The NDP appear to have made a clean sweep of the four suburban Tri-Cities’ ridings in Metro Vancouver, with a major victory in Coquitlam-Burke Mountain.
The win in the key battleground riding — the only seat of four in the Tri-Cities area of Port Moody, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam held by the Liberals — helped John Horgan’s NDP to a projected majority government.
Late Saturday, former federal NDP MP Fin Donnelly was leading against Liberal incumbent Joan Isaacs in Coquitlam-Burke Mountain. Isaacs had won a narrow 87-vote victory in the 2017 election.
With 74 of 88 polls reported, Donnelly had 3,011 votes to 2,485 for Isaacs. Green candidate Adam Bremner-Atkins had 583 votes.
There are more than 9,500 mail-in ballots that will need to be counted, but a Leger poll conducted for The Vancouver Sun/Province found an equal proportion of Liberal and NDP supporters voted early, so unless margins of victory are small, the results are not likely to change.
The issues in this key swing riding were no different than those of the larger campaign: a stable government during the pandemic, economic recovery and services for people.
Donnelly said he was humbled by his support and excited to get to work on the issues they had brought up in the campaign, including two new schools and an urgent care centre, affordable child care spaces and affordable housing.
“I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and making sure that people’s lives are more affordable and better in the Tri-Cities area,” said Donnelly.
NDP candidate Rick Glumac, who looked to be re-elected in Port Moody-Coquitlam, said the strong showing in the Tri-Cities was because voters had chosen the government they wanted to lead them through the challenging time of the pandemic.
Glumac said they had worked hard to improve affordability and build a strong health-care and education system. “We now have an opportunity to continue that work,” he said.
The NDP had promised a new urgent primary-care centre in the Tri-Cities area, as well as a new high school and middle school in the Burke Mountain area. The Liberals had also promised the schools.
University of B.C. political scientist Max Cameron said the NDP listened to people’s concerns and had good candidates. They may have also been helped by a shift, with young people moving to the suburbs from the city where it’s more affordable, he said.
“And so this is a moment where people want health care, and they want economic security,” said Cameron.
In Port Moody-Coquitlam, Glumac, who won the riding from the Liberals in the 2017 election, had a solid lead over Liberal newcomer James Robertson, a leadership coach and former Canadian soldier, with the voting day and advanced poll votes counted.
With 90 of 90 polls reported, Glumac had 6,936 votes to 4,407 for Robertson. Green candidate John Latimer had 1,718 votes. Over 11,000 mail-in ballots were requested in the riding, which will still need to be counted.
The NDP looked to roll to wins in the other two ridings, where NDP incumbent Mike Farnworth, who was solicitor-general when the election was called, had a big lead in the riding of Port Coquitlam.
Farnworth had been elected six times in the riding previously.
NDP incumbent Selina Robinson, the municipal affairs and housing minister when the election was called, had a solid lead in the riding of Coquitlam-Maillardvale.