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ELECTION 2021: NDP garner historic vote total in Chilliwack-Hope but fall short of win

Preliminary numbers had DJ Pohl with 28.4% of ballots cast by 10 p.m. Monday
Chilliwack-Hope NDP federal election candidate DJ Pohl on election night Sept. 20, 2021 outside her Wellington Avenue campaign office. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress)

The orange wave that swept two provincial NDP candidates from Chilliwack to power in 2020, also pushed the federal candidate for Chilliwack-Hope to one of the party’s best showings ever.

NDP candidate DJ Pohl earned 12,640 votes, or 26.4 per cent of ballots cast, after 212 of 213 polls reporting in Chilliwack-Hope, or 99.53 per cent, according to preliminary results by about 1 a.m.

It wasn’t enough to topple the Strahl legacy where incumbent Conservative Mark Strahl won his fourth straight election since 2011.

“We’re definitely proud of the campaign we ran and everyone involved in it,” Pohl said outside her campaign headquarters after the polls closed.

Pohl, a community leader, and lifelong advocate for justice and equality, thanked the community, supporters, family and friends who came together to help her campaign.

“We’ve been inspiring each other to push and fight for a better Chilliwack-Hope riding that we all want to see.”

Asked about the challenges of running during a pandemic, Pohl said it required some creativity, and finding virtual ways to get out the message.

“During the pandemic priority number one is the safety of everyone in the riding, and all of the voters, so sometimes we had to get creative about contacting voters and creating space that was virtual and safe,” Pohl said.

RELATED: DJ Pohl to run for Chilliwack-Hope

In 2019, Heather McQuillan finished third for the NDP with 8,957 votes or 16.7 per cent. In 2015, the NDP’s Seonaigh MacPherson also finished third with 9,218 votes or 18.2 per cent.

A decade ago in 2011 was the best showing for the NDP that decade when Gwen O’Mahony earned 12,691 votes or 25.78 per cent, finishing second to Strahl in his first election in what was then known as Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon.

The NDP similarly finished second in the riding with Helen Kormendy in 2008, Malcolm James in 2006, and Rollie Keith in 2004.

READ MORE: Canada Election 2021

with files from Paul Henderson

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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