Fair Vote Canada, a nonprofit, multi-partisan citizens movement for electoral reform in Canada, is sending out online ads in the riding encouraging residents to vote for candidates who support proportional representation in their platforms. (file photo)

Spotlight on B.C.: 12 races to watch on Election Day

Black Press Media presents a four-part series into how B.C. will affect the national outcome

By Bruce Cameron

It’s finally time to choose the next leaders of the country.

Here are 12 ridings in B.C. that could make the difference between which party forms government. Polls close in the Pacific Time Zone at 7 p.m.

Vancouver Island

Esquimalt–Saanich–Sooke: The shifting fortunes of federal parties in B.C. are reflected here, with the NDP incumbent Randall Garrison pitted against his 2015 Liberal challenger, David Merner, now running for the Greens. Merner has an excellent chance to turn this seat Green if he can channel the concerns of moderate voters who oppose Liberal pipeline policies. However, Green hopes may be dashed if the New Democrat base of support that had weakened at the outset of the campaign rebounds dramatically by Oct. 21.

Courtenay–Alberni: The NDP’s Gord Johns won this riding in 2015 in a three-way race, defeating longtime Conservative MP and former Harper cabinet minister John Duncan. Given the drop in NDP support since the last time at the polls, this riding could be another close three-way race, with the Greens having an outside shot, especially considering nearby Nanaimo–Ladysmith shifted from NDP to Green in a recent byelection.

Interior

Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo: Incumbent Conservative MP Cathy McLeod faces a strong challenge from popular former BC Liberal environment minister Terry Lake, now running for the federal Liberals. The Liberals initially believed that NDP support could shift their way after a second NDP candidate was forced to resign on the first day of the campaign. However, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s late surge may make this close.

Kootenay–Columbia: The NDP’s Wayne Stetski won here four years ago by a razor-thin, 280-vote margin, despite it being a longtime Conservative stronghold, held by former Alliance and Reform Rarty MP Jim Abbott since 1997. If the Tories are to challenge the Liberals nationally, they must win back seats like Kootenay–Columbia.

Lower Mainland

Pitt Meadows–Maple Ridge: Liberal Dan Ruimy narrowly won his seat in 2015, beating out the Conservatives by only 1,300 votes. But loyalties and personalities have shifted considerably since then. The NDP challenger from 2015, Bob D’Eith, is now the area’s MLA, and former BC Liberal MLA Marc Dalton is running for the Conservatives. This result could be right down to the wire.

Cloverdale–Langley City: Liberal incumbent John Aldag won by 10 per cent over the Tories last time around, but Liberal support has dropped across the country since then, putting this riding into play. Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives have high hopes that businesswoman Tamara Jansen will be able to wrest back what was once a fairly safe Tory seat. But former Conservative MP Gurmant Grewall is also running here, for the People’s Party of Canada, and could siphon off Conservative votes.

Coquitlam–Port Coquitlam: Liberal Ron McKinnon captured this formerly solid Conservative seat by fewer than 2,000 votes in 2015. The Liberals will be spending a lot more money here this time, after they were outspent by the Conservatives by more than $170,000 the last time at the polls. If some of the NDP voting base shifts to the Liberals to stop the Conservatives, then this seat will remain Liberal.

South Surrey–White Rock: Gordie Hogg, the popular former mayor of White Rock, is battling to keep this seat Liberal against Conservative Kerry-Lynne Findlay. If this 2015 pick-up by the Liberals falls to the Conservatives in 2019, it may signal that Scheer will form government.

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Vancouver

Vancouver Granville: Former Liberal justice minister and newly independent candidate Jody Wilson-Raybould will face off against Liberal Taleeb Noormohamed in this contest sure to garner national attention. A riding poll by Justason Market Intelligence suggests Wilson-Raybould may have a lead, cobbled together from a diverse collection of former Liberal voters, NDP voters and even some Conservative voters eager to send Justin Trudeau a message.

Vancouver Kingsway: Three-term NDP MP Don Davies was first elected here in 2008, but with a star candidate running for the Liberals in former TV anchor Tamara Taggart, this riding is in play. Not only is it one of the oldest ridings in B.C., it also contains a high proportion of immigrants, such as Chinese Canadians (36 per cent) and Filipino Canadians (13 per cent). The rise in New Democrat support post-debates might be enough for Davies to hold on.

Spotlight on B.C.: Setting the agenda on key election issues

North Vancouver: Liberal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Jonathan Wilkinson will test the Liberals’ ability to retain seats in areas around Vancouver in 2015. He faces Andrew Saxton, former Conservative MP from 2008-2015, in a re-run of the 2015 vote. In the previous campaign, Wilkinson won by 30 per cent, so there would have to be a large collapse of Liberal support for Saxton to make this a close race. If it is close, this head-to-head, Conservative-Liberal clash could have national implications, deciding which party forms government.

Burnaby North–Seymour: For pure theatrics and candidate charisma, this riding is worth watching. It pits young, energetic incumbent Liberal MP Terry Beech against former NDP MP Svend Robinson, one of Canada’s first openly gay MPs, who is trying to win after serving many of the same constituents for 25 years. It also happens to be the endpoint for the Trans Mountain pipeline, which puts the Liberal government’s pipeline policies and recent federal purchase of Trans Mountain in the spotlight like no other riding in the province. The Conservatives will be a non-issue here, since their candidate was removed for anti-gay statements.

KEEP READING: Liberals need at least 10 B.C. ridings to take the election

Projections are based on data from Statistics Canada and Elections Canada and compiled by Canadian market research firm Return On Insight.

Bruce Cameron, Black Press Media’s polling analyst, is the founder of Return On Insight. Follow him on Twitter @roitweets

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

U-Haul truck hits hydro pole, causes power outage in Surrey

Vehicle driving westbound on Fraser Highway

Cloverdale man turns old bed racer into chicken coop

Clayton Heights’ Aaron Grim says repurposed racer ‘easy to clean and easy to collect the eggs’

UPDATE: All-cat fight at Surrey RCMP Classic final Saturday night

Guildford Park beats Semiahmoo, ending Totems’ three-year championship run

Greedy family’s maid overcomes them all in Surrey Little Theatre’s latest play

‘The Late Christopher Bean’ is staged at Clayton-area theatre for a month starting Jan. 23

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99 in South Surrey

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Most Read