|No photo ops tonight for Premier Christy Clark - she will |
respond to by-election results by news release!
The BC NDP have won both by-elections - with the BC Liberals placing second and the BC Conservatives in a close third place.
Congratulations to new MLAs Joe Trasolini in Port Moody-Coquitlam and Gwen O'Mahoney in Chilliwack-Hope - for taking both former BC Liberal strongholds away from the governing party.
Condolences to BC Liberal candidates Dennis Marsden and Laurie Throness - they both fought hard and there is great honour in losing when you do your best.
Condolences also to John Martin and Christine Clarke of the BC Conservatives - they both put in very credible performances without the benefit of the BC NDP and BC Liberal financial and logistical advantages - a huge improvement over past Conservative efforts but not enough to win.
While the BC Liberals will predictably spin the "vote splitting" story, the reality is that under Premier Christy Clark, two formerly untouchable safe ridings have been lost to their arch enemy - including, almost unbelievably, Chilliwack-Hope.
Blaming the BC Conservatives for "stealing" their vote won't cut any ice with unhappy voters who abandoned the BC Liberals in droves - voting NDP or Conservative or simply staying home.
I predict so-called "merger" talks prompted by BC Liberal die-hards like Phil Hochstein won't go anywhere - certainly not with Clark staying on as leader.
BC politics remain the most interesting in the country!
Tonight's two provincial by-elections couldn't be more pivotal - not only will they elect two MLAs but may serve as a road map for the future of the BC Liberal Party, BC Conservative Party and Premier Christy Clark.
Two BC Liberal losses would be a devastating blow to Clark's leadership - and rumours are already circulating about another defection from her caucus to the BC Conservatives.
Could it be John Rustad who follows in the footsteps of John van Dongen, the Abbotsford South MLA who quit the party to join BC Conservative leader John Cummins' surging forces?
Or could the BC Liberals narrowly eke out a win under Chilliwack-Hope candidate Laurie Throness thanks to his federal Conservative connections with former boss Chuck Strahl.
Stay tuned - your comments and predictions most welcome!