EDITORIAL: B.C. election full of surprises

B.C. politics have long been known as the most entertaining in Canada, but this latest election was one of the strangest yet.

B.C. politics have long been known as the most entertaining in Canada, but this latest election was one of the strangest yet.

Three leaders of the four most prominent parties lost their personal campaigns.

While voters elected independent Vicki Huntington, leader John Cummins failed to lead the Conservatives to any seats.

The Greens elected their first MLA in B.C. history, although leader Jane Sterk failed to beat former NDP leader Carole James.

Adrian Dix earned a seat, but his position as NDP leader is in jeopardy after leading his heavily favoured party to three fewer seats than it had when the campaign began.

Which brings us to Christy Clark, who is acknowledged to have run a more effective campaign than Dix, who frequently appeared nervous.

The Liberal leader might have focused more on campaigning for her party than promoting herself because she fell to her NDP opponent.

Clark, who can now continue to remake the party as a true liberal party, is expected to run in a byelection vacated by a successful and loyal Liberal MLA.

Clark will have only two Liberal MLAs from Vancouver Island. One of them is Don McRae, who won in the Comox Valley for the second straight election.

The popular McRae will almost certainly be in Clark’s cabinet again, likely returning to the high-profile education portfolio.

He finished with 44.69 per cent of the popular vote, leading NDP challenger Kassandra Dycke. First after one of 172 ballot boxes in the riding were counted, she trailed McRae the rest of the way.

Still, Dycke ran an articulate campaign and earned 38.44 per cent of Comox Valley votes, which should encourage her and the party to try again in four years.

Green candidate Chris Aikman connected with 11.48 per cent of voters. Conservative Diane Hoffmann from Campbell River earned 5.4 per cent of the vote and could not have been helped by the fact the party could not find a suitable candidate in the Comox Valley.

editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com