Conservative Mel Arnold shows his delight as he is announced winner in his North Okanagan-Shuswap riding Monday evening at his Vernon campaign office.

Election 2015: North Okanagan-Shuswap remains Conservative

Liberals tally second place locally, but win a national majority.

North Okanagan-Shuswap has retained Tory blue while Liberal red has coloured the rest of the country.

Newcomer Mel Arnold handily captured the riding as Conservative candidate Monday, winning   22,233 votes or 38.9 per cent with 245 of 277 polls reporting. That was followed by Liberal Cindy Derkaz at 17,235 or 30.1 per cent, Jacqui Gingras, with the NDP, at 14,738 or 25.8 per cent, and Green Chris George at 2,968 or 5.2 per cent.

“This is terrific,” said Arnold, a Salmon Arm businessman who takes over from retiring Colin Mayes.

“It’s been a hard fought battle, I want to congratulate all the candidates. And no matter how they voted, I’m here to represent this riding.”

With the Conservatives in opposition nationally, Arnold will be in the backbenches.

“It will make us work a little bit harder,” he said, noting that he will lobby the new Liberal government for funding for local projects.

“And I will be available to the public as soon as we have our doors open to the office.”

Nationally, the Liberals won 186 seats or 39.8 per cent of the vote, compared to 103 per cent or 32.1 per cent for the Conservatives, 39 seats or 19.1 per cent for the NDP, 10 seats or 4.9 per cent for the Bloc Quebecois and one Green.

Derkaz welcomes her second-place finish in North Okanagan-Shuswap.

“I would have liked to have won but it was amazing,” said the retired lawyer.

While some opinion polls had the NDP taking North Okanagan-Shuswap, Derkaz believes many residents saw the Liberals as the best route to challenge the Conservatives.

“People had a huge attitude for change from the Harper government,” she said.

In terms of the Liberal victory nationally, Derkaz said, “It’s a tremendously clear message that we want change as a country and we picked the Liberals to put that change into effect.”

Gingras, a university professor, admits she was disappointed by the election results.

“They’re not what I hoped for but I respect their choice,” she said of voters.

“It’s been a very positive campaign and I met so many great people.”

Gingras wouldn’t speculate on why the NDP didn’t win locally.

“That’s something we will have to dwell on. I respect the decision of community members and this is only the start for us.”

She isn’t sure why the party went from official opposition status nationally to third place.

“Like any campaign, there are ebbs and flows. People were motivated to have Harper out,” she said.

George anticipated a fourth-place finish for the Greens in North Okanagan-Shuswap.

“There are no surprises here. We’re looking ahead to the next time out,” he said.

“I would have preferred a minority government nationally because it’s good for Canadians. It (Liberals) is going to be a change but whether it’s the change we’re looking for, that remains to be seen.”

George believes Arnold’s new term as MP could be challenging.

“He will be a backbencher and that doesn’t contribute much to the conversation.”

In North Okanagan-Shuswap, 58,781 of 96,243 registered electors cast ballots or 61.08 per cent (that does not include electors who registered on election day).

Just Posted

Salmon Arm’s request for red light camera on Highway 1 draws attention of province

Years of lobbying for camera at Trans-Canada Highway intersection might be generating results

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP surprised by Conservative leader’s resignation

Arnold predicts Conservative party will remain united in its quest to become government

Highway 1 now clear following vehicle accident

The accident occurred between Canoe Beach Dr NE and Bernie Rd

VIDEO: Your favourite Christmas light displays in the Shuswap

Residents recommend decorated homes worth checking out

‘A pretty big deal’: Salmon Arm prepares for the ultimate hockey fan experience

City awarded new hockey net/hoop by Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

Junior Salmon Arm bowler advancing to provincials

Young Lakeside Bowling team represent city in zone competition

Vernon business evacuated after gas line hit

A natural gas line was struck, emergency responders unsure of size

Lug nuts loosened on several vehicles in Vernon

Mischief makers reportedly compromising cars; motorists reminded to check vehicles before operating

Vernon nurse pleads guilty to arson

Guilty pleas related to 2016 arson

Safe donation bins coming to Okanagan streets

UBC Okanagan engineering students help design bins for non-profits

Former Summerland lifeguard will continue to receive pension benefits

Edward Casavant has pleaded guilty to several child sexual assault and pornography charges

B.C. SPCA seizes dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

Most Read