Following one of the most eventful municipal election campaigns in memory, Vancouver residents have re-elected Vision Vancouver’s Gregor Robertson as the Mayor of Vancouver.
This will be Robertson’s third consecutive term in the seat, making him the longest consecutive-running mayor in Vancouver’s history beating Philip Owen’s tenure from 1993 to 2002.
“I’ve heard loud and clear that there are things that we can do better, and we will over these next four years,” Robertson said during his victory speech at the Sheraton Wall Centre.
All 129 voting stations, including the nine advance voting stations, are now reporting their results: Robertson comes ahead with 83,529 votes. Non-Partisan Association (NPA) mayoral candidate Kirk LaPointe held an early lead when the ballot numbers began to come in, but he fell approximately 10,000 votes short with 73,443 votes.
“We were dozens of points down in the polls. Truly an unknown… an underdog [and] an under-financed group,” said LaPointe in his concession speech. “Even my dog didn’t like being walked by an underdog.”
The Coalition of Progressive Electors’ (COPE) Meena Wong ended the campaign at a distant third with 11,929 votes.
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Vision Vancouver’s platform included a $400,000 annual fund to expand the Vancouver School Board’s breakfast program, a $50,000 annual fund for independent artists, 20 new food truck permits, and the extension of patio hours to 1 a.m. Issues revolving around transparency, public consultation, affordability and bike lanes were front-and-centre throughout the campaign.
This was COPE’s first mayoral candidate since 2002 when Larry Campbell took the reigns over City Hall. There were concerns that COPE would take a share of the left-leaning “progressive vote” that Vision Vancouver attained in 2008 and 2011.
Heading into today’s election, the latest opinion poll indicated Robertson had a narrow 46 per cent lead against LaPointe’s 41 per cent while Wong trailed in third with 9 per cent. The top issues were housing, transportation and economic development.
Robertson was first elected into the mayor’s office in 2008, winning 54 per cent of the votes against NPA mayoral candidate Peter Ladner who attained 39 per cent. In the 2011 re-election campaign, he defeated the NPA’s Suzanne Anton by winning 53 per cent of the vote.
Feature Image: Nima Zadrafi / The Glass Eye