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Battleground BC

Tight Vancouver Races Diverge

Vancouver-Burrard now 'likely NDP', Vancouver-Fairview is 'likely Liberal.'

By Will McMartin, 10 May 2005, TheTyee.ca

Two previously ‘up-for-grabs’ ridings in the City of Vancouver have been moved in opposite directions. VANCOUVER-BURRARD shifts into the ‘likely’ NDP column, while VANCOUVER-FAIRVIEW is considered ‘likely’ to return a Liberal MLA.

The two ridings are located in different Battleground BC sub-regions — Burrard is one of six electoral districts in Vancouver Eastside, and Fairview is one of four in Vancouver-Westside — on the basis of their electoral histories. But there also are many interesting demographic features which distinguish the adjoining constituencies.

Homeowners in both ridings are in the minority as 75% of Burrard residences are occupied by renters, and 63% of those in Fairview. The average value of owner-occupied dwellings is higher in Fairview at $287,000, compared to Burrard’s $185,000. Average household incomes, often a useful guide to voter behaviour, also are higher in Fairview than Burrard: $62,337 versus $48,910.

Because both districts have many households occupied by singles (never-married or divorced), it is helpful to examine individual annual average incomes. Fairview again ranks slightly above Burrard in this category: female income is an average $34,000 in the former, and $29,000 in the latter; and for males the figures are $44,000 and nearly $39,000 respectively.

The results of the 2001 general election reveal significant differences in the voting preferences for these two ridings. Fairview gave the victorious Liberals nearly 55% of the vote, but Burrard at just 48% was one of only 19 electoral districts (out of 79) in British Columbia to give the winning party less than half the ballots cast.

On the other hand, the New Democratic Party garnered 31% of the vote in Burrard, compared to just 20.4% in Fairview.

With current province-wide public opinion surveys showing the Liberals leading the New Democrats by about seven or eight percentage points, the governing party should hold Fairview, while the NDP ought to regain Burrard. Both races, however, will likely be the closest in the city.

VANCOUVER-BURRARD was created prior to the 1991 general election, when it returned veteran NDP MLA Emery Barnes with a comfortable 50.9% of the vote. He was succeeded five years later by fellow New Democrat Tim Stevenson, who obtained a similar 49.7%. Liberal Lorne Mayencourt defeated Stevenson to win the riding in 2001, and the two are meeting again for a re-match in 2005.

VANCOUVER-FAIRVIEW was formerly known as Vancouver-Little Mountain, and in 1991 it elected New Democrat Tom Perry with 45.4% of the vote. Five years later, after Perry retired, Liberal Gary Farrell-Collins won the seat with 50.3%. Collins was re-elected in 2001 when the district attained its present appellation; last November he retired from public office.

The 2005 contest in Fairview features two newcomers who are a credit to their respective parties, unlike Burrard where the lacklustre Stevenson and the controversial Mayencourt have done little to inspire either confidence or enthusiasm. Virginia Greene, a business woman and former provincial public servant, is the Liberals’ standard-bearer, while Gregor Robertson, a youthful and successful entrepreneur, is the NDP nominee. Table — City of Vancouver, private dwellings occupied by owners

  • Vancouver-Quilchena — 68%
  • Vancouver-Fraserview — 63%
  • Vancouver-Kingsway — 57%
  • Vancouver-Langara — 51%
  • Vancouver-Hastings — 49%
  • Vancouver-Point Grey — 45%
  • Vancouver-Kensington — 40%
  • Vancouver-Fairview — 37%
  • Vancouver-Burrard — 25%
  • Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant — 23%

Table — City of Vancouver, average value of owner-occupied homes

  • Vancouver-Quilchena — $566,682
  • Vancouver-Point Grey — $380,945
  • Vancouver-Langara — $328,491
  • Vancouver-Kensington — $301,350
  • Vancouver-Fraserview — $299,418
  • Vancouver-Fairview — $287,101
  • Vancouver-Kingsway — $283,130
  • Vancouver-Hastings —$254,946
  • Vancouver-Burrard — $185,374
  • Vancouver-Mount Pleasant — $145,320

Table — City of Vancouver average household incomes

  • Vancouver-Quilchena — $108,907
  • Vancouver-Point Grey — $76,017
  • Vancouver-Fairview — $62,337
  • Vancouver-Langara — $58,202
  • Vancouver-Fraserview — $57,596
  • Vancouver-Kensington — $53,949
  • Vancouver-Kingsway — $50,313
  • Vancouver-Burrard — $48,910
  • Vancouver-Hastings — $48,547
  • Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant — $31,976

Table — City of Vancouver, average female income

  • Vancouver-Point Grey — $34,646
  • Vancouver-Quilchena — $34,135
  • Vancouver-Fairview — $34,008
  • Vancouver-Burrard — $29,330
  • Vancouver-Langara — $23,415
  • Vancouver-Fraserview — $21,312
  • Vancouver-Kensington — $20,654
  • Vancouver-Hastings — $20,540
  • Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant — $19,734
  • Vancouver-Kingsway — $18,979

Table — City of Vancouver, average male income

  • Vancouver-Quilchena — $69,443
  • Vancouver-Point Grey — $54,700
  • Vancouver-Fairview — $44,420
  • Vancouver-Burrard — $38,799
  • Vancouver-Langara — $32,395
  • Vancouver-Fraserview — $27,687
  • Vancouver-Hastings — $26,592
  • Vancouver-Kensington — $25,384
  • Vancouver-Kingsway — $24,413
  • Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant — $21,240

Table — City of Vancouver, Liberals share of popular vote in 2001

  • Vancouver-Quilchena — 73.9%
  • Vancouver-Langara — 66.9%
  • Vancouver-Fraserview — 56.8%
  • Vancouver-Point Grey — 56.1%
  • Vancouver-Fairview — 54.9%
  • Vancouver-Kingsway — 49.9%
  • Vancouver-Burrard — 48.1%
  • Vancouver-Kensington — 47.6%
  • Vancouver-Hastings — 39.5%
  • Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant — 33.2%

Table — City of Vancouver, NDP share of popular vote in 2001

  • Vancouver-Mt. Pleasant — 44.5%
  • Vancouver-Hastings — 41.6%
  • Vancouver-Kensington — 38.8%
  • Vancouver-Kingsway — 32.8%
  • Vancouver-Fraserview — 31.9%
  • Vancouver-Burrard — 31.1%
  • Vancouver-Fairview — 20.4%
  • Vancouver-Point Grey — 18.6%
  • Vancouver-Langara — 17.0%
  • Vancouver-Quilchena — 9.5%

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]