British Columbia

B.C. Votes 2017: Surrey-Guildford riding profile

A look at Surrey-Guildford, one of the 87 electoral districts in British Columbia.

It's a battle of former RCMP officers in this suburban riding expected to be close on election night

The riding in the northeastern part of Surrey used to be called Surrey-Tynehead. It lost its southern area to redistribution — a part of the riding that had been more friendly to the B.C. Liberals. (Elections B.C.)

In advance of the 2017 B.C. election, we'll be profiling all 87 electoral districts in the province. Here is Surrey-Guildford, one of nine ridings in Surrey — and one where the NDP challenger is hoping for a second chance at electoral success.

Summary: A mid-sized riding in northeast Surrey, the district consists of the western part of the old Surrey-Tynehead riding, which was broken up when Surrey gained a ninth electoral district for this election. It also includes a small area that used to be in Surrey-Whaley to the east and south of Hawthorne Park.

Politics: The B.C. Liberals won Surrey-Tynehead in all four elections in which the riding was contested, usually by stable but not overwhelming amounts.

Based on data from polling stations, if it had existed in the last election with the new boundaries and name, it would have gone to the B.C. Liberals by 5.2 per cent over the NDP. 

Candidates: Amrik Virk is seeking re-election for the B.C. Liberals. A former RCMP inspector, Virk was first elected in Surrey-Tynehead four years ago and served as minister of advanced education before being shuffled to the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services in 2014. 

The NDP candidate is Garry Begg, also a former RCMP inspector, who ran for the federal NDP in Fleetwood-Port Kells last election. 

The Green Party candidate is Jodi Murphy, who worked as a senior manager at a company providing technical services to the pulp and paper industry. 

Where does the NDP do well? The NDP does best south of Highway 1 in the more traditional Guildford area, typically gaining between 45 to 65 per cent of the vote. 

What about the Liberals? Highway 1 divides the riding politically as well as geographically: north of the Trans-Canada, in areas like Fraser Heights, the Liberals dominate, having gained between 50 and 70 per cent of the vote in recent elections.