston held strong to their core political beliefs.
The biggest move was by Sjeng Derkx and the Green Party. At press time Derkx had 21 per cent of the popular vote. A huge jump from 2009 when the Greens ran Sean Kubara and only mustered seven per cent.
Before the NDP political strategists in Vancouver paint permanent orange for Nelson-Creston on the map, Derkx’s result from this campaign might prove to be significant four years from now.
The problem for the Greens is paranoia. A great many people in this riding loathe the Liberals and feel a vote for the Greens is giving up too much to the real enemy. But if more people vote with their hearts instead of their heads in four years, the gap could close even more.
Until that time, the Nelson-Creston riding will continue to flap in the political hinterland. With an MLA on the opposite side of power in Victoria, Michelle Mungall will face many distractions as her party desperately searches for answers in the coming months.
The voters in Nelson-Creston are stubborn, that was once again obvious on Tuesday night. That unwillingness to see past politics may once again cost us over the next four years.