Cowichan-Malahat-Langford candidates. (Photos submitted)

UPDATED: NDP’s MacGregor wins Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding – national Liberal win

"I'm thankful for the number of people who had faith in me"

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford incumbent and NDP candidate Alistair MacGregor topped the polls in the riding for the third straight time.

“As with the previous two elections, it’s a little overwhelming because there’s a whole army of volunteers that made this possible,” said MacGregor. “I’m thankful for the number of people who had faith in me and the policies we are fighting for.”

With 249 polls of 250 reporting, MacGregor finished with a substantial lead from 24,115 votes followed by Alana DeLong of the Conservative Party with 16,211 votes, Blair Herbert of the Liberal Party with 9,199 votes, Mark Hecht of the People’s Party of Canada with 3,738 votes and Lia Versaevel of the Green Party of Canada with 3,613 votes.

A national Liberal minority government was projected for Justin Trudeau early Monday evening, only about a half hour after the B.C. polls closed.

“It doesn’t look like the result will be all that different from what we just had, which begs the question of why this election was necessary in the first place,” said MacGregor of the national seat count.

Runner-up DeLong was shocked by the national result.

“We just spent all of this incredible effort – every party did – and spent $600 million of Canadians’ money and nothing,” she said.

DeLong expected a Conservative minority under Erin O’Toole as prime minister.

“I really did think that Canadians would look at what we were offering and realize it was what was going to move the country ahead.”

Herbert said he was hoping for a better result in the riding for the Liberals.

“I talked to a lot of people at the Cowichan Exhibition last weekend and received a lot of support,” Herbert said. “But it’s a fact that strategic voting can come into play in this riding when many voters see the Conservatives doing well and switch their votes from Liberal to NDP to ensure they don’t win here. But we’re happy in that federally, we are going to have about as many seats as we had the last time.”

The People’s Party of Canada candidate for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford congratulated MacGregor on his win.

“Alistair is a great guy and he’s good for the community, so I’m not surprised by the result,” Hecht said.

He was disappointed with the national result.

“Unfortunately, the Liberal government has pushed people in this country into a corner with its vaccine mandates,” Hecht said. “I think things are going to get nasty. Nothing has been gained by this election.”

Versaevel was the last to enter the race following the riding’s nomination meeting for Greens.

“It’s been a blur,” she said of the campaign. “That was the whole plan with a pandemic election.”

On the other hand, Versaevel said “it’s been wonderful to have seen how the people have rallied. This is a very green area.”

The election results, Versaevel added, were “not entirely unexpected. We think the leadership situation has definitely put a damper on our chances.”

Cowichan Valley Citizen