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Battleground BC

Vancouver Eastside Go 'Solid' NDP

Kensington and Kingsway move over from 'Likely'.

By Will McMartin, 29 Apr 2005, TheTyee.ca

Two Vancouver Eastside electoral districts, heretofore classified as 'likely' to return New Democratic Party MLAs on May 17, have been shifted into the 'solid' NDP column. VANCOUVER-KINGSWAY and VANCOUVER-KENSINGTON elected Liberal MLAs in 2001, but recent public opinion polls, historic election results and demographic data strongly suggest that both ridings are near-certain to elect NDP representatives this year.

The table below lists the 36 provincial electoral districts within the boundaries of the Greater Vancouver Regional District. With each riding is its average household income from the 2001 census, as well as the Liberal party's share of the popular vote in the 2001 general election. The 10 ridings in the city of Vancouver are highlighted in boldface. At the top of the list is Vancouver-Quilchena with an average household income of $108,907; at the bottom is Vancouver-Mount Pleasant at $31,976. The former riding elected a Liberal MLA, current finance minister Colin Hansen, with 73.9% of the popular vote. The latter was one of just two districts in the province in 2001 to return a New Democratic Party MLA, Jenny Kwan, and gave the Liberal candidate a paltry 33.2% of the vote.

These results strongly suggest a correlation between household incomes and voting intentions in the GVRD. Generally, higher-income households are more likely to support the BC Liberal party - which promotes tax cuts and smaller government - while lower-income households are more likely to back the New Democratic Party - which advocates income redistribution, an active public sector and generous social programs.

This is not an iron-clad rule, however. Note that Vancouver-Point Grey, represented by Liberal premier Gordon Campbell, is seventh-highest on the list with an average household income of $76,017. But in the 2001 general election Campbell garnered a mere 56.1% of the vote - less than the 57.6% province-wide average captured by the Liberal party.

Note also that Richmond Centre, 30th on the list with an average household income of $52,372, nonetheless awarded the Liberal MLA with a whopping 71.9% of the vote in 2001.

Clearly, household income is only one factor, albeit a very useful one, to consider when examining election results and voting patterns.

VANCOUVER-KENSINGTON ranks 29th in average household income on the list of GVRD electoral districts at $53,949. In 2001 the riding elected Liberal Patrick Wong with just 47.6% of the popular vote, exactly ten percentage points below his party's provincial average. Wong, who defeated NDP premier Ujjal Dosanjh five years ago, is minister of state for immigration and multicultural services.

Wearing the NDP colours in the 2005 general election is David Chudnovsky, ex-president of the B.C. Teachers' Federation.

VANCOUVER-KINGSWAY's average household income was $50,313 in the 2001 census, 34th in the GVRD. Liberal Rob Nijjar won the riding in 2001 with 49.9% of the vote, nearly eight points below his party's B.C. average.

The New Democratic Party candidate is Adrian Dix, formerly a political aide to NDP premier Glen Clark.

Table - Greater Vancouver Regional District average household incomes, with Liberals share of popular vote in 2001

  • 1. Vancouver-Quilchena - $108,907 - 73.9%
  • 2. West Vancouver-Garibaldi - $100,273 - 68.2%
  • 3. West Vancouver-Capilano - $93,634 - 72.7%
  • 4. North Vancouver-Seymour - $83,510 - 65.1%
  • 5. Surrey-Cloverdale - $77,559 - 63.7%
  • 6. Delta South - $76,767 - 67.0%
  • 7. Vancouver-Point Grey - $76,017 - 56.1%
  • 8. Delta North - $72,982 - 60.5%
  • 9. Surrey-Tynehead - $71,675 - 61.0%
  • 10. Fort Langley-Aldergrove - $70,886 - 68.3%
  • 11. Port Moody-Westwood - $70,236 - 74.6%
  • 12. Richmond-Steveston - $69,013 - 69.2%
  • 13. Surrey-White Rock - $68,466 - 68.7%
  • 14. Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain - $65,987 - 45.2%
  • 15. Coquitlam-Maillardville - $65,635 - 57.0%
  • 16. Surrey-Panorama Ridge - $64,524 - 58.9%
  • 17. Richmond East - $62,341 - 69.2%
  • 18. Vancouver-Fairview - $62,337 - 54.9%
  • 19. Maple Ridge-Mission - $62,265 - 56.7%
  • 20. Langley - $60,255 - 64.9%
  • 21. Burquitlam - $59,211 - 56.3%
  • 22. Surrey-Newton - $58,487 - 49.5%
  • 23. Vancouver-Langara - $58,202 - 66.9%
  • 24. Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows - $58,052 - 53.0%
  • 25. Vancouver-Fraserview - $57,596 - 56.8%
  • 26. Burnaby North - $57,195 - 54.4%
  • 27. Burnaby-Edmonds - $56,654 - 51.1%
  • 28. North Vancouver-Lonsdale - $54,777 - 59.8%
  • 29. Vancouver-Kensington - $53,949 - 47.6%
  • 30. Richmond Centre - $52,372 - 71.9%
  • 31. New Westminster - $50,934 - 49.2%
  • 32. Burnaby-Willingdon - $50,675 - 55.8%
  • 33. Surrey-Green Timbers - $50,617 - 49.0%
  • 34. Vancouver-Kingsway - $50,313 - 49.9%
  • 35. Surrey-Whalley - $48,983 - 45.7%
  • 36. Vancouver-Burrard - $48,910 - 48.1%
  • 37. Vancouver-Hastings - $48,547 - 39.5%
  • 38. Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant - $31,976 - 33.2%

Check here 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]