Premier Christy Clark has defeated NDP challenger David Eby in the Vancouver-Point Grey by-election and secured a seat in the legislature.
Clark won the contest with 48.9 percent of the vote (7,371 votes) to runner-up Eby’s 45 percent (6,776 votes), according to preliminary results.
“Well, we did it,” Clark declared to cheers from a crowd of supporters packed into a restaurant on West 4th Avenue in Vancouver on May 11.
Joined by her son, Hamish, Clark called the by-election a close race and thanked her campaign workers and Liberal MLA Colin Hansen, who chaired her campaign.
“I had the chance in this campaign to talk to thousands and thousands of people in Vancouver-Point Grey and I am honoured tonight that they selected me to be their MLA,” she said.
Eby, a high-profile civil rights lawyer, said he is proud about how his campaign went.
“It was an honest campaign. It was grassroots. And it was volunteer-driven and the results spoke for themselves,” he told the Straight.
Clark served as a Liberal cabinet minister and deputy premier before leaving politics in 2005. She won the Liberal leadership race in late February as the only contender who was not an MLA.
During the campaign, Eby criticized Clark for avoiding all-candidates debates. With the vote results in, he said he hopes Clark heard the voices of the people of Vancouver-Point Grey.
“You can’t take the voters for granted. You have to be in the community,” he said.
“I hope she’s learned a lesson.”
Asked about his future in provincial politics, Eby said: “Well that’s the big question.”
“I’ve got to take some time and digest this and think about it. I had no idea that we would be so close and that this would be so successful.”
The Vancouver-Point Grey riding was held by former Liberal premier Gordon Campbell until he vacated the seat in March.