ElectionWatch: Vancouver is the
Pacific Gateway to power for parties
[PoliticsWatch posted 12:00 p.m. November 11, 2005]
|Former NDP MP Svend Robinson and Liberal MP
Hedy Fry embrace in this picture taken two years ago, but now
they could square off in one of the most interesting races of
the coming election campaign.
As the 2006 federal
election draws closer, PoliticsWatch will examine the races in all
308 ridings across the country. In the first instalment,
PoliticsWatch looks at the 11 ridings in the Vancouver area.
Vancouver and the Northern Lower Mainland
2004 Seat Results: Lib 5 (+1); Con 3 (-1); NDP 3 (+1)
The most volatile region of the most politically volatile province is the area
that includes the city of Vancouver. Only two of the 11 seats can be
considered safe. The region is made up of the seats of some of the
most high-profile MPs in Ottawa, including Health Minister Ujjal
Dosanjh, Conservative MP John Reynolds and NDP House leader Libby
Davies. And if that wasn't enough, former NDP MP Svend Robinson is a
seeking the NDP nomination here as well. All three major federal parties are
competitive in seven of the 11 ridings.
Solid Seats: 1
Dream Seat Scenario: Lib 10 (+5); NDP 1 (-2); Con 0 (-3)
The Liberals win 10 of the 11 seats in Vancouver, with the NDP
keeping only Vancouver East. Cabinet ministers Ujjal Dosanjh, David
Emerson and Stephen Owen keep their seats, Hedy Fry holds back Svend
Robinson in Vancouver Centre and Don Bell keeps his historically
conservative seat. Returning candidates Bill Cunningham and Blair
Wilson continue to make gains for the Liberals and pick up NDP and
Conservative seats. NDP voters concerned about the Conservatives
gaining power push the Liberals ahead in three-way races in ridings
held by Conservative MPs Paul Forseth and James Moore, and NDP MP
Nightmare Seat Scenario: NDP 5 (+2); Con 5 (+2); Lib
The NDP undergoes a renaissance with former MPs Svend Robinson and
Ian Waddell defeating Hedy Fry and David Emersron. A Conservative
upsets Ujjal Dosanjh in Vancouver South and a Conservative candidate
wins back Ted White's riding held by Don Bell. Stephen Owen is the
only Liberal left standing.
Solid Seats: 0
Dream Seat Scenario: Con 7 (+3); Lib 2 (-3); NDP 2 (-1)
The Conservatives hold their three seats in Vancouver. A large
number of angry former Liberal voters switch over to the
Conservatives to eject the Liberals in Vancouver Centre and
Vancouver South. Vote splitting between the NDP and Liberals allow a
Conservative to slip up the middle in Burnaby New Westminster. And
candidate Cindy Silver easily takes back Ted White's former riding
from the Liberals.
Nightmare Seat Scenario: Lib 7(+2); NDP
4 (+1); Con 0 (-3)
After a bad national campaign, the Conservatives are wiped off the
map in Vancouver, with the Liberals winning James Moore's seat, John
Reynolds' former seat and NDP candidate Dawn Black defeating Paul
Solid Seats: 1
Dream Seat Scenario: NDP 7 (+4); Lib 3 (-2); Con 1 (-2)
A strong campaign by NDP Leader Jack Layton allows former NDP MPs
Svend Robinson, Ian Waddell and Dawn Black make successful comebacks
to the House of Commons defeating Fry, Emerson and Forseth
respectively. And Conservative MP James Moore is defeated by an NDP
Nightmare Seat Scenario: Lib 7(+2); Con
3; NDP 1 (-2)
A strong Liberal campaign nationally focusing on strategic voting
helps Bill Cunningham to edge out Bill Siksay in Burnaby-Douglas and
Peter Julian to lose a three-way battle. Libby Davies is the only
NDP MP from Vancouver left standing.
The Big Picture: When Brian Mulroney won
his two majorities he also won Vancouver Centre and Vancouver South,
ridings currently held by Liberals Hedy Fry and Ujjal Dosanjh. If a
large number of Liberal voters in those two ridings vote
Conservative to turf the Liberals, as they did in the 1980s, then
that is a good sign for Conservative Leader Stephen Harper. But the
Conservatives losing two or three of its seats in Vancouver looks
more likely than winning in those two ridings, as the NDP is
stronger in Vancouver Centre and Vancouver South than they were 20
years ago, especially with Svend Robinson running in Vancouver
Centre this time around.
Ridings to Watch (7)
Liberal MP Hedy Fry could be squaring off
against former NDP MP Svend Robinson who is seeking the NDP
nomination in Vancouver Centre
in a campaign that will attract national media attention. Fry finished 4,000 votes ahead of the NDP and 11,000 votes ahead of
the Conservatives in 2004. The
high-profile Robinson left politics last year after he was caught
stealing an expensive ring from an auction house. Robinson has
made a return with the a new slogan "Back ... Stronger than
Ever." But he will be running against history. With the
exception of a by-election the CCF won in 1948, Vancouver Centre has
been won by only Liberals and Conservatives since 1914. It's about as
close as you can get to a bellwether riding with the Conservatives
and Liberals usually winning the riding when they win federal
elections. Vancouver lawyer Tony Fogarassy will be running
for the Conservatives in the upcoming election. The riding has been
held by a female MP since 1980, when Tory Pat Carney
was elected. She was later replaced in 1988 by former prime minister
Kim Campbell who was defeated by Fry in 1993.
Analysis: Bellwether seat and with
Robinson in the mix anything could happen.
Burnaby -- New
NDP MP Peter Julian
was the winner in the newly created riding of Burnaby -- New
Westminster by less than 500 votes in a tight three-way race.
Analysis: New seat that is up for grabs
for any of the three parties.
Two of the three Conservative ridings in the region are up for
grabs in this election. In New Westminster-Coquitlam, veteran
Conservative MP Paul Forseth defeated the NDP candidate
Steve McClurg by
113 votes in a tight three-way race. Forseth has won the riding in
four consecutive elections beginning in 1993. Before that, the riding had
been an NDP stronghold, won by NDP MPs Pauline Jewett in
1979, 1980 and 1984 and Dawn Black in 1988. The riding is
literally up for grabs for any of the three parties in this
election, and Black is making a comeback as the NDP candidate.
Analysis: A perpetual opposition riding: Any one of the three parties could
win this seat.
|Industry Minister David Emerson.
most high-profile MP who could lose his seat is Industry Minister
David Emerson. Emerson won the Vancouver Kingsway riding over
former NDP MP Ian Waddell by just over 1,300 votes or three
per cent of the total votes. A slight NDP increase or slight Liberal
drop in the polls would flip the riding over to the NDP. The Vancouver
Kingsway riding was created in 1996 and won by Liberal MP Sophia
Leung in the 1997 and 2000 elections.
Analysis: Liberal seat that could be a
pick up for the NDP.
You may not have heard of Liberal MP Don Bell,
but he did something a future Liberal senator and Liberal
strategist Warren Kinsella couldn't do. In the 2004
election campaign, Bell defeated
Conservative MP Ted White in the riding of North Vancouver
a close two-way race with 40 per cent of the vote compared to 36 per
cent for White. The victory was a breakthrough for the Liberals in
the riding that conservative parties had won in seven elections dating
back to 1979. White had won the riding representing Reform in 1993
by defeating now Liberal Senator Mobina Jaffer by 5,000
votes. He widened his margin to 9,000 votes in 1997 when he squared
off against Kinsella. The Tories have Vancouver lawyer Cindy Silver running
against Bell in this election.
Analysis: Traditionally conservative
seat the Conservatives need back if they want to form government.
Burnaby - Douglas
Like the Conservatives, the NDP also have three
seats in the region, with two of them are up for grabs. NDP MP Bill
Siksay staved off a challenge by Liberal organizer Bill
Cunningham and held onto Robinson's old seat in Burnaby -
Douglas, but the margin of victory was less than 1,000 votes.
two will meet again in the next election. And don't count out the
Conservatives who finished just 3,000 votes behind the NDP.
Historically, the seat has been NDP, with Robinson winning
seven-consecutive elections dating back to 1979.
Analysis: Traditionally NDP seat the
Liberals could pick up.
Vancouver-Sunshine Coast -- Sea to Sky Country
Things will be interesting in the riding with one of the best names
in the country, as Conservative MP John
Reynolds will not be running. Reynolds held onto the riding on
election night by less than 2,000 votes over Liberal candidate Blair
Wilson. In May, Wilson was acclaimed for the Liberal nomination
for the next election. A conservative candidate has won eight
consecutive elections in the riding dating back to 1974, with the
Liberals usually in second place. But the trend is looking good for
the Liberals. Despite the sponsorship scandal and the merger of the
two conservative parties, Reynolds margin of victory in 2004 was
7,000 votes less than it was in 2000.
Analysis: Traditionally Conservative
seat the Liberals could pick up.
|Conservative MP James Moore.
Not a Sure Thing (2)
Conservative MP James Moore and Health Minister Ujjal
Dosanjh won their ridings by comfortable margins in the last
election, but major polling swings could put their ridings at risk.
Port Moody -- Westwood -- Port Coquitlam
Moore won the riding of Port Moody -- Westwood -- Port Coquitlam
with 18,000 votes in the last election, but the NDP and Liberal
candidates in his riding both had over 12,000 votes each.
Conservative insiders say the young Moore is concerned about losing
his seat. With
24,000 voters in his riding voting Liberal and NDP, Moore has been
positioning himself as a moderate in the Conservative Party and was
one of the few Tory MPs to vote in favour of the Liberals' same-sex
marriage legislation. Since 1988 the riding has been won by
conservative candidates three times with the Liberals and NDP
winning it once each.
Analysis: Easy swing seat.
Dosanjh won the riding held by former Liberal
cabinet minister Herb Dhaliwal with 18,000 votes, but the
candidates from the Tories and the NDP both garnered over 10,000
votes. The good news for Dosanjh is the riding seems to love
its incumbents. Dhailwal won the riding in three elections dating
back to 1993. Before that the riding was held by former Conservative
House speaker John Fraser, who won the riding in six elections
from 1972 to 1988. And before Fraser, Liberal Arthur Laing
won the riding in four elections from 1962 to 1968. Essentially,
three men represented Vancouver South over a 42-year period. Since
its creation in 1917, the riding has never elected an NDP or CCF MP.
Analysis: Liberal and Tory incumbents
tend to hold this seat.
|NDP MP Libby Davies' constituents have voted
NDP or CCF in 17 of 19 federal elections since 1933.
Solid Seats (2)
Only two of the 11 seats in the region can be considered safe for
the MPs who inhabit them.
NDP House leader Libby Davies won the Vancouver East riding
in 2004 with 56 per cent of the votes in her riding. Since it was
created in 1933, Vancouver East has been won by either an NDP or CCF
candidate in 17 of 19 federal elections. The Liberals won the riding
in 1993 and in 1974 the year the NDP suffered a major electoral
set back after ending its cooperation with Pierre Trudeau's minority
Analysis: Solid NDP seat.
Liberal MP Stephen Owen won the Vancouver Quadra riding with
52 per cent of the vote and the largest margin of victory for any
Liberal west of Ontario. Owen's riding was once held by former prime
minister John Turner and has been won by the Liberals over
six-consecutive elections dating back to 1984.
Analysis: Solid Liberal seat.
© PoliticsWatch 2004. All rights reserved. Republication
or redistribution of PoliticsWatch content, including by framing,
copying, linking or similar means, is expressly prohibited without
the prior written consent of Public Interests Research and Communications
Inc. PoliticsWatch is registered trademark of PIRCINC.