Friday, April 20, 2012

Disappointed? Yes. Optimistic? ABSOLUTELY!

Last night’s by-election results were disappointing but not totally unexpected … especially in Port Moody Coquitlam where BC Conservative candidate, Christine Clarke, was up against 4 time mayor Joe Trasolini for the NDP. 

As a first time candidate however, in a party building an election campaign team from scratch, her results were commendable.

Chilliwack Hope BC Conservative
candidate John Martin
Chilliwack Hope however, was a different story, with BC Conservative candidate John Martin pulling in over a quarter of all votes cast.

That's not the real story though --- the real story is that nearly three quarters of voters cast ballots for parties OTHER THAN the BC Liberals.

The BC Liberals experienced a strong bleed of support, compared to results in the 2009 general election, both to the left and the right.

Looking at the numbers from last night, nearly eighteen percent of Liberal support went to the BC Conservative Party … while seven percent of those casting ballots for the Liberals in 2009, instead cast them from the New Democrats.

What's interesting to note is not that the BC Conservative candidates failed to win either of the by-elections; rather it is that support for the BC Liberals was shown to be exiting both to the left and the right.

It shows what many have been saying for some time … that it is hard to understand what the BC Liberal Party stands for.   

Those who are stanch NDP supporters are firmly convinced that the Liberals are hard core conservatives … meantime small 'c' conservatives see the BC Liberals as a party that has major spending and accountability issues, and is more of a center left, than centre right, party.

Am I disappointed in last night’s results … of course I am.  Am I optimistic about the future for the BC Conservatives … absolutely!

A lot was learned from these by-election campaigns … and what will now be needed in the up-coming general election in 2013.  

The lessons learned will be put to good use in building an even stronger campaign to fight the next election … and to show voters in BC that they have a viable alternative to the BC Liberal Party.

I'm Alan Forseth in Kamloops … with the thoughts of one conservative.

UPDATE ... here are some numbers to put last night's by-elections in context:

In Chilliwack-Hope, the Liberals lost more than half their voters – they received  4586 fewer votes than 2009 ... and the NDP only gained 134 votes over 2009.  Meantime the BC Conservatives grew the most by gaining 2350 votes!

In Port Moody-Coquitlam, the Liberals lost nearly two-thirds of their 2009 voters (6602 less votes) ... and the NDP actually got fewer votes than 2009 as well (1544 less)!  The BC Conservatives were the big winners – gaining 1720 votes

As John Cummins stated, it’s obvious from these results that the Liberals are a spent force in BC politics and the NDP are going nowhere.
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