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Who will win BC's by-elections?

Last Updated Feb 2, 2016 at 11:07 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Voters in two Metro Vancouver ridings are voting in by-elections today.

UFV Political Scientist Hamish Telford says these kinds of votes are often quite hard to predict. He says voters usually use them as a referendum on the performance of the government.

“If they like the way the government is going, they elect government members. Or more often than not, they punish government [and] that has certainly been the history of by-elections in British Columbia.”

He says some of the campaign dynamics can indicate what will happen in next year’s provincial election. “But by-elections are very risk free proposition for voters. They can punish government without fear of changing a government. When an election happens, then they really are choosing a government and they vote differently at that time.”

The votes are taking place in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and Coquitlam-Burke Mountain.

NEWS 1130 will be watching the results closely and will bring them to you as they come in.

The BC Liberals talked-up issues like Uber and even craft beer during the campaign.

UBC Political Scientist David Moscrop says Uber is likely the biggest of these “test balloons.” He tells us raising the issue now comes with little risk.

“The Liberals have a big enough majority and the NDP has nothing to lose. Parties can use these as ‘test cases’… these experiments [can see] what exactly is going to work and what is not.”

As for how much influence the two campaigns will actually have, Moscrop says, “parties get to try to define issues, try to test strategies… but that only gets you so far because you’ve only got two cases and the election’s still about 16 months away. It’s a sort of low-cost chance to experiment. But again, the return’s probably going to be fairly low, too.”

He expects both parties will hang on to their respective seats and neither will stray too far from the traditional issues in the next election.

Vacancies were created last year when the sitting MLAs — Liberal Doug Horne and New Democrat Jenny Kwan — ran federally.

New Democrat candidate Melanie Mark is expected to hold onto Kwan’s NDP bastion of Mount Pleasant — despite challenges from Liberal Gavin Drew and Green Pete Fry.

The Coquitlam-Burke Mountain riding has been Liberal since 2009 — and even though by-elections usually favour opposition parties, the NDP candidate Jodie Wickens likely has an uphill battle to snatch the seat from Liberal Joan Isaacs, while Joe Keithley is running for the Greens.

Voting Locations

Vancouver-Mount Pleasant:

Ray Cam Co-operative Centre, 920 E Hastings St, Vancouver
Admiral Seymour Elem School, 1130 Keefer St, Vancouver
Lord Strathcona Elem School, 592 E Pender St, Vancouver
Carnegie Comm Centre, 401 Main St, Vancouver
Chinese Cultural Centre, 50 E Pender St, Vancouver
Britannia Comm Centre-Gym D, 1661 Napier St, Vancouver
Grandview Elem School, 2055 Woodland Dr, Vancouver
Mount Pleasant Comm Centre, 1 Kingsway, Vancouver
Mt. Pleasant Elem School, 2300 Guelph St, Vancouver
Queen Alexandra Elem School, 1300 E Broadway, Vancouver
Charles Dickens Elem School, 1010 E 17th Ave, Vancouver
Tyee Elem School, 3525 Dumfries St, Vancouver
Lord Selkirk Elem School, 1750 E 22nd Ave, Vancouver

Coquitlam-Burke Mountain:

Hampton Park Elem School, 1760 Paddock Dr, Coquitlam
Pinetree Way Elem School, 1420 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
Panorama Heights Elem School, 1455 Johnson St, Coquitlam
Eagle Ridge Elem School, 1215 Falcon Dr, Coquitlam
Leigh Elem School, 1230 Soball St, Coquitlam
Nestor Elem School, 1266 Nestor St, Coquitlam
Evergreen Cultural Centre, 1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
Walton Elem School, 2960 Walton Ave, Coquitlam
Glen Elem School, 3064 Glen Dr, Coquitlam
Eagle Ridge Bible Fellowship, 1160 Lansdowne Dr, Coquitlam
Coquitlam River Elem School, 4250 Shaughnessy St, Port Coquitlam