The Greens continue to have two seats in the House of Commons — but a third is still up in the air as votes continue to be counted in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, the riding where Green Party incumbent Paul Manly is seeking re-election.
The Greens' Mike Morrice in Kitchener Centre picked up a new seat becoming the first elected Green Party member in Ontario — while Elizabeth May handily retained her seat in her Saanich-Gulf Islands riding, a seat she has held since 2011.
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul failed to win a seat in her riding of Toronto Centre, coming in fourth place.
But eyes are now on Nanaimo-Ladysmith, a riding in the midst of an exceptionally close race with the NDP candidate Lisa Marie Barron, a school board trustee, and the Conservative candidate Tamara Kronis, a lawyer and retail business owner, within a few hundred votes of each other. The Green's Manly is in third place, within 2,000 votes of the leaders.
There are almost 8,000 special ballots still to be counted — votes Manly is counting on to retain his seat.
Nanaimo-Ladymsith has historically been an NDP stronghold. Prior to Manly, the seat was held the NDP's Sheila Malcolmson who resigned in order to run provincially in former MLA Leonard Krog's riding after Krog was elected mayor of Nanaimo. Manly won that 2019 by-election, leading the Conservative candidate by 12.4 per cent.
University of Victoria public administration teaching professor Kimberly Speers said that both the NDP and Conservatives had invested heavily in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding in the lead-up to the election — hoping to take the seat from the Green Party.
If the Conservatives do end up winning the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding, it will be the only Conservative seat on Vancouver Island.
If the NDP win, it will mean six of the seven seats on Vancouver Island will be NDP, with the sole outlier being May's Green seat.
May, who had served as the leader of the federal Green Party from 2006 to 2019, quickly dismissed the idea of taking up the mantle of leader again.
"I'm the former leader, that's what I'm staying."
WATCH | May discusses the Green campaign and Paul: