'Crass politics': NDP's refusal to rule out snap election driven by polling numbers, Liberals say
Published Friday, September 4, 2020 6:02PM PDT Last Updated Friday, September 4, 2020 7:11PM PDT
VANCOUVER -- At a weekly media availability Thursday, John Horgan fueled more speculation about the possibility of a fall election when he refused to say that wasn't in the cards. So, let the politicking begin.
While both the opposition BC Liberals and Greens say they are ready for an election, should it happen, MLAs also insist it isn't necessary.
“He’s looking at the polls,” said Liberal MLA Jas Johal. “It’s crass politics. We have an election scheduled for October 2021 and the public’s OK with that, from what I’m hearing.”
“I think it’s highly irresponsible,” said Green leadership hopeful Sonia Furstenau. She says there’s no issue with the how the legislature is working, pointing to how the three parties have worked together since the beginning of the pandemic.
“The final votes on the budget, it was unanimous support from all three parties. There’s no issue inside the legislature,” she added.
Both parties are likely keenly aware that painting the election as unnecessary could hurt the NDP.
Yet a new Angus Reid poll suggests the governing party is extremely popular.
The online survey of roughly 600 decided voters found many British Columbians are happy with the status quo. Asked what they'd do if an election were held tomorrow, 48 per cent of respondents said they’d vote NDP, 29 per cent said Liberals, followed by the Greens at 14 per cent.
At the same time, Elections BC is actively looking to secure office space and more mail-in ballot packages amidst the rumours. The pandemic could make it harder to find space, and more people are expected to stay home to vote.
“Typically, in a provincial election we see between one and two per cent of all ballots cast being cast by mail,” explained Elections BC spokesperson Andrew Watson.
Watson said they’ve surveyed British Columbians and watched other jurisdiction and expect in the next provincial election that number could increase to as high as 35 per cent.
The premier isn’t saying an election is imminent but he hasn’t exactly put the rumours to bed. on Thursday, he seemed to point out how precarious many thought his minority government was.
“A John Horgan government was supposed to have a shelf life of six weeks, then six months, and now apparently forever," he said.
Forever is likely a stretch – although a snap election this fall may not be.