B.C.’s party leaders are facing a make or break event in this election with the televised leaders debate on Wednesday, Apr. 26.
It comes as NDP leader John Horgan appears to be riding high in the polls, and BC Liberal leader Christy Clark coming out strong against the Trump’s administration talk of a trade war.
On the heels of the leaders’ last debate, Clark is promising not to touch Horgan’s arm again, telling reporters she doesn’t want to “annoy him any more than she already has.”
“Well, no, I mean he doesn’t like it… He was a little bit offended, you know it was kind of a gentle touch but no, now that I know he doesn’t like it I know I won’t be doing it.”
In the meantime, Greens leader Andrew Weaver has been positioning himself as the fresh face rising above the political bickering.
“Both John and Christy have been in this place since the 1990s, both were working here and they’ve been at each other for what, twenty years?”
CKNW has approached the NDP camp for John Horgan’s take on the upcoming debate, but so far he is unavailable.
What to expect in round two
So after that spirited first round, what do John Horgan, Christy Clark, and Andrew Weaver have in store for the encore?
Global BC Legislative Bureau Chief Keith Baldrey has an idea of the trio’s strategies.
“Horgan will be very combative and very feisty and will be going after Clark primarily. Clark will be focused on the camera; she’s very good performing in this venue and this type of situation. And Weaver is yet to show he’s beyond an academic approach to this. He has to be less theoretical and a little more theatrical.”
Baldrey believes Weaver will turn his focus to antagonizing the NDP leader.
“This is his moment, but he’s got to be worried that John Horgan is going to try to overshadow him and be the centre of attention on the debate as well because he’s got a lot at stake here, he has to show he can stand up with Christy Clark and take her on.”
Meanwhile, Horgan will need to be critical but not overly aggressive of Clark, who will continue to champion jobs and the economy.
Baldrey also says the BC Liberals leader will likely be more prepared for round two than she was in the prior debate.
“She was sort of stumbling around on the questions and using a lot of “um’s” and “er’s”, sort of buying time as she fumbled for the answers.”
The debate can be heard on CKNW and seen on Global News at 6:30 p.m.
With files from Matt Lee