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Neck and neck race in Nanaimo by-election: poll

Last Updated Nov 20, 2018 at 6:48 am PDT

NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson speaks with the media in Ottawa on November 30, 2017. Federal New Democrat MP Sheila Malcolmson says she plans to leave federal politics to seek the provincial NDP nomination in the upcoming byelection in Nanaimo, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A provincial by-election for Nanaimo is yet to be called but a new poll says it’s already as close as it gets.

Mainstreet Research says among decided and leaning voters, NDP Sheila Malcolmson has 39.8 per cent of the vote with Liberal Tony Harris trailing right behind at 38.2 per cent.

Former NDP MLA Leonard Krog left the seat empty after becoming the Mayor of Nanaimo in last month’s municipal elections.

It’s a crucial by-election for the NDP because it threatens their slim majority with the Greens. Before Krog left provincial politics, the NDP-Green Alliance held 44 seats with the Liberals holding 42. If the Liberals win in Nanaimo, the party would have the same number of votes in the legislature as the NDP-Green alliance and the speaker would hold the balance of power.

Meantime, Jagmeet Singh may have an uphill battle trying to convince voters in Burnaby to elect him, according to the same poll. The federal NDP leader, who currently doesn’t have a seat in Ottawa, is running in the Burnaby-South by-election and Mainstreet Research says most voters currently plan to vote Liberal.

35.9 per cent of decided and leaning voters said they would vote Liberal, 29.3 per cent said Conservative, leaving the NDP third with 27.2 per cent of the support.

The Burnaby-South by-election, triggered by Kennedy Stewart’s win in Vancouver’s mayoral race last month, is also yet to be called.