BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson flanked by Liberal candidates Chelsa Meadus (left) for Maple Ridge-Mission and Cheryl Ashlie for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Key battleground ridings in Maple Ridge and Mission

Party leaders campaigning in ridings NDP flipped in 2017 election

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents could have a big say in who forms the next provincial government.

The ridings of Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadow and Maple Ridge-Mission are viewed as key battlegrounds in the 2020 BC Election. Soon after John Horgan called a snap election on Sept. 21, political pundits identified the two constituencies as swing ridings. There have been three visits from party leaders in the two weeks since, with Horgan arriving in Maple Ridge-Mission on Sept. 24 to talk about $10/day child care.

READ ALSO: Horgan promises more child care at $10 per day during Maple Ridge visit

Wilkinson went to Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows that same day, when he spoke about drug addiction. Then he returned to the riding on Tuesday, with an announcement that he would end ICBC’s monopoly on vehicle insurance.

READ ALSO: Wilkinson says a Liberal government would end ICBC monopoly

The NDP flipped the ridings, as the NDP’s Lisa Beare beat Liberal Doug Bing in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, and NDP candidate Bob D’Eith deposed Liberal Marc Dalton.

“Those two ridings were really critical,” said University of the Fraser Valley political science professor Hamish Telford, noting Maple Ridge-Mission had been a reliable Liberal seat, held by the party since 2001.

“The NDP didn’t expect to win those ridings,” he added.

The Liberals won 43 seats, the NDP 41, and the Green Party three, and the NDP and Greens formed a minority government.

Telford said voters were tired of the Liberal Party after 15 years, and that played a major part in their loss of votes.

He said this election is about the job that the NDP has been doing.

“It’s a referendum on their management the past three years, and their management of the pandemic in particular.”

On that score, he said Horgan is “riding Dr. Bonnie Henry’s coattails.”

Telford said the polls are “locked in” with the NDP in the lead, and added “It is going to be hard for the Liberals to win those ridings back.”

Greg Millard, former chair of the department of political science at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, agreed.

He said any government seen as having ably handled the pandemic get what he calls “a COVID incumbent bonus.” An example can be seen by strong polling numbers by Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservatives in Ontario, he said.

Millard agreed a few battleground ridings could again determine who forms government.

“The NDP flipped almost every close riding in the Lower Mainland in the last election, and the Maple Ridge ridings were a huge part of that,” he said.

Millard said affordability for families was a key message for the NDP last election, and they got a lot of traction with a promise to remove tolls on the Golden Ears and Port Mann Bridges.

He sees the Liberal Party is picking up on the same theme, and Wilkinson’s announcement of trying to lower ICBC rates with private competition was part of that.

Millard was curious whether the NDP would “pay a price” in lost support for calling the election during the pandemic, for which Horgan was heavily criticized. He believes the polls would already show that loss, and they haven’t. He cited a recent poll slowing the NDP at 48 per cent, and Liberals at 37 per cent.

Telford said having leaders visit the riding has traditionally been a morale boost for the party locally.

“The major effect in a normal election campaign, is it motivates the campaign workers,” said Telford.

But in COVID-19 times, those party volunteers are not engaging with the public in the same ways as they have in the past, so the impact of a leader visit remains to be seen. It may be simply photo opportunities in the riding.

“They’re not necessarily getting that troop motivation.”

Other than Liberals and NDP, there is just one other candidate involved in the ridings, as the Green Party is running Matt Trenholm in Maple Ridge-Mission.

READ ALSO: Green Party announces candidate for Maple Ridge-Mission

Telford said one can’t assume the Green Party candidate will take votes from the NDP’s D’Eith.

“They (Green Party voters) don’t fit neatly on the left or right.”


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Election 2020Maple RidgeMissionPitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan, and B.C. Liberal Party leader Andrew Wilkinson. (Canadian Press/Black Press photos)

Just Posted

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution, could be in U.S.

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

web
Mission’s first cannabis store to open doors next week

Government-run BC Cannabis Store to open Nov. 4 at 31956 Lougheed Highway

The City of Chilliwack says there’s too much spitting going on at the Sardis Sports Complex. (City of Chilliwack photo)
Too much spitting a problem at Chilliwack’s Sardis Sports Complex

The City of Chilliwack is asking the minor hockey community to ease up on expectorating

Record-low returns of salmon have been recorded on the Fraser River in recent years. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
Time for Indigenous-led salmon strategy on the Lower Fraser, says Alliance

‘Closures of First Nations, commercial and recreational salmon fishing’ have huge impact: LFFA

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. (File photo)
This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Maestro Otto Tausk. (Photo: vancouversymphony.ca)
50/50 lotto players buck up for Metro Vancouver musicians hit hard by COVID

‘Rapidly growing jackpot’ for VSO’s 50/50 draw as they go online with TheConcertHall.ca

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

Most Read