With just over 24 hours left in the 2017 B.C. election campaign, the race between the BC Liberals and the BC NDP is ‘too close to call,’ according to a new Ipsos poll.
And that means a number of ridings which either party narrowly won in 2013 could change hands.
Here are the top six ridings to watch that could have an impact on Election Day.
In 2013, it was a rare three-way race. The NDP’s Gary Holman won the riding by 163 votes even though it had traditionally been held by the Liberals for years. The Green candidate at the time, Adam Olsen, who is a First Nations local councillor and small business owner, is running again.
READ MORE: Battleground: Saanich North and the Islands
Holman will have his work cut out for him. While the riding is usually friendly turf for BC Liberals, the Greens could make Saanich North and the Islands their second win.
Scott Hamilton is the BC Liberal incumbent and in 2013, he won the riding by 202 votes (44.5 per cent to 43.6 per cent). While the NDP have won Delta North in the past, in the last provincial election, the party vote declined by 900 while the Liberals climbed by 1,100.
Also noteworthy is the Conservatives took almost 1,000 votes the last time but because there’s no Conservative candidate most should go Liberal in this election, if they vote. The Uber ride-sharing issue may also figure prominently in this riding.
READ MORE: Battleground: Delta-North
This riding, which is currently held by Peter Fassbender, minister of community, sport and cultural development and TransLink, has had a significant change in boundaries. The changes to the Surrey-Fleetwood’s boundaries slightly favour the NDP, which may be enough to shift it back to the party fold.
FULL COVERAGE: CKNW Decision B.C. headquarters
The NDP won this seat with almost a 2,000 vote margin in 2009. In 2013, Fassbender boosted the BC Liberal vote by 2,100 while the NDP remained static from 2009. Fassbender has a high-profile, recognition and the incumbent’s advantage but time will tell if that’s enough to keep the riding with the BC Liberals.
In 2013, Suzanne Anton, minister of justice and attorney general of B.C. won by only 470 votes over the NDP (46.7 per cent to 44.6 per cent). She boosted the BC Liberal vote by 570 from 2009, while the NDP grew by 800. The Conservatives took 650 votes in Vancouver-Fraserview in 2013.
Since the last provincial election, Anton has boosted her profile, which should help her. This is one to watch because of Anton’s position in the current cabinet.
READ MORE: Battleground: Vancouver-Fraserview
The BC Liberals won Coquitlam-Burke Mountain in 2013 by a wide margin of 2,450 votes. But the seat was then won by the NDP in a by-election after the incumbent BC Liberal MLA Douglas Horne resigned in 2015 to run (unsuccessfully) in the federal election as a Conservative candidate.
While the NDP won by 700 votes, the voter turnout was incredibly low at 21.5 per cent with the Burke Mountain part of the riding, which carries the BC Liberals main area of overwhelming strength, stayed home. This riding will be very hard for the NDP to hold onto since by-elections are almost never won by a sitting government, and usually revert to their traditional results in a general election.
READ MORE: Battleground: Coquitlam-Maillardville
Jackie Tegart is the BC Liberal incumbent that beat out NDP veteran Harry Lali in 2013 by 464 votes. This riding is traditionally a close race.
Lali blamed the loss on the Kinder Morgan issue. The two will go head-to-head again in this election. Lali won the nomination for the Fraser-Nicola riding over BC NDP Party Leader John Horgan’s objections.
READ MORE: Battleground: Surrey-Fleetwood
In the last election, Lali’s vote slipped by 863 votes from 2009, while the Liberals went up by 434. One key factor could have been the Conservatives taking more than 1,000 votes in the riding in 2013. This time around the Conservatives have not put a candidate in the field.
New boundary changes favour the NDP but the party’s anti-resource economy position may impact the outcome.
FULL LIST: Ridings and Results
~ with files from Keith Baldrey, Global News