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Wilson-Raybould will have uphill climb as independent, expert says

Last Updated May 28, 2019 at 9:57 am PDT

Summary

Wilson-Raybould has name recognition and she's in the right riding for her brand of politics

When independents have been successful, it's because they have name recognition, Telford says

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) –┬áJody Wilson-Raybould’s political career has taken another turn. The former Attorney General for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals has announced she will seek re-election this year as an independent candidate.

However, one expert believes it’s going to be an uphill climb.

Hamish Telford is the Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of the Fraser Valley. He says Wilson-Raybould has name recognition and she’s in the right riding for her brand of politics, but it’s still going to be a tough race as an Independent.

“They are generally not successful in part because they don’t have a party machine to help them identify the vote and get the vote out, knock on doors, and do all of the things parties do to get their candidates elected,” says Telford.

However, he notes when independents have been successful, it’s because they have name recognition and Wilson-Raybould has become a household name following the SNC-Lavalin affair.

But why did she decide to run as an independent and not join the Greens or the NDP?

Telford says it might have something to do with Jane Philpott, Wilson-Raybould’s close friend, who has also announced she’s running as an independent.

“My sense is that Jane Philpott did not stand much chance of re-winning her riding as an NDP or a Green,” says Telford. “Both of those parties were in single digits in the last election. So if they are going to work together, that would lead Jody Wilson-Raybould to also run as an Independent.”

Overall, Telford is a bit surprised by her decision. He thought WIlson-Raybould and Philpott were going to leave federal politics altogether.

“I thought under the circumstances they would both conclude that their political and professional objectives could be better realized outside of Parliament, outside of electoral politics, in some other capacity.”

The upcoming federal election takes place in October.