NDP candidate Jacqui Gingras hugs party supporter Ray Sigurdson at the Prestige Hotel Monday.

NDP candidate Jacqui Gingras hugs party supporter Ray Sigurdson at the Prestige Hotel Monday.

ELECTION 2015: Election results crush New Democratic Party

North Okanagan-Shuswap New Democrats were dismayed as the party’s official opposition status crumbled

The orange wave was crushed.

North Okanagan-Shuswap New Democrats were dismayed as the party’s coveted official opposition status nationally crumbled in Monday’s election.

“It’s a bit disappointing,” said supporter Andrew Stuckey as he watched the numbers on a giant TV screen.

“My expectation was the Liberals would do well and take votes from the Conservatives. I thought NDP support was solid.”

Stuckey partly blames the NDP’s downfall on the Conservatives’ focus on the niqab leader and Tom Mulcair’s defense of a woman’s right to cover her face.

“This was Harper’s last laugh on the NDP. Often when you stand on conscience, you fall.”

Party supporter Bob McInnis says voters obviously put their faith in the Liberals over the NDP.

“People were mad at Harper and looked at who had the best chance to take down Harper.”

McInnis says the NDP missed some opportunities to promote policies regarding a national drug prescription drug policy and child care.

“We really didn’t run a great campaign.”

The Liberal victory began in Atlantic Canada and that’s when local resident Larry Peters knew the NDP were in trouble.

“The Maritimes was a shock to me. They (Liberals) swept the whole area,” he said.

“They couldn’t elect a Liberal there for decades.”

The NDP went from 95 seats before the dissolution of Parliament to 44 nationally Monday night.

While disappointed with the outcome, North Okanagan-Shuswap candidate Jacqui Gingras is still confident the party will play a key role in Ottawa.

“There are people still there doing incredible work and they will be there for Canadians.”

Mulcair has indicated that he will not resign as party leader despite the significant loss, and Gingras is pleased to see him stay on board.

“I very much respect him,” she said.

Stuckey will be watching the national scene to see how Liberal leader Justin Trudeau handles being prime minister.

“We didn’t need another majority government. You don’t have the checks and balances,” he said.