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Jody Wilson-Raybould, the B.C. regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations speaks to media in Ottawa on January 23, 2012.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Jody Wilson-Raybould, a prominent aboriginal leader and star candidate for the Liberal party, easily won her riding of Vancouver Granville on Monday night, despite an aggressive strategic voting campaign that endorsed the New Democrats as having the best chance in the riding.

The contest for the new riding had been close from the beginning, featuring prominent candidates and intense campaigns, sign-waving supporters on bridges and participation by Leadnow. That group, which encouraged "strategic voting" to unseat Conservative leader Stephen Harper, endorsed NDP candidate Mira Oreck shortly before the election.

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But on Monday as results trickled in, Ms. Wilson-Raybould built an advantage over Conservative Erinn Broshko that grew as the night went on.

"I feel fantastic," Ms. Wilson-Raybould said last night in a telephone interview, as she was about to greet supporters at a Liberal Party gathering.

"It was a great night for the Liberal party and it was a great night for Canadians who decided they wanted to be part of a change in this country and how it is run."

During the campaign, there had been concerns among Liberals that Ms. Wilson-Raybould and Ms. Oreck would split the progressive support, allowing Mr. Broshko to take advantage of the divided vote.

Ms. Wilson-Raybould's supporters were thrilled not just by her victory, but by the sweeping change in Ottawa.

"I believe the [new] Prime Minister will take a diplomatic approach to the ISIS crisis," said Tom Choy, one of the happy revellers at the Steel Toad. "We're not supposed to be bombing other people's countries, and I hope our peacekeeping reputation will be restored."

Ms. Wilson-Raybould is a former crown prosecutor, treaty commissioner and regional chief with the B.C. Assembly of First Nations, which represents the political interests of 203 First Nations in B.C.

Ms. Oreck is a Broadbent Institute director who had worked on the campaigns of Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson.

Other candidates in the riding include Erinn Broshko, a lawyer and businessman running for the Conservatives, and Michael Barkusky for the Green Party.

Vancouver Granville, a new riding resulting from the 2012 federal electoral district boundary distribution, combined parts of four other ridings to create a roughly rectangular, 23-square-kilometre district that takes in the residential neighbourhoods of Fairview, Shaughnessy and Marpole.

With the average home price in the riding hitting $1.2-million, voters there face the same rising housing costs that have swept other neighbourhoods in the city as well as the prospect of significantly increased density resulting from new developments along the Cambie corridor.

The riding took on bellwether status because of its high-profile candidates and polling that suggested Ms. Oreck and Ms. Wilson-Raybould were in a dead heat for top spot.

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