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Greens to run full slate, narrowing NDP chances

The Green Party plans to run candidates in each of B.C.’s 85 new ridings, a clear signal that the province’s perennial third party will give no quarter to B.C.'s New Democrats.

The Green Party announced four more candidates on Tuesday, including new contestants in the pivotal swing ridings of Burnaby-Lougheed and Comox Valley. Both are ridings that the B.C. Liberals would expect to win by margins of less than three percent, if the 2005 vote were to repeat. Green Party voters represented about 8 per cent of the 2005 vote in the precincts that are now Burnaby-Lougheed, and about 9 per cent in Comox Valley.

They are but two of 23 swing ridings in which, when the 2005 vote is projected into the 2009 ridings, support for the Greens exceeds the narrow margin by which either the B.C. Liberals or the NDP would hope to win. Numbering as few as 40,000 souls, these green suburban swingers represent less than one per cent of the province's 4.1 million residents, but are will in all likelihood be pivotal in determining the outcome of the May 12 election.

“We intend to run a full slate of 85 candidates,” Green leader Jane Sterk said in a statement on Tuesday. “We have many excellent prospects across the province and are looking forward to making further announcements shortly.”

There are now 62 Green candidates, including Helen Chang in Burnaby-Lougheed; Ron Abgrall in Langley; Hazel Lennox in Comox Valley; and Daniel Bryce in Abbotsford South.

The Greens are only B.C. political party to have released its platform.

Monte Paulsen reports on politics and policy for The

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