Jaeden Dela Torre is only 18 years old, but he was still able to capture 6,167 votes in Steveston-Richmond East as the NDP candidate in Monday’s federal election, coming in third overall.
The NDP’s seat count was reduced in this election from 44 to 24 seats.
Dela Torre chalked up low NDP support to voters choosing Justin Trudeau’s Liberals over Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives.
“The narrative of strategic voting probably got to people,” he said, adding “I don’t blame them for being scared.”
Dela Torre said he’d like to see more youth involved in running for office.
“In the end, it’s going to be our future that we’re fighting for,” he said.
For him, the most important policy to focus on is the environment.
“We need to get serious about the environment, otherwise there will be nothing left for us,” he said.
In Richmond Centre, NDP candidate Dustin Innes got 5,482 votes (14.4 per cent) despite not being able to campaign during the election due to an injury.
This seems to show the NDP still retains a “solid toe-hold” in the riding despite the lack of campaigning, said KPU instructor Greg Millard.
Preliminary vote count (184/184 polls counted):
Kenny Chiu (Conservative): 17,193 votes (41.8 per cent)
Joe Peschisolido (Liberal): 14,397 votes (35 per cent)
Jaeden Dela Torre (NDP): 6,167 votes (15 per cent)
Nicole Iaci (Green): 2,852 votes (6.9 per cent)
Ping Chang (independent): 475 votes (1.2 per cent)