VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – Here’s what you need to know about the BC NDP ahead of the polls closing on Saturday:
They are in it to win it. After three and a half years working under an agreement with the BC Greens, the provincial New Democrats have sights clearly set on a majority after all the votes are counted.
Leader John Horgan is looking for a solid mandate from British Columbians to govern through the COVID-19 pandemic. His popularity ratings have been high in large part because of the province’s response to the coronavirus.
Going into the election, the BC NDP held 41 of the province’s 87 seats. And while it’s clear their hope is a majority, the party has said they don’t have a specific number goal in mind.
Key races to watch are Vancouver False Creek (where the NDP’s Brenda Bailey is taking on incumbent Liberal Sam Sullivan), Richmond Queensborough (where NDP candidate Aman Singh is hoping to take the seat currently held by Liberal Jas Johal), and Coquitam Burke Mountain (where Fin Donnely is hoping to steal the riding from Liberal Joan Isaacs).
Other regional ridings where the NDP could gain seats include: Vancouver Langara, which is now held by Liberal Michael Lee.
Outside of Metro Vancouver, the New Democrats are looking to take Fraser-Nicola (where NDP candidate Aaron Sumexheltza is hoping to take the seat held by Jackie Teggart), Skeena (where Liberal Ellis Ross, who won the seat in 2017, is going up against NDP challenger Nicole Halbauer), Stikine (where the Liberals’ Doug Donaldson is not running again and where NDP star candidate and former MP Nathan Cullen is hoping to claim a win), and Courtenay-Comox on the Island.
Courtenay-Comox is the riding that decided the election in 2017, when the NDP’s Ronna Rae Leonard won the seat by a margin of less than 200 votes. She’s hoping to hold the seat against Liberal challenger Gillian Anderson, who vied for the NDP nomination that Leonard won in 2017.
Horgan has been criticized by many for his decision to call an election in the middle of a pandemic, especially since a provincial vote had already been set for next fall.
During the televised leaders’ debate, both BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau called the NDP leader out for calling the election early.
Furstenau pointed out the success that’s come from the agreement between her party and the NDP.
“The best thing in this election is not to hand power to any single party but to ensure that we have the kind of collaboration and cooperation that puts the people and their needs first,” she said.
Horgan defended his decision, saying British Columbians deserve to have a choice.
Join us for full coverage of B.C. Votes 2020 starting at 7 p.m. Saturday. Follow NEWS 1130 Legislative Reporter Liza Yuzda on Twitter for the latest on the BC NDP’s run, and listen live for her reports.