VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The new leader of the BC Liberal Party has a big job ahead of him.
SFU political scientist David Moscrop says Andrew Wilkinson may have an uphill battle getting British Columbians on his side.
Wilkinson succeeded Christy Clark with a party leadership win Saturday night.
Moscrop says Wilkinson reminds him of former Premier Gordon Campbell without the charm. “I don’t find him a particularly sympathetic political character. He’s talented. He’s brilliant. But I think it’s going to be hard to get people to connect with him.”
Moscrop says the upcoming referendum is a wildcard if voters choose to replace the first-past-the-post system with proportional representation.
“The whole party system is going to change. The calculus is going to change. The ‘free enterprise coalition’ that is the BC Liberals could fall apart. They exist to do one thing: Win elections.”
He also says Wilkinson shouldn’t worry about trying to drive a wedge between the Greens and NDP, as he suggested is his victory speech Saturday night. “If I were him, I would take the time to build more of a consensus and to dream up a slightly more interesting platform than they had the last go round.”
Moscrop says that’s key to growing the support for the BC Liberals ahead of the next provincial election.