New Democrat Nathan Cullen broke through the 50 per cent level of the popular vote last night, propelling him to a fourth win as the Member of Parliament for Skeena – Bulkley Valley.
An early lead into the 65 per cent range settled down as the night went on for Cullen who ended with 19,238 votes or 54.9 per cent of the vote. Cullen handily defeated Conservative challenger Clay Harmon who had 12,255 votes or 34.9 per cent of the total. Liberal Kyle Warwick ran a very, very distant third with 1,266 votes or 3.6 per cent followed by Green Roger Benham’s 1,098 votes (3.1 per cent), Rod Taylor’s 1,044 (3 per cent) tally for the Christian Heritage Party and Maggie Braun who received 164 votes (.5 per cent) for the Canadian Action Party.
Overall voter turnout was 35,065 with 247 of 250 polls reporting, or 58.6 per cent. That was approximately 2 per cent more than the 2008 federal election turn out for Skeena and below the national average for last night which was 61.4 per cent.
Cullen’s 54.9 per cent was five per cent more than his 2008 victory margin when he received 17,219 votes. Harmon’s 34.9 per cent tally was just a bit below Conservative candidate Sharon Smith’s 36.36 per cent in 2008, which worked out to 12,561 votes.
Despite the drop in turn out last night, more people voted overall – 35,065 – compared to 34,652 in 2008.