Here are the ridings to watch in British Columbia during the Oct. 14 vote:
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This riding should be the NDP's to lose. It used to be Svend Robinson's seat, and former Robinson assistant Bill Siksay picked up where he left off. However, Siksay's wins in the last two elections were close, and both the Liberals and the Tories could nip at his heels once again.
If the Liberals succeed in defeating a sitting Tory MP in British Columbia, this could be it. Conservative Nina Grewal didn't win by much last time, and benefited from a split in the Liberal ranks. If Surrey Liberals can rally the anti-Conservative vote behind their candidate, the Conservatives will be in trouble here.
This riding is vacant, after the retirement of Conservative MP Betty Hinton. The race to replace her is thought to be a two-way fight between the new Tory candidate, Cathy McLeod, and a strong NDP challenger, Michael Crawford. The NDP say this is one of their top pick-up prospects in B.C.
This riding has an interesting mix of lumber industry towns (where union membership is strong) and retirement communities. Conservative MP James Lunney won this seat in the last three elections, but the NDP has a solid base. In addition, the Green party also intends to make a strong showing here, by running former labour leader (and ex-New Democrat) John Fryer.
Liberal Sukh Dhaliwal won a three-way race here in 2006 by only 700 votes, and must brace for another nail-biter this time. The NDP are highly focused on turning their close second into a win. But with the Conservatives ahead in B.C. polls, it could just as easily swing Tory.
This riding was a close Liberal-Conservative fight last time, with Liberal Don Bell coming out on top. This time he faces a different Tory challenger, Andrew Saxton. Bell will need to solidify the anti-Harper vote.
Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission
In the 2006 election, of all the Tory versus NDP battles where the New Democrats finished second, they were closest to winning in this riding. And it's a pickup target for them again now. Provincially, the NDP holds this turf. Will the Liberal vote collapse, or will vote splits help re-elect the Conservatives?
Raymond Chan held this riding, lost it and then made a comeback to win it again. Bank on another pitched battle with Conservative Alice Wong this time. Chan's recent electoral success aside, Conservatives can get elected here, and the Tories have made many efforts, including in the early hours of this year's campaign, to win over Chinese-Canadian and other ethnic voters in ridings like this.
Here's where the ghost of the Cadman affair makes its appearance in 2008. Cadman's widow, Dona, is the Conservative candidate in his former riding. NDP MP Penny Priddy won comfortably here last time, but decided not to run again. Priddy and Dona Cadman had a great deal of respect for each other across party lines, so it's unclear whether all of Priddy's voters from last time will necessarily continue to vote NDP.
Vancouver Centre boasts an almost-guaranteed four-way fight. First there's Liberal incumbent Hedy Fry, firmly entrenched in this riding since knocking off then-prime minister Kim Campbell in 1993. Then there's the NDP candidate: prominent academic Michael Byers, best known for his criticism of the mission in Afghanistan. Provincial MLA Lorne Mayencourt is running for the Conservatives. And deputy Green party leader and well-known environmental activist Adriane Carr has been campaigning in Vancouver Centre for months.
Vancouver Island North
New Democrat MP Catherine Bell beat Conservative John Duncan here, in British Columbia's closest result in 2006. Both Duncan and Bell are back for the re-match this time, and the other parties aren't expected to be much of a factor.
The now-infamous floor-crossing cabinet minister David Emerson was elected here as a Liberal in 2006, but served as a Conservative. He's decided to leave politics, and the riding he leaves behind is full of bitter Liberals who have been campaigning for months in anticipation of the day they could return this riding to the Liberal column. New Democrats won't make it easy for them, however. The Conservatives are unlikely to be much of a factor here.
Liberal Joyce Murray held Quadra for the Liberals in the recent byelection by only 151 votes. Few expected the Conservatives to come so close, and now it seems they could even position themselves for a final push over the top to steal what historically was seen as a Liberal seat in this general election.