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)

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.”



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)

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

The University of the Fraser Valley Peace and Reconciliation Centre
UFV students hold online forum on peace and reconciliation

Two online sessions on Feb. 25 include student research

The south side of the Bellevue Hotel in its current state. Council photo.
Facelift for Mission’s Bellevue Hotel around the corner

Revised facade, landscaping improvements presented to council

MORE PHOTOS: Pink Shirt Day in Mission

Mission residents wore pink today to help send out the anti-bullying message

A new Fraser Valley food hub in Abbotsford will include shared kitchen space that can be accessed by small and medium-sized businesses. (Stock photo by Robyn Wright from Pixabay)
Almost $2M to support new Fraser Valley food hub in Abbotsford

Project being developed by District of Mission and Mission Community Skills Centre

Nietzsche, the ginger cat who worked at The Book Man, poses for a photo on Sept. 7, 2017. He died on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Famous Chilliwack bookstore cat, Nietzsche, dies

‘Every single thing you could want in a cat, Nietzsche embodied,’ says Amber Price

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

A woman boards a transit bus through rear doors, in Vancouver, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
TransLink slow to reveal crucial details about ransomware attack, says union

Union says company took months to admit what info was stolen, including SIN and bank account details

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Travis Selje with Rex, the family dog he got to enjoy for the final six months of his life. (Submitted photo)
Defence says evidence ‘compelling, overwhelming’ to acquit Surrey woman in deadly crash

Epileptic seizure caused fatal crash that killed Travis Selje, lawyer argues in final submissions

Most Read