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HomeNewsHow the Cariboo-Prince George was won: NDP fizzle out

How the Cariboo-Prince George was won: NDP fizzle out

“We left our hearts… And we bled orange.”

The NDP supporters were stunned as the numbers came rolling in.

“It was a shock, especially coming in when it was a three-horse race,” Trent Derrick said.

“What came out on top was Canadians really wanted change… The majority of people we talked to were ‘anything but Harper’.

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In a surprise that blew local polls out of the water, Trent Derrick and the Cariboo-PG NDP fell far out of a race they never really seemed to be in once the ballots were counted.

Winning roughly 25 percent of the riding’s vote, the Orange never pulled out of third place, staying neck and neck with Tracy Calogheros and the Liberals until midway through the night.

As the liberals put more than 1000 votes between the orange and red, supporters held strong, with Bobby Deepak urging the crowd to wait for the advance poll ballots.

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Derrick says looking back, he wouldn’t change a thing.

“The NDP in this riding has shown it’s still got a lot of life. We’ve run the strongest campaign we’ve had in probably 20-25 years. If anything, it’s shown in this riding that it’s no longer a conservative stronghold.”

The 36.8% piece of the pie speaks differently on Todd Doherty’s end.

The night wrapped up with roughly 2,000 fewer votes than Jon Van Barneveld’s 30% effort for the NDP in 2011, but people present attributed those numbers to a weaker Liberal candidate at the last election.

So what went wrong for the NDP?

Some suggested it was a heavy reliance on strategic voting and popularity in advance polling.

The October 13th release from LeadNow and Environics Research used an automated telephone system that asked 500 residents in the Cariboo Prince George riding who they were voting for.

Environics says random phone numbers listed in the riding were contacted from Oct 9 – 11th, with a margin of error of 4.4%.

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“At the end of the day, the voters voted and they wanted change,” Derrick explained in a scrum.“We do have a new Prime Minister, so that says a lot right there. You never know until that final vote is counted where things are going to end up.”

But if the crowd that turned up decked out in orange is any indicator, there could be great things to come.

“There’s a lot of life and it’s going to be a battleground going forward. It’s a changing demographic…and it’s starting to reflect in these campaigns.

Sonia Manhas mirrored the emotion in the room as the took to the microphone to thank Trent for his effort and hope he brought to the party.

“When Trent asked me to be his campaign manager 8 weeks ago, he said to me; “The small guy always needs to look big.” That was his motto. So we got a campaign office and I thought we were done, but Trent’s vision was bigger than mine. ”

“We got an office in Quesnel, we got an office in Williams Lake, and we didn’t even have the money for it. The volunteers in those communities raised that money. Trent… you did a great job of making the small guy look big.”

(With Files from MY PRINCE GEORGE NOW)

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