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British Columbia Election 2013: Final Weekend Wrap-Up Edition

Click on picture for CTV BC report on BC NDP's widening lead in BC provincial election
Final weekend of BC election, NDP widens lead: click on picture above to hear CTV BC report

A new Angus Reid Public Opinion survey released Friday suggests the B.C. New Democrats have stretched their previous seven-point lead to nine points, with just hours to go before the provincial election. Forty-five per cent said they either intend to vote NDP or already have at an advanced polling station, compared to 36 per cent hoping for another Liberal term.

Daniel Fontaine tweets about BC NDP lead in provincial election

Overall, 30% of respondents said Adrian Dix would make the best premier, an increase of 4% over the last poll conducted at the beginning of May, while 25% favoured Clark, an increase of 1%. The online poll was conducted on May 9 and 10 among 808 randomly selected B.C. adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%, 19 times out of 20. Another poll is due to hit on Monday, the day before British Columbians head to the polls.

As both Vaughn Palmer at the Vancouver Sun, and Gary Mason at the Globe and Mail write, "the NDP are likely to win on Tuesday."

And, if this Vancouver Sun editorial represents their final word on the 2013 British Columbia election, it pretty much amounts to an, albeit backhanded, 'endorsement' of the BC NDP, a recognition that the NDP's "Change for the better" message has even reached the beating hearts and minds of the otherwise conservative editorial board of Vancouver's newspaper of record.

Meanwhile, Eric Grenier at, has continued crunching the numbers, accumulating all polling data published this past Friday from Forum Research, Ipsos-Reid, Hill + Knowlton and all other pollsters tracking the intentions of voters across the province of British Columbia, and has come up with the following, final weekend, pre-election chart respecting the popular vote projection, and how that will likely turn into seats for the two main parties following Tuesday's British Columbia provincial election.

Three Hundred Eight Election Prediction outcome, May 6 2013

Unless the bottom falls out of the BC New Democrat campaign over the weekend, or Christy Clark manages a Lazarus-like resurrection in the final hours of the campaign, British Columbians will be looking at a majority British Columbia New Democratic party government come Tuesday evening.

BC Election 2013: Ridings to Watch on Election Night

From Milton Chan at the Election Prediction Project to Doug Ward at The Tyee, and Eric Grenier at, reports on the ridings that will make the difference in who forms government come Wednesday morning, May 15th, have been rife. Eric Grenier has gone a step further than either Mr. Ward or Mr. Chan, and predicts riding-by-riding the outcome of Tuesday's election.

Employing Grenier's statistical data, here's a breakdown of both the ridings to watch on election night, May 14th — by region of the province — and the probable vote percentages for the candidates in each contentious riding.

Vancouverridings to watch Tuesday night

Vancouver Fairview. Current MLA: Liberal, Dr. Margaret McDiarmid.

Projection: A 70% chance that the NDP's George Heyman will claim victory on Tuesday night, taking the riding away from the Liberals, and incumbent, McDiarmid. projects 48.9% support for Heyman, leaving McDiarmid registering only 38.4% support in the riding. The NDP have long predicted a win in Vancouver Fairview for the former president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU), and currently on leave from his job as executive director of Sierra Club BC.

Vancouver False Creek. Current MLA: Liberal, Mary McNeil.

Projection: According to, former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan has a 73% chance of winning the riding, with a projected 44.7% of the vote, leaving NDP newcomer Matt Toner trailing with 32.1% support. The Green Party of BC will register a projected 17.6% of the vote, a better showing for the Green's Daniel Tseghay than is the case in any other Vancouver riding. If by some miracle, Vancouver False Creek should flip to the NDP on Tuesday evening, NDP headquarters will experience paroxysms of joy untold — not too likely an outcome, though.

Vancouver Fraserview. Current MLA: Liberal, Kash Heed.

Projection: Says Eric Grenier at, there's a whopping 83% chance that this riding will turn to BC NDP candidate Gabriel Yiu on Tuesday night, with a projected 52.7% of the vote against his B.C. Liberal challenger, parachute candidate Suzanne Anton's 33.5% support. Yiu, who lost to Heed by only 784 votes in 2009, questioned the fairness of Heed's election — in 2011, Heed's campaign manager, Barinder Sall, plead guilty to election overspending, receiving a court-imposed $15,000 fine, 1 year probation, and 200 hours community service. The incident caused Heed to resign as Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General in the Liberal cabinet.

Vancouver Langara. Current MLA: Liberal, Dr. Moira Stilwell.

Projection: A 62% chance that Vancouver-Langara will be a BC Liberal win for incumbent, Dr. Moira Stilwell. predicts 45.9% for the Liberals, and 39% for BC NDP candidate, George Chow. NDP apparatchiks working within the riding reveal riding support for Mr. Chow is great; apparently, the polls indicate otherwise. If Dr. Stilwell goes down to defeat Tuesday evening, political observers will know that a BC NDP rout is underway.

Vancouver-Point Grey. Current MLA: Liberal, Christy Clark.

Projection: According to, NDP candidate David Eby has a 64% chance of defeating incumbent Christy Clark, the current Premier. Grenier's crunching of the numbers projects 46.9% support for Eby, and 39% for Clark, a decisive win for the BC NDP. Doug Ward, in The Tyee, writes ...

The NDP hasn't held this affluent riding since 1991, when Darlene Marzari was sent to Victoria in the Mike Harcourt victory. Former premier Campbell won four consecutive victories here, but his victory margins were moderate — except for the 2001 anti-NDP blowout. Eby nearly scored a shock upset win in the 2011 byelection, losing to Clark by only 564 votes. The NDP expects, based on the polling, to move beyond its usual base here of renters, left-wing university professors, and baby boomer professionals and retirees who attend the Vancouver Folk Festival. A former Campbell fundraiser in Point Grey was seen at a recent Eby dinner, which says something.

Of the Vancouver ridings, the BC NDP is projected to pick up all but two of the eleven seats up for grabs on election day, with the Liberals registering wins in only Vancouver-Quilchena and Vancouver-Langara. And even at that, contact from senior members of the Vancouver-Langara campaign teams over the weekend, from both main parties, suggest a win for the BC NDP in Vancouver-Langara is quite possible, as the race is close — regardless of's imprecations on the matter to the contrary, which would mean a win of 10 of the 11 seats in Vancouver going to the BC NDP.

BC NDP stand on Kinder Morgan pipeline increases support
Opposition to Kinder Morgan expansion, turning Vancouver into a major oil export harbour: BCNDP benefits from stand. Click on graphic for more info on Justason Intelligence poll

The BC NDP have employed a multi-pronged strategy in the 2013 British Columbia provincial election.

Where in 2009, under leader Carole James, the NDP rejected Gordon Campbell's carbon tax proposal, causing the NDP to lose both the environmental vote and the election, no such mistake is occurring this time around. For background, you'll want to read Charlie Smith's latest thoughtful commentary in the Georgia Straight.

From the outset, BC NDP leader Adrian Dix told voters that the NDP would challenge in every riding across the province, and they have, in the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan and the North, in addition to their traditional metropolitan Vancouver and Vancouver Island strongholds. Dix was also clear that the NDP would go after the votes of those who traditionally stay away from the polls on election day: the largely disenfranchised ethnic and immigrant community, and the votes of those under the age of 30.

Even though we agree with our friend Mike Klassen that we'll likely see a voter participation rate at or around — and perhaps even below — 50% across the province — an even more likely outcome given the projected inclement weather, which almost always has a depressing effect on voter turnout — VanRamblings will still predict that in 2013 the young vote and immigrant community vote will hit record levels, as proved to be the case for second-term President, Barack Obama, in the 2012 U.S. election.

Now back to elucidating the provincial electoral ridings that are most in contention, from here on in, outside metropolitan Vancouver city.

Metro Vancouver / Fraser Valleyridings to watch Tuesday night

Burnaby Lougheed. Current MLA: Liberal, Harry Bloy.

Projection: Says Eric Grenier at, there's an astounding 83% chance that this riding will turn to BC NDP candidate Jane Shin come election night, with a projected 54.1% of the vote in the NDP column against neophyte B.C. Liberal challenger, Ken Kramer, who is set to register a relatively paltry 34.3% of the vote. In 2009, Bloy edged his NDP challenger Jaynie Clark by 696 votes, with just shy of 50% of the vote. Not this time. Count Burnaby Lougheed as another pick up for the BC NDP, on their way to a majority government in the province of British Columbia.

Burnaby North. Current MLA: Liberal, Richard T. Lee.

Projection: Another pick up for the BC NDP, say both Milton Chan at the Election Prediction Project, and Eric Grenier, at In 2009,
Burnaby North was a tight race, with the Liberals' Lee eking out a 548 vote victory. This time, NDP challenger Janet Routledge, the Fight HST Burnaby co-ordinator, will register 51.4% to Lee's projected 38.3% of the vote.

Coquitlam-Burke Mountain. Current MLA: Liberal, Douglas Horner.

Projection: In 2009, Douglas Horner beat his NDP challenger, Heather McRitchie, by a healthy 3,251 vote margin, registering almost 60% of the vote. In 2013, suggests the race is much closer, projecting a win for Douglas Horner over NDP challenger, Chris Wilson, two-time World Cup Champion in wrestling, and current Executive Director of KidSport Tri-Cities, by a 44.4% to 39.4% vote margin. This time around, BC Conservative Shane Kennedy could throw a monkey wrench into Horner's plan for re-election, with the popular local businessman taking enough votes away from Horner to effectively award the NDP a win in this riding.

North Vancouver-Lonsdale. Current MLA: Liberal, Naomi Yamamoto.

Projection: Incumbent B.C. Liberal candidate Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of Advanced Education in the Clark cabinet, is in tough against popular four-term City of North Vancouver councillor, Craig Keating, who holds a PhD in History from McMaster University and is currently a professor of History at Langara College in Vancouver. says there's a 53% chance that Keating will eke out a narrow victory, garnering 41% of the vote to Yamamoto's 38.1%. The last time North Vancouver-Lonsdale fell into NDP hands was in 1991, when economist David Schreck won the riding.

Surrey-Panorama. Current MLA: Liberal, Stephanie Cadieux.

Projection: Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development in the Clark government, moved to retired BC Liberal cabinet minister Kevin Falcon's old riding of Surrey-Cloverdale, where a win for her will be assured. In 2013, the NDP's Amrik Mahil looks to take 45.9% of the vote against Liberal challenger, Marvin Hunt, a popular a 23-year Surrey City Councillor, who's expected to garner only 36.6% support in the riding. According to, there's a 68% chance that Mahil will place Surrey-Panorama into the NDP win column, contributing to a BC NDP majority government.

Surrey-Tynehead. Current MLA: Liberal, Dave S. Hayer.

Projection: When Hayer, a Liberal MLA since 2001, resigned his membership in the B.C. Liberal party condemning the party, and the Premier, for their role in the ethnic vote scandal, Amrik Virk stepped in to replace Hayer. Not good enough, according to Eric Grenier at in 2013, the NDP's Avtar Bains sports a 78% chance of trouncing his Liberal challenger in Surrey-Tynehead where he's expected to pick up a whopping 53.1% of the vote. Another pick up for the BC NDP to contribute to their majority.

Langley. Current MLA: Liberal, Mary Polak.

Projection: Mary Polak, the current BC Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure in the Clark administration, is expected to retain her seat in the legislature come Tuesday evening, according to Eric Grenier at but just. Let's have Doug Ward over at The Tyee explain ...

"This one features a battle on the right between provincial Conservative Party leader John Cummins and BC Liberal Transportation Minister Mary Polak. Cummins' natural political constituency is Delta, which he represented for many years federally. But Delta South independent MLA Vicki Huntington took that away, so Cummins switched to Langley, where he now resides, in his bid to become B.C.'s first Conservative MLA in over three decades. The New Democrats took 35 per cent of the vote here last time. It's a long-shot scenario, but an even vote split on the right could flip this traditional bastion of small-c conservatism to NDP candidate Andrew Mercier."

Polak, Cummins, Mercier, who knows? — guess we'll see Tuesday night.

Abbotsford-South. Current MLA: Independent, John van Dongen.

Projection: This one's a dog's breakfast. Former Liberal cabinet minister Van Dongen is running again in Abbotsford-South, but this time as an Independent — where he's expected to take 27.2% of the vote. Where does that leave high-profile Liberal candidate Darryl Plecas in his bid to retain the seat for the B.C. Liberals? Potentially on the outside looking in, according to Plecas, and NDP candidate Lakvinder Jhaj, are in a virtual tie, with 36% of the vote likely going to Plecas, and 36.7% of the voter support apparently headed in the direction of Jhaj. We'll see Tuesday.

Chilliwack. Current MLA: Liberal, John Les.

Projection: Count Chilliwack as another pick up for the BC NDP, although it's gonna be a squeaker. projects 33.5% of the vote going to BC NDP candidate, Patti MacAhonic — a former Executive Director of the BC Wildlife Federation, and recently Executive Director of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce — leaving her B.C. Liberal challenger and former B.C. Conservative stalwart, John Martin, trailing with 31.4% of the projected vote. Like we said, this one's gonna be a squeaker, whoever emerges as the winning candidate on Tuesday evening. Here's what Doug Ward, over at The Tyee, has to say about the Chilliwack race ...

"The New Democrats won the adjacent riding of Chilliwack-Hope for the first time ever last year thanks to vote-splitting on the right. The NDP hopes to do it again in this Bible Belt riding, which they have also never held. The BC Liberal candidate, John Martin, had nothing good to say about his party last year, when he was the Conservative candidate in Chilliwack-Hope. "The BC Liberals are in free fall," he declared last spring. But Martin has changed his tune in this contest, which pits the college criminologist against NDP candidate Patti MacAhonic, former executive-director of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce, and Conservative Chad Eros. Again, the NDP will need a strong Conservative showing for MacAhonic to come up the middle.."

Politics in the Fraser Valley just gets curiouser and curiouser.

Chilliwack-Hope. Current MLA: BC NDP, Gwen O'Mahony.

Projection: On a Tuesday night that's looking more and more like the night of the big hurt for the B.C.Liberals, Christy Clark can take some solace in's forecast that 2012 Chilliwack-Hope by-election winner O'Mahony will lose the seat to her Liberal challenger, Laurie Throness, longtime Ottawa-based Chief of Staff for now retired Chilliwack Fraser Canyon MP Chuck Strahl. Throness should pick up close to 50% of the vote at the polls on election day, May 14th, leaving O'Mahony with only 39.4% of the vote.

Maple Ridge-Mission. Current MLA: Liberal, Marc Dalton.

Projection: BC NDP's Mike Bocking, who's run and run again in Maple Ridge-Mission, is set this go-round to claim victory, with a projected 46.7% of the vote against Liberal incumbent, Marc Dalton, who according to, will garner only 33.1% of the vote on election night. Another pick up for the BC NDP, another seat in the legislature to add to their majority.

After the jump, readers will find information on the ridings to watch in the Okanagan / Kootenays, the Cariboo-Thompson and the North, and over on Vancouver Island, all of which promise provocative outcomes.

British Columbia's Okanagan, and Kootenays

Okanagan / Kootenaysridings to watch Tuesday night

Boundary-Similkameen. Current MLA: Liberal, John Slater.

Projection: Another pick up for the BC NDP. When John Slater resigned from the B.C. Liberal party, leaving a great deal of blood on the floor, former Oliver mayor Linda Larson stepped into the breach for the Liberals. Apparently, that's not going to be enough. On election night, projects 41.3% of the vote in Boundary-Similkameen going to the BC NDP's Sam Hancheroff, leaving Ms. Larson with only 32% support in the riding, not enough to gain a seat in the legislature.

Penticton. Current MLA: Liberal, Bill Barisoff.

Projection: Another pick up for the BC NDP. In 2009, Barisoff topped the riding by more than 3000 votes. Not this time. The BC NDP leader has spent a great deal of time in the Okanagan during the election campaign, and it seems to be paying off. Former UBC prof Richard Cannings looks to take 42% of the vote on Tuesday night, in a squeaker over B.C. Liberal candidate, two-term Penticton mayor Dan Ashton, whose support currently stands at 40.3%, at least according to We'll see Tuesday night.

Shuswap. Current MLA: Liberal, George Abbott.

Projection: Another squeaker, leaning to B.C. Liberal candidate, Greg Kyllo, by only the slimmest of margins over BC NDP candidate, Steve Gunner. Milton Chan, at the Election Prediction Project, suggests this will be a solid win for the NDP, but Eric Grenier at reports that, according to the polls, Kyllo currently sits with 33.2% support to Gunner's 32%. What will the outcome be on Tuesday night? Your guess is as good as ours. VanRamblings, though, knowing the folks in the Shuswap as we do, is leaning towards Steve Gunner over Greg Kyllo. Guess we'll see.

Vernon-Monashee. Current MLA: Liberal, Eric Foster.

Projection: When the scandal-ridden Foster, who's put his name forward again in 2013, appeared to be on the ropes heading into the election, the BC NDP focused on pouring resources into the campaign being waged by NDP candidate Mark Olsen — and it seems to have paid off. According to, heading into Tuesday's vote, Olsen currently has a slim lead in support over Foster, with 30.6% support to Foster's 29.2%, the rest of the vote split between the Greens and the B.C. Conservatives.

the Cariboo-North region of British Columbia

The Cariboo and the Northridings to watch Tuesday night

Cariboo-Chilcotin. Current MLA: Liberal, Donna Barnett.

Projection: The BC NDP reclaim this seat. Former longtime Mayor of 100 Mile House, B.C. Liberal Donna Barnett took this riding away from well-loved NDP MLA Charlie Wyse, by a miniscule 88-vote margin, in 2009. Not in 2013. places Cariboo-Chilcotin in the win column for the BC NDP and Charlie Wyse, projecting 48.5% of the vote for Wyse, over incumbent Barnett, who looks to garner only 40.2% support from her constituents.

Cariboo North. Current MLA: Independent, Bob Simpson.

Projection: This one will be a toss up on Tuesday night. Former NDP'er Bob Simpson,who triumphed over his Liberal opponent by more than 500 votes in 2009, is running to keep his seat. The Election Prediction Project calls Cariboo North for Simpson, while places it firmly in the Liberal camp, suggesting that Quesnel Manager of the Chamber of Commerce, Coralee Oakes, will take this riding away from Simpson with 43.8% of the vote, as compared to Simpson's 29.5% showing, with BC NDP candidate Duncan Barnett trailing with 26.7% support. Guess we'll know Tuesday.

Kamloops-North Thompson. Current MLA: Liberal, Terry Lake.

Projection: The BC NDP could put this riding back in the win column. As popular as Liberal incumbent Terry Lake, B.C. Minister of the Environment, may be, on Tuesday night the BC NDP looks to take this riding back, with the candidacy of Kathy Kendall, even if it is by the slimmest of margins, as projects Kendall garnering 43.5% of the vote to Lake's 41.7%. The NDP would dearly love to pick up the other Kamloops riding, Kamloops-South Thompson, but according to it's just too far out of reach, with Todd Stone looking to pick up a solid 50% of the vote, ten points more than his BC NDP opponent, Tom Friedman.

As for the remainder of the Cariboo and the North, quite surprisingly we feel, the Peace River country and both Prince George ridings are projected to stay in the B.C. Liberal column, when in many elections past these northern ridings have proven to be bellwether indications of which party will assume government in Victoria. Not this time, though, apparently.

Vancouver Island

Vancouver Islandridings to watch Tuesday night

Oak Bay - Gordon Head. Current MLA: Liberal, Ida Chong.

Projection: Too close to call. Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development in Christy Clark's cabinet, has held the seat for the Liberals since 1996. Will she prevail in 2013? projects another win for Chong, even though the Green Party of B.C.'s Dr. Andrew Weaver has mounted a high profile campaign in 2013. To no avail, though, according to Eric Grenier, who projects that Weaver will manage only 20.6% of the vote on Tuesday night. The BC NDP's Jessica Van Der Veen, who came within 561 votes, out of the more than 25,000 ballots that were cast in the riding in 2009, trails Chong this time out, with only 33.9% of projected the vote, turning Dr. Weaver into something of a spoiler.

Saanich North and the Islands. Current MLA: Liberal, Murray Coell.

Projection: Another pick up for the BC NDP. For all the foofaraw surrounding Green Party of B.C. candidate Adam Olsen's bid for a seat in the legislature, according to, Olsen has managed only 23.4% voter support, as opposed to 38.3% support for the BC NDP's Gary Holman. B.C. Liberal candidate Stephen P. Roberts trails Holman with 35.1% vote support in Saanich North and the Islands.

Comox Valley. Current MLA: Liberal, Don McRae.

Projection: Who knows? The Tyee calls the Comox Valley for the NDP's Kassandra Dycke, as does Milton Chan at the Election Prediction Project, while Eric Grenier over at reports that, according to the polls, Liberal McRae remains in the lead with 40.8% of the vote, with Dycke trailing, at 34%. This predicting business, it's a mug's game.

Parksville-Qualicum. Current MLA: Liberal, Ron Cantelon.

Projection: Again, apparently too close to call, or so say the folks at The Tyee. The Election Prediction Project calls Parksville-Qualicum a solid win for the NDP's Barry Avis, while's Eric Grenier projects that B.C. Liberal candidate Michelle Stilwell, currently registering 49.4% support, will defeat Avis, who's support apparently stands at 40.6%.

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Well folks, that's it — the 27 ridings across the province where the vote could 1) go either way in this election, 2) are either leaning to the NDP or look like solid pick ups for the left-of-centre political party, or 3) appear set to keep their B.C. Liberal candidate, or MLA, for another term in office. If 27 ridings out of 85 appear to be in contention, that leaves 58 ridings that are solidly in one camp or another.

All and all, in light of the predictions published in the weekend VanRamblings' post on the ridings to watch on election night, this posting oughta provide additional interest to those political watchers who for some weeks now have focused much of their attention, and waking hours, on the outcome of British Columbia's 2013 provincial election. The tale will be told in only a very few hours from now.

Late on Monday, VanRamblings will post a graphic of Milton Chan's final Election Prediction Project BC legislature seat projections, update's statistical prognosis graphic pertaining to the outcome of the election — popular vote count, and seat projection — and provide you with an update on the final polling data that will be published on Monday, in the hours leading up to Election Day in British Columbia, Tuesday, May 14th.

In the meantime, have a look at CBC's Vote Compass, an interactive electoral literacy application developed in co-operation with political scientists from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, and specially designed for the B.C. political landscape.

Vote Compass offers an accessible framework for learning about party platforms, should stimulate some thoughts on a variety of election issues, as well as hopefully encourage your democratic vote participation.

Simply click on the graphic below to get started ...


VanRamblings' final pre-election post on our coverage of Decision BC 2013 for the 2013 B.C. election is now available here. Don't forget to vote!

Rock the Vote BC

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at May 11, 2013 2:19 AM in BC Politics


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