The Non-Partisan Association’s (NPA) power in Vancouver City Council has grown by one seat with last night’s byelection victory by Hector Bremner.
He won with 13,372 votes or 27.83%, beating independent candidate Jean Swanson at 21.36% and the Green Party’s Pete Fry at 20.31%.
Vision Vancouver effectively lost its seat with its 21-year-old candidate, Diego Cardona, landing on fifth place with just 11.26%.
However, the governing party still holds a slim majority of the seats in Council, with Vision now at six seats, the NPA with four seats, and the Green Party with one seat.
The byelection was held to fill the City Councillor seat vacated by Vision Vancouver’s Geoff Meggs, who left the position to take on the Chief of Staff role with the BC NDP government.
In the simultaneously-held Vancouver School Board byelection, Vision claimed only three of the nine trustee seats.
In response to Vision Vancouver’s disappointing election results, Mayor Gregor Robertson issued a statement that acknowledged his party had not done enough to quickly address the escalating housing crisis.
Here is Robertson’s statement in full:
I want to congratulate Hector Bremner on his election to City Council, and for running a campaign focussed on ideas about affordable housing, the biggest challenge we face as a city.
We knew this by-election would be difficult, and last night’s results were not what we hoped for.
Our city faces real challenges. Vancouverites are frustrated — particularly around housing affordability — and they expect more from us. We’re working hard to deliver solutions, but tonight’s results show us there’s much more work to do.
I heard that message loud and clear, and our party heard that message loud and clear.
Diego Cardona is an impressive individual, and we were honoured to have him as a candidate. He embodies the values of Vancouverites: progressive, forward-looking, and committed to building a city for everyone. Diego’s candidacy also represents where Vision Vancouver is headed. He worked tirelessly on this campaign, and he’s got a bright future ahead.
Our School Board team ran an exceptional and principled campaign, and I want to congratulate Joy Alexander, Ken Clement, and Allan Wong, along with the other newly-elected trustees. While the results were not what we hoped for, it appears that we now have a progressive majority on the Vancouver School Board, and we look forward to working with our newly-elected trustees to stand up for public education in Vancouver.
Just 48,645 votes were cast in the byelection, giving it a turnout of only 10.99%.
Bremner will be sworn into office on October 31.
The newly elected City Councillor and School Board will hold their positions for approximately one year, until the next general election scheduled for October 2018.
This byelection was widely seen as a litmus test for the upcoming general election. For the complete byelection results, click here.