While there are several safe seats for both the NDP and the Liberals in Vancouver, three key swing ridings will get all of the attention Tuesday night.
One of the last contest to be called, Sullivan finished the night fewer than 600 votes ahead of Oger.
Sullivan, former Mayor of Vancouver, easily won the riding in 2013, cruising to victory with more than 50 per cent of the vote.
But it wasn’t the same cakewalk this time around, with the NDP fielding Oger, a popular activist for transgender rights.
“What she’s done has been historic,” says re-elected Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, lauding Oger for her run despite the defeat.
“The first transgender woman in Canada, let alone most of the Commonwealth, if not the world, to almost win a seat in government or opposition.”
David Eby re-elected
The lawyer turned politician easily defeated newcomer James Lombardi of the BC Liberals and Amanda Konkin of the BC Green Party, pulling in more than 54 per cent of the vote.
“We can make a better B.C. There was a huge vote of support from our community, from people of all political backgrounds, people who said they never voted NDP but said they’d vote for us because they believe in what we’re doing,” Eby told cheering supporters.
“Tonight’s result was really a validation of the work we’ve done over four years in the community on the housing crisis, on the need for transit, and on the Pinetree clinic.”
Eby’s rise to become one of the NDP’s shining stars can be largely attributed to his vocal criticism of the housing issue in the Metro Vancouver region and British Columbia as a whole, taking on the role of housing critic and being one of the voices against issues such as shadow flipping, reno-victions, and foreign buyers.
Eby says on top of housing issues, one of his other concerns remains an increase in tanker traffic in coastal waters.
BC NDP takes Vancouver-Fairview
Vancouver-Fairview will be represented by the incumbent, as George Heyman and the BC NDP successfully held onto the swing riding in a win over the BC Liberals’ candidate Gabe Garfinkel and BC Greens candidate Louise Boutin.
Heyman credits his victory to unease amongst renters in his riding.
“They’re worried about the future, they’re worried about some landlords who are trying to gouge them with rent hikes as 35 per cent. I’m going to work to change that, because we just need to ensure people have a home they can afford to live in.”
Heyman, who served as the BC NDP’s critic for environment, green economy, and technology, managed to hold onto his seat in what was yet another close vote.
The former leader of both the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union had campaigned on the familiar themes of affordability in his riding, which has remained an incredibly diverse and ethnic area throughout years of soaring development.
Chow ousts Anton
The riding has been heavily contested for years, it’s been decided by 1,200 votes or fewer in the last five elections, Anton won by just 470 in 2013.
This time, Chow widened the gap, winning by more than 1,000 votes.
Anton served as Attorney General during her entire term.
Chow credits listening to constituents for carrying him across the line.
“We speak to their hopes and aspirations, and not just talking about one thing only. I think that’s the major difference. We talk about your livelihood. How life is expensive for you, how we can help you.”
The last time the NDP claimed this riding was back in 1996 when Ian Waddell won.
Prior to politics, Chow previously worked at BC Hydro for 30 years as a senior engineer.
It’s not his first stint running for MLA, in 2013 he ran in Vancouver-Langara but lost to Liberal Moira Stilwell.
High on Chow’s priority list is affordable housing and more bus service in Vancouver-Fraserview, particularly from Marine Drive to 49th avenue.
He also says affordable child care and seniors’ care are key issues.