After weeks of public speculation, B.C. Premier John Horgan is calling a fall election during COVID-19 pandemic.
Horgan has asked for the B.C. Legislature to be dissolved and Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin has accepted his request. Election day will be October 24– ahead of the next scheduled election on October 2021.
A recent poll from the Angus Reid Institute suggests if an election were held right now, the NDP would win a massive victory.
The survey suggests 48 per cent of decided voters would choose the NDP, 29 per cent would vote Liberal, and 14 per cent would opt for the Greens.
If accepted, the election will be unlike any other in B.C.’s history, as politicians campaign and the public visits polling stations under a pandemic that has led to more than 200 deaths in the province and more than 950,000 worldwide.
Horgan and Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson are expected to spend the bulk of the campaign in Metro Vancouver, while newly chosen Green leader Sonia Furstenau will look to grow her party’s existing three seats on Vancouver Island by running candidates in all 87 ridings.
Hamish Telford, University of the Fraser Valley political scientist, told Global News in a recent interview that voters could punish the NDP for triggering a vote during COVID-19.
“There is no apparent need for an election. At least, I think that is what most people think, and he risks a voter backlash,” Telford said.
Elections BC said there will be advanced voting from Friday, Oct. 16 to Wednesday, Oct. 21.
The agency is reminding voters they can cast a ballot by mail in a bid to reduce crowds at polling stations.
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