B.C. Liberal leader Kevin Falcon took a commanding lead in early returns for Saturday’s by-election in Vancouver-Quilchena, with twice the vote share of NDP candidate Jeanette Ashe and more than half of the overall vote.
With three quarters of polls reporting, Falcon had 57 per cent of votes cast, followed by 26 per cent for Ashe and 10 per cent for B.C. Green candidate Wendy Hayko. B.C. Conservative challenger Dallas Brodie had six per cent.
Former B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson resigned his Vancouver-Quilchena seat shortly after Falcon won the leadership of the party in early February, and Premier John Horgan called the by-election to allow the seat to be filled before the spring session of the B.C. legislature adjourns June 2. The west-side Vancouver seat is one of the wealthiest and traditionally safest in the province for the B.C. Liberals.
Falcon left politics before the 2013 B.C. election, after placing second in a leadership contest to former premier Christy Clark in 2011 and serving as finance minister during the B.C. Liberal attempt to join the federal harmonized sales tax. He previously served as transportation minister and represented the constituency of Surrey-Cloverdale from 2001 to 2013.
Falcon has said he intends a “root and branch” overhaul of the party, including a name change, after the party lost strongholds in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Okanagan in the snap election called by Horgan in October 2020.