The NDP have captured another traditional BC Liberal stronghold in the Fraser Valley in the province’s 2020 provincial election.
A combination of Liberal flubs, changing demographics and strong support for the Conservatives has put gave NDP candidate Megan Dykeman the edge over BC Liberal Margaret Kunst.
With all 10,637 outstanding mail-in and absentee ballots counted Sunday, Dykeman beat Kunst by 2,784 votes.
Conservative candidate Ryan Warawa tallied 3,428 votes.
Langley East has been reliable BC Liberal territory and has always voted for either a Social Credit or Liberal candidate.
Veteran BC Liberal MLA Rich Coleman did not run for reelection. Coleman has held the seat and its predecessor Fort Langley-Aldergrove since 1996.
Coleman won the seat in the 2017 election by more than 7,500 votes.
Kunst, a Township of Langley councillor, was hoping to replace Coleman in the riding as the Liberal MLA.
Dykeman, chair of the Langley School Board, ran for the NDP after the party’s original candidate, Langley Township councillor Eric Woodward, dropped out after a social media storm over his past controversies.
Warawa’s father, Mark, died last year while serving as the Conservative MP for Langley-Aldergrove.
Kunst was thrust into the spotlight during the campaign due to her vote against a rainbow crosswalk while serving on council. Kunst claimed the vote was procedural but in 2018 Kunst filed out a questionnaire saying she did not support a rainbow crosswalk in the community.
Dykeman is serving her third term as a school board trustee.
She’s a mother of two children, a son A.J. and a daughter Mac.
Dykeman says her priority for the community is building more schools, providing assistance to farmers and implement an economic recovery plan impacting the entire community.
“The management of the COVID-19 pandemic, investments in small business and the economy, and the BCNDP’s commitment to improving the educational and economic opportunities available for all British Columbians is greatly appreciated,” Dykeman said when speaking about interacting with votes.
Kunst and her husband have owned a small business in the agriculture sector for over 20 years and was first elected to council in 2018.
The Township of Langley population is expected to double by 2040. It’s a mix of rural and urban.
Kunst says he hopes to help the businesses and community organizations to come out of this COVID recession period stronger by targeting aid in practical ways that ensure long-term viability.
“I would like ensure we address serious issues without treating them as pawns in a game,” Kunst said.
“Issues like transportation infrastructure, affordable housing and safer communities – with real action on addiction and recovery options.”
- BC Liberal: Margaret Kunst
- BC NDP: Megan Dykeman
- BC Greens: Cheryl Wiens
- BC Conservatives: Ryan Warawa
- Libertarian: Alex Joehl
- Independent: Tara Reeve
Swing riding meter
This is a safe Liberal seat.
In 2017, Coleman captured the seat with a comfortable margin of 24.61 per cent. The BC Liberals won 29 of their 43 seats by a more narrow margin, while 60 races province-wide ended with a tighter finish.
2017 election results
- BC Liberals: Rich Coleman — 16,348 votes (53.45%)
- BC NDP: Inder Johal — 8,820 votes (28.84%)
- BC Greens: Bill Masse — 4,968 (16.24%)
- Libertarian: Alex Joehl — 448 votes (1.47%)
This profile will continually be updated to reflect latest information, interviews and events in the campaign.
Find full B.C. 2020 provincial election coverage here.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots were requested across B.C. this election. As mail-in ballots cannot be counted until after election night, these results are not final.