candidates on vancouver island

Election 2020: Candidates on Vancouver Island

While none of the other candidates in our riding (North Island) are known as of yet, Michele Babchuk is the NDP candidate. (Cortes Currents will interview her later this week). The NDP have held this riding since 2005 and obtained 47.54% of the vote in 2017. Babchuk’s most serious opposition will most likely come from the Liberal candidate (35.57%), though it is also noteworthy that 14.75% of the electorate went Green in 2017. 338Canada describes North Island as an “NDP safe” seat. Here are some of the other candidates on Vancouver Island and guesstimates of their chances. 

An NDP Majority?

While it is far too early to be certain, recent Angus Reid and EKOS polls suggest that the NDP may be on their way to forming a majority government

338Canada gives a riding-by-riding breakdown, which changes as new data comes in. The last projection is from September 2, at which point the NDP was leading in 60 seats, the Liberals 25 and the Greens 2. On Vancouver Island: the NDP leading in 11 ridings, the Green party in 2 and the BC Liberal party in 1. (However little more than 1% separates the Greens and Liberals in terms of popular support, and election projections can change daily.)

What will happen in the ‘Green’ Ridings

One of the big questions in this election will be the fate of the BC Green party. In the early days of the last federal election, polls showed them briefly taking the lead on Vancouver Island. They also captured three seats in the last provincial election. Now they have a new, and to some extent little known, party leader (Sonia Furstenau).   

Furstenau was elected in Cowichan Valley in the last election, beating the NDP challenger 37.45% to 31.34%. None of the other candidates in this riding are known, however 338Canada currently predicts this riding could turn NDP.

Adam Olsen won Saanich North and the Islands. This has been the Greenest riding on the island, where Elizabeth May held the federal seat since 2011. Olsen beat the NDP challenger 41.95% to 30.56% in 2017. 

Andrew Weaver has reigned over Oak Bay-Gordon Head since 2013, obtaining 52.17% of the vote in 2017. The former Green party leader left the party and now sits as an independent, but is not running again. 338Canada suggests Oak Bay-Gordon Head is the most likely Green Seat on Vancouver Island. Global News suggests that if former Victoria MP Murray Rankin obtains the NDP nomination “he will almost assuredly be the frontrunner among the other parties.” The Liberal challenger is Roxanne Helme.

 Other Liberal candiates

Two other Vancouver Island Liberal candidates have been named on their website.  

Helen Poon is the Liberal candidate in Mid Island-Pacific Rim, but faces a tough uphill battle. The NDP swept this riding in 2017 and are expected to do it again. Josie Osborne, mayor of Tofino, is their candidate. 

The Liberals came within nine votes of taking Courtenay-Comox in 2017. Now Brennan Day is hoping to take this riding away from NDP incumbent Ronna-Rae Leonard.

Parksville-Qualicum incumbent Michele Stilwell was the only BC Liberal elected on Vancouver Island and 338Canada states the riding is currently leaning towards the BC Liberals again.

Some supposedly ‘Safe’ NDP ridings

These are ridings that 338Canada describes as “NDP safe” seats

  • Esquimalt-Metchosin – NDP incumbent Mitzi Dean
  • Langford-Juan de Fuca – held by Premier John Horgan
  • Nanaimo – held by NDP incumbent Sheila Malcomson
  • Nanaimo-North Cowichan – held by NDP incumbent Doug Routley
  • Saanich South – held by NDP incumbent Lana Popham
  • Victoria-Beacon Hill 
  • Victoria-Swan Lake

Top photo credit: Parliament buildings in Victoria BC by Andrew Malone via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)