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John Cummins fails to unseat Liberals' Polak

In Langley, BC Conservative leader John Cummins' narrow 1,200-square foot campaign office is crammed with supporters, munching on ham sandwiches and cheese squares -- a homemade feast which invokes the ex-MP's distinct folksy campaign style.

Some might find irony in the prominently displayed blue bowl of mixed nuts in the middle of the banquet, after a campaign some described as rife with gaffes and "bozo eruptions."

Depending on one's view, the party's approach could be described as either embarrassing or charming. But with celebrated federal stalwarts like Stockwell Day batting for Christy Clark, it was an uphill struggle all along.

Appealing to the federal party's powerful name brand was not enough for the ex-Member of Parliament to unseat cabinet minister Mary Polak, who held more than double New Democrat Andrew Mercier's results. Cummins -- dogged by controversy throughout the campaign -- lagged behind with roughly 12 per cent support.

The campaign office went quiet as supporters wondered when Cummins would arrive to concede defeat.

"I like Stephen Harper's policies, and I'm sure he has a similar way of doing things," North Vancouver resident Marvin Manuel told The Tyee, adding proudly that his son Rick is a Tory candidate in Fort Langley-Aldergrove -- currently held by Liberal cabinet minister Rich Coleman. "If I like Stephen Harper, I'll probably like him."

It's a "cautious" financial approach that most appeals to the senior Manuel.

We'll report on Cummins' concession speech shortly. Stay tuned.

David P. Ball is reporting on the B.C. election for The Tyee.

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