Green Party supporters gathered Wednesday night in the Kelowna West byelection. - Image: Contributed

Green candidate ‘concerned’ with byelection

Neither the Greens nor the NDP could knock off the Liberals in easy win for Team Okanagan

The Green Party of B.C. candidate in the Kelowna West byelection said a Liberal stronghold in the riding is concerning after a 28 day election campaign resulted in a runaway win by Liberal Ben Stewart Wednesday night.

Robert Stupka said he felt he ran the best campaign in the byelection and presented voters with real answers to important issues. But Stupka was not able to pull off the monumental upset, though he did gather 1,727 votes, nearly 13 per cent of those cast, finishing third.

“We showed Kelowna West what real representation could look like by engaging with the community on important issues with real answers,” Stupka told the Capital News Wednesday night, following the official results. “We offered representation that would give the riding a big voice and represents the changing demographic. Unfortunately few (came out) to vote and voted for the status quo.

“I am concerned, given the concerns raised in the campaign, if this is the future we really want.”

Both the Greens and the NDP offered voters a chance to have representation from the governing party, or close to it, given the unique partnership in the NDP’s minority government.

But neither party could make a dent in what has been an easily held Liberal seat for many years. Even combined the four challengers wouldn’t have beaten Stewart, collecting 5,932 votes together, short of Stewart’s 7,692.

Stewart claimed nearly 57 per cent of the vote.

When asked what the NDP could do to earn more support in the riding, Cook said there were no easy answers.

“Given it held up so consistently from last time, I’m not sure,” she said.

Voter turnout in the byelection was 29 per cent with just 13,624 of the eligible 46,853 registered voters casting a ballot.

Stewart said the key to his campaign victory was his volunteers.

“The volunteers that worked on this campaign were second to none,” he said. “They were tireless. We had not only local volunteers, we had people from out of town, we had ridings, Kelowna-Lake Country and Kelowna Mission, we had MLAs and we had leadership candidates.”

The election also featured candidates from the BC Conservatives and Libertarian party and while Mark Thompson and Kyle Geronazzo raised issues, they weren’t able to gather much support with Thompson getting 898 votes and Geronazzo 110.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



kparnell@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Gold for Apex Freestyle Club skier at B.C. Games

Kelowna’s Jordan MacDonald wins gold in Kamloops at the B.C. Winter Games

Feature Friday: Life in the sex trade

A view into the life from one Kelowna prostitute and the issues it can cause for women

Future Olympians sought in Kelowna

RBC Training Ground event evaluates 100 young local athletes

Okanagan wineries back to business as usual

“It’s business as usual,” said Jeff Harder, owner of the Lake Country winery, Friday morning.

Snow impacting flights at Kelowna airport

Tough conditions have delayed several flights and cancelled others at the regional airport

What’s happening

Check out what is happening this weekend in the Okanagan-Shuswap.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Rockets fend off pesky T-birds

Kelowna and Seattle go back and forth in an entertaining WHL affair

Canucks fold 5-3 in first ever trip to Vegas

Daniel Sedin had two points as Canucks fall to the Golden Knights Friday night

That’s a wrap: B.C. Games results after Day 1

Vancouver-Coastal Zone 5 is in the lead for medals Friday at the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games

Familiar faces head up library board

The executive of the Okanagan Regional Library board remains the same

Sticking the landing at the B.C. Games

Gymnasts talk competition, B.C. Winter Games, and teamwork in Kamloops

Therapy dogs make appearance at B.C. Games

The St. John’s Ambulance therapy dog program launches a pilot project at the 2018 Kamloops B.C. Winter Games

$153M in federal cash to fund child care, education training in B.C.

Bilateral agreement will create 1,370 new infant and toddler spaces

Most Read