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Former MP Fin Donnelly hoping to jump to provincial politics as BC NDP candidate

Fin Donnelly, NDP MP for New Westminister Coquitlam and Port Moody looks out from a boat at the site of the proposed Enbridge bitumen terminal on Douglas Channel, south of Kitimat, B.C., on June 27, 2012. New Democrat MP Fin Donnelly says after much thought and reflection, he will not be seeking re-election in 2019. Donnelly has represented the British Columbia riding Port Moody-Coquitlam, previously called New Westminster-Coquitlam, since 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Robin Rowland.
Fin Donnelly, NDP MP for New Westminister Coquitlam and Port Moody looks out from a boat at the site of the proposed Enbridge bitumen terminal on Douglas Channel, south of Kitimat, B.C., on June 27, 2012. New Democrat MP Fin Donnelly says after much thought and reflection, he will not be seeking re-election in 2019. Donnelly has represented the British Columbia riding Port Moody-Coquitlam, previously called New Westminster-Coquitlam, since 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Robin Rowland.

Former NDP MP Fin Donnelly is hoping to make a political comeback.

Donnelly is seeking the BC NDP nomination for the riding of Coquitlam-Burke Mountain. The 54-year-old served as an MP for 10 years in the Tri-Cities before deciding not to run in the 2019 federal election.

“Now more than ever, the people of Coquitlam-Burke Mountain need leadership that represents everyone,” Donnelly said. “I’m ready to join John Horgan and his NDP team to create more affordable housing, ensure access to better childcare and build schools to meet the demand of our growing community.”

The riding, which is currently held by BC Liberal MLA Joan Issacs, is seen as a crucial swing seat.

Issacs defeated NDP incumbent Jodie Wickens by 87 votes in the last provincial election, the closest race in the province. Wickens will not be seeking the nomination against Donnelly.

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Preparing for a possible fall provincial election
Preparing for a possible fall provincial election

 

There is uncertainty about when the next provincial election may take place.

The makeup of the B.C legislature is 41 BC Liberal MLAs, 41 NDP MLAs, two Greens and two Independents.

Premier John Horgan has not ruled out an election in the fall but he also doesn’t have the power to singlehandedly trigger an election. The Lieutenant Governor would have to support the idea of an election any time before the next fixed election date in October 2021.

There has been a recent string of polls that appear to be good news for Horgan and the NDP. Ekos Research released data on Tuesday showing the party would be expected to win a majority government if an election were held now.

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Could B.C. be headed for a fall election?
Could B.C. be headed for a fall election?

The poll found 51 per cent of those polled would support the NDP and 25 per cent would support the BC Liberals. The Greens remain third at 14 per cent, while 11 per cent support other parties.

One in six voters remain undecided.

“Our recent polling in other provinces shows large leads for governing parties, thanks in part to their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NDP is no exception, even though they lead a minority government with support in confidence votes from the Green Party,” an explanation from Ekos reads.

“The NDP now leads in every region of the province, even in the Interior where they trailed the Liberals in our last poll. In fact, there has been a huge shift in the Interior, where the NDP has gone up from 35 to 44 points, while the Liberals have dropped from 37 to 25.”

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Note: The field dates for the Ekos survey are July 18 to August 26, 2020. In total, a random sample of 1,984 British Columbia residents aged 18 and over responded to the survey. The margin of error associated with the total sample is +/- 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.