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Will Vernon-Monashee’s voting history repeat itself in the upcoming election?

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March 18, 2017 - 6:30 PM

VERNON - The Liberal Party has enjoyed a two-decade streak in Vernon-Monashee.

Whether that trend continues in the upcoming election, or if it will be broken by contenders from the NDP and Green parties, will be determined on May 9.

If the Liberal streak continues, residents will see incumbent MLA Eric Foster resume his seat in the legislature. Foster has won in the last two elections.

Vying to take his seat this time around are Barry Dorval of the B.C. NDP, and Keli Westgate of the B.C. Green Party. The B.C. Conservatives have not announced a candidate.

The Liberals have had a continuous hold on the riding — which was called Okanagan-Vernon up until 2009 — since the May 1996 election, when they took it from the Social Credit Party.

Over the past 20 years, the only party that has come close to unseating the Liberals in Vernon-Monashee is the NDP. In 1996, Liberal candidate April Sanders took home 39 per cent of the vote, followed by NDP candidate Howard Brown, with 29.9 per cent.

Liberal candidate Tom Christensen won by a landslide in the 2001 election, with 56.5 per cent of the vote.

The NDP gained some ground on Christensen in the 2005 election, when Juliette Cunningham took 33.5 per cent of the vote. It still wasn’t enough to beat Christensen’s 43 per cent.

Huguette Allen made a valiant effort for the Greens in 2009, with 16.6 per cent of the vote — the most the party has seen in this riding in at least two decades. That year, the NDP candidate, Mark Olsen, came close to unseating Liberal Eric Foster. Foster won by a margin of just 5.4 per cent, with 37.3 per cent of the vote compared to Olsen’s 31.8 per cent.

Olsen tried again in May 2013 to unseat Foster, and once again, failed. Not only that, Foster increased his share of the votes significantly, up to 46 per cent. Olsen, meanwhile, had 34 per cent. The Conservatives took home 11.7 per cent with candidate Scott Anderson, and the Greens seven per cent.

Find more stories about the provincial election here. 

Watch for more provincial election coverage from iNFOnews.ca.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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