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article imageChristy Clark leads BC Liberals to surprising majority government

By Karl Gotthardt     May 15, 2013 in Politics
Victoria - The British Columbia (BC) Liberals stunned political pundits and pollsters with a surprising comeback victory, winning 44.4 percent of the popular vote and 50 seats in the 85 seats in the BC legislature. The NDP won 33 seats and 39.4 percent of the vote.
While most pollsters and predicted that Adrian Dix would win a majority government and that British Columbians wanted change, in the end Clark's Liberals prevailed with their campaign of economic growth and debt reduction.
Clark had been all but written off a month ago and started the campaign as the clear underdog trailing by 20 percentage points at the start of the campaign. British Columbians apparently wanted change. As reported in Digital Journal a poll released by the Times Colonist indicated that the race had tightened, closing the gap to four percent, indicating that the NDP was leading with 41 percent to the Liberals 37 percent, the Greens 12 and Conservatives 10 percent. According to the poll 24 percent were still undecided.
As was the case in last year's Alberta election where pollsters had predicted a Wildrose Party victory, polls were also turned upside down by the BC election. As early results came in showing a Liberal lead, both CTV BC and CBC News Net, repeatedly opined that the results were early and were subject to change after the advanced polls were counted. As both news agencies declared candidates as elected, it became clear that pundits and pollsters had it wrong and a Liberal government was predicted, followed quickly by a majority Liberal government declaration.
It was a historic night with the Green Party electing its first member to the BC legislature. Andrew Weaver, a renowned climate scientist at the University of Victoria, won his riding. Independent candidate Vikki Huntington also won her seat in Delta South.
New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Adrian Dix, visibly disappointed when the results were announced, acknowledged defeat declaring that in a democratic system sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
"In a democratic system, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and in British Columbia it often rains," Dix told a crowd of stunned NDP supporters.
"But the issues we raised in this campaign, the issues I consider a passion in my life: To ensure young people have the skills, that we need fight child poverty now, that we need to address inequality now. Those issues of generosity and sustainability continue and will continue to guide the NDP in the future."
Christy Clark, who lost her own seat narrowly by 785 votes, joined her supporters at Wall Centre in Vancouver to celebrate her governments win. declaring that the British Columbians had handed her and her party a mandate and had humbled the party with the opportunity and tremendous obligation and that together they would make British Columbia better.
Tonight we have received a mandate from the people of British Columbia. And I say to the citizens of British Columbia: You have humbled us tonight with this opportunity and the tremendous obligation you've placed on our shoulders. Together we will make British Columbia better.
"British Columbians will always know what I stand for," said Clark, who stuck close to her campaign message of growing the economy, balancing the budget and creating a "debt-free B.C."
Together we have succeeded in keeping B.C. on the right track … Our future has never been brighter.
Clark's win will be welcome news for the province's oil and gas industry and the Alberta government. Christy Clark has shown a little more flexibility on the Northern Gateway pipeline, while Adrian Dix has closed the door completely. Clark has set five conditions that could lead to the pipeline being approved.
This is the fourth straight win for BC Liberals, which came into power in 2001, when Gordon Campbell led the party to the largest majority government winning 77 of the 79 seats.
More about Canadian Politics, christy clark, bc election 2013, BC Liberals, Adrian Dix NDP
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