Elizabeth May, here at her victory party Monday night, said she would likely run again in 2023 to be the MP for Saanich Gulf-Islands, but left open the possibility that she might step from the party’s leadership (Arnold Lim/News Staff)

Saanich Gulf-Islands’s Elizabeth May coy about leadership plans

The federal Green party leader talks possibility of running as MP without being leader

Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May says she would likely run again in 2023, but not necessarily as leader of the party.

“I’m very grateful to the voters of Saanich Gulf-Islands,” she said. “I want to continue to work as Member of Parliament of Saanich Gulf-Islands and likely run again in 2023, but it has never been the case that I wanted to hold on to leadership when I see so many strong people come up now.”

She made these comments to reporters late Monday night after voters had given her mandate to represent the riding for the third time in three elections. May will be one of three Green MPs heading to Ottawa, along Paul Manly (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) and Jenica Atwin (Fredericton).

Speaking with the Peninsula News Review before May’s comments, Jamie Lawson, assistant professor of political science at the University of Victoria, said Monday’s election showed the Greens have evolved beyond May, the party’s first elected MP, in suggesting that the results give May the time to reflect on her own role in the party.

RELATED: Federal Green party leader Elizabeth May takes Saanich-Gulf Islands

May, for her part, sees it the same way. “As a result of this election campaign, we have many more people, who could see themselves in leadership roles. I am not making any decisions right away, that is for sure. I have a lot to consider. We have to consider right now that I am the most experienced parliamentarian within the Green Party. I want to make sure that I give Paul Manly and Jenica Atwin the support and help that they will want for the foreseeable future. But that is always something that we can revisit.”

When asked whether she could see herself leading the party into the next election, May said she is not even thinking about that.

“We don’t know when the next election might be,” she said in alluding to the likely election outcome of a Liberal minority government. “When the government falls in the next few months, the answer is yes, I will lead my party into the next election, depending on how long this minority parliament serves. But if it is a four-year-wait, well, then I think there [are] things that would be worth considering about seeking a succession plan. But I’m not in any hurry to leave, that is for sure.”


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