B.C.’s urban landscape in the Lower Mainland is no longer carved up almost exclusively between the federal New Democrats and Conservatives.
Liberal candidates, propelled by the popularity of leader Justin Trudeau, pulled off multiple upsets in Monday’s federal election and captured 17 ridings, including the North Shore, nearly all of Surrey and parts of the Fraser Valley, up from just two seats previously.
Among the defeated are National Revenue Minister Kerry Lynne Findlay in Delta, a traditional Conservative stronghold. The new MP there is Liberal Carla Qualtrough, a human rights lawyer and paralympian.
Conservative MP Nina Grewal, criticized for missing local debates, lost to former TransLink spokesman and Liberal candidate Ken Hardie in Fleetwood-Port Kells.
Other Conservative MPs defeated by Liberals include Andrew Saxton and John Weston, both on the North Shore and Wai Young in Vancouver South.
Two NDP MPs fell in Surrey – Jinny Sims lost in Surrey-Newton to former MP Sukh Dhaliwal, who recaptured the riding for the Liberals; and Jasbir Sandhu fell in Surrey Centre to Randeep Sarai.
Former Surrey Mayor and star Conservative candidate Dianne Watts narrowly defeated Liberal challenger Judy Higginbotham, who entered the race mid-campaign after the original Liberal candidate resigned over pro-marijuana comments.
One of the biggest surprises of the night was a very close Liberal victory by Jati Sidhu in Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, a riding deep in the traditionally Conservative turf of the Fraser Valley.
Conservatives survived in their safest Valley seats, as did New Democrats such as former MLA Jenny Kwan in Vancouver East and Peter Julian in New Westminster-Burnaby.
NDP MP Kennedy Stewart barely held onto his seat in another close race in Burnaby South.
The two incumbent Liberal MPs in Vancouver – Hedy Fry and Joyce Murray – were easily re-elected.
Other notable Liberals that will be MPs on the government side include former West Vancouver Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones.
The Conservatives are reduced to a rump of five seats in the Lower Mainland, while the NDP stand to be reduced to four seats.
Province-wide, the Liberals took 17 seats and nearly 40.5 per cent of the popular vote. The NDP won 14 seats, with 33 per cent of the vote, while the Conservatives got 10 seats – down from 21 – with 23.8 per cent support. Greens got 2.4 per cent but did not gain additional seats besides that of party leader Elizabeth May.
Provincial turnout was 70.3 per cent, not including voters who registered on election day.
B.C. SEATSLiberals – 17 (+15)NDP – 14 (+2)Conservatives – 10 (-11)Greens – 1 (unchanged)
% OF B.C. VOTESLiberals – 40.5 %NDP – 33.3 %Conservatives – 23.8 %Greens – 2.4 %