Home Election Tracker BC Provincial 2024 BC Election candidate tally, no United-Conservative merger

BC Election candidate tally, no United-Conservative merger

End of the 42nd Parliament | Heading toward Election 2024

bc party leaders
BC party leaders in May 2024 (from left): Premier David Eby (NDP); John Rustad (BC Conservative); Kevin Falcon (BC United); and Sonia Furstenau (BC Green). [Island Social Trends composite]

Thursday May 16, 2024 | VICTORIA, BC

Political analysis by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

As of today May 16, the BC NDP is expected to have candidates in all 93 ridings for the October 19, 2024 BC provincial election. The BC Conservatives have 62, BC United has 52, and BC Greens have 17. | See CURRENT LIST OF CANDIDATES by PARTY: BC NDP | BC UNITED | BC GREENS | BC CONSERVATIVES

bc party leaders
BC party leaders in May 2024 (from left): Premier David Eby (NDP); John Rustad (BC Conservative); Kevin Falcon (BC United); and Sonia Furstenau (BC Green). [Island Social Trends composite]

The BC NDP seems to feel they will return to forming a majority government in the October 19, 2024 BC provincial election, despite that the NDP caucus heard from their premier this morning that the BC United and BC Conservative parties will present a challenge on the campaign trail.

premier david eby, may 2024
Premier David Eby in afternoon budget estimates meeting on May 16, 2024. [Hansard livestream]

Traditionally it’s called ‘vote splitting’ when two or more parties fight over the vote on one side of the political spectrum or the other. In the case of BC there are two centre-right parties (United and Conservative); the BC Greens who also tend to attract pragmatic voters away from the ideological approach of the NDP.

A poll taken today online by local TV station CHEK shows BC Conservatives and BC United combined still not surpassing the NDP, but it comes close. Results in the online poll as to ‘how you would vote if the election were today’: BC NDP – 48.16% | BC Conservatives 32.51% | BC United – 11.46% | BC Greens – 7.87%.

bc election poll, may 16
“How would you vote if the BC Election were held today?” [CHEK TV – May 16, 2024]

So in that respect the BC NDP has a fight on their hands. Given the number of farewell speeches this week by NDP MLAs who are hanging up their hats (including the current Finance Minister), the party will be relying on recruiting of some new strong candidates.

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Last fall BC NDP House Leader said at the BC NDP Fall 2023 convention that US-style populist politics has been seeping into Canada and that the NDP will need to contend with that.

ravi kahlon, legislature, may 2024
NDP Government House Leader Ravi Kahlon wraos up the last day at the BC Legislature, May 16, 2024. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

NDP MLAs not running for re-election include Katrine Conroy (Kootenay West), Jennifer Rice (North Coast), Nicholas Simon (Powell river-Sunshine Coast), Doug Routley (Nanaimo-North Cowichan), Fin Donnelly (Coquitlam-Burke Mountain), and George Heyman (Vancouver-Fairview).

Also not running again is Selina Robinson, MLA (Coquitlam-Maillardville) who — until recently — was a strong force for the NDP; she has been sitting as an independent candidate since early March.

Most of the departing MLAs thanked family and staff and all of them mentioned wanting to spend more time with family.

BC Greens may not reach 93 candidates:

Earlier this week BC Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said her party will have a candidate in every one of the 93 ridings in this fall’s election which seems like a tall order to ramp up from 17 to 93.

What could end up happening is that the Greens focus on choosing the very best candidates in ridings where they have a good chance of winning (such as Adam Olsen in Saanich North and the Islands, Jeremy Valeriote in West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, and David Evans in Juan de Fuca-Malahat); that might be a better investment of campaign resources.

bc greens, candidates, may 2024
Creative marketing underway for BC Green candidates [May 2024]

Furstenau herself could have an uphill battle on her hands in Victoria-Beacon Hill (to where she is relocating from the Cowichan Valley this summer) where first-term MLA Grace Lore (currently a cabinet minister) has the benefit of the NDP stronghold built over many years by former Finance Minister Carole James.

Conservatives accepting wide range:

BC Conservative Leader John Rustad said the same thing today, that they will have candidates in all 93 ridings. That might be more easily achievable than for the BC Greens, given that Rustad seems to be scooping up a wide range of candidates who seem to share a desire to protest the ways of the current government. He already has 62 in place.

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Conservatives of BC Leader John Rustad answers media questions at the legislature on May 16, 2024. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Rustad says the candidates are coming from essentially all areas of the political spectrum — former NDP and former BC Liberal alike. He says his party’s candidates come from sectors like farming, engineering and the business sector; some are school trustees and municipal councillors.

Rustad said today that the Conservatives of BC policy platform will be rolled out this summer, now that the challenges of bringing up current issues in the session has been concluded.

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BC United vets candidates carefully:

BC United Leader Kevin Falcon said today that his party is extremely careful about vetting potential candidates and he would not merge his party with the Conservatives about whom he said “many of their candidates are frankly too extreme” (such as “equating vaccination with Nazism and apartheid” or saying that “getting a COVID shot is going to turn you into a magnet”).

“We have to make sure we are putting forward credible serious candidates,” said Falcon.

“Can you please, don’t allow an NDP government to get re-elected on the basis of vote split,” is what Falcon says he’s hearing from his party. He will “do whatever is the right thing to do to find common ground” but ruled out a merger of his party with the Conservatives, saying there are “practical reasons” but emphasizing that BC United carefully vets their candidates.

kevin falcon, bc united
BC United Leader Kevin Falcon addressed media on May 16, 2024. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

BC United will be running incumbents in just 15 of the 28 ridings that they won in the 2020 election. This includes 11 MLAs not running and two now running for the BC Conservatives (John Rustad and Bruce Banman).

Falcon feels the “collective interest of most British Columbians is that they don’t want the NDP in power for another day longer than necessary”.

He said that the BC United has had “an exceptional session” but that it “hasn’t been a good session for government” highlighting how the NDP government has had to backtrack on decriminalization of drugs.

district of metchosin

Falcon said the BC United as Official Opposition has put forward policy on mental health and addiction, public safety and wildfires. Today he said that if the BC United formed government that he would reverse Bill 44 which allows for additional homes to be built on lots that are zoned single-family.

He excited about the next five months because BC United “has really quality candidates” including “lawyers, doctors and entrepreneurs and unionized train operators and others who represent the great diversity in this province”. BC United will bring forward policy on the “crumbling health care system and the crisis in child care”.

ist main, bc politics
LOCAL JOURNALISM INFORMS — we bring you local news about your community. Island Social Trends reports news with socioeconomic insights and analysis. Independent news service on south Vancouver Island, BC. Read free online or get the biweekly PDF by email.

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Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke

Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke has been following BC politics through a progressive socioeconomic lens since 2008, through her series of publications: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), West Shore Voice News (2014-2020), and now Island Social Trends (2020 to present at IslandSocialTrends.ca).

Mary Brooke’s editorial political insights are intended to be informative in a way that helps voters make their own wise choices.


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