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Battleground BC

Two Victoria Area Seats Moved to ‘Solid NDP’

Victoria-Beacon Hill and Victoria Hillside firm up for the New Democrats.

By Will McMartin, 26 Apr 2005, TheTyee.ca

Two Battleground BC ridings in the Vancouver Island South region have been changed from ‘likely’ to ‘solid’ for the New Democratic Party.

VICTORIA-BEACON HILL will feature a re-match of the 2001 general election, when Liberal Jeff Bray triumphed by a mere 35 votes over New Democrat Carole James.

Although not appointed to the cabinet, Bray has maintained a relatively high profile in the legislature and in Victoria over the past four years. James, however, has elevated her public image even higher than has Bray: she was elected leader of the B.C. New Democratic Party in November 2003.

VICTORIA-HILLSIDE is currently held by Liberal MLA Sheila Orr, who defeated NDP incumbent Steve Orcherton by a slim 82 votes in 2001. She faces a NDP newcomer, Rob Fleming, a Victoria councillor.

Victoria was a two-member riding in 1975 when it elected Charles Barber as its first New Democratic Party MLA. The NDP then captured both seats in 1979, 1983 and 1986, before redistribution created two single-member electoral districts in the capital city. Beacon Hill and Hillside returned New Democrats in 1991 and 1996, before Bray and Orr scored their narrow upsets four years ago.

Green party candidates did well in the two Victoria seats in 2001, taking 21.7% of the vote in Beacon Hill, and 19.8% in Hillside.

The table below shows the seven seats in the Vancouver Island South region, listed in order of the Liberal MLAs’ margins of victory in the 2001 general election over the combined vote of their NDP and Green opponents. For example, in Oak Bay-Gordon Head, Ida Chong took 57.3% of the popular vote, more than 16 percentage points ahead of the combined NDP-Green vote-share of 41.1%.

Note that the two Victoria Liberal MLAs had a negative relationship to the combined vote of their NDP-Green opponents.

Table — Liberals’ margin of victory over combined % of pop. vote for NDP & Green opponents, 2001

  • Oak Bay-Gordon Head — 16.2%
  • Saanich North & the Islands — 11.2%
  • Saanich South — 8.4%
  • Esquimalt-Metchosin — (1.9%)
  • Malahat-Juan de Fuca* — (10.7%)
  • Victoria-Hillside — (19.4)
  • Victoria-Beacon Hill — (21.6%)

* = combined vote of NDP and Green candidates, plus Independent Rick Kasper.

Check in daily for Battleground BC, Will McMartin’s voting predictions and analysis, exclusive to The Tyee. You can reach him with tips, insights and info at will@thetyee.ca  [Tyee]

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