If anyone else has been following the BC election, I’m guessing you’re sitting here in a similar position as me (as well as much of the rest of BC) which is – put quite simply – shocked. The night started off surprisingly and as it continued the trends only strengthened. It became clear as the night went on that this election did not belong to the NDP as everyone had thought, but rather to the Liberals who have managed to snag a majority government against all odds.
In what is not the first upset Canadian elections have seen recently. Let us all remember our very own Albertan election back in 2012. The whole province seemed to accept the likelihood of a Wildrose victory and for the first time in quite awhile it looked as though the Conservatives long reign might finally be coming to a close. However, election night brought a flip as the Conservatives secured their spot for yet another term, and the Wildrose were left with fewer seats than expected.
For those of you who haven’t been following what’s happening in BC right now, you can pretty much just place a mirror in the center of the political spectrum and you’ll get an idea of what’s going on. Seemingly against all odds, the Liberals have pulled through and will remain in power with a majority government, defying the expectations and stealing many seats away that were thought to go to the NDP.
So now I’m sitting here asking myself the same questions I did after the Wildrose were not nearly as big as a threat as everyone anticipated – what changed? And beyond that, how come we didn’t know? While what happened in Alberta last year and what happened in BC last night are on opposite sides of the political field, there does seem to be one glaring, common element between the situations: the stark contrast between what the polls expected and what actually happened. Nearly every poll across BC (telephone polls, online polls, etc) throughout the election placed the NDP in the lead ahead of the Liberals. Yes, the most recent ones did show the Liberals closing the gap, but nonetheless there was still a gap, and the NDP had the lead.
I can’t help but draw my attention to the polls themselves, which have proved to be a relatively unreliable source of information. Are people not answering honestly? Are the polls not collecting an accurate enough sample of data?
Or maybe there’s a last minute fear that sets in once peopleactually go to vote. Adrian Dix’s campaign for the NDP was all about change – breaking away from the status quo and making a difference for the better. But are people perhaps afraid of change? It does seem to be another common element between these two situations where the polls have lied to us. In the end, people chose to stick with what they know. They returned to their old governments despite someone offering change. I don’t think there is a clear cut answer right now. But I do feel confident saying that I’m not going to be taking any pre-election polls too seriously anytime soon. (And it wouldn’t surprise me if others in western Canada are feeling the same way).
Despite the crazy turnout in Vancouver there are still unanswered questions. Right now the biggest of which comes down to the Vancouver Point-Grey riding. David Eby and Christy Clark are still battling it out in the last riding to be determined. Througout the entire course of the night the counts flipped back and forth, with the leader seeming to change every time a new poll was brought in.
If Clark can claim this seat then it will be the final note in what can only be called a booming success of an election for the liberals. If Eby does manage to squeeze through, there will be some interesting decisions to be made. It’s nearly impossible to imagine the Liberals leaving Clark at this point, meaning that someone else will likely step aside essentially giving their seat to her.
Despite the crazy turnout in Vancouver there are still unanswered questions. Right now the biggest of which comes down to the Vancouver Point-Grey riding. David Eby and Christy Clark are still battling it out in the last riding to be determined. Througout the entire course of the night the counts flipped back and forth, with the leader seeming to change every time the votes from a new poll were brought in.
Regardless of what is yet to happen, it’s clear that BC’s election is one that can be added to the ranks as one of the most surprising elections Canada’s seen in awhile.