Liberals, NDP, Greens set to battle for Vancouver Island ridings
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau were in B.C.’s Lower Mainland on Wednesday morning.
Hamish Telford, a political science professor at the University of the Fraser Valley says the Liberals, NDP and Conservatives are expected to battle hard for the 42 seats up for grabs in B.C.
“When you look at the opinion polls, we see almost a three-way tie amongst those three big parties,” said Telford.
But the support for each of the major three parties is quite regionalized within B.C., and it’s not expected to be so close between the parties on Vancouver Island.
The island went mainly NDP last election, with two Green seats.
Victoria NDP MP Laurel Collins says she’s hopeful voters give her the chance to continue what she started two years ago.
“[We] relentlessly pushed this government to take bold action on the climate crisis, on housing, and I hope that the community will send me back to keep fighting for them,” said Collins from her campaign office Tuesday.
Collins’s seat is one of the few on Vancouver Island that Telford says could change hands.
“If the Liberals have any chances on the island, it would be in the Victoria area, and only really if we see a strong national campaign,” he said.
Nikki Macdonald came third in the riding in 2019 and is running again to beat Collins. She’s tapping into one of the election's top issues – climate change – and emphasizing her background in marine climate policy.
“The number one issue I'm hearing when I’m knocking doors is climate change,” said Macdonald Tuesday, noting she had already knocked on about 2,000 doors.
Meanwhile, the NDP will be hoping to add to their stronghold on the island, and aiming to flip Green MP Paul Manly’s seat in Nanaimo-Ladysmith, especially since former Green Party leader Elizabeth May is likely a good bet for re-election in her riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.
“They own most of Vancouver Island and I think they would very much like to get one of the Green seats back, the one in Nanaimo, and I think that is possible,” said Telford.
But Manly, who won a by-election in 2019 and then the general election later that year, says he plans to fight hard and points to Sunday’s endorsement from environmentalist David Suzuki.
“Anyone who thinks that were not going to be up for a good strong fight to retain this seat in Nanaimo-Ladysmith is going to be surprised,” said Manly.