Fate of Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding hinges on mail-in votes
The winner of the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding could be determined before the weekend as Elections Canada officials work to count mail-in ballots in a race that was too close to call on election night.
NDP candidate Lisa Marie Barron looked poised to unseat Green MP Paul Manly on Monday, with 1,001 votes between herself and the second-place finisher, Conservative Tamara Kronis.
Mail-in ballots could upset those standings, however, with Manly, the incumbent, trailing the lead by fewer than 2,800 votes.
An Elections Canada spokesperson says officials received thousands of mail-in votes for the Vancouver Island riding. Officials expect to finish verifying all the ballots by Thursday evening and begin counting them on Friday.
“They are hopeful they will be able to complete the count by end of day Friday,” said spokesperson Andrea Marantz.
Manly was one of only two Green MPs in Canada when Parliament was dissolved, having won the seat in a 2019 byelection.
In a Twitter post late on election night, Manly thanked his supporters, but added, “even with 8,000 special ballots remaining to be counted on Friday, the current margin will be hard to overcome.”
Kronis has been silent on social media since Sep. 6, when she thanked a supporter and retweeted a Conservative party ad.
Barron, who leads in the votes counted so far, tweeted that the 36-day election campaign was “like no other.”
“While we will not know the results for a few days, I wanted to thank each one of you for your support, donations, vote and time through these past 5 weeks and beyond,” Barron said.
Nanaimo-Ladysmith is one of three B.C. ridings waiting for mail ballots to be counted before determining a result. The Richmond Centre and West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country seats are still undecided after close races.