Could the BC battlefield decide Monday’s federal election?

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Voters in British Columbia often complain that the outcome of federal elections is often known even before the polls on the west coast close.

But with national polls showing the Liberals and Conservatives in statistical equality, and the top three competing parties west of the Rockies, could 2021 be any different?

It’s a question, Kyle Braid, senior vice president of Ipsos Public Affairs, says he gets every election, but this time around he feels different.

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“Normally I reject this because it never happens,” he said.

“But this time could be the difference where a few seats in BC make the difference between who forms a minority government, probably not the majority versus the minority.”

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Analysis: Impact of the Fifth Federal Election Week in British Columbia


Analysis: Impact of the Fifth Federal Election Week in British Columbia

The Ipsos poll on the eve of the election has the Conservatives at 34 percent in BC, the NDP at 30 percent and the Liberals at 26 percent.

“In British Columbia, during the entire election, continuing until the end, there are three parties at stake,” said Braid.

“The Conservatives are a little ahead of the NDP at this point in British Columbia, and the NDP is a little ahead of the Liberals, but all three parties have a chance to win multiple seats. “

This provincial-level poll does not take into account each party’s strongholds or ultra-narrow battlefields, many of which are in Metro Vancouver – an area that accounts for more than half of Colombia’s 42 federal seats. British.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Greens Leader Annamie Paul were both keen to physically campaign in the province during the final weekend of the race.

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Hamish Telford, professor of political science at the University of the Fraser Valley, says he’s closely monitoring several key races in the Lower Mainland.

“All eyes are on Jody Wilson Raybould’s former seat, Vancouver-Granville – we expected the Liberals to win at the start of the campaign, but their candidate faced various controversies,” he said. he declared.

It also monitors the ridings of Port Coqutilam-Coquitlam and Port Moody-Coquitlam, both of which recorded very slim margins in 2019.

“These are possibly the two tightest races in the country so a lot of attention is going to be focused there,” he said.


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Canadian elections: what are the stakes of the 42 ridings of British Columbia in the federal election


Canadian elections: what are the stakes of the 42 ridings of British Columbia in the federal election

In Port Moody-Coquitlam, Tory Nelly Shin won over NDP Bonita Zarillo by just over 150 votes in 2019 – and the pair face off in a second leg this year.

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In Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam, Liberal Ron McKinnon won the riding by just 390 votes in 2019 and faces Tory newcomer Katerina Anastasiadis this year. However, the NDP, which performed well in the Tri-Cities region in the 2020 provincial election, feels competitive with candidate Laura Dupont.

The Green Party and the People’s Party of Canada add to the unpredictability of this year’s electoral map.

The Greens have consistently performed better in British Columbia than elsewhere in Canada, but this year they failed to field candidates in several ridings, including five Lower Mainland battlefields.

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They also fell in the polls. Support from their supporters could be the difference between winning and losing in a close race.

On Vancouver Island, the Greens are in the fight of a lifetime, as the Conservatives and the NDP play hard for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, one of the party’s only two seats.

The PPC, Telford said, could play the spoiler role in reverse if it performs well on Election Day.


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Canadian elections: the riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith in British Columbia is one to watch


Canadian elections: the riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith in British Columbia is one to watch

“If the People’s Party is gaining momentum and certainly gaining momentum, then a constituency like Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon could come into play,” he said, noting that the far-right party could siphon off support from the Conservatives.

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The area has been a traditional Tory stronghold, but the Liberals captured it in 2015 during their historic Lower Mainland push.

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Now take into account the nearly one million mail-in ballots returned to Elections Canada, which will not be counted until the day after the election.

Of the top 10 ridings that requested mail-in ballots, seven were in British Columbia, perhaps indicative of how comfortable residents are with the voting method after last year’s provincial election.

“With a million votes cast in the mail, it may take some time to get the final results, as we saw last year in British Columbia,” Telford said.

Polling stations open at 7 a.m. PT in British Columbia on Mondays and close at 7 p.m. PT.

It remains to be seen whether the rest of Canada will wake up late looking anxiously at BC’s results.

-With files from Paul Johnson

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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