Battleground B.C.: Here are the key ridings to watch for the federal election

WATCH: In this edition of Focus BC, host Sonia Deol speaks with Keith Baldrey and Richard Zussman about B.C. issues in the 2019 Federal Election.

British Columbia’s political landscape is like nowhere else in the country.

There are ridings with legitimate four-way races between the Liberals, Conservatives, NDP and Greens. There are regional battles from Vancouver Island, to Vancouver, to south of the Fraser River and into the North and Interior.

The trend from 2015, like many places in the country, was a Liberal surge leading to the party picking up seats in areas where it has been a long time since they saw success.

Here are 10 key ridings that could determine the course of the federal election in B.C.

Vancouver Granville

It is the riding in British Columbia that will get more attention that any other. The reason: Jody Wilson-Raybould. Wilson-Raybould is the incumbent. She is also now an Independent.

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Her dismissal from the Liberal Party is well documented and her name recognition has never been higher. Wilson-Raybould won with 44 per cent of the vote four years ago, defeating NDP candidate Mira Oreck (26.9 per cent) and Conservative Erinn Broshko (26.1 per cent).

READ MORE: Wilson-Raybould’s high profile could help her win election without Liberals: experts

The question is whether JWR can bring the vote with her. The Liberals are running Taleeb Noormohamed. The tech entrepreneur ran for the Liberals in North Vancouver in 2011 and finished second. He was nominated in August so there is some catching up to do at the doors.

The Conservatives have nominated Zach Segal and the NDP have nominated Yvonne Hanson.

This riding has it all: renters, home owners, young, old, a range of ethnic and religious diversities, and all of that makes the riding one to watch.

Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge

Four years ago, the Liberals won 11 seats in British Columbia that were classified going into the election as Conservative seats. Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge was one of the more surprising of those flips.

It’s hard to understand exactly how much the Liberal vote changed because the ridings were dramatically redrawn between the 2011 and 2015 election. But if you take the 2011 results and apply them to the 2015 riding boundaries, the Conservatives would have had 21,069 votes in 2011. Compare that to 13,404 for the NDP and 2,068 for the Liberals.

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WATCH: (Sept. 11) Important B.C. ridings in federal election

Important B.C. ridings in federal election
Important B.C. ridings in federal election

Fast forward back to the last election and Liberal Dan Ruimy won with 17,673 votes (33.9 per cent). The Conservatives finished second with 16,373 votes (31.4 per cent) and the NDP were third with 15,450 votes (29.6 per cent).

The two provincial ridings that make up the bulk of the federal riding both swung from the B.C. Liberals to the B.C. NDP in 2017. The Conservatives see this seat as a crucial part of their strategy in British Columbia.

Burnaby North-Seymour

A brand new riding four years ago is expected to once again be a three-way race. The NDP have historically done well in Burnaby, while the Conservatives have historically done well on the North Shore. The Liberals showed in 2015 they can do well enough in both areas.

This riding is the epicentre of the debate over the Trans Mountain pipeline. The terminal is in the riding, along with concerned First Nations and environmentalists.

READ MORE: Battleground B.C.: Where in the province the federal party leaders are visiting

Liberal Terry Beech is running for re-election. He secured 18,938 votes (36.1 per cent) four years ago to beat NDPer Carol Baird Ellan, who tallied 15,537 votes (29.6 per cent), and Conservative candidate Mike Little, who registered 14,612 votes (27.8 per cent).

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The NDP is running one of its best-known candidates in the riding, Svend Robinson. The longtime MP is attempting to make a political comeback, and is as well known in Burnaby as anyone in politics. The Conservatives are running Heather Leung, less known that Little, but the party still hopes to perform well in the Seymour part of the riding.

Cloverdale-Langley City

This riding is very similar to Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge: a Conservative stronghold that went Liberal. It is part of the belt of ridings in suburbia that are shifting more from the right wing to the centre as younger families are forced out of Vancouver.

Take the 2011 numbers and apply them to the 2015 riding boundaries. The Conservatives would have had 57 per cent of the vote, compared to 11.8 per cent for the Liberals. Then in the actual 2015 election, the Liberals received 45.4 per cent of the votes, compared to 34.7 per cent for the Conservatives.

READ MORE: Trudeau says it ‘just felt right’ to start campaign in B.C., like he did in 2015

John Aldag is running for re-election for the Liberals. He will face a tough challenge in Conservative candidate Tamara Jansen, who is a very well known local business person.


Every time political insiders talk about the Green breakthrough, the riding that gets mentioned is Victoria. Four years ago the party finished second in the riding with 32.9 per cent of the vote. It was the highest total for the Greens outside of Elizabeth May’s Saanich-Gulf Islands riding.

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This is shaping up to be a three-way race. The Liberal candidate was forced to quit four years ago and even though she was out of the race, but on the ballot, the party got 11.8 per cent of the vote.

WATCH: (Sept. 13) B.C. campaign aimed at getting more students and young voters to the polls

B.C. campaign aimed at getting more students and young voters to the polls
B.C. campaign aimed at getting more students and young voters to the polls

The question is, can the NDP hold on to this seat? Incumbent Murray Rankin won in 2015 with 42.3 per cent of the vote. This time around Victoria city councilor Laurel Collins will be running.

Collins was hoping Rankin could help wrestle up support, but because of his new appointment as the chair of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, he must remain neutral.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came to the area on the second day of the campaign. The hope is voters who previously went NDP could come the Liberal way with candidate Nikki Macdonald. The Liberals held the seat in the 1990s with David Anderson as MP.

Nanaimo Ladysmith

It’s a byelection rematch: candidates accounting for more than 99 per cent of the vote in May will be running again.

Green candidate Paul Manly surprised many when he pulled off his victory, becoming just the second Green ever elected to Parliament. Manly received 37.3 per cent of vote, beating Conservative John Hirst (24.9 per cent), New Democrat Bob Chamberlin (23 per cent) and Liberal Michelle Corfield (11 per cent).

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READ MORE: Greens claim historic 2nd federal seat with upset byelection win in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The one challenge for Manly will be a surge in voter turnout. More than 30,000 more people voted in 2015 than in the byelection. The NDP won the seat convincingly four years ago, but the Greens have proven they have the team in place to win.


In a riding that hasn’t had a Liberal since the 1970s, hopes are higher here for the party than they have ever been.

The party is running star candidate Terry Lake. A former Kamloops mayor and ex-provincial minister, Lake has shown his personal popularity can be greater than that of his party.

The Liberals are also hoping a community that is getting younger, with more Metro Vancouverites moving in as well as students from Thompson Rivers University, will serve them well.

READ MORE: NDP boots B.C. candidate just before writ drops over social media posts

Incumbent Cathy McLeod won a three-way race four years ago with 35.3 per cent of the vote, beating New Democrat Bill Sundhu (30.8 per cent) and Liberal Steve Powrie (30.4 per cent). McLeod is running for the Conservatives for the fourth time.

The NDP doesn’t have a candidate after losing two names, including Dock Currie in the first week of the campaign after inappropriate comments on social media.

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This riding was for a long time occupied by the right-wing flavour of the time, from the Reform to the Alliance to the united Conservative Party. But in 2015 something a little different happened: the NDP pulled off the upset in one of the country’s closest races. The Liberal vote surged four years ago but instead of taking away votes from the NDP, it was the Conservatives that lost votes.

Wayne Stetski will be running again after beating Conservative David Wilks by 282 votes. This time the New Democrat will be taking on Rob Morrison for the Tories. Robin Goldsbury is the Liberal candidate.

WATCH: (Sept. 5) Polls says Liberals could lose B.C. seats in federal election

Polls says Liberals could lose B.C. seats in federal election
Polls says Liberals could lose B.C. seats in federal election

This riding could shift back to the Conservatives, but incumbents do have some built-in advantages. The riding runs along the Rocky Mountains and includes a mix of communities from Nelson to Cranbrook to Revelstoke.

Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam

The story may be getting old, but Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam is like a few other ridings on this list. It was once a strong Conservative riding with the NDP second, only to see Trudeaumania swoop through four years ago thanks to changing demographics.

The Liberals seem to think this riding is safer than Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge or Cloverdale-Langley City. Liberal Ron McKinnon was outspent 9-to-1 four years ago and still pulled in 35.3 per cent of the vote.

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Conservative Doug Horne, who was trying to hold on to well-known minister James Moore’s seat, finished second with 32 per cent of the vote. The NDP received 27.3 per cent.

McKinnon is running again.

South Surrey White Rock

This will be an intense two-way battle between politicians who have been at it a while now. Liberal Gordie Hogg picked up this traditional Conservative seat two years ago in a byelection after Dianne Watts quit as an MP.

Name recognition will be at play here. Hogg has been in politics nearly 40 years, first as White Rock’s mayor and then as a well-known, popular MLA. The turnout in the byelection was lower than a general election, and Hogg won with 47.5 per cent of the vote. Former Stephen Harper-era minister Kerry-Kynne Findlay finished second with 42.1 per cent of the vote.

The two will face off again. The federal government was quick to step in to help pay for a new White Rock pier, which could be one of those local issues that sits well with voters.

WATCH: (Sept. 11) 2019 federal election campaign gets underway

2019 federal election campaign gets underway
2019 federal election campaign gets underway