A 26-year-old Greek-Canadian school teacher sent shock waves to the Canadian political spectrum — not to mention surprising herself — after winning the Liberal party nomination for the riding of Saint-Laurent in Montreal on March 8, 2017.
Emmanuella Lambropoulos, a political rookie, defeated a seasoned politician and former provincial cabinet minister, Yolande James, considered to be the Liberal party favorite.
“I’m really shocked,” Lambropoulos told reporters after her win in Saint-Laurent. “I didn’t give up. Door to door. As soon as I knew I wanted this I worked really hard.”
Lambropoulos was the only of the three candidates to live in the riding.
“We came from the bottom up,” said Petro Vouloukos, 22, who helped Lambropoulos secure her win. “We were the grassroots. Not from the top up like Mrs. James.”
Emmanuella’s mother, Matina, said “Our headquarters was grandma’s living room.” Her father, Athanasios, said that his daughter’s campaign started out with just the two of them.
The riding is considered safe for the party and Lambropoulos is likely to become its MP after the April 3 byelection.
Former foreign affairs minister Stephane Dion has held the riding since 1996 and it has been Liberal for decades. Dion quit politics recently and was later named ambassador to the European Union and Germany.