Less than one per cent of votes cast separate top two contenders



rafe arnott/metro vancouver


The freshly-minted Liberal MP for Vancouver Quadra, Joyce Murray, makes her way through a sea of supporters celebrating her victory last night at the St. James Community Square in Kitsilano. Voter turnout for the byelection ran at 33.9 per cent.


Joyce Murray is the new face of Vancouver Quadra as the former provincial cabinet minister edged her opponents in yesterday’s federal byelection.

"We’re sending a very clear message to Stephen Harper — the Liberals are strong," said Murray, who celebrated the victory with several hundred supporters at St. James Community Square on West 10th Avenue.

"Three victories in three great urban ridings. We are going to be even more effective in holding Stephen Harper to account in the coming weeks and months. The public has spoken, it’s about the environment."

With all 237 polls reporting last night, Murray had 10,155 votes, or 36.1 per cent of the total ballots cast, according to Elections Canada.

Her closest opponent, Tory Deborah Meredith received 35.5 per cent of the votes. While NDP candidate Rebecca Coad and Green candidate Dan Grice received 14.4 per cent and 13.5 per cent respectively.

Before yesterday’s vote, many pundits had considered Vancouver Quadra — one of four ridings up for grabs in yesterday’s byelection — to be a sure victory for the Liberal party.

Quadra has been a Liberal stronghold since 1984 when former prime minister John Turner won the seat from the incumbent Tory Bill Clarke. MP Stephen Owen, whose retiring from politics to teach law at the University of B.C. prompted the byelection, has held the seat since 2000 and was re-elected in 2004 and 2006 by large margins.

Despite being the favourite, the battle yesterday was close with Murray and Meredith leapfrogging each other several times as the results came in. An environmentalist and a businesswoman, Murray immigrated to Canada in 1961 and settled in Point Grey.

across the country

  • The Liberals took two seats in the Toronto byelections with former NDP Ontario premier Bob Rae and party veteran Martha Hall Findlay scoring victories.

  • Conservative candidate Rob Clarke won a tight race in northern Saskatchewan.