B.C. Greens predict election breakthrough on Vancouver Island

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Voters on Vancouver Island elected Canada’s first Green MP in 2011. They also came close to choosing one to represent Victoria in a 2012 by-election.

With recent survey numbers suggesting that almost one in five voters on Vancouver Island could go Green in the May 14 provincial election, Vancouver-based pollster Mario Canseco has no doubt that Greens on the west side of the Strait of Georgia are on a roll.

But the key question, according to the vice president of Angus Reid Public Opinion, is whether or not this will translate into actual seats come voting day. In Angus Reid’s online survey of 803 adults, conducted February 21 and 22, the Green Party of B.C. garnered an impressive 19 percent voter support on Vancouver Island. The survey has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

“What we see on the Island is definitely a trend that suggests that the Greens are going to be doing better,” Canseco told the Straight in a phone interview.

Acknowledging that Greens on the Island are better organized than previously, Canseco said they have a big decision to make whether to replicate the federal Green party’s strategy for the 2011 election. The federal party focused its resources on the campaign in Saanich–Gulf Islands, and leader Elizabeth Maymade history by becoming the first Green MP to be elected in Canada.

B.C. Green leader Jane Sterk is hugely optimistic. She sees not only one but four potential breakthroughs on the Island.

According to Sterk, candidates Andrew Weaver, Susan Low, and Adam Olsen could win in their respective electoral districts (Oak Bay–Gordon Head, Esquimalt–Royal Roads, and Saanich North and the Islands, respectively). She’s hoping to capture Victoria–Beacon Hill herself, which would involve unseating incumbent MLA and ex–B.C. NDP leader Carole James.

“If this election becomes about wanting a diversity of voices in the legislature, then we could see the same things that happened in 1991, when the [B.C.] Liberals unexpectedly won 17 seats, or in 2011, when the [federal] NDP won 58 seats in Quebec,” Sterk told the Straight in a phone interview. “It’s not outside the boundaries of possibility.”

Comments (7) Add New Comment
PJ
Now we are a roll,the greens,shut all production of greenhouse down,park all cars,exept all electric,go live in a cave,and grow your own food.Now they got 19% of votes euqals to 4or5 voters, since not that many people vote anymore.Look at their propeganda before you think about it.Canada is a mineral,oil and gas ritch country, the US would love to take us over.If we dont develop and market these ritches all of us loose,our economy relies on it.
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Ke Dongshan
Hugely optimistic is right. Out of 14 seats, if the Greens actually garner 19% on election night, that means that they have 19x.5=09.5 or 14x0.095=1.33 seats, or 1 seat. That is, according to mathematics of vote to seat share in FPTP electoral systems. It's possible!
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Will
The Greens, with their Conservative fiscal policy and strong environmental platform should be targeting the riding up around Courtenay-Comox, where they could steal a lot of soft BC LIB support, as well as some disenfranchised NDPers. I think they stand a good chance there, if they present a strong candidate who is able to communicate well.
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Brian
Jane Sterk is not Elizabeth May. She's an ancient style politician- doesn't think or act differently.
It's all hype and not very good. It would be nice if Weaver could win Oak Bay- Many NDPers thought they should withdraw when Weaver was nominated but given Ms, Sterks autocratic and undemocratic approach when her Central Saanich executive proposed cooperation. It probably won't happen and Ida Chong will be back with 34% of the vote. Both Dix and Stern need to learn how to think and act for the people. ) Green seats again.
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Brian
That is 0 Green seats again.
Sterk needs to step down.
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Susanne Shaw
It would be GREAT if the votes came from the BC Libs' side of the political divide. But, alas, those votes will only come from the NDP side. This only guarantees the swine party will win again. We'll have nothing Left or Green once the Koch-bought-and-controlled thugs get in again. The Greens and NDP have to join up. Most people are both---Green with a Social Conscience. The Greens' brass don't care enough about the poor working stiffs and the NDP's brass don't care about the environment as much as they should. If both parties got rid of their brass knuckleheads and joined together, we'd all win: the environment would win and the working class would win. As it is, fragmented and insentient, the swine party will rule and ruin again.
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Jerry
Go Greens! Time for a better altenative!
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