University of Victoria political expert and teaching professor in public administration Dr. Kimberly Speers said the NDP’s snap election only proved the strong base of support for the Greens. (Black Press Media file photo)

University of Victoria political expert and teaching professor in public administration Dr. Kimberly Speers said the NDP’s snap election only proved the strong base of support for the Greens. (Black Press Media file photo)

Provincial snap election ‘one of the worst losses’ for Liberals, says UVic political expert

NDP gain majority, B.C. Greens win first seat from mainland

The B.C. provincial election was not only a big night for the NDP who were able to build a majority government, but also one for the books for the B.C. Greens, a party that had a lot to lose.

Dr. Kimberly Speers, political expert and assistant teaching professor in public administration at University of Victoria, said the NDP’s snap election only proved the strong base of support for the Greens.

“Though we saw a tsunami of support for the NDP across the province, in most parts there were waves of Green coming right behind too,” said Speers. “The Greens had a disadvantage because most people didn’t even know who Sonia was in the first place.”

B.C. Green leader Sonia Furstenau was not only able to get re-elected in Cowichan Valley, with Adam Olsen taking also getting another term for Saanich North and the Islands, but they beat out the Liberals in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky.

This is the first time they’ve claimed a seat from the mainland.

READ MORE: Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Dr. Will Greaves, assistant professor of political science at UVic, said although he wasn’t surprised by the majority government won by the NDP, the strength of John Horgan’s party didn’t come at the expense of the B.C. Greens.

“We saw a good chunk of B.C. Liberal supporters peel off for the Greens in a situation where we could’ve seen the decline or a complete collapse of the B.C. Green party. This was a best case scenario to show that they have a durable base of support that isn’t just focused in one single riding.”

According to preliminary results, the Greens came in second behind the NDP in Victoria-Beacon Hill, Victoria-Swan Lake, Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Esquimalt-Metchosin and Langford-Juan de Fuca ridings in the Southern Vancouver Island region.

In reference to the NDP majority, Speers said although it was a “big risk to take”, New Brunswick had pulled a similar successful snap election in September, the first province to do so during the pandemic.

“It was the perfect storm,” she added. “People need stability in their lives and he was doing well in the polls, so it makes sense. I think Horgan wouldn’t have cinched it if the people didn’t think he was handling the pandemic well enough. And honestly, it was one of the province’s worst kept secrets in my opinion.”

She pointed to the notion that minority governments in B.C. don’t tend to last for a long period of time, let alone a full four years. Given the fact the province was nearing towards an expected election in 2021, she believes the opposition-party Liberals and the Greens could’ve done more to prepare in retrospect.

ALSO READ: Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Greaves pointed out that while he initially expected the NDP having to do the most to convince voters, he believes that the B.C. Liberals were “seemingly in catch-up mode” during the month-long campaign.

He references one of the most notable impacts when incumbent Liberal candidate Jane Thornthwaite made sexist remarks about NDP MLA Bowinn Ma earlier in October during a meeting on Zoom with her colleagues. She has since lost her seat in the North Vancouver-Seymour riding to NDP’s Susie Chant, according to Saturday’s results.

“It really proved that the B.C. Liberals had a hard time addressing the narrative around problematic candidates and weak leadership,” Greaves said.

Going forward, Greaves said he will keep his eyes on how the NDP will govern without needing support from the Greens and the scrutiny of the public amid the pandemic.

In the meantime, he’s looking forward to watching the leadership race amongst the B.C. Liberals in the coming months.

“The next campaign within the party will determine the future of how well they will do,” he said. “They’ll need to figure out how they can come back from one of the worst losses in their history.”

RELATED: NDP claims six out of seven Greater Victoria ridings after prelminary results


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

BC NDPElection 2020University of Victoria

Just Posted

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Victoria police were called to a single-vehicle crash shortly before 3 a.m. Nov. 27. (Black Press Media file photo)
Driver dies after fiery early morning crash in Vic West

The driver was the sole occupant of the single-vehicle crash involving a hydro pole

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Victoria police arrested a man in a Yates Street grocery store Nov. 27 after he refused to wear a mask. (Black Press Media File photo)
Belligerent man arrested in Victoria grocery store after refusing to wear mask

Officers fined the man $230 under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act

A 43-year-old woman is facing charges for impaired driving and leaving the scene of a crash after attempting to flee from police by driving down the beach in front of the Oak Bay Marina on Nov. 23. (Oak Bay Police/Twitter)
Victoria woman drives over seawall onto beach near Oak Bay Marina

Driver faces charges for fleeing crash, refusing breathalyzer test

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Campbell River city council recently held a roundtable meeting with leaders from the aquaculture and forestry industries to discuss how they can be part of a post-COVID economic recovery in the region.
North Island officials holding roundtable on aquaculture, forestry

Will go forward with quarterly meetings involving industry leaders to address issues in the sectors

West Shore RCMP arrested four suspects in connection with an armed robbery that occurred in View Royal Nov. 26. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP arrests four following armed robbery

A victim was assaulted and robbed in View Royal early Thursday morning

These boards were delivered to Brooklyn Elementary before being stolen this fall. Facebook photo
Vandalism damage at Comox Valley schools way up this year

The amount in 2020/21 is already 50 per cent higher than the previous year

Most Read