The BC Liberals hope to keep the Vancouver-Quilchena race abandoned by the former party leader, and pave a way to Victoria for new leader Kevin Falcon.
Falcon’s campaign focused primarily on holding the NDP government to account. Many observers think he is the MLA apparent for driving.
Hamish Telford, an associate professor of political science at the University of the Fraser Valley, pointed out that the NDP has a high-profile candidate in Jeanette Ashe. She is a professor at Douglas College and married to Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.
They generally don’t recruit high profile candidates for this ride because it’s a foregone conclusion that the Liberals are going to win. But it’s one of these urban rides that I think is leaning towards a more progressive position,” he told CTV News.
Ashe’s campaign focused on Falcon’s record as a former Liberal minister under Prime Ministers Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark.
The Greens lead Wendy Hayko, an emergency management professional with more than two decades of experience.
Other candidates include Dallas Brody of the conservatives, lawyer and businesswoman Sandra Filosof-Schipper who is running for the libertarian party.
The Vancouver-Quilchena seat became vacant when former Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson resigned after failing to bring the party to power in the last provincial election. In this particular drive. the liberals have roughly doubled the number of votes the NDP has won in the past three provincial elections.
On April 20, there were 38,095 registered voters in line. By the end of April 27, 5,174 people had gone to the primaries.
On Thursday, Surrey South MLA and Liberal Stephanie Cadieux resigned her seat to take on the new role of Canada’s Chief Accessibility Officer. That leaves open a position east of the Fraser, where the NDP has won the past two provincial elections.
Telford said he wouldn’t be surprised if the NDP uses the Vancouver-Quilchena by-election as a tune-up for that one.
The government has six months to send voters to the polls to fill the Surrey South seat.