Prediction for 2013: the B.C. Liberals will not be destroyed

Many B.C. Liberals are probably heaving a sigh of relief as the curtain falls on 2012.

Poll

Will the B.C. Liberals fare better in 2013 than in 2012?

Yes 24%
59 votes
No 71%
170 votes
Maybe 5%
12 votes

That's because it's looking increasingly likely that their party will still exist after the May 2013 provincial election, albeit in opposition.

This was not a sure thing a year ago when a Forum Research poll had the B.C. Conservatives in a dead heat with the B.C. Liberals with 23 percent support.

At the start of this year, there was a legitimate expectation that the B.C. Liberals might come third in spring by-elections in Chilliwack-Hope and Port Moody–Coquitlam, which would finish off the party. 

By April, the B.C. Conservative candidate in Chilliwack-Hope, John Martin, was claiming that the B.C. Liberal carbon tax "is punitive to all economic activity and increases the cost of everything in the province".

"The Liberal government has failed the people of British Columbia and has squandered trust with the public on issues such as paying $6 million in legal fees for two convicted criminals (Basi and Virk) and the introduction of the HST shortly after the last election when they said it was not on the table," Martin wrote in an op-ed piece on this site.

When the B.C. Liberals came second in both by-elections, that let some of the air out of the Conservatives' tires. And in a remarkable about-face, Martin is now the B.C. Liberal candidate in Chilliwack.

The last Angus Reid poll shows the B.C. Liberals have the support of 29 percent of voters. That's a huge lead over the B.C. Conservatives, who are mired at 12 percent. The B.C. Greens are further back at nine percent.

The biggest danger facing the B.C. Liberals is if their supporters feel they have no chance. That's when there's no risk in tossing a vote at one of the fringe parties.

This is what finished off the B.C. NDP in 2001 and the federal Progressive Conservatives in 1993, when each was reduced from forming government to just two seats.

But if the B.C. Liberals can narrow the gap with the B.C. NDP—which has 47 percent support in the last Angus Reid poll—the governing party doesn't have to worry about being obliterated in less than five months' time.

Meanwhile, the B.C. Conservatives and B.C. Greens don't have nearly enough momentum, members, or money to supplant the B.C. Liberals as the party for most British Columbians who loathe the B.C. NDP.

I'm guessing that there will still be enough people willing to vote B.C. Liberal in 2013 to ensure the party becomes Official Opposition. Then it will live to fight another election around 2017.

However, things don't look nearly as bright for Premier Christy Clark. Given the weakness of the B.C. Greens and the popularity of David Eby, her NDP opponent in Vancouver–Point Grey, she's unlikely to keep her own seat.

If Clark loses, that would likely clear the way for a B.C. Liberal leadership race pitting former finance minister Kevin Falcon against some MLAs who survive the 2013 provincial election.

As for B.C. Conservative Leader John Cummins, my bet is he'll go down to defeat against Transportation Minister Mary Polak in Langley. And the B.C. NDP's Andrew Mercier should run a surprisingly strong third.

I also expect the B.C. Liberals' treatment of Abbotsford councillor Moe Gill to haunt them in Abbotsford South, where independent John van Dongen will probably hold onto his seat. 

Comments (27) Add New Comment
bob robertson
Well...how can everyone be soooo happy about Dix?? Short memory? He was forced to resign in scandal and disgrace in the Clarke government. Much as I am disappointed with the Libs, I don't think Dix can be trusted (his "moderate" stance is as much an act as Mayor Hippie Moonbeam saying he hasn't declared "war on motorists") AND he's already alienated the business community, some of whom are already making plans to move the bulk of their businesses to other provinces when (?) Dix seizes power and once again we revert to the People's Republic of BC and our economy tanks (just like last NDP government).

I know the hate for Clark runs deep but...seriously, look at the alternative.
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chris
The B.C. Liberals do not stand a chance in next election I for one have had it with them and will support the New Democrats heaven forbid not much of a choice but that is the only way to vote
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colleen moore
This is politics we are taking about. The Liberals will continue in the spotlight especially when the NDP take over only it isn't going to be good for the Liberals popularity especially with hard times ahead. The double bubble has burst and it is toil and trouble and no money honey if real estate prices can't be ballooned. What else have the BC Liberals done for you lately?
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Jeff BC
The BC liberals are handing over a broken ship. They've spent everything in the coffers to make it impossible for the next party to fix what they've screwed up!!!
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Rebecca Campbell
Cristy, remember that spark, that flare and the drive you had when you were still on radio, promises you made to the public if you get in? We believe in you, so don't forget that CRISTY we heard and rooted for! YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR US FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE AND BC CITIZENS!
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Patti
It's too late for the Liberal's to even dream about being voted in again. They are for themselves not the people of BC-they have lied to us for over 10 years and they should be shamed by how they have treated us-unbelievable. Lack of transparency and feeble excuses "oh we don't keep records for those expenses" what is with that?? Just walk away Christy you really let us down. 129 days!
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BigDave
Kevin Falcon resigned so he will not be in the lieberal leadership race.
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