University of Victoria political expert and teaching professor in public administration Dr. Kimberly Speers said the NDP’s snap election only proved the strong base of support for the Greens. (Black Press Media file photo)

University of Victoria political expert and teaching professor in public administration Dr. Kimberly Speers said the NDP’s snap election only proved the strong base of support for the Greens. (Black Press Media file photo)

Provincial snap election ‘one of the worst losses’ for Liberals, says UVic political expert

NDP gain majority, B.C. Greens win first seat from mainland

The B.C. provincial election was not only a big night for the NDP who were able to build a majority government, but also one for the books for the B.C. Greens, a party that had a lot to lose.

Dr. Kimberly Speers, political expert and assistant teaching professor in public administration at University of Victoria, said the NDP’s snap election only proved the strong base of support for the Greens.

“Though we saw a tsunami of support for the NDP across the province, in most parts there were waves of Green coming right behind too,” said Speers. “The Greens had a disadvantage because most people didn’t even know who Sonia was in the first place.”

B.C. Green leader Sonia Furstenau was not only able to get re-elected in Cowichan Valley, with Adam Olsen taking also getting another term for Saanich North and the Islands, but they beat out the Liberals in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky.

This is the first time they’ve claimed a seat from the mainland.

READ MORE: Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Dr. Will Greaves, assistant professor of political science at UVic, said although he wasn’t surprised by the majority government won by the NDP, the strength of John Horgan’s party didn’t come at the expense of the B.C. Greens.

“We saw a good chunk of B.C. Liberal supporters peel off for the Greens in a situation where we could’ve seen the decline or a complete collapse of the B.C. Green party. This was a best case scenario to show that they have a durable base of support that isn’t just focused in one single riding.”

According to preliminary results, the Greens came in second behind the NDP in Victoria-Beacon Hill, Victoria-Swan Lake, Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Esquimalt-Metchosin and Langford-Juan de Fuca ridings in the Southern Vancouver Island region.

In reference to the NDP majority, Speers said although it was a “big risk to take”, New Brunswick had pulled a similar successful snap election in September, the first province to do so during the pandemic.

“It was the perfect storm,” she added. “People need stability in their lives and he was doing well in the polls, so it makes sense. I think Horgan wouldn’t have cinched it if the people didn’t think he was handling the pandemic well enough. And honestly, it was one of the province’s worst kept secrets in my opinion.”

She pointed to the notion that minority governments in B.C. don’t tend to last for a long period of time, let alone a full four years. Given the fact the province was nearing towards an expected election in 2021, she believes the opposition-party Liberals and the Greens could’ve done more to prepare in retrospect.

ALSO READ: Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Greaves pointed out that while he initially expected the NDP having to do the most to convince voters, he believes that the B.C. Liberals were “seemingly in catch-up mode” during the month-long campaign.

He references one of the most notable impacts when incumbent Liberal candidate Jane Thornthwaite made sexist remarks about NDP MLA Bowinn Ma earlier in October during a meeting on Zoom with her colleagues. She has since lost her seat in the North Vancouver-Seymour riding to NDP’s Susie Chant, according to Saturday’s results.

“It really proved that the B.C. Liberals had a hard time addressing the narrative around problematic candidates and weak leadership,” Greaves said.

Going forward, Greaves said he will keep his eyes on how the NDP will govern without needing support from the Greens and the scrutiny of the public amid the pandemic.

In the meantime, he’s looking forward to watching the leadership race amongst the B.C. Liberals in the coming months.

“The next campaign within the party will determine the future of how well they will do,” he said. “They’ll need to figure out how they can come back from one of the worst losses in their history.”

RELATED: NDP claims six out of seven Greater Victoria ridings after prelminary results


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

BC NDPElection 2020University of Victoria

Just Posted

The orange parcel was bought by the CRD for $1.1 million to add to Mount Work Regional Park. (CRD map)
Capital Regional District expands Mount Work land for $1.1 million

Privately-owned 13.8 hectares in the Highlands is ecologcically valuable

North Saanich has received a report from the Urban Development Institute calling on the municipality to expand and densify its housing options in the face of demographic and environmental changes as the municipality continues its Official Community Plan review. (Black Press Media file photo)
North Saanich asked to create more affordable, diverse housing

Urban Development Institute says community faces demographic, environmental challenges

Dog trainer Sharon Labossiere at play with her dogs. AnimalKind, the BC SPCA’s animal welfare accreditation and referral program, has granted accreditation to Sooke's Hanging with Hounds. (Contributed - BC SPCA)
Hanging With Hounds digs its paws into AnimalKind accreditation

Local dog trainer earns special BC SPCA status

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Royal Bay pride crosswalk restored following graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Colwood high school

Protesters seen here rallying against the injunction order on April 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP enforce injunction at Fairy Creek blockade

Protesters can remain but police will ensure open access for loggers

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Nathan Zuk had left his mother’s residence in Whaletown on Cortes Island in mid-December 2020 in a 14’ skiff rowboat and headed to an unknown location near the Pryce Channel, Deer passage, or Toba Inlet. Photo courtesy RCMP
RCMP need help finding man who set off from Cortes Island in 14-foot rowboat

Nathan Zuk left in December, may have been last seen in Toba Inlet approximately three weeks ago

Emergency service workers at the collision scene along Highway 4 in Hilliers on Sunday, May 16. A motorcyclist was airlifted to hospital by BC Air Ambulance and later died. (Collin C photo)
UPDATE: Motorcyclist dies from injuries sustained in Mid-Island highway collision

BC Highway Patrol says impairment not a contributing factor in crash

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Most Read