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)

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

A groundbreaking ceremony for Cluculz Lake’s new fire hall will take place Tuesday, June 22. The current fire hall is able to only store one apparatus. (Photo submitted)
New fire hall on the way for Cluculz Lake

Approximate $950,000 facility anticipated to be completed by this fall

A cell tower is pictured in rural Ontario on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Connected future for Saik’uz First Nation

Cellular tower to be constructed by Telus within the community

Nechako River. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
So far so good, but officials keeping tabs on Nechako River streamflow

Vanderhoof Mayor said typically if there is flooding, it occurs toward the end of May and early June

Fishers prefer landscapes with large areas of connected forest, said the Forest Practices Board. (Loney Dickson photo)
Logging continuing to impact fisher habitat in B.C.

Forest Practices Board concludes investigation near Bobtail Mountain Provincial Park

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about phase two in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

People who have received two doses of a vaccine can’t yet return to post-pandemic activities with each other, she says

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

A map of Huu-ay-aht-owned forestry cutblock. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
B.C. First Nations restrict access to territory in wake of forestry standoffs

Huu-ay-aht set up checkpoints after heated and dangerous incidents on southwest Vancouver Island

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add 6 seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Most Read