Surrey-Newton has re-elected the NDP’s Harry Bains.
“I’m so humbled always with the support I get from the community,” Bains told the Now-Leader.
“I knew people of Surrey were looking for change and they have shown that by voting the NDP way,” he said. “Because there’s so many important issues that have been neglected. We have three ministers here from the BC Liberals and you know we still have issues with the public health care, we have issues about education, overcrowding in schools, we have issues about the lack of public transporation…. and hardly anything happened to curb the crime that continues on. I think people were really angry or upset and wanted a change.”
NDP's Harry Bains says people of #surreybc "wanted change." #bcelxn17 pic.twitter.com/RN2AhjZIZG
— Surrey Now-Leader (@SurreyNowLeader) May 10, 2017
As for the bigger picture?
“Too early to call,” Bains said an hour after polls closed and results started coming in. “We have a ways to go. We’re waiting for the rest of British Columbians to give us a mandate.”
Harry Bains "humbled" by his re-election in Surrey-Newton, which he's held for the NDP since 2005 @surreynowleader #bcelxn17
— Tom Zytaruk (@tomzytaruk) May 10, 2017
Cheers and applause as 2 #bcndp MLAS declared re-elected in #SurreyBC as #bcelxn17 results come in. #bcpoli #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/QzUNqDOkxL
— Ian Bailey (@ianabailey) May 10, 2017
Bains spoke but could barely be heard over the cheers from the crowd.
“It’s all about the next generation,” he said. “That’s what we’re fighting for.”
With 65 of 67 polls reporting, Bains received 8,294 votes, compared to 4,353 for BC Liberal candidate Gurminder Singh Parihar. Green candidate Richard Krieger had 974 and independent candidate Balpreet Singh Bal had 857.
Surrey-Newton is the city’s smallest riding. But if rock-em-sock-em politics is your favourite spectator sport, this riding carries a big punch.
Over the years, Surrey-Newton occasionally toggled from NDP to the right, but has largely been dominated by the NDP.
In 2001, Liberal Tony Bhullar trounced NDP MLA candidate Param Grewal in Surrey-Newton, a riding that had been held by NDP cabinet minister Penny Priddy since Priddy snatched it from Social Credit premier Rita Johnston in 1991.
Wisely choosing not to seek re-election in 2001, considering her governing party was destined for a province-wide smackdown from the electorate, Priddy thus avoided a fate similar to Johnston’s as B.C. voters raged against the NDP.
Bains won the riding back for the NDP in 2005, and every election since. Last election, he took 56.33 per cent of the popular vote, defeating runner-up Liberal candidate Sukhminder Virk by 2,898 votes.
Bains served on Kwantlen University’s board of governors, was vice-president of Steelworkers-IWA Canada local 2171 and as MLA served as critic for the Olympics, transportation, infrastructure, employment, WorkSafe BC, forests, lands and natural resources.
Surrey-Newton’s population is 58,340, according to most recent available statistics. It covers an area of 12 square kilometres. The average age of its residents is 34.7 years and for 64.71 per cent of all residents English is a second language.