SKEENA – Bulkley Valley voters matched those across the country last night by turning out in greater numbers than in 2011.
With just two of 219 polls not yet reporting in, 43,564 people voted in the riding last night and at advance polls for a 68.65 per cent turnout, a figure equating the national average.
That’s more than the 35,237 people who voted in 2011 for turnout of 58.86 per cent.
Elections Canada reports there were 63,459 people registered to vote this time, not counting those who registered at the polls yesterday.
Of total votes, NDP incumbent Nathan Cullen’s 22,303 gave him a clear majority of 51.2 per cent, down slightly from his 2011 tally of 55.33 per cent
Conservative Tyler Nesbitt received 10,758 votes or 24.7 per cent of voter turnout, less than the 34.5 per cent collected by the Conservative candidate in 2011.
Liberal Brad Layton received 8,158 votes or 18.7 per cent of the popular vote which was substantially more than the 3.61 per cent received by the Liberal candidate in 2011.
Green candidate Jeannie Parnell received 1,575 votes which was 3.6 per cent of the vote, slightly more than the 3.14 per cent received in 2011.
Christian Heritage Party candidate Don Spratt collected 770 votes or 1.8 per cent, down from the 2.96 per cent received in 2011.
This is Cullen’s fifth election win in Skeena – Bulkley Valley with his first being in 2004 when he received 37.14 per cent of the vote.
He now surpasses Jim Fulton in northwestern federal election victories. Fulton was first elected in 1979 and three times after that before retiring just before the 1993 federal election.
Frank Howard, first with the CCF and then with the NDP, was elected seven times in the northwest federally beginning in 1957 before being defeated in the 1974 federal election.