B.C. Votes 2017: Saanich North and the Islands riding profile
It was the closest 3-way race in B.C. 4 years ago — can the NDP fend off the Liberals and Greens again?
In advance of the 2017 B.C. election, we'll be profiling all 87 electoral districts in the province. Here is Saanich North and the Islands, one of 15 ridings on Vancouver Island — and one considered the Green Party's best chance at picking up an additional seat.
Summary: A diverse riding at the northern end of the Saanich Peninsula, it includes several Gulf Islands and the municipalities of Central Saanich, North Saanich and Sidney.
Politics: Created prior to the 1991 election, the riding had only elected B.C. Liberal candidates until 2013, but elections had generally been close, and federally the area made history in 2011 when Elizabeth May became the party's first elected MP in Saanich-Gulf Islands.
In 2013, the NDP's Gary Holman defeated Stephen Roberts of the Liberals, a former banking executive, and Adam Olsen of the Greens, a Central Saanich councillor, by less than 400 votes — the closest three-way election in modern B.C. history.
All three candidates from 2013 are returning in this election.
Where does the NDP do well? It did best on Salt Spring Island, winning 85 per cent of the polling stations in the populous Gulf Island, but also did well on Galiano and Mayne islands.
What about the Liberals? North Saanich and the waterfront homes in Sidney were where the party did best, along with polling stations east of Butchart Gardens.
And what about the Greens? It did best in Central Saanich and the inland parts of Sidney. The party also split Pender Island with the NDP.