Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad

Ballots cast; Liberals take province

Nechako-Lakes incumbent Liberal MLA John Rustad wins with solid majority

According to the preliminary voting results from the initial count, Elections B.C. is showing that on May 14, 2013, B.C. voters re-elected a majority Liberal government.  Under the leadership of Christy Clark, the party defied consistently negative pre-election polling results and delivered a 17-seat provincial majority, with 44.4 per cent of the popular vote and 50 seats.

The NDP took 33 seats, with 39.49 per cent of the popular vote; the Green Party took one seat at 8.01 per cent of cast ballots; an independent took one seat and the B.C. conservatives took no seats with only 4.78 per cent of the vote.

Premier Christy Clark narrowly lost in her riding of Vancouver Point-Grey. It is anticipated that an elected Liberal member of legislative assembly will step down from his or her seat to allow Clark to run in a by-election.

In Nechako-Lakes, incumbent Liberal MLA John Rustad won a strong majority. He took 54.5 per cent of ballots cast. His nearest threat, NDP Sussanne Skidmore-Hewlett took only 27 per cent of the vote. Dan Brooks, the Vanderhoof guide outfitter who ran on the B.C. Conservative platform out-performed his party’s province-wide results with 12.6 per cent of the vote in Nechako-Lakes.

Looking at the provincial electoral map, one sees a giant wall of Liberal red connecting the Southern Interior of the province straight through to the Northeast Peace region. Prince George Liberal MLA Shirley Bond won her seat again, and in a surprising turn, popular and vocal independent MLA Bob Simpson lost his seat to Liberal contender Coralee Oakes.

The coastal electoral ridings were a different story. From the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island straight through to the Alaska border, it was a virtual NDP sweep.  The Northwest ridings of Skeena and Stikine both elected NDP representation, although it appears that the Liberal vote in both ridings was split by ballots cast from outliers like the B.C. Conservatives and the Stikine Christian Heritage Party.

Jennifer Rice won a clear majority in the riding of North Coast. In fact, if one assumes that the Green vote would have gone NDP had there been no Green candidate, then Rice would have won more than 67 per cent of the popular vote.

Rice has promised to continue to fight pipeline expansion through her riding, which would be the terminus for proposed natural gas and oil pipelines through Northwest B.C. The Clark Liberals ran on a platform heavily dependent on the notion of provincial prosperity through natural gas development.

Walter Strong

Lakes District News

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