B.C. ELECTION 2017: Eye on the Vernon-Monashee race

From left to right, Vernon-Monashee MLA candidates Keli Westgate for the B.C. Green Party, Barry Dorval for the B.C. NDP and Eric Foster for the B.C. Liberals.

VERNON - Voters in the Vernon-Monashee riding have a choice to make in today’s election, and it boils down to either sticking with the party that’s represented them for 20 years, or changing things up.

If they want to keep things status quo, incumbent, two-term Liberal MLA Eric Foster will come out victorious in tonight’s election.

If they want something different, they might elect NDP candidate Barry Dorval, Green candidate Keli Westgate or Libertarian Don Jefcoat. If any were to win, they would be breaking a continuous two-decade Liberal streak in the riding.

It was 1996 when the Liberals scooped the riding from the Social Credit Party and never looked back.

Throughout the years, the Liberals have enjoyed a pretty comfortable position in the riding. Over the past 20 years, the only party that has come close to unseating the Liberals in Vernon-Monashee is the NDP. In 2009, the NDP earned 31.8 per cent of the vote — close to the Liberal’s 37.3, but not enough to swing the election.

The Greens have had a presence in recent elections, but have never come close to winning. The best the party has done in 20 years was in 2009 when Huguette Allen rallied 16.6 per cent of the vote.

According to Elections B.C., there are 47,373 people registered to vote in the riding. In 2013, 27, 056 people voted, or 57 per cent of registered voters.

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