British Columbia·Analysis

B.C. Liberals lose vote share in every region of province

The B.C. Liberals lost vote share in every region of the province in Saturday's election, but those losses hurt the party the most in the Fraser Valley and suburban Vancouver, a CBC News analysis has found.

CBC analysis shows losses hurt party most in Fraser Valley, Tri-Cities

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson addresses media on the night of the provincial election in Vancouver on Oct. 24, 2020. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

The B.C. Liberals lost their share of the vote in every region of the province in Saturday's election, but those losses hurt the party most in the Fraser Valley and suburban Vancouver, a CBC News analysis has found.

CBC used final results from 2017 and preliminary results from 2020 to calculate vote shift in each region and riding of the province. (This analysis excludes mail-in and absentee ballots, which may not be counted and reported until mid-November, according to Elections BC).

The Fraser Valley was where voters rejected the B.C. Liberals in favour of the NDP and Greens in the largest proportions. The orange wave swept over both Langley and both Chilliwack ridings. North of the Fraser, the NDP also won both battleground Maple Ridge ridings.

Here's a look at where each party gained and lost ground on Saturday.

The B.C. NDP

Outside the Fraser Valley, the NDP also made significant inroads in the Interior, which resulted in the riding of Boundary-Similkameen flipping from red to orange. They held on to key ridings in the Tri-Cities and won Coquitlam-Burke Mountain from the Liberals.

The NDP also pulled off historic wins in three Richmond ridings, but in two of them the margins are so close — just 124 votes in Richmond South Centre — that mail-in ballots could easily flip them back to the Liberals. 

The riding that shifted the most in the whole province was Oak Bay-Gordon Head, which voted overwhelmingly for former B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver in 2017. The NDP didn't win a single polling station there in 2017, but former MP Murray Rankin won the riding decisively for the party on Saturday. 

There were places where the NDP lost vote share on Saturday. Three were northern ridings where the party was not competitive. 

NDP MLA David Eby's riding of Vancouver-Point Grey saw the B.C. Greens gain ground in this election. (MIke McArthur/CBC)

But one was David Eby's riding of Vancouver-Point Grey. The NDP still easily carried the riding, but did so despite an eight-per-cent drop in vote share from 2017. These votes appear to have gone to the B.C. Greens, who showed an eight-per-cent increase there.

The B.C. Liberals

Saturday was a terrible night by any measure for the B.C. Liberals, who lost vote share in every region of the province compared with 2017.

The Liberals' most electorally significant losses were in the Fraser Valley.

But the riding where the Liberals lost the most vote share was a riding they won: Peace River South. This was due to a strong showing by B.C. Conservative candidate Kathleen Connolly, who placed second, and because former Liberal cabinet minister Mike Bernier won a landslide victory there in 2017.

There were a few bright spots for the Liberals on Saturday. The party increased their vote share over 2017 in both South Surrey and South Delta. They also showed a 12-per-cent increase in the riding of Surrey-Green Timbers, but it wasn't enough to defeat the NDP.

The B.C. Greens

It can unequivocally be said that the B.C. NDP had a good night on Saturday and the B.C. Liberals had a bad one.

But for the B.C. Greens, the results were more ambiguous.

Sonia Furstenau's B.C. Greens made gains in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, the Sunshine Coast and parts of the City of Vancouver. (Darry Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The party held on with three seats in the legislature and can celebrate a breakthrough win on the Lower Mainland in the riding of West Vancouver-Sea to Sky.

Support for the party on the Sunshine Coast was also up 10 per cent over 2017.

But in Metro Vancouver, the results for the Greens were mixed. They made some gains in the City of Vancouver, most notably in Vancouver-Point Grey and Mount Pleasant, but lost vote share in the suburbs around Vancouver. 

The riding where the Greens took the biggest hit was Oak Bay-Gordon Head, which they lost to the NDP.

 

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story used a different methodology to calculate the changes by region. The first chart has been updated to incorporate the number of ridings per region into the calculation, which more accurately reflects the change in vote share. By this calculation, B.C. Liberal losses were more significant in the Fraser Valley, the North Shore and the Tri Cities than on Vancouver Island. 
    Oct 27, 2020 1:30 PM PT

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tara Carman

Senior Reporter, Data Journalist

Tara Carman is a senior reporter and data journalist with CBC Investigates. She lives in Vancouver. You can reach her at tara.carman@cbc.ca or on Twitter @tarajcarman.

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