Cariboo-Prince George no longer a Conservative stronghold: Derrick
With a tear in her eye, long-time NDP supporter Joy McKellar greets Cariboo-Prince George NDP candidate Trent Derrick shortly before he conceded defeat Monday night
By Bill Phillips
NDP campaign organizers in Cariboo-Prince George certainly pushed voters to vote strategically in Monday’s election.
And voters certainly did. The only miscalculation for the NDP was that those strategic votes would go to the Liberals rather than the NDP as Trent Derrick polled third, behind Liberal Tracy Calogheros and winner Conservative Todd Doherty.
“At the end of the day, the voters voted, and they wanted change,” Derrick said. “… With the strategic vote, I think there’s a lot of factors that played into it as well. Todd won with 36 per cent of the vote, we’ve had a sold second and third. It’s no longer over 50 per cent.”
With an Environics poll putting Derrick in the lead just a week before Election Day, the third place was disappointing.
Speaking to supporters, Derrick said if there is one good thing to take away from the result it’s that the riding is no longer a Conservative stronghold.
“It’s going to be a dogfight every single election,” he said.
Derrick said the campaign has been a learning experience and one of the things he’s learned is that people do care.
“It showed me the true character and amazing people out there and how much passion for the community and the riding there is,” he said. “People have put their heart and soul forward, not for me, they did it for believing in a better Canada. Sixty-four per cent of the people wanted a better Canada, wanted that change.”
Derrick said he believes the NDP ran a strong campaign.
“At the end of the day, we did everything we could,” he said. “… We left our hearts out there and we bled orange.”