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

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

      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. 

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      27 Comments

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      Ken Lawson

      Dec 27, 2012 at 4:51pm

      I disagree especially when people hear about the smart meter and board of directors at BC Hydro which came out to day, where was your staff sleeping on the job again?

      James Blatchford

      Dec 27, 2012 at 9:17pm

      Most Inevitable Liberal Fail

      Pauline Maden

      Dec 27, 2012 at 9:40pm

      Sorry furthest thing from the truth the Liberals are not in any good position with Clark. Her excuses that the Economy is her focus and not listening to Canadians NOT wanting the pipe line is ridiculous. Harper and Clark need to go!!!! They don't listen!!!

      cedarsmitty

      Dec 28, 2012 at 3:36am

      The worst political party in the history of BC will be destroyed and Christy Clark can work at one of those minimum wage jobs she created.

      Good riddance !

      Keats Morton

      Dec 28, 2012 at 4:58am

      I'm suprised that this article didn't mention Adrian Dix's most incredible approval rating, that will play a serious factor in the next election, just like Christy Clark's poor approval rating. I am down right scared if the BC Liberals win again, I do not want to see them continue their sloppy governing.

      Patrick

      Dec 28, 2012 at 9:36am

      I don't think the press can candy coat the Liberals at this late stage of the game. People have had enough of the constant deception for self interest by the Liberals and are demanding a change. To many Crown Corporations have become bloated with upper management wonks parachuted in by their political masters. Dix will clean house and we will have a much needed fresh start. Christy was unqualified for the position from the beginning. An anchor dragging down a very toxic ship.

      Juan Carlos

      Dec 28, 2012 at 9:52am

      It is remarkable how the BC Conservative so brutally squandered this opportunity that was literally gift-wrapped for them by the Liberals. We may never see a better example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

      Not listening to their members, not listening to their supporters, installing a leader with numerous issues, backing him to the bitter end like crabs in pot of boiling water dragging each other down to a miserable death. What an epic debacle.

      Will

      Dec 28, 2012 at 5:23pm

      There's a little the BC LIBs can do. The mood out here is too nasty. They don't stand a chance.
      There's a precedent as well. Look up Rita Johnson and the Social Credit.
      We're looking at a rerun.

      BC Mike

      Dec 29, 2012 at 2:19am

      Your in for a few surprises!

      Gromit

      Dec 29, 2012 at 4:54am

      By the time the new party comes into power they are going to be left with such an enormous financial and political mess there is going to be a need for a South African style truth and reconciliation commission. What we don't know and will soon find out regarding secret back room financially crippling deals will astound us.

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