COQUITLAM (NEWS 1130) – Three ridings north of the Fraser face different issues but they all have one thing in common, all of them will be decided without an incumbent with an advantage. We take you through Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam, Port Moody-Coquitlam, and Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge.
This is one area of our region that’s been really shaken up by changes to electoral boundaries.
Voters in Port Moody-Coquitlam are a combination of some people who elected Conservative Cabinet Minister James Moore and those who chose NDP MP Fin Donnelly in 2011. Donnelly is seeking re-election here, but he will have to get through Conservative Tim Laidler, Jessie Adcock with the Liberals and Marcus Madsen with the Greens.
Look to the east and we have Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam. This is the seat which would’ve been five-time winner James Moore’s to fight for, but he’s decided not to run. MLA and Conservative candidate Doug Horne will take on the NDP’s Sara Norman, two-time Liberal candidate Ron McKinnon and Brad Nickason with the Green Party.
Cross the Pitt River and we head to the Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge riding. This one has also been adjusted. This would’ve been Conservative Randy Kamp‘s seat to lose. One of Kamp’s assistants Mike Murray is running under the Tory banner against Music BC executive director Bob D’Eith with the NDP, Dan Ruimy with the Liberals and Peter Tam with the Greens.
So these voters, with the exception of those who remain in Fin Donnelly’s riding, will have to choose someone new. UBC Political Science PhD candidate David Moscrop says incumbents enjoy an advantage, likely due to name recognition. This makes the outcomes here difficult to predict. “It’s a challenge to everybody because you’re not going to know the dynamics of the riding. You might be able to try to map it on from surrounding ridings and from past local histories, but you’re not going to know for sure. In a sense, it’s a bit of a wild card for everybody.”
He says this could possibly benefit all of the candidates as they’re getting a cleaner start than they would’ve with long time incumbents in the mix. But Moscrop adds more of us chose based on the party anyway. “It’s not that the local candidate is completely irrelevant, but they matter to the tune of about four to five per cent. So you know there’s a bit of a margin there. That might not seem like a lot, but in a close race, if a candidate is able to affect voting by five per cent that’s significant.”