B.C. premier urges free-enterprise coalition support after two byelection losses

VANCOUVER – Premier Christy Clark says her government is going to “redouble” its efforts to listen to British Columbians after the B.C. Liberals lost two byelection yesterday to the Opposition New Democrats.

Clark says her party will ask people across the province for ideas towards strengthening what she calls the “free-enterprise coalition,” which supports a strong private-sector economy that creates jobs.

The Liberals were unseated in their former strongholds of Chilliwack and Port Moody-Coquitlam, both ridings where vote-splitting from the rising Conservative party was a factor.

Clark disagrees her leadership has caused the voter drift that’s propping up the third party and rejected the notion of making any backroom deals with its, leader John Cummins.

She says voters had no risk of unseating her government by electing NDP candidates, and she expects a different result at the polls when the province votes in May 2013.

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Governing parties have only won two byelections in B.C. in the last 30 years.