Polls have closed in the Nanaimo–Ladysmith byelection on Vancouver Island, the last of four byelections this year.
Coming less than six months before the general election, the vote is seen as a litmus test for October’s election, and all federal party leaders have made appearances in the riding during the campaign.
The contested seat has been vacant since January, when the NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson stepped down for a successful run at provincial politics.
The main candidates are:
- NDP: Bob Chamberlin, former vice president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.
- Conservatives: John Hirst, Sun Life Financial manager.
- Liberals: Michelle Corfield, a First Nations leader who served as chair of the Nanaimo Port Authority.
- Greens: Paul Manly, communications specialist and former candidate in this riding.
Nanaimo–Ladysmith was created in 2012 when the boundaries of two ridings — one encompassing the community of Alberni and the other Cowichan — were redrawn.
The two ridings were solidly Conservative and NDP, respectively, meaning the new riding has strong bases for two parties on opposing ends of the political spectrum.
Macolmson took the riding by 10 points in the 2015 election, but the Liberals and Conservatives also put up strong and nearly identical showings at around 23 per cent of the vote.
The Green Party also captured around 20 per cent of the vote in the last election, and is a competitive player on Vancouver Island.
The Greens have also put up strong showings recently in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and this is the last chance for the party to pick up a second federal seat before the election campaign.
This story originally appeared on CBC